This Slow Cooker Cauliflower-Cheese Soup is so delicious and comforting! Serve it with toppings such as bacon and chives for a loaded cauliflower soup that’ll knock your socks off! Plus, it’s gluten free and has just 15 grams of carbs per serving.
If I were doing a commercial, I’d loudly announce this cheesy cauliflower soup recipe is New! and Improved!! It’s lived on my site since 2016, but I gave it a complete overhaul.
I made it three times in three weeks to get it just right. Even my toughest critics here gave it their thumbs up.
Soup-ah!!! (Any Monty Python fans out there?)
Let’s get to the details so you can add this awesome soup to your repertoire, ASAP.
Cauliflower-cheese soup ingredients
- Cauliflower Florets: If you think you spy frozen cauliflower in this photo, you’re absolutely right! This recipe conveniently uses two, 16-ounce packages of it. Feel free to use two pounds of fresh cauliflower florets, if you prefer.
- Yellow Onion: This provides stronger flavor than a white onion, and works better with cauliflower, in my opinion. You could substitute a red onion if needed.
- Carrots and Celery – You just need two carrots and a couple stalks of celery to go with the onion for a “mirepoix” that starts the soup. In this recipe, we’re just dicing them and throwing them into the Crock-Pot without sautéeing them first.
- Chicken Stock: I always, always recommend using stock instead of broth for more full-bodied flavor. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock.
- Half and Half: We’re not using a crazy amount here. Just a cup, to provide a thicker, creamier texture. (I used to make this with milk, and found the half and half is so much better!)
- Sharp Cheddar: Not mild, not extra sharp…just plain sharp. I find it provides the best taste in recipes. Buy a block and grate it. Packaged shredded cheddar contains an anti-caking agent that doesn’t allow the cheese to melt well, and you’ll end up with grainy results.
- Grated Parmesan: This was missing from my original version, and I’m not sure what I was thinking. Parmesan and cheddar work beautifully together, evidenced by this broccoli-cheese soup and this macaroni and cheese.
- Seasonings: You just need salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes for a little heat. Keep in mind that if you top your soup with bacon and additional cheddar later, they’ll add some saltiness. Taste the soup afterward to see if it needs anything.
How to make slow cooker cauliflower soup with cheddar
In the morning, you’ll chop an onion and dice a couple carrots and celery sticks. You’ll throw those in the Crock-Pot (affiliate link) and add frozen cauliflower, seasonings, and stock.
Use a potato masher to mash the veggies right in your slow cooker. (For a smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender or transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender.)
Stir in Parmesan and some half and half. Gradually add the cheddar, stirring after each addition to make sure it’s combined. Heat the soup on low in the slow cooker for another 5-10 minutes before serving with desired toppings.
Toppings for loaded cauliflower soup
These are optional, but I recommend all three!
- Extra cheddar – This recipe calls for saving some of the shredded cheddar to add to each bowl of soup. Yum!
- Bacon – It’s outstanding here! Everything’s better with bacon, right?
- Green Onions – Snip some with scissors and sprinkle them on for beautiful color and a nice, subtle flavor.
You could even add a dollop of sour cream, if you wish. Taste if extra salt is needed and then dig into your comforting bowl of cheesy cauliflower goodness! It’s a relatively low-carb soup, with 15 grams of carbs per serving.
Storing the cauliflower-cheddar Soup
Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to four days. You also could freeze the cheddar-cauliflower soup for up to three months.
P.S. If you love cheesy cauliflower recipes, check out this baked cauliflower. You also might like my cauliflower rice salad and farro with cauliflower. If you love comforting bowls of soup, don’t miss this clam chowder, minestrone or Tuscany soup with escarole and potatoes.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published as Slow Cooker Cauliflower Soup with Cheddar on October 4, 2016 and updated now with new photos, text and a better recipe.)
Slow Cooker Cauliflower-Cheese Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 pounds frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 quart chicken stock (or veggie stock)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (plus extra for serving)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (from 12 ounces of block cheddar; see notes)
- 4 strips bacon (optional for serving)
- green onions or chives (optional for serving)
- Peel and chop the onion and add it to your slow cooker.
- Rinse and peel your carrots. Dice the carrots. (Cut them in half the short way, then in half the long way, and in half the long way again if needed. Cut them into small pieces.) Add the carrots to the slow cooker.
- Rinse the celery and scrub off any dirt. Trim off the ends. Dice the celery and add it to the slow cooker.
- Add the frozen cauliflower, chicken stock, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the vegetables are tender.
- While the soup is cooking (or just before it's ready,) shred the cheddar and grate the Parmesan, if needed. (I use a box grater for the cheddar and my blender for the Parmesan.) Store the cheese covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
- When the soup is done cooking, keep the slow cooker on low and use a potato masher to mash up the veggies a bit. (If you prefer, you can blend the soup with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a regular blender for a smoother consistency.)
- Add the half and half and Parmesan to the slow cooker with the soup and stir to combine.
- Add 2 1/4 cups of shredded cheddar to the soup a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted and blended. Cover and let the soup stay on low for another 5-10 minutes, until the soup is heated through.
- If using bacon, heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon strips and cook each side for about two minutes, or until crispy and cooked through. Place the bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the grease and carefully pat the bacon dry. Use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into pieces (or tear it with your hands).
- To serve, ladle the soup into each bowl and top with some of the remaining shredded cheddar, bacon and snipped green onions/chives, if desired. Add additional salt and red pepper flakes if needed.
- Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
- Nutrition info includes the bacon. There will be less sodium and fat without it.
- A yellow onion provides stronger flavor than a white onion, and works better with cauliflower, in my opinion. You could substitute a red onion if needed.
- For best melting results, use 12 ounces of block cheddar and shred it yourself. (I use a box grater.) Packaged shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent that doesn't allow the cheese to melt smoothly.