Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

This Cheesy Vegetable Chowder is thick, cheesy and loaded with all kinds of veggies. Even without meat, it’s hearty and plenty filling!

We have a few entrees that make for great meatless comfort food, including this dish. For more ideas, try our Asparagus Risotto, Spinach Quiche, or Veggie Pizza.

Creamy vegetable soup in a bowl with a spoon

All Veggies and Rich Flavor

We’ve been really under the weather… for the past week and a half. Which basically feels like an eternity when you’ve got two sick kids… and you’re sick too. Soup has been our best friend (and so has take-out) along with anything else I can taste, which isn’t much.

I made this chowder a few weeks back, but we loved it so much I had to make it again. It is absolutely packed with vegetables, and the soup base is so thick and creamy, the kids don’t even notice it’s all veggies! It’s perfectly filling, despite the fact it’s meatless.

Basically, it’s the perfect comfort food for chilly days, or if you’re feeling under the weather like we are! Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Classic Carrot Cake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Worth the Prep Work

It’s packed full of veggies- including a new favorite: celeriac aka celery root. It’s also loaded with cheese, so it kind of balances all the good stuff out. Wait, what? Cheese IS the good stuff! 😉

It’s pretty heavy on the prep work. There are lots of veggies to peel, slice, chop and dice. But it’s totally worth it. You’ll see.

SAUTE. In a large pot over set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, celery and onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a minute longer.

SIMMER. Stir in the chicken broth, potatoes, celery root, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are almost tender). Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower, cook for 5-7 minutes longer or until veggies are tender.

BASE. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking vigorously as you add the milk little by little.

WHISK. Whisk until smooth. Constantly whisk as the mixture comes to a gentle boil.

COMBINE. When it begins to thicken, add the half & half, then remove from heat and pour into the soup (after the veggies are fully cooked). Stir everything together, then turn the heat off.

CHEESE. Gradually add the cheddar, stirring until the soup is nice and smooth.

Try serving the soup with some sides such as:

A ladle full of cheesy vegetable chowder

Variations

Try adding some additional vegetables to the chowder such as:

  • Mushrooms 
  • Bell peppers
  • Corn 
  • Red potatoes 

Can you use frozen veggies? You can easily use frozen veggies! Steam the veggies according to the package before incorporating them into the soup.

Instant Pot: Sauté the onion and garlic on the sauté function in the instant pot. Add in your veggies and broth and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes before releasing the pressure. 

Crockpot: Pop everything in the crockpot except your milk, cream, and cheese. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Then add in your dairy products 30 minutes before serving.

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder Recipe topped with cheese and crackers

Storage Tips

I was glad this soup made so much, because it stores really well. It also reheated really well the next day, which was awesome, because you can bet I didn’t feel like making lunch.

Keep leftover soup STORED in the fridge in an airtight container. REHEAT large servings on the stovetop and small servings in the microwave. This soup isn’t ideal for freezing because he has a good amount of dairy in it.

For more creamy chowder, try:

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder Recipe

This Cheesy Vegetable Chowder is thick, cheesy and loaded with all kinds of veggies. Even without meat, it's hearty and plenty filling!
4.92 from 12 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 559kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp butter - divided
  • 3 large carrots - chopped
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 celery root - peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 medium heads broccoli - chopped into florets
  • 1 small head cauliflower - chopped into florets
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cup milk - 1%, 2%, or whole
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 cup medium cheddar cheese - OR sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a large pot over set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, celery and onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a minute longer.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, potatoes, celery root, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are almost tender).
  • Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower, cook for 5-7 minutes longer or until veggies are tender.
  • Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking vigorously as you add the milk little by little. Whisk until smooth. Constantly whisk as the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
  • When it begins to thicken add the half & half, then remove from heat and pour into the soup (after the veggies are fully cooked). Stir everything together, then turn the heat off.
  • Gradually add the cheddar, stirring until the soup is nice and smooth.

Video

Notes

-Try adding rotisserie chicken for a heartier soup!

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 1471mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 7046IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 538mg | Iron: 3mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. Looks great – hoping to try tonight in my fight to get my two year old (and my husband” eating more veggies. Just a general comment, I find it more helpful if you also add an approximate measurement along with the “two medium heads of broccoli” so stickers like me can feel confident that we’re doing it right!

    1. I hope they love it!! I know, I definitely should, I just never really measure broccoli or cauliflower… probably because I always try to sneak in more than I should 🙂 A little more or less won’t make a difference here, but next time I’ll be sure to add a cup measurement!

  2. I’m thinking of putting all but the cheese and Milk/1/2 &1/2 in the crock pot while at work…then do the last steps when I get home???What do ya think?

    1. I think that would be just fine, although I’ve never tried this recipe with a slow cooker before (hoping to get one this fall)! I’d definitely recommend the lowest heat setting possible!

  3. This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it! 
    Question: do you think this recipe could be made and frozen for reheating at a later time? 

  4. Made this gluten free and vegetarian. Delicious. I substituted vegetable broth for chicken, gluten free all purpose flour for regular flour. I omitted potatoes and used a large head of cauliflower. Scrumptious.

  5. This soup was sooo good and a total lifesaver! I was looking for an easy dinner recipe that I could make with what I had in my house. This totally saved the day! Unfortunately I didn’t have celery, total bummer. But I did add some corn and even some spinach. This will definitely be added to the dinner rotation! 

  6. Hi Natalie,
    First of all I want to thank you for sharing this easy yet delicious recipe! God bless you!!
    I stumbled across this recipe looking for a creamy soup recipe and though I pinned several similar recipes im sooooo glad I tried this one first. I was missing some ingredients (cauliflower, celery, celery root, half & half) but worked with what I had on hand and It was amazing! Didn’t expect a veggie soup to be so good. Even my picky 3 year old finished a WHOLE bowl. Will definitely keep making this soup again, and again. Thanks again for taking the time to share! 🙂

    P.s : I just got my wisdom teeth removed. So can’t eat any solids. This soup is seriously heaven sent!! I was so tired if eating canned chicken noodle soup! Lol

  7. Has anyone tried using an immersion blender with this recipe? Or purée part of the soup?. I’m hesitant.

    1. I’m wondering the same … my daughter just had 4 wisdom teeth removed so can’t chew… 
      Did you try it ? 

      1. I add extra potatoes to the soup then remove them once softened and blend them.  Then I add them back to the rest of the broth and it gives it the creamy texture without having to use the flour and milk.  Still delicious.

  8. I did it ! I used the immersion blender & it is amazing !!! 
    Such a delicious comforting soup 🙂 

  9. This soup has been on heavy rotation in my household for two years now – thank you! It also freezes and reheats well, even with the cheese.

  10. This chowder is. AMAZING!!!! I’ve never commented on a recipe before but I’ve made this 3 tunes and it never fails me! I almost always add whatever veggies I have leftover in my fridge (this last time was red yellow and orange peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash) and I do about 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 pepper jack for a little something extra! Thank you! It makes me feel like I’m being healthy when I say I’m making vegetable chowder ?

  11. I made this tonight. It was delicious.   I didn’t add cauliflower (which I couldn’t find in Japan) or celery (which my family doesn’t like, though I added celery seed). I was just amazing with homemade rolls.  Thank you!!!

  12. This was great! I used frozen broccoli and cauliflower to save time on prep and it turned out perfectly. Will keep this recipe around! Try it with a dallop of sour cream ?

  13. Making this now! We are a family that loves meat so I cut up 8 raw chicken tenders and cooked those with the carrots, potato’s, celery and 2 (48oz) boxes of broth for 6 hours. Then about 2 hours before I was ready to serve I added the broccoli and cauliflower and about 1 1/2 cups of tiny ABC noodles. Then finished off the recipe as listed. The liquid of the soup is amazing from cooking the chicken and veggies in it all day!! Thank you for this favorite recipe!!

  14. 5 stars
    Wonderful!  Didn’t have fresh broccoli, so I used frozen.  No celery root either.  So yummy!  Kids loved it.  I added more red pepper and paprika to the adults.

    Thanks!!

  15. I’m thinking of adding a small rutabaga instead of the celery root and maybe a sweet potato instead of all the russet potato.

  16. If I’m reading this right the original recipe makes 2qts?? I am doing a soup swap and need 6 gallons, will increase recipe to make correct amount. Can you let me know if this is correct

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious soup! I love making this soup because it’s so wonderfully versatile! I can easily swap out veggies my kids don’t like for ones they do, or swap out ones I don’t have for ones I do have!

  18. 5 stars
    Just got done making this soup. Per my taste test…DEEELISHHH!!! I used two boxes of Chicken Stock and cut the roux to 3/4 flour, 1 stick of butter, and 2 cups of milk. I also could not find celery root at my store so that is missing also. I had some green beans that needed to be used up so I threw those in as well. I have not yet added the cheese and am considering not as I think it tastes fantastic right now and I thought I might save on some calories? We will see. I LOVE all the veggies and no meat in the soup! For those of you that are uncertain of measurements…it is really hard to screw up soup! If you like something and it isn’t in there, add it. If you don’t like something or couldn’t find it as in my case, omit it. LOVE something? Add more…like garlic 🙂 I will be making this again for sure!