Dairy-Free Broccoli 'Cheddar' Soup (Paleo) - Danielle Walker

I showed some of the behind-the-scenes over on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago while I was testing this soup, so I am very excited to finally share the recipe for this Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup! This soup is 100% dairy-free, yet has a rich creamy texture. It is a delicious comforting meal that’s ideal for the upcoming winter months.

This recipe was enthusiastically approved by my kids, despite it being packed with veggies. Full of nutrients, this recipe came in handy when my kids came down with colds a few weeks ago. It’s a great option for anyone who is feeling under the weather. It also freezes well, so you can make a double batch and save some leftovers. I like to freeze a few single-serving containers for when I need to defrost just a cup or two.

Dairy-Free Broccoli 'Cheddar' Soup in white bowls served with golden spoons
No Cheddar!
This recipe is completely dairy-free, yet has that same cheesy flavor of a traditional Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I used a store-bought cheese spread to help save on time and skip the step of soaking cashews, plus I wanted this recipe to have that added aged cheese flavor that most dairy-free cheese has. Miyokos Cream Cheese or Kite Hill Ricotta both work really well in this recipe. In addition to the dairy-free cheese, a little nutritional yeast stands in for the cheddar to help achieve that flavor.

If you are unable to get a store-bought cheese, you can definitely make your own with cashews. I suggest soaking 1 cup of cashews in warm water for 30 minutes, rinse and drain and then blend with 1/2 cup of water to make a thick and creamy cashew-based milk. This recipe will also taste amazing with real cheddar cheese if you are able to tolerate dairy!

Hidden Veggies
One of my favorite things about this Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup recipe is how much my kids loved it. The cheesy flavor takes precedence over the veggies, so my kids have no idea they are getting a heaping serving of vegetables. The soup is given its orange hue by blending carrots into the broth which also gives it a cheesy appearance. The creamy body of the soup comes from pureeing all the vegetables, as well as simmering the “cheese” spread until it thickens, creating a true ‘cheddar’ soup consistency.

I used veggie broth here because that is what I had on hand and I loved the flavors of it altogether, but feel free to use bone broth for some added nutritional value.

Dairy-Free Broccoli 'Cheddar' Soup in a white bowl sitting on a countertop.

How to serve:
This recipe tastes amazing on its own, but there is something about enjoying a warm bowl of creamy soup with a perfectly toasted piece of bread alongside it. You can use my recipe for Nut-Free Lunchbox Bread from page 48 in my cookbook Eat What You Love, or my Blender Bread from page 323 in my cookbook Celebrations or here on the blog. I also have my original bread recipe on page 226 in Against all Grain as well as here on the blog. If you prefer rolls, you can find that recipe here. My recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread and Cheddar Biscuits with Chive Whipped Ghee are also delicious options to pair with this soup if you are able to tolerate dairy!

You can also serve this alongside a big green salad for a lighter meal. I have been loving my fall/winter salad for Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Spiced Maple Cider Vinaigrette or just a simple tossed green salad!

More Comforting Soup Recipes:
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did! If you are interested in more comforting soup recipes, I have several in all 4 of my cookbooks as well as under the salad and soup tab on my blog. Some of my all-time favorites are my Dairy-Free Clam Chowder and my Instant Pot Thai Coconut Soup.

Dairy-Free Broccoli 'Cheddar' Soup in white bowls served with golden spoons


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Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup

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5 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 17 mins
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 8-ounce white fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 32 ounces unsalted vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces Miyokos dairy-free cream cheese (or Green Valley Organics lactose free)
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 10 ounces broccoli florets


  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and softened. Add the sweet potato, celery, and carrots and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the bone broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender.
  2. Carefully transfer the vegetables and liquid to a blender. Add the cream cheese, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and blend on high until very smooth and creamy. Add the broccoli and pulse 3 to 4 times, until the broccoli is blended into bite sized pieces. Return the soup to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days, or in the freezer for 6 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.



Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup


  1. Michelle says:

    The whole family loved this recipe!!! Thank you Danielle!

  2. Katie says:

    This soup is unreal! I can’t believe it is filled with vegetables and NO cheese yet tastes identical to broccoli cheddar soup! I used Miyokos dairy free cream cheese and it is superb.

  3. Raelynn Brown says:

    Family loved this. We couldn’t tell dairy was missing. Thank you again Danielle for another fantastic recipe. This will go in the rotation with winter on its way. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Hilary Hunter says:

    So delicious! Kiddo approved. We used Earth’s Own dairy free cream cheese up here in BC, Canada.

  5. Nancy says:

    This sounds amazing, would this be considered Whole30 compliant?

  6. Hannah says:

    Love this recipe for meal prep! So yummy and easy to make!

  7. Kim says:

    Is the salt correct? 3-4tsp?

  8. Jenny says:

    My kids ask for this soup all the time! Easy to make and a crowd pleasers!

  9. Lynn Tank says:

    This is awesome – made it this weekend and we LOVED it!

  10. Becky Bender says:

    Can’t find white sweet potato can a reg sweet potato be used?
    Can’t find mikoyos cr cheese can kitehill or daiya cr cheese be used?

  11. Brittany says:

    Where do you find white flesh sweet potatoes? I have never seen them in any of our stores. Is their a replacement for them?

    • Danielle says:

      I typically find them at Whole Foods- you can ask someone who works there. If they don’t carry them you can ask them to start stocking them. Or if you have a local Asian market near you, they should carry them!

    • Leah Shindelman says:

      I think they are called Hannah sweet potatoes.

  12. Becky Bender says:

    Can a purple sweet potato work?

    • Pam says:

      I used a purple flesh sweet potato in another soup that called for the white fleshed because I was still learning about these new-to-me sweet potatoes, lol. It was still wonderfully delicious, just a little more “muddy” looking. 😂

  13. Meg says:

    I made this for lunch today, I used soaked cashews instead of the cream cheese as I couldn’t find it, and it was DELICIOUS. Just like I remember pre-paleo life. I think this may be my new favorite (your spinach and artichoke dip from Celebrations is hard to beat though)!

  14. Dawn says:

    I have been to 10 different stores looking for a white sweet potato. Nobody has them! What would be the best substitute to use?

  15. Jenni Satterfield says:

    I grew up in the Midwest & Broccoli Cheddar Soup was staple in the winter months. Since going grain free/dairy free 6 years ago for Chrohn’s disease, I reminisce often about the creamy soups that once used to feed my soul but inevitably not my belly. Insert Danielle Walker & her amazing God given talents to recreate this classic winter soup but for us dairy free folks!! OMGOODNESS I literally had tears of joy in my eyes at first taste. I had no idea I could ever enjoy this soup again. My family even approves! Thank you for making such delicious & savory recipes that we can all enjoy without the side effects of the original recipe.

  16. Becky Bender says:

    Fresh or frozen brocolli?

  17. Elizabeth says:

    This sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. I just have one question. The prep time is 10 mins. Does that include the peeling and cutting of the veggies? I am often confused by recipe prep times vs how long it takes me to prepare a meal. Does the prep time refer to how long it takes to make with all the ingredients on the ingredient list already prepared? If so, why are prep times referred to in that way. It makes sense for a tbsp of oil, but I don’t find it makes sense for a bunch of vegetables that need to be peeled and chopped up. If it’s not that, then how does one do all that in 10 mins? Just curious and always wondered that, not a complaint.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! The prep time is an estimate and will differ depending on how long it takes for an individual to prepare everything for cooking (washing, cutting veggies, etc.)!

  18. Erika Fässler says:

    It is snowing here in Switzerland and I made this today. We don’t have the US vegan cheese brands, but I found a Swiss vegan cream cheese / creme fraiche called New Roots that did the trick.

  19. EVA WHEATLEY says:

    instead of vegan cream cheese can yogurt be used or coconut milk?

  20. Lori says:

    I can’t have nutritional yeast. What can I replace it with? This looks and sounds wonderful!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Lori! You can omit this ingredient – it’ll still be delicious but might lack a bit of the “cheesy” flavor. Enjoy!!

  21. Sarah says:

    Okay, we have to talk about this soup. I made it today and it’s one of the most authentic tasting broccoli cheddar soups I’ve ever tasted. The cream cheese gives it the perfect level of tartness and it’s so creamy that I can’t believe it’s made of veggies. My 7 year old is on a 30 day anti-inflammatory diet and has hated everything I’ve worked so hard to make until today. 😂 She said it’s the best thing she’s ever tasted. I can’t believe how easy it was to make, too!

  22. Judy Ronan says:

    So good! I will double the recipe next time so we have leftovers.

  23. Michelle says:

    Can you make this in an instapot or slow cooker?

  24. Mary says:

    Could you use almond milk?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Mary! I am not certain where’d you like to use the almond milk. I wouldn’t suggest using it in place of the veggie broth, but if you wanted to add it for a creamier flavor you can! Be sure to know it will change the thickness of the soup, so you may want to adjust your other ingredienst accordingly.

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