This Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup is loaded with cheesy flavor but is completely dairy free! Make it in the instant pot or on the stovetop for a quick comfort food meal you’ll love.
Creamy, Cheesy, Comforting, and Dairy Free! Do you all love soup as much as I do? Whether it’s Instant Pot Lasagna Noodle Soup, Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup, or Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup, it always hits the spot!
I admit that vegan broccoli cheese soup has a special place in my heart. You see, I grew up eating broccoli cheese soup but definitely not the vegan kind. I mean the type of easy broccoli cheese soup that is loaded with all the buttery, cheesy goodness we all love.
Even now, just the smell of it brings up fond memories and takes me back to my childhood. However, you know what else I remember about this dish? The immediate tummy ache I had after inhaling a bowl! Yet, I always went back for more.
Yikes! Can you relate?
Needless to say, when I adopted a gluten free (and mostly dairy free) lifestyle, broccoli cheese soup is one of the meals I missed the most. So, I decided to recreate this classic comfort food with a vegan twist! After all, I believe in balance and enjoying the foods we love, making modifications to help them become just a little more allergy-friendly along the way. So, I swapped out the dairy, added a few nourishing ingredients, and created the perfect instant pot broccoli cheese soup!
Just like the real deal, it has all of the flavors you remember. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Heck, I’m even giving you a stovetop option just in case you don’t have an Instant Pot! Does life (or dinner) get any better than that? Keep reading to find out how it’s all possible below!
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup (2 ways)
Initially, I created this instant pot broccoli cheese soup for an easy dinner ready in minutes. Once I perfected that version, I decided to make a stovetop version, too to help meet all your needs! Although the processes are similar, they aren’t identical. So, be sure to read how they’re done below.
Cheese sauce with ease, no matter which cooking method you choose, my secret to creating easy broccoli cheese soup is my super simple vegan cheese sauce recipe! It comes together with nutritious plant-based ingredients and no cooking required! It comes out super creamy just like real cheese so the picky eaters in your life will never know the difference.
Quick Cooking Tip: Keep this cheese sauce on hand so all you have to do is add your ingredients to the pot for super-fast easy broccoli cheese soup!
Vegan Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
- Potato Starch (or Cornstarch)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Vegetable Broth
Pro-Tip: If steaming your veggies in the microwave, add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish, and microwave them for 6 minutes.
- Steam. To begin, steam the cauliflower and carrot on the stovetop or in the microwave until they are tender.
- Blend. Once soft, transfer the veggies to a blender, add the remaining ingredients, and blend them on low. Slowly increase the speed of the blender until you reach the highest setting and the ingredients are completely smooth.
Note: Looking for more cheese sauce options? Try this vegan cheese sauce or salsa con queso minus the salsa!
Instant Pot Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Pulse. To begin, pulse your broccoli in a food processor until it is diced. Or, dice it by hand, using a knife.
- Sauté. Add oil, onion, and garlic to the Instant Pot, and let them sauté for 2 minutes or until they are fragrant. Then, add the broccoli and vegetable broth, and stir to combine.
- Cook. Once all of the ingredients have been added to the pot, close the lid, and manually pressure cook for 1 minute before setting the Instant Pot to natural release.
- Stir. Remove the lid, and add in the cheese sauce, coconut milk or non dairy cream, and slurry. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix the ingredients until they, slurry, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, stir to combine.
- Warm. Place the lid back on the pot, and let the soup warm for 10-15 minutes or until the desired temperature is reached.
Stove Top Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Pulse. To begin, pulse your broccoli in a food processor until it is finely diced. Or, dice it by hand, using a knife.
- Sauté. Add the oil, onion, and garlic to a large pot on medium heat, and let them sauté for 2 minutes or until they are fragrant. Then add in the broccoli and broth, and stir to combine.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and let the ingredients simmer for 8-15 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.
Note: The simmer time will vary based on how finely the broccoli is diced.
- Add Ingredients. Stir in the remaining cheese sauce, coconut milk or non dairy cream, and slurry. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix the ingredients until they are well-combined.
Cooking Tip: If your soup is too thick for your liking, add more coconut milk, stirring to combine before letting the ingredients simmer.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and let the ingredients simmer for about 10 minutes or until your vegan broccoli cheese soup has thickened.
Tips for the Best Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
Don’t Blend the Broccoli. You want to dice or pulse your broccoli into small pieces, but make sure not to completely pulverize them! If you do, your soup won’t have any texture.
Add Shredded (Dairy Free) Cheese. For extra cheesy flavor, try topping your easy broccoli cheese soup with dairy free shredded cheese! I prefer chickpea-based brands, but any dairy free cheese works.
Use Non Dairy Cream or Coconut milk. To create a rich, creamy flavor, be sure to use either coconut cream or coconut milk. Opting for a non-dairy milk substitute such as almond milk will not create the rich flavor we’re looking for and will result in a super thick broccoli cheddar soup.
The easiest way to thicken your broccoli cheese soup is to add more vegan cheese sauce. Or, you could also create a roux to add to the soup.
This typically happens when the temperature of the soup gets too high. It’s most common with dairy-containing broccoli cheese soups but can happen with dairy free versions, too. Unfortunately, there is no way to fix your soup once it has become grainy. So, be sure to keep the temperature warm but not so hot that the soup boils!
Yes, store leftover vegan broccoli cheese soup in the freezer for up to 2 months!
This Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup is tasty and filling all on its own. However, it also pairs greatly with a side or two for a well-rounded meal that’s full of different textures and flavors. For an extra cozy dish, try serving it in a bread bowl. Or, whip up one of the quick side dishes below!
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup (Instant Pot & Stovetop)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup is made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop for a quick, kid-friendly, comfort food dinner recipe full of veggies!
Quick Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 260 grams (2 cups) cauliflower florets, cooked
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (for color)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 ⅓ – 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
For the Pot:
- 20 ounces (1-8 cups) broccoli florets, diced and shredded
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or dairy free ghee/butter
- ⅔ cup white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups vegan cheese sauce (above)
- ¾ cup coconut milk or cream (other unsweetened non-dairy cream may be substituted * see notes)
- Slurry – 1 Tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup regular or dairy free shredded cheese (optional)
For the Sauce –
- Steam the carrot and cauliflower on the stovetop or in the microwave until tender. If using a microwave, place the vegetables in a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tablespoons of water. Microwave for 6 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the vegetables to a blender. Add all remaining sauce ingredients. Place lid on blender and blend, starting on low and increasing the blender speed until it reaches the highest setting.
- Blend until the sauce is completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the Pot –
- Dice the broccoli in a food processor, pulsing 10 times. Set aside. (See notes)
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode, manually adjust time to 2 minutes. Add the oil, onion, and garlic to the Instant Pot. Sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Press cancel. Add the broccoli and broth. Stir to combine.
- Close the lid, lock into place, flip pressure release vent to close position. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow a natural release.
- Once the natural release has unlocked, remove the lid and stir in cheese sauce, coconut milk and potato starch mixed with cold water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the lid back on the pot, and keep warm for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Add optional shredded cheese before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Make the cheese sauce as listed above. Dice the broccoli in a food processor, pulsing 10 times. Set aside. Add the oil, onion, and garlic to a large pot, sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the broccoli and broth. Stir to combine.
- Place a lid on the pot, and simmer for 8-15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until the soup has thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in shredded cheese, if using, letting it melt for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
*No food processor? Dice the broccoli by hand into small pieces.
Non-dairy cream or full fat/lite canned coconut milk works best. Using a non-dairy drinking milk will produce a less rich flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 205
- Sugar: 7.5 g
- Sodium: 693.5 mg
- Fat: 7.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.4 g
- Fiber: 8.1 g
- Protein: 8.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, instant pot, broccoli cheese soup, soup, comfort food, dairy free, kid friendly, dinner
Do you guys have any comfort food meals you’d love to have an allergy-friendly version of? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share if you try this vegan broccoli cheese soup, too!
hi — can i use arrowroot instead of corn starch? thanks.
Yes, but texture might be a little different, more “gummy” so start with 1 tbsp, as needed. Does that make sense?
This was a great bowl of soup! I am saving this recipe to make again soon!
woohoo! Great! Thanks for feedback.
Absolutely DELICIOUS! I loved this so much, I am so excited to have it for lunch tomorrow!
Leftovers for the win 🙌