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Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

One of my family's favorite dinners is the cheesy vegetable chowder!
This recipe has a long history with my little family. I got the original version from my sister-in-law when my husband and I were newlyweds. We had just moved into our condo with the bright red kitchen. I have such fond memories of that kitchen! Anyway, the only veggies in the recipe back in those days were potatoes, and it called for turkey bacon. I remember thinking “heck no!” to turkey bacon and using regular bacon instead. It made the soup soooooo salty; it’s a wonder I kept making it after that, although I never again used bacon of any kind! And it originally only served 2, which was fine at the time but not really enough for a growing family. Fast forward seven years and it has morphed into a cheesy, comforting vegetable chowder packed with veggies that are good for you, and give the soup some much-needed color! It is one of our family favorites–even the kids love it–and now that the weather has cooled off a little, will resume its weekly appearance on our dinner menu.

*If you’re looking for crockpot directions, several commenters have left their instructions in the comments section below!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
 
This is one of my family's all-time favorite dinner recipes! It is easy to make and tastes delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Soups
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped (feel free to add more celery if you like celery; I don't, so I don't add much)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I usually use a mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and broth made with chicken soup base because it gives it such nice flavor)
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes. Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender. Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened. Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through. Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve.

546 thoughts on “Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

    1. Hi Terry! I’ve never personally made it in the crockpot, but some people have had good results doing it that way. If you read through the comments, you’ll find a few with crockpot directions. Good Luck!

  1. Used to make a similar recipe a few years back that I found in a Southern Living Magazine. Have since lost it and found this one on Pintrest. Sooooo good. I also do not use the celery and add cauliflower. Wonderful! My whole family eats it up. Thanks for sharing. Had been looking for something close to my old recipe for a long time!

  2. This is my 5th time making this soup. I use heavy cream instead of milk and along with the broccoli, I add cauliflower, zucchini and mushrooms…thank you so much for what is now my favorite soup recipe!

    1. Thank you soooo much for this recipe.
      I think it sounds wonderful…..and can’t wait to add some other things to it as your readers did.
      Sounds so yummy. Can’t wait!!!!! Thanks again!

  3. Sounds wonderful. I will sub turnip or cauliflower for potatoes though and cut flour in half for our low carb diet. Thank you for putting this on. I start thinking about soup about this time of year although living on the gulf coast, we will be hot for a couple more months at least. Speaking of which….I’ll bet a few shrimp or some crab meat would taste great in it.

    1. Not saying you can’t cut the flour in half, but honestly, cutting 1 TB down to half a TB isn’t going to help with the carb count at all and may not give you the same thickness (consistency) that a good chowder has. The carb issue with this recipe is the milk and potatoes. If you are already subbing the potatoes for some thing else, you should consider subbing the milk as well.

  4. This is the kind of soup I think of when fall is around the corner. Living in Tampa, that will some time yet, but a creamy cheesy soup can sure put you in the mod. Thank you, can not wait to try this one.

    1. Chicken Soup Base is just concentrated broth. Instead of using adding water to chicken bullion cubes, you add water to chicken soup base to make broth. But feel free to just use regular old canned chicken broth!

  5. I just made this soup and it was awesome. I made a few variations [because I can never leave a recipe alone] I added 3 jalapeno rings diced small for some heat and I added 2 cups of broccoli AND 2 cups of cauliflower as I like a lower broth ratio to all the veggies. I will make this again!

  6. This is my favorite soup recipe ever! Better than any restaurant potato soup that I’ve ever had! I use 3 large potatoes because I love them so much. I add a cup of water to give it more liquid because of the extra potato.

  7. Soooo good! We had this tonight and I improvised quite a bit since I didn’t have quite enough chicken broth to double it. I used 3 14.5 oz cans of broth and 5 medium-small potatoes. And I realized we had no real cheese so Velveeta went I’m the pot instead. And I added 4 cooked bratwursts and some diced zucchini. My husband loved it and he usually doesn’t like soup, and my kids ate it including the zucchini!!! I will definitely make this again. Next time I will be using real cheese, though.

    1. Hi Sherri. I’ve never made it in a slow cooker. I’ve just always made it on the stove. There should be several comments here somewhere where people have posted their slow cooker directions. Best of luck!

  8. I just throw it all in the crockpot and just check a few hours later to see if potatoes are tender. My only thing is the cheese tastes rubbery and I’m not and fan of it for leftovers. Anyone with advice on what to try?

    1. Try adding the cheese & the dairy at the end- after you’ve turned the heat off. Stir in until incorporated. The slow cooker rules I know apply to meats that liquid cooks out of, but I’d put enough broth to cover most veggies, knowing they will cook down a bit & keeping in mind condensation & thickness. Maybe start checking the potatoes (fork test) after 2-3 hours & every hour or two after until they’re done. I’ve never cooked all veggies in a slow cooker, but I’m gonna try it now 🙂 Thanks!

  9. I loved this! I followed the recipe exactly, but also added a bottle of beer to make it similar to cheddar beer soup. I was wonderful!

  10. Made tonight but had a problem with the cheese. It all didn’t melt so I had globs. Any suggestions? Besides that it was fantastic!

    1. Hi Lori! I’ve only had that happen once in all the years I’ve been making this. And I have no idea why! I always make sure the heat is turned off before I add the cheese, and I stir it while I’m adding it to make sure it doesn’t just sink to the bottom and stick. I also make sure to use really good cheese, not the generic brands. Hopefully if you try it again is will turn out for you! xoxo

      1. I know this is an older comment but maybe the cheese was added too quickly at too high of a temp. When I make Alfredo sauce from scratch and make sure the heat is on a medium low and then I take one small handful of parmesan and slowly drop it in while whisking. I keep whisking until it is melted and incorporated, then I grab another handful. I do this until I’ve added all the cheese or reach the right consistency. But I’m definitely trying this recipe next week!

      2. What can also be the problem is using a shredded cheese. They use cornstarch to keep the cheese from sticking together and that can be a problem. It’s best to shred the cheese yourself when you are incorporating it into a soup/sauce.

  11. I tried (without success) to find the comments with crock pot instructions. There are so many comments that it isn’t realistic to expect someone to search through them all. Personally, I think if you’re going to suggest readers try to make it in a crock pot, you might just add the directions (that are allegedly in the comments) alongside that suggestion with a disclaimer that they aren’t tried and true instructions from you. After loading the second page of comments and then dealing with all the issues that come up when I try to load blog pages on a mobile device, I don’t have the patience to look further.

    1. Hi Ashleigh. I understand what you’re saying completely. I’ve actually never tried making it in a crockpot and haven’t ever encouraged anyone to make it in a crockpot. I know the recipe is all over Pinterest as a crockpot recipe, but that’s not really in my control. If I ever do try it successfully in a crockpot, I’ll be sure to post the instructions.

    1. Hi Lindsey! Yes, you can use red potatoes, which are my favorite general-use potatoes because I’m lazy and hate peeling vegetables. HOWEVER…a starchier potato like a russet will help thicken the soup more. Flavor-wise, there’s no difference, but russets will make for a slightly thicker soup than red potatoes. Good luck!

  12. Has anyone attempted making this dairy free using an alternative milk such as coconut milk? I love this recipe but my one year old son has a milk allergy, boo!

    1. Amanda, I have not tried this particular recipe yet but have made quite a few similar recipes substituting unsweetened cashew milk. I really like cooking with it. Works well.

  13. I try a lot of internet recipes and rarely do they live up to their hype. This one does. The flavor development is wonderful. Do not do not do not omit that awesome garlic. And if you want leftovers you’d better double it! I made it two days ago and my husband and I ate the whole pot at one meal. So I made another pot today. Also don’t be afraid to experiment with cheeses! The only cheese I had was one of those gift box samplers, like Hickory Farms, so the first time I used bacon cheddar and my oh my, it was KILLER. This time I used hot pepper cheddar, and it was really good, too (I liked the bacon cheddar a wee bit better, but then I’m a big bacon fan). The hot pepper cheese did not make the soup too spicy at all. My husband tolerates soup for dinner on occasion but this one he really loved, even commented that it was “great.” That’s high praise indeed! Thanks for a really wonderful recipe.

  14. Made this tonight with fresh, homemade amish bread for dinner. It was very good and enough left over for our lunch tomorrow! Thank you for sharing.

  15. This was delicious. My 16 month devoured a huge bowl. I added little bits of grilled chicken to make it into a meal and followed everything else to a tee. I love how there is no added salt or any seasonings and that it’s full of veggies. I’m always on the search for something tasty and healthy for my little one. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. XOXOXO!!!

    1. Hi Angelica. I would say it serves 4. But if you want really generous servings or enough for leftovers or all 4 people are adults with really big appetites, I’d double it. It is great the next day (better, actually), so I don’t think you can go wrong doubling it.

  16. I see many people are looking for crockpot directions, which tend get a bit lost among all the rave reviews! This soup is one of our family favorites, too! 😉 I thought I’d copy/paste/repost a few comments from other readers with their tips for making this in a slow-cooker and crockpot! Thanks to those who have tried it this way and have shared their experiences – you all help make our mealtimes even easier!! 🙂

    From “Erin:)” :
    Attention all crockpot lovers…i made a SUCCESSFUL pot of this DELICIOUS soup and here’s how:

    I placed 2 cans of vegetable broth (im a vegetarian) in the crockpot with all the other ingredients minus the water, flour, cheese and milk. I saw the previous recommendation of 4cups of broth being too much but i added a cup more of broccoli and OMITTED the water to “make up” for it – it was still kinda runny but ill explain more about that later. Instead of celery and carrots, i used a broccoli slaw mix sold in the produce section at the grocery store next to all the bagged lettuce etc. I cut up 2 medium potatoes (skin on-i like it better that way) I used frozen broccoli and fresh onion. I didn’t saute anything, just plopped it all in. im pretty lazy. I added salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes and put crockpot on high for 5-6 hours. then once the potatoes were soft, i heated up fat free half and half in place of the milk to make it more creamy i added 1 tbsp of flour and stirred to make a rue. it didn’t quite make it and thicker so i added the runny rue to the crockpot and stirred as i put in cornstarch. i stirred until it was a consistency i wanted. then i added 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese stirred and stirred some more. i put it back to low for about a half an hour and then i ate it. i ate a lot of it. it was good and came out great. hope this solves everyone’s crockpot question. i took on the challenge and i succeeded happily 🙂

    From “Anonymous” :
    I made this today in a slow cooker. I sauted the onion, carrot and celery in the butter, then added all to the crockpot. Added the broth and potatoes and cooked on low for 7 – 8 hours. I added 2 extra potatoes, sliced about an 1/2 inch thick. After the potatoes were cooked, I took the sliced potatoes out. I used my stick blender and mashed the sliced potatoes with the milk. I then addded the mixture back into the crockpot and stirred. This thickened the soup without having to use flour. Added the broccoli (from frozen) and heated until the broccoli was warm. Added the cheese and stirred until blended. It turned out well, but is bland for us. Will add seasonings next time.

  17. I have never heard of adding the flour right into the soup, I’ve always made a roux first and then added in the liquids. Is it possible to do that with this soup, such as adding in the flour after the vegetables are cooked in the butter, or is there a reason it goes in later?

    1. Hi Leanne. I haven’t tried making a roux first. I always add it near the end so that the soup can simmer without getting too thick. I’ve never had a problem mixing the flour with a little water before adding it.

  18. I’ve been making this for my girls (age 2 & 1/2 and 6) for over a year now. They, and I, LOVE IT. One of our favorite recipes, especially in the fall/winter. Thanks for sharing!!!

  19. I see many people are looking for crockpot directions, which tend get a bit lost among all the rave reviews! This soup is one of our family favorites, too! ? I thought I’d copy/paste/repost a few comments from other readers with their tips for making this in a slow-cooker and crockpot! Thanks to those who have tried it this way and have shared their experiences – you all help make our mealtimes even easier!! 🙂

    From “Erin:)” :
    Attention all crockpot lovers…i made a SUCCESSFUL pot of this DELICIOUS soup and here’s how:

    I placed 2 cans of vegetable broth (im a vegetarian) in the crockpot with all the other ingredients minus the water, flour, cheese and milk. I saw the previous recommendation of 4cups of broth being too much but i added a cup more of broccoli and OMITTED the water to “make up” for it – it was still kinda runny but ill explain more about that later. Instead of celery and carrots, i used a broccoli slaw mix sold in the produce section at the grocery store next to all the bagged lettuce etc. I cut up 2 medium potatoes (skin on-i like it better that way) I used frozen broccoli and fresh onion. I didn’t saute anything, just plopped it all in. im pretty lazy. I added salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes and put crockpot on high for 5-6 hours. then once the potatoes were soft, i heated up fat free half and half in place of the milk to make it more creamy i added 1 tbsp of flour and stirred to make a rue. it didn’t quite make it and thicker so i added the runny rue to the crockpot and stirred as i put in cornstarch. i stirred until it was a consistency i wanted. then i added 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese stirred and stirred some more. i put it back to low for about a half an hour and then i ate it. i ate a lot of it. it was good and came out great. hope this solves everyone’s crockpot question. i took on the challenge and i succeeded happily 🙂

    From “Anonymous” :
    I made this today in a slow cooker. I sauted the onion, carrot and celery in the butter, then added all to the crockpot. Added the broth and potatoes and cooked on low for 7 – 8 hours. I added 2 extra potatoes, sliced about an 1/2 inch thick. After the potatoes were cooked, I took the sliced potatoes out. I used my stick blender and mashed the sliced potatoes with the milk. I then addded the mixture back into the crockpot and stirred. This thickened the soup without having to use flour. Added the broccoli (from frozen) and heated until the broccoli was warm. Added the cheese and stirred until blended. It turned out well, but is bland for us. Will add seasonings next time.

  20. This has become a favorite for our family! It has made its way into our meal rotation for fall and winter after trying it for the first time last year. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  21. I love this recipe. Been making it for a few years now. I have shared and made this for several friends. Great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this.great recipe. I have a pot on the stove now.

  22. For the last few years this is our go to recipe in the fall. It signals the beginning of this wonderful season for us. To make it stretch I add a few extra potatoes. Double the broth and add extra veggies at the beginning plus Mir broccoli and cheese. Pots on the stove now. So very excited for dinner time! Happy fall everyone!

  23. This is by far one of the best recipes I have tried. I love making it! I tend to add a lot more vegetables, tho, since our household loves their veggies. I also add a bay leaf it gives it a bit more flavor, at least to us anyways.

  24. Thanks for posting! I made this tonight. Added cauliflower instead of broccoli because that’s all I had. I think I added a tad too much butter because it was very buttery-rich. Anyway, flavor was great!! My husband and 3 yr old picky son, both loved it!! I was so happy since I am a newbie at cooking, so when I make something that they love, it makes me feel very happy!!

  25. This is the second time that I made this and it’s amazing!! The first time I doubled the recipe but it went too quickly so tonight I tripled it! I do not add the cheese but grate some cheese and everyone just adds their own. Also I had some plain chicken and plain rice which I added at the end as well. I added a bit more liquid to compensate for the additions and it could not have been better! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    1. Hi Elaine. I’m sure you could do that. I think the consistency of the soup would be quite different. The starchiness of the potatoes helps thicken the soup and give it that chowder texture.

  26. I am making this right now and it smells heavenly! I added black pepper because I like everything with a bit of a kick. I’m so excited to try this! Thanks for sharing

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