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Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for weeknight dinners or satisfying lunches! You will not believe how rich and creamy this dairy free broccoli cheese soup gets without heavy cream or cheese!

Ready in just 25 minutes, this vegan broccoli cheese soup is naturally gluten free, dairy free and a great way to get in lots of vegetables!

Spoon full of broccoli cheese soup over a bowl.

Why this recipe works

  • Ready in under 30 minutes: This vegan broccoli cheese soup is the ultimate comfort food and it’s ready in just 25 minutes making it perfect for weeknight meals, lunches or even as an appetizer! 
  • Packed full of flavor, even your kids will love this soup! The dairy free cheesy sauce makes the veggies irresistible!
  • It’s everything that you want broccoli cheese soup to be but completely dairy free. The secret to the cheesy goodness comes from vegan cheese replacement; nutritional yeast.
  • All you need is 1 pot and 9 easy to find ingredients (you can even use your Instant Pot)! You are going to love the secret ingredients that make this vegan broccoli cheese soup super filling!
  • The best part of making soup is it tastes even better the next day, so double or triple the recipe for your weekly meal prep!
  • This recipe is loaded with vegetables and full of fiber and nutrients. You will never believe the base of this recipe is a combination of cauliflower and white beans (no cashews)! It’s creamy and delicious without any cream!
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Ingredients

  • Cauliflower
  • Vegetable Stock (or broth)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Great Northern White Beans (Or Cannellini Beans or Soaked Cashews)
  • Dairy Free Milk
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Dried thyme
Large ladle full of broccoli cheese soup over a pot of soup.

How to make vegan broccoli cheese soup

  1. In a large pot, add 1/2 the carton of vegetable broth and cauliflower. Cover and cook 12-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.

    Collage of how to chop the cauliflower and the cauliflower in a pot with vegetable broth.
  2. While cauliflower is cooking, chop broccoli and slice the carrots.

    Bowl full of chopped broccoli and carrots.
  3. Once cauliflower is tender, blend the cauliflower in the pot with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender and blend in batches, being careful with hot liquids).

    Immersion blender in the pot of cauliflower and broth.
  4. Add the remaining vegetable broth to the cauliflower puree, broccoli, carrots, garlic powder, salt, thyme and black pepper. Stir and cover for 7 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.

    Pot full of broccoli, carrots, broth, salt and seasoning.
  5. While the soup is cooking, rinse and drain the can of great northern white beans. Blend with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk until smooth.

    How to puree white beans.
  6. Finish the soup! Add the pureed beans, the rest of the milk and 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and stir to combine.

    Soup with nutritional yeast, pureed beans and the soup.
  7. Step 7: Allow soup to slightly cool before enjoying.

NOTE: If the soup is too thick for you, add another 1/4 cup non-dairy milk. If the soup is too thin for you, simply simmer on the stove for 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. You can also add 2 tbsp of arrowroot starch for added thickness.

Instant pot instructions

  • Chop the cauliflower into similar size pieces (shape doesn’t matter)
  • Add the cauliflower and 1 cup of vegetable broth to the pressure cooker insert.
  • Secure the lid and close the vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is steaming, chop broccoli and slice the carrots.
  • Once the cauliflower is done cooking, manually release the pressure (carefully) by moving the vent from sealing to vent.
  • Blend the cauliflower with and additional cup of vegetable broth in the pot with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender and blend in batches, being careful with hot liquids).
  • Add the chopped broccoli and carrots, salt, garlic powder and thyme to the cauliflower mixture in the pressure cooker. Add the last 2 cups of vegetable broth and stir. 
  • Turn on the saute function for 4 minutes. Once the mixture has cooked for that 4 minutes, turn off the pressure cooker and put the lid on for 2-3 minutes to let the broccoli steam.
  • While the soup is cooking, rinse and drain the can of northern white beans. Blend with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk until smooth using immersion blender or high speed blender. 
  • After the 2-3 minutes of steaming, take the lid off the pressure cooker and stir well. 
  • Add pureed beans and additional 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and stir to combine.

What you need to make this recipe

Bowl full of broccoli cheese soup with a spoon resting in the bowl.

Top tips

You can use fresh or frozen broccoli florets in this soup. If you use frozen broccoli, use two 12 oz packages of small broccoli florets.

You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower in this soup. If using frozen, you will need two 12 oz packages of small cauliflower florets or two packages of riced cauliflower.

If you don’t want to use white beans, and prefer a lower carb, Whole30 friendly soup, you should try my Low Carb Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup or you can used soaked cashews in place of the beans!

What you can serve with this soup

This vegan broccoli cheese soup is incredibly filling but low in calories! Make it a complete meal with:

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FAQs

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses (do not confuse this with brewers yeast, they are not the same). Nutritional yeast is a staple in most vegan pantry’s because it has a great nutty, cheesy flavor and it’s a great source of Vitamin B-12. You can find nutritional yeast in most grocery stores now (I usually get it at Trader Joe’s) or online!

What if I don’t have an immersion blender

I like to use the immersion blender for this soup because I hate spooning hot liquid into the blender and I also worry about the mixture exploding in my face from the pressure that builds in the blender (this happened to me when we were cooking in the professional kitchen).

However, you can use a traditional blender (with caution). To be safe with a traditional blender, carefully spoon in the cooked cauliflower and hot liquid into the blender, being sure to not overfill the blender.

Take the small plastic top out of the blender (or find another way to vent the top if possible. You will want to cover that hole at the top of the blender with a clean kitchen towel to avoid it exploding on the ceiling.

If you cannot vent the blender, only transfer about 1/3 of the soup to the blender at a time and blend until smooth in batches.

Storage

Fridge: This soup is actually even better the next day, so be sure to make extra! It lasts for about 4 days in the fridge in a well-sealed container. I like to store soup in quart size mason jars in the fridge for easy storage and pouring into bowls!

Freezer: The broccoli in the soup will likely become mushy when reheating from frozen, making the texture very different. However the flavor will still be excellent so I recommend you puree the soup smooth before freezing for best results. Once smooth, freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 1 month. I love using these cubes to freeze in 1 cup portions!

Bowl of broccoli cheese soup with a spoon to the left of the bowl.

Substitutions

  • Broccoli: The broccoli can be substituted with cauliflower if needed.
  • Cauliflower: The cauliflower can be substituted with 2 peeled and diced russet potatoes to help create that creamy base.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Can’t have nutritional yeast? You can use a non-dairy cream cheese such as Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese. You will need between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of dairy free cream cheese based on how cheesy you want the soup to taste! You may also want to add 1 tbsp. dijon mustard to give it a nice tang.
  • White Beans: You can use soaked cashews or one large cooked russet potato (peeled) to make soup creamy instead of beans. The easiest way to soak cashews is to cover them with water and let them sit on the counter for 8 hours. If you don’t have that kind of time, you can cook them covered in water for 2 minutes in the microwave or 3 minutes in boiling water on the stove.
  • Vegetable broth: You can use vegetable stock, chicken stock or bone broth in place of the vegetable broth. You could also use water however it will not be as flavorful.
  • Garlic Powder: If you cannot have garlic, you can omit it or use 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil in place of the garlic powder.
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Spoon full of broccoli cheese soup over a bowl.

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

One pot, healthy vegan broccoli cheese soup is the perfect lunch or dinner recipe! This broccoli cheese soup only takes 25 minutes, and is packed with added veggies, fiber and protein! Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and delicious!
4.82 from 38 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli cheese, dairy free broccoli cheese soup, vegan broccoli cheese soup
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add 1/2 the carton of vegetable broth and cauliflower. Cover and cook 12-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
  • While cauliflower is cooking, chop the broccoli and slice the carrots.
  • Once cauliflower is tender, blend the cauliflower in the pot with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender and blend in batches, being careful with hot liquids).
  • To the cauliflower puree, add the remaining vegetable broth, broccoli, carrots, garlic powder, salt, and thyme. Stir and cover for 7 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
  • While soup is cooking, rinse and drain the can of northern white beans. Blend with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk until smooth.
  • Add beans and additional 1/4 cup non-dairy milk to the soup once the broccoli is tender.
  • Add 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
  • Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Notes

NOTE: If the soup is too thick for you, add another 1/4 cup non-dairy milk. If the soup if  is too thin for you, simply simmer on the stove for 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
How to make Broccoli and Cheese Soup in the Instant Pot
  • Remove the leaves and the thick stalk of the cauliflower. Chop the cauliflower into similar size pieces (shape doesn’t matter)
  • Place a steamer basket into the pressure cooker. Add the cauliflower to the steamer basket and add 1 cup of vegetable broth.
  • Secure the lid and close the vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is steaming, chop broccoli and slice the carrots.
  • Once the cauliflower is done cooking, manually release the pressure (carefully) by moving the vent from sealing to vent. Use a long wooden spoon to keep your fingers away from the steam. Carefully remove the steamer basket full of cauliflower from the pressure cooker. Leave the vegetable broth in the instant pot. 
  • Blend the cauliflower with and additional cup of vegetable broth in the pot with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender and blend in batches, being careful with hot liquids).
  • Add the chopped broccoli and carrots, salt, garlic powder and thyme to the cauliflower mixture in the pressure cooker. Add the last 2 cups of vegetable broth and stir. 
  • Turn on the saute function for 4 minutes to heat up the mixture. Cook for 4 minutes and then turn off the pressure cooker. Putt the lid on and allow it to steam 2-3 minutes. 
  • While the soup is cooking, rinse and drain the can of northern white beans. Blend with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk until smooth using immersion blender or high speed blender. 
  • After the pressure is removed, take the lid off and stir well. Add the bean mixture along with nutritional yeast and the additional milk.
Storage:
  • Fridge: Store in an airtight container (I love mason jars for this) in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: The broccoli will break down with freezing. It’s recommended that you puree the soup for the best overall texture after freezing. Freeze in freezer safe container for 1 month. 
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
103
Fat
 
1
g
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
Fiber
 
7
g
Sugar
 
4
g
Protein
 
8
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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