Slow cooker chicken broccoli cheese soup is a hearty, filling meal prepared entirely in your slow cooker. This creamy cheese soup is packed with shredded chicken breasts, broccoli, and carrots.
Slow cookers are a great time saver when it comes to making a home cooked meal. This chicken broccoli cheese soup is made entirely in the slow cooker - no stove top cooking needed!
Broccoli, onion, carrots, and seasoning are added to the slow cooker then topped with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The creamy cheese base comes together in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Chicken broccoli cheese soup makes a great weeknight meal for the family. Serve on its own, with some butter crackers, or with some crusty garlic bread.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken - For this recipe, you'll need a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. I find that most chicken breasts run very large nowadays, so you may only need two or three for this recipe.
- Onion & carrot - Add flavor to your soup. I don't recommend omitting either ingredient.
- Broccoli florets - Can be substituted with frozen broccoli florets. This may slow your cooking time slightly.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme add flavor to the soup. If using a low sodium broth, you may want to add additional seasoning to make up for the lost flavor.
- Broth - Chicken broth or vegetable broth works in this recipe. If you need to use low sodium broth, I recommend adding additional herbs and spices to make up for the lost flavor.
- Half & half - Can be substituted with whole milk for a slightly thinner soup.
- Cornstarch - Necessary to thicken your soup slightly. If the cornstarch is omitted, soup will turn out thin.
- Cheese - I highly recommend using freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese off the block for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheeses are often coated in anti-clumping powders. These powders will cause your soup to have a grainy texture when melted. For this reason, I do not recommend using pre-shredded cheese.
Tips and tricks
Use the proper size of slow cooker - Using too big of a slow cooker can cause your food to cook too fast and burn. Your slow cooker should be about half to two-thirds full for optimal results. As written, this recipe fits in a 3 quart slow cooker. To double, use a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.
Use a meat thermometer - To ensure your chicken doesn't turn out dry, use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Once your chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center, it's done cooking and should be removed for shredding.
Don't skip the cornstarch - This is what thickens your soup base slightly. If the cornstarch is omitted, your soup will turn out thin. Use a whisk to fully incorporate and dissolve the cornstarch into the half & half before adding to the slow cooker for zero clumps.
Frequently asked questions
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are ideal for this recipe. They'll cook in the same amount of time as the vegetables added to the soup. If using thinner cuts of chicken, like thin sliced chicken breasts or chicken tenders, your soup will need much less cooking time and the vegetables may not cook through entirely.
I do not recommend using bone-in chicken breasts because they'll take longer to cook through and the vegetables will over-cook in that time.
To make the recipe as written for four servings, I recommend a 3 quart slow cooker (as shown in the photos above). If doubling this recipe, you'll want to use a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.
hicken broccoli cheese soup will keep for 2 to 3 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. To reheat, pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.
I do not recommend freezing dairy-based soups as they tend to separate when thawing and reheating.
Slow Cooker Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 16 ounces chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 16 ounces half & half
- 8 ounces freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- In a slow cooker, add onion, broccoli florets, carrots, chicken broth, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Stir to combine. Nestle chicken breasts into the veggies in a single layer on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to test for doneness). Cooking time depends on thickness of chicken beasts.
- Remove chicken breasts, shred with a fork, then return chicken to slow cooker.
- In a bowl, combine cornstarch with about ¼ cup of the half & half and whisk into a smooth slurry. Add cornstarch mixture, remaining half & half, and shredded cheese to slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally to help melt cheese, before serving.
- I recommend using freshly shredded cheese from a block, not pre-shredded bagged cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping powders that can make your soup grainy when melted.
- Half & half can be substituted with whole milk for a slightly thinner soup.
- Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- I do not recommend freezing dairy-based soups, they tend to separate when thawed.