This cheap and easy Crock Pot Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup is amazingly easy, takes 5-minutes and will please everyone with a warm, comforting meal. It will fill those bellies and soothe your soul with its warm, creamy deliciousness.
And best of all there are several ways to cook it! For this recipe, your cooking alternatives are crockpot, stovetop, and electric pressure cooker. And, naturally, it works as a freezer meal too.
I am personally astounded at all the varies of soup that exists. The list is amazingly detailed and goes on and on. The same for potatoes, you can list potato recipes all day and never hit the end. Still, when you add potatoes and soup together you get one of the most comforting, scrumptiously simple slow cooker meals you can think of.
Before we go any farther, let's get the legal stuff out of the way…this post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This will NOT increase your cost in any way. But does give you awesome recommendations that have been tested by myself or someone I dearly trust.
This broccoli cheese soup recipe that I made using my crockpot makes an excellent freezer meal. And there are lots of ways to create freezer-friendly recipes. You by no means need to jump in all at once into doing a month's worth of freezer meals. Just a few now and then can save you $$$…
Broccoli Cheese Crockpot Soup Freezer Meal Options
These are just a couple of ideas to begin on your freezer meal journey:
- Mix this broccoli cheese soup up as a double recipe. Make one for dinner and freeze the second for later. Do this 2 or 3 times with a couple of different recipes for a few weeks. Write it down in this
freebie meal plannerand log the date. The majority of uncooked freezer friendly recipes are good frozen for several months so you don't have any worries there... And then you'll have made multiple freezer meals in just a couple of weeks.
- Choose 3-5 simple slow cooker recipes. Make sure and set the number of servings for your needs (that's in the printable area). Make your list, go shopping if need be, and mix them up per the freezer meal cooking instructions on each recipe. If you prep 5 recipes using this method but x 2; you will have 10 meals. So there! You have meals prepped for at least ten days.
- Or join our newsletter and to get a
free copy of one of our make-ahead meals prepping sessions. You'll get six recipes, menus, and simple to follow instructions. It's a freebie and you'll get notified when new ones are available.
Broccoli Cheese Soup Ingredients You’ll Need
There are so many reasons this recipe is on our rotating menu. And there are so many variations! Not only the varying cooking techniques but the actual ingredients. All you have to do is switch out a couple of ingredients to have a new, delicious variation.
Your ingredients for this broccoli cheese crockpot soup are:
- Onions – Onions add flavor. But they aren’t mandatory. If you’re not an onion fan. Delete them. OR if you are cool with them an excellent variation is leeks. You can substitute leeks very easily and there is nothing special that needs doing. Just sub them out a cup for a cup.
- Butter – I haven’t tried substitutions with butter honestly. I like the flavor it adds. BUT in any sort o slow cooker soup, a healthy alternative would be olive oil. Using olive oil for this recipe and decreasing your cheese would add an extremely healthy twist for this recipe.
- Hash Brown - Frozen, shoestring hash browns are an excellent shortcut. They usually aren’t out of our budget ballpark and they are already frozen for the freezer meal prep. This is a nice bonus. BUT you can always add regular potatoes. Fresh is cheaper and probably healthier too. Another excellent substitution would be sweet potatoes or maybe even butternut squash.
- Chicken Broth – Now, the chicken broth. This is the base for your recipe. But here again, there are many alternative flavors and subs you could try. I’ve personally used beef broth and ham broth when making potato soup. And if you like your broccoli cheese soup with ham…just substitute ham flavored Better than Bouillon and add 2 cups of pre-cooked ham. Easy peasy.
- Broccoli – Broccoli would obviously be a staple in any broccoli cheese soup recipe. But for substitutions, I’ve used spinach, kale, and cauliflower. The spinach and kale we enjoyed very much, the cauliflower I don’t personally recommend…you might like it though. Give it a shot if you want. I’d love to hear from you if it works out. Heck, write to me anyway! I’d like to know if you make the soup 😊
- Heavy Cream – Cream adds the (snort) creaminess to the recipe. But if you can’t have dairy OR it’s got too much fat for your dietary needs you can always use a cornstarch slurry. You may need to add more spices, as cornstarch doesn’t add any flavor. It’s just a thickening agent.
- Cheddar Cheese – Boy, oh boy. HERE is where the flavor changes big time. There are SO many kinds of cheeses out there. And if it’s been on sale or in my refrigerator about to go bad, I’ve probably substituted it. Most have worked out very well. Some have just been okay. I’ve subbed mozzarella, swiss, smoked cheddar, cream cheese, and Velveeta that I can think of. You need about half the cream cheese as there is listed in the recipe. I don’t recommend using cottage or ricotta as a substitute. Those were nasty in this recipe.
Why Substitute Ingredients?
But why would you want to change up the recipe once you like it? SALES my friend. Sales and bulk buying. Menu planning, sales shopping, and purchasing in bulk are the greatest moves you can do to help your budget.
And knowing the steps with your sales shopping purchases, that's how to get a stock of freezer meals, being thrifty AND far never wondering what's for dinner again.
This freezer meal excursion is part of the frozen meal prep. Of course, this isn't intended to eat just soup or just potatoes for multiple meals in a row, that isn’t my intention. But if you can hit the sales for a couple of weeks, you can start rotating those meals. AND we made a
printable meal prep calendar you are most welcome to download it to keep track of your purchases.
Broccoli and Cheese Crockpot Soup - Cooking Variations
This broccoli cheese soup is cooked in our crockpot. It CAN be cooked in several ways. All cooking options are listed in detail in the printable at the bottom of this post.
- Slow Cooker Method – Super simple here, just toss it in with the butter and onions on the bottom. This will actually slightly caramelize the onions and make them super soft. Save the dairy items until right before dinner. Save the broccoli too if you want larger, firmer chunks. If you don’t care, toss it in at the beginning.
- Instant Pot Option – This one isn’t much different than the crockpot method. But it’s best to use your sauté function and precook the onions. They don’t always cook through for me if I don’t.
- Stovetop – The old-fashioned way. But, I guess, slow cooker cooking is approaching old fashioned since it’s been around so long... anyway, using a Dutch oven is the best option. If you don’t have one then a stockpot or a large, deep skillet is best.
- And, as previously mentioned, it’s a freezer meal as well. Freeze according to the directions in the printable below and enjoy this broccoli cheese slow cooker soup using any method listed above 😊
View the printable recipe and check out how simple cooking with each method can be. Occasionally one cooking technique is more simple than another BUT if you don't remember to toss your broccoli cheese soup in the crockpot with your morning chores, you can still have a homemade, budget-friendly meal… without hassle.
Crockpot Broccoli and Cheese Soup – Using Homemade Ingredients
Most of the ingredients in this soup are already from scratch, but there are a few you can change around and alternate to make it completely from scratch.
- The main one would be chicken broth. Making broth from scratch is amazingly simple. And it doesn’t take much time either. You simply toss your chicken carcass in your slow cooker before bed, add veggie scraps if desired, cover with water, and cook it on low for 12 to 20 hours. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But cooking it so long will get all the flavor and nutrients out of the leftovers. You can read all about making bone broth here.
- Secondly, you can make homemade hash browns. Or, you can opt to add peeled, diced potatoes when you put your soup on to cook. If/when I use fresh potatoes, I usually peel and diced them, rinse well, and put them in a bowl so the potatoes are submerged. I leave this in the refrigerator until the next morning. But, as previously stated, you CAN make hash browns. It’s a little time consuming, but not difficult. The Pioneer Woman has a great method for making them, and you don’t have to blanch the potatoes using her method either. I DO suggest a food processor though. It will make the job MUCH easier than a manual grater.
- Lastly, you can shred your own cheese. You can actually MAKE your own cheese too. But I know little about how to do that. So, I will just leave it a shred your own cheese if you have time. It is supposed to be tastier and cheaper. I honestly don’t know if it is or not. I’ve never put the pen to paper on it. But if making homemade cheddar cheese is a thing you’d like to try, check out Cultures for Health’s article on making homemade cheddar.
Deliciously Simple Crockpot Broccoli And Cheese Soup
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 pounds frozen hash browns
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Use the butter to liberally grease the slow cooker. Leave leftover butter in the bottom of the crockpot insert.
- Layer ingredients in the slow cooker in the following order: onions, hash browns, and broccoli. Pour chicken broth over the top.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. High, 3 to 4 hours. See Notes, please.
- Turn slow cooker to high and use an immersion blender as described in the stovetop directions.
- Slow stir in the cream. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and allow the cheese to mostly melt.
- In a large dutch oven saute onion in butter. Add potatoes and chicken broth.
- Cover, bring to a boil, and cook it for about 15 minutes. Or until the potatoes are tender.
- Use an immersion blender to puree to your desired consistency.
- Slowly stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the frozen broccoli and cook another 15 minutes.
- Add cheese, stir, and heat soup through until cheese is melted.
Electric Pressure Cooker
- Use the saute function to lightly brown the diced onion in the melted butter for 5-7 minutes.
- Add hash browns and chicken broth. Cover and set to soup function for 20 minutes.
- Open and use the immersion blender as described in stovetop directions if desired. Add broccoli, close, and cook another 10 minutes.
- Unlock and remove the lid. Slowly stir in cream. Add cheese, salt, and pepper and stir again.
- Cover and allow to heat through before serving.
- Toss the onions and butter into a small sandwich bag. Set aside.
- Label a gallon freezer bag with the name of the recipe and a note that you will need 1 cup of heavy cream when cooking.
- Pour your chicken broth into the freezer bag OR make an additional note on your freezer bag that you'll need that as well (this is up to you, and completely depends on your organization strategy and how much freezer room you personally have).
- Stack your bags. Hashbrowns on the bottom and bag with a label on top. broccoli, onion bag, and cheese bag in the middle. Use freezer tape or painter's tape to wrap ingredients together.
- Freeze flat and freeze up to 8 weeks. Make a note on your freezer meal calendar so you don't forget about it 🙂
More Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
I am occasionally awestruck by slow cooker soups. They are amazingly easy, stock the freezer, AND supply a home-cooked meal. Here are a few more crock pot soup ideas…