This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup is creamy and cheesy, even without the dairy! It’s made with simple ingredients and ready in only 30 minutes.

If you enjoy the broccoli cheddar combination as much as I do, make sure to check out my “Chicken” Broccoli Rice Vegan Casserole and these Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes.

scooping up vegan broccoli cheddar soup with a wooden spoon.

Easy and cheesy vegan broccoli cheese soup

This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup is my go-to comfort food. Each spoonful is so thick and cheesy. It’s hard to believe that it isn’t made with dairy!

All you need are a few simple ingredients, a large pot, and a blender to put a batch of vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup together. It starts with a luscious, pureed cheese sauce base, then is elevated with fresh broccoli and vegan cheese shreds. In the end, your bowl is filled with a golden batch of cheesy, broccoli goodness!

Not only is it a sneaky veggie-packed meal, but it’s comforting too! Enjoy your creamy soup as-is or pair it with artisan bread and kale Caesar salad for a simple and cozy meal both adults and kids will love.

a spoon taking a scoop of broccoli cheddar soup out of a white bowl.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Olive oil – Or use vegetable broth if you want to saute the vegetables without oil.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes – The creamy, cheesy base of the soup is made from potatoes, carrots, cashews, and nutritional yeast. Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold are best but you can use any variety you already have at home.
  • Carrots – Just like this vegan cheese sauce, carrots give the soup a yellow color and slight sweetness.
  • Raw cashews – Blended cashews thicken the soup like a dream. If you don’t have cashews on hand, use macadamia nuts, blanched almonds, or sunflower seeds instead. A little coconut cream works for a nut and seed free option.
  • Vegetable broth
  • Nutritional yeast – A must for vegan cheesy soup.
  • Smoked paprika – Or use regular paprika.
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Broccoli – Chop the broccoli yourself or save a little time by using frozen broccoli or pre-chopped broccoli. You could even add more vegetables for more substance and texture, like peas, cauliflower, black beans, or celery.
  • Shredded vegan cheese – Optional, but delicious! The cheese melts into the soup, making every bite super cheesy. 

How to make vegan broccoli cheddar soup

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

Start by sauteing the onion and garlic in a large oiled soup pot until they’re soft and fragrant.

sauteeing chopped onion and garlic in a large black pot.

Next, add in the potatoes, carrots, cashews, broth, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and salt. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the vegetables are fork tender.

We boil the cashews right in the pot to get them super soft for blending!

cooking broccoli cheddar soup in a large black pot.

Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth or use an immersion blender in the pot instead. Pour the blended soup back into the pot and thin it out with a little water if needed. Finish by stirring in the broccoli and vegan cheese.

broccoli florets and shredded vegan cheese on top of a pot of broccoli cheddar soup in a large black pot.

Bring the broccoli soup back up to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer to cook the broccoli. Serve in individual bowls with more cheese on top, then enjoy!

a large black pot filled with vegan broccoli cheddar soup.

Tips and variations

  • Blending the broccoli – If you’re a fan of extra creamy soups, feel free to add in half of the broccoli florets when you add the potatoes. Blend until smooth, then add the rest of the broccoli. This way, the soup will have less texture and a smoother consistency.
  • Nut free – The soup won’t be as thick and creamy without the cashews, but they can be left out if you need it to be nut free. Use a little coconut cream instead.
  • Toppings – Top each bowl of soup with roasted broccoli florets, shredded vegan cheese, croutons, fresh parsley, or red chili flakes.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can you make it in the Instant Pot? I haven’t tested this recipe in the Instant Pot. If you do try it, I recommend cooking and blending the soup without the broccoli and cheese first, then stirring them in and cooking at high pressure for a few more minutes. 
  2. Do you have to soak the cashews ahead of time? Nope! Just throw them in the pot and the nuts will soften in the hot soup broth before blending.
  3. How long does vegan broccoli soup last? The leftovers will last for up to 3-4 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
  4. Can you freeze it? Yes, the soup freezes quite well.
a white bowl filled with vegan broccoli cheddar soup and a spoon.

Want more creamy and comforting soups?

close up on a wooden spoon scooping vegan broccoli cheddar soup out of a pot.
5 stars (66 ratings)

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup is creamy and cheesy, even without the dairy! It’s made with simple ingredients and ready in only 30 minutes.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1-2 cups water, as needed (see instructions)
  • 4 cups broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese I used Violife, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • To the pot, add the potato, carrots, cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until fork tender.
  • Working in batches if needed, transfer the soup carefully to a blender and blend until very smooth.
  • Return the mixture back to the pot. If your soup is too thick, add water until a desired consistency is reached (I used 1 cup of water). Add in the bite sized broccoli florets and cheese, if using, and stir into the soup. 
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until the broccoli is soft and cooked. The cheese should also be melted into the soup.
  • Serve, topping with more vegan cheddar cheese shreds, if desired. Enjoy! Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen.

Notes

  1. Broccoli – I prefer the chop the broccoli mostly super small for the soup. You can even use a food processor to chop it super small, but I usually do this by hand with a knife.
  2. Nut free – If you have a nut allergy, you may make this without the cashews, it just won’t be quite as creamy and rich. Stir in a little coconut cream at the end if desired for creaminess. 
  3. Blend it – If desired, you may use an immersion blender once the broccoli is cooked to create a creamier broccoli cheese soup without chunks of broccoli florets. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1439mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5972IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

This recipe was first posted in September 2018 and has been republished with new photos and the addition of vegan cheddar cheese shreds. Otherwise the recipe is unchanged.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

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Comments

  1. This vegan broccoli cheddar soup is delicious and hearty. I love the addition of the cheddar cheese and it’s perfect for a cold winter day.

  2. I’ve been vegan for several years and what I miss most is broccoli cheddar soup.
    The flavor of this soup is phenomenal. But I didn’t get the texture quite right. I’m sure it’s the chef and not the recipe, so I’ll try again soon!
    Thanks for sharing your creation with us!
    Anita

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Anita! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! The texture is quite easy to adjust; if it’s too thick, add more water or broth to thin it out. Too thin and you can stir in a little cashew cream or coconut milk to help it thicken while making it extra creamy. I hope this helps!

  3. I made this tonight and it was a big hit with my Omni husband and daughter! I think I went a little heavy on the smoked paprika but it’s delicious and we have plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thank you Nora! I will never not have dinner inspiration again!

    1. Hi Jennie! I’m so glad the soup was a hit with your family! Thank you for using my recipes, and for taking time to share your great feedback! Aren’t leftovers great!?

  4. This was easy and delicious! My husband loved it and he is the ultimate critic. Haha a thanks for another great recipe.

    1. Hi Courtney. I’m so glad the soup was a hit with your husband! Thanks for sharing your feedback, and for using my recipes!

  5. Hello Nora ! I prepare this Delicious recipe for a Potluck at my Church,everyone was so happy enjoying the Soup.
    My Friend told that is the best Broccoli cheddar soup she has tasted.
    Thank you Nora for the 10 Talents you have .
    God bless you !!

    1. Hi Raquel. How fun that you are sharing this soup at the potluck! I’m so glad everyone is enjoying the soup! Thank you for your wonderful feedback! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

    2. Nora, my fiance and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this recipe. This is LITERALLY our new favorite meal. We’ve already made it about a dozen times.

      I’ve been vegan for 7 years and have been trying out a lot of different recipes for broccoli cheddar soup (my absolute favorite food pre-veg) and while they were good they never quite hit the mark. My fiance has decided to join me and recently went vegan as well and said “but….we gotta find THE BEST vegan version of broccoli cheddar soup…because I just need it, haha”. He searched online and we tried a few then finally came across yours and our search is officially over.

      THANK YOU. Absolutely delicious and so easy (and dare I say FUN) to make. You have two very satisfied and gracious fans.

      Love.

      1. Hi Charlotte. I want to say thank you for your very fun and wonderful feedback! What a fun soup search journey! I love it, and am so happy you love my soup as your favorite! I hope you two have lots of fun on your journey together! Congratulations, and wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  6. Man, it looks very rich. My vegeterian daughter might enjoy this recipe, but my low FODMAP, no dairy, no glutal diet wife still won’t be able to enjoy this one. 

  7. Great recipe Nora! Thanks. I enjoy your recipes!
    Made the recipe as stated… except used plain paprika.

    When grandkids ask for more, you know you’ve got a winner!
    Grew up in California as complete vegetarian, now vegan 5 yrs.
    From beautiful Vancouver BC, (British Columbia, Canada)
    Cheers!

    1. Hello Carol in Vancouver, BC! Thank you for sharing your fun and wonderful feedback! I’m glad the soup was a hit! I appreciate you using my recipes, and wish you happy cooking!

  8. What a help you are for My 2 Vegan grandchildren & 2 Vegetarians. Found it impossible till  you appeared. 

  9. This was divine and so simple!! I added a sweet potato and then (cooked) black eyed peas to the final dish. I skipped the fake vegan cheese. It did not need it. Will definitely be making frequently.

    Thank you Nora!!! 

    1. You are welcome, Kate! I’m so glad you loved the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and ideas!

  10. Super delicious!  Best broccoli cheese soup recipe I’ve found.  Every time I make it, I get compliments and/or request for the recipe.

  11. Another winner Nora, absolutely perfect for a cold, snowy western NY winter day!  Made it exactly as written and it was delicious!  

    Thank you for sharing!

    Diane

    1. I’m so glad you love the soup, Diane! Thanks for using my recipe, and for sharing your review and feedback! Happy cooking!

  12. I just made this soup and it was wonderful.  I didn’t have a potato, so I used potato starch.
    Also I only had roasted cashews. It was still absolutely delicious. . 
    Thank you! I always love your recipes. 

    1. Hi Cass. Thank you sharing your feedback! I’m glad you loved the soup! I appreciate you using my recipes! Happy cooking!

  13. I didn’t have cashew nuts on hand, but I had unsweetened cashew milk and unsweetened cashew yogurt and I added a bit of both to the soup. I used Maldon smoked salt and used an immersion blender instead of a regular blender. The soup was delicious. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

    1. Hi Rebecca. Thank you for sharing your review and feedback. I’m glad to hear the soup turned out delicious for you using the ingredients you had on hand! Happy cooking!

  14. Fantastic- 5 stars! This was warm, toasty, delectable. I used 2 carrots, 2 potatoes. Also, microwaved my broccoli so it would cook faster. Other than that, followed directions exactly. This will be added to the regular soup lineup!

    1. Thank you for using my recipes, Emily! So glad you loved the soup! It is one of my favorites! I appreciate you taking your time to share your review and feedback!

  15. If I want to add sour cream sub for cashews, at what point in the instructions would I do that? Thanks in advance!!

  16. I made this soup in the instant pot and it was delicious – it tastes very cheesy, but it quite light. The modifications I made for the instant pot were that, instead of simmering for 15 min at step 2, I put the pot on high pressure for 5 – 6 min to cook all of the veggies. I added frozen broccoli and water at step 5 and then put the pot back on high pressure for 1 – 2 min (you could also use the soup feature). It was really easy to do in the instant pot – thanks for the great recipe!

    1. That’s fun! I haven’t tried this recipe in my Instant Pot, so I’m not exactly sure. I would probably cook it first without the broccoli, then blend it, then add the broccoli and maybe cook at high pressure for a few more minutes. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

  17. Holy vegan cannoli! You did it again, Nora! We just finished this for dinner and it was amazing. Step aside, Panera, this is no vegan wannabe recipe – it’s the real deal. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. I’m hoping it freezes well as I want to make sure this goes in the meal prep rotation. Thanks again, Nora – you make cooking a joy for someone that never felt like they belonged in the kitchen 🙂

    1. I am so glad you loved the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments! I’m thrilled that you find my recipes fun to make, and easy! By the way, the soup freezes quite well. How great it’s going onto your meal rotation! I appreciate you!

  18. This might be a silly question but can I used my immersion blender ? I’ve made it before (was REALLY GOOD bye) but I don’t wanna use my regular blender this time around so I was just wondering.

    1. Not a silly question, but an immersion blender won’t blend the cashews smooth. You could skip the cashews and add a little full fat coconut milk or vegan creamer instead, for creaminess. Then you could use an immersion blender.

      1. This recipe is amazing, I make it at least twice per month. So creamy and nutritious! Wishing you all the best in the New Year, Nora. And a heartfelt thank you for all the fantastic recipes!

  19. Nora, Nora, Nora!!!!! This right here is so delicious. Best best non dairy broccoli soup!! Will be making again! So glad I came across your recipe. Thank you! 

    1. Hi Diane! I’m glad you found the recipe as well! Thanks so much for taking your time to share your review and comments! I’m glad you love the soup!

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