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Cheesy creamy Chicken Broccoli Soup is so fantastic you’ll be looking for an excuse just to make it again and again. This easy soup is loaded with broccoli florets, tender chunks of chicken, a few julienned carrots for color and added sweetness, onion, sharp cheddar cheese and a few ounces of cubed American cheese from the deli.
We use a combination of cheeses for this recipe based on the success of our original vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup. Sharp cheddar brings great flavor while American cheese melts smoothly making the soup super-silky and creamy.
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup
For this recipe you can use any kind of precooked chicken pieces like rotisserie or poached. More often than not I use lightly poach chicken breasts cooked in about 1 cup of chicken broth flavored with pepper and fresh thyme sprigs. The chicken cooks into tender, juicy bites that are perfect in this soup.
Overview of Ingredients
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the complete printable recipe card
- unsalted butter
- olive oil
- finely chopped sweet onion
- julienned carrots
- fresh ground black pepper
- all-purpose flour
- low-sodium chicken broth
- fresh broccoli florets
- half and half or a combination of whole milk and cream
- fresh grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- American deli cheese cut into cubes
- chicken breasts, diced or shredded
- shredded cheddar cheese
- black pepper
- crusty bread
How to make Chicken Broccoli Soup
1. First prep all the ingredients
This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until needed. Once everything is prepped, this soup is on the table in under 30 minutes.
2. Next cook the vegetables
Melt the butter and olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Continue cooking until the flour starts to form a fond on the bottom of the pan. Don’t skip this step! Fond is a great flavor builder.
3. Add the broth and cook the broccoli
Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Add the broccoli and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the half and half and cheeses
Pour in the half and half, cheddar and American cheeses. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the chicken, cover and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve garnished with additional shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy with crackers or a hunk of crusty Artisan bread.
How to make vegetarian Broccoli Cheddar Soup
We like the added protein chicken brings to this soup making it very filling and satisfying. However, you can leave the chicken out if you prefer.
If you’re skipping the added chicken increase the amount of broccoli by 2 cups.
If you want to make broccoli cheddar soup without chicken broth follow our recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup which calls for vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth. The perfect vegetarian option!
Both of our broccoli soup recipes are absolutely fantastic and much better than the soup you’ll can get at Panera Bread. The broth is silky and flavorful and not overloaded with salt.
You can also make this soup in an instant pot with basically the exact same process.
Use the sauté function for the vegetables and flour. Once the broth and broccoli are added seal the lid and lock in place. Cook for 1 minute. Vent and remove the lid once you can. Continue with the recipe as instructed using the sauté function.
How to store Chicken Broccoli Soup
Leftover Chicken Broccoli Soup will keep if refrigerated and well sealed in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Due to the amount of dairy we do not recommend freezing this soup.
Reheating leftover cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup
This soup warms very well over medium to medium-low heat on the stovetop. You can also reheat single portions in the microwave on 50% power for about 3 minutes.
Garnish with fresh shredded cheese and serve!
Chicken Broccoli Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots julienned
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups broccoli florets cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 pound broccoli)
- 2 cups half and half or milk, or 1 cup whole milk with 1 cup heavy cream (16 ounces)
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded (2 cups)
- 4 ounces American cheese diced cut into cubes (about 1 cup)
- 2 cooked chicken breasts poached or rotisserie about 2 cups diced or shredded (about 1 pound chicken)
- additional shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
- Prep all the ingredients before you begin as the recipe moves along quickly.
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot combine the butter and olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the diced onion, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Continue cooking and stirring until the flour starts to form a fond on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Pour in the broccoli and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the half and half, cheddar and American cheeses. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the chicken, cover and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Garnish each bowl with shredded cheddar and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve with crust bread for sopping up all the creaminess!
More great recipes to try
If you love cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup I bet you’re going to love these delicious recipes, too:
- Easy Cheese Sauce for broccoli, cauliflower or baked potatoes