What are the best side dishes for broccoli cheddar soup? Create contrast with sweet, light, and refreshing salads that include apple and arugula, or roasted beetroot and butternut. Complete the meal with a hearty panini, sourdough bread bowl, or socca to mop up every last drop of soup. Exciting and flavorful sides include mini meatballs and buttermilk biscuits, and Hasselback potatoes.
A thick, creamy, and perfectly cheesy broccoli cheddar soup will keep you warm and cozy on a frosty evening. Here are a few excellent side dishes to accompany your broccoli cheddar soup:
Arugula, Apple And Walnut Salad
A cool, crisp, fall-inspired salad makes a light and refreshing companion for broccoli cheddar soup. Apple slices offer a sweet and juicy counterbalance to the strong savory flavors, while peppery arugula brings a refreshing twist to the soup’s creaminess.
This salad easily comes together by tossing two large handfuls of fresh arugula leaves with ½ cup toasted walnuts, two finely sliced apples, and 3 tablespoons dried cranberries.
Make a sweet and tangy dressing by combining ⅓ cup tahini, 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve alongside the soup. Sprinkle with finely chopped scallions and crumbled feta if desired.
Roasted Beetroot And Butternut Salad
Squeeze in more veggies with this wholesome and vibrant side dish. Sweet and earthy beetroot and butternut contrast the sharp cheddar and savory flavors. Leafy greens and toasted pumpkin seeds provide freshness and crunch.
Set the oven to 400°F (200°C). Peel and slice beetroot and butternut into small cubes. Lightly coat the veggies with avocado or olive oil, season, and roast until tender, for about 30-40 minutes.
Divide fresh arugula and baby spinach leaves into serving bowls. Add roasted beetroot and butternut, thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled feta. Drizzle with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and toss to combine. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and season to taste.
Mini Mediterranean Meatballs With Marinara Sauce
This is a superb side dish for the carb-conscious and meat enthusiasts. Meatballs will lend a richer, savory flavor to the soup- and an element of surprise! The Italian tomato sauce pairs superbly with broccoli and cheddar cheese.
In a large mixing bowl, add 7oz (200g) minced beef, one finely chopped shallot, two minced garlic cloves, one beaten egg, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, one tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, one tablespoon honey, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and form the mixture into small, even-sized meatballs.
Bake, air-fry, or pan-fry the meatballs on high heat until just cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Heat store-bought or homemade Marinara sauce in a large skillet. Transfer cooked meatballs to the skillet and coat in the warm sauce. Gently simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve on the side with toasted bruschetta, or pop a few meatballs into the soup. Delicious!
Sourdough Bread Bowls
Sourdough bread bowls are the quintessential side dish for broccoli cheddar soup. Warm, hearty bread makes the ultimate edible vessel for a thick and creamy soup. The crusty leakproof exterior adds great texture, while the soft center soaks up the delicious flavor.
Dip, scoop, and dunk- and you’re in for a real treat when you reach the bottom of the bread bowl! Bonus: No dishes to wash afterward.
Purchase or bake your own medium-sized, round sourdough bread rolls (also known as boules). Slice off the tops of the bread and hollow out the centers with a serrated knife. Place the rolls and leftover bread pieces on a baking sheet. Coat the bread with melted butter or olive oil.
Broil on high heat until crispy and golden. Fill each bread bowl with soup, and top with the leftover bread ‘croutons.’
Caramelized Onion, Pear And Gruyere Panini
Serve your broccoli cheddar soup with a delicious toasted panini for a truly hearty and memorable feast. The sweetness from the pear and caramelized onions offset the soup’s bold and savory flavor. A mild-tasting cheese like gruyere will melt beautifully and won’t overpower the main dish.
Use dense, crusty bread for your panini, such as ciabatta, sourdough, or baguette. Layer one slice of bread with grated gruyere, caramelized onions, and pear slices. Spread an extra layer of cheese and top with the remaining bread slice to form a sandwich.
Lightly coat the exterior of the bread with butter. The sandwiches can be grilled in a pan, panini press, or the oven on high heat, until crisp and the cheese has melted. Serve on the side, or dunk into the soup for a unique and delicious taste experience.
Socca Flatbread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Pesto
The smell of garlic-infused flatbreads, topped with sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto, will be sure to draw everyone to the table. Tomato and pesto enhance the soup’s flavor, while the crusty flatbread adds a contrasting texture.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¾ cup water, 1½ tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet/pan over medium-high heat and add ½ tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, pour the chickpea batter into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, until the top is nearly set. Gently flip the socca and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the edges are light brown and crispy.
Remove cooked socca from the heat and top with a few tablespoons of basil pesto, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic.
Crispy Hasselback Potatoes
Chilly days call for soup with a side of comforting carbs, and nothing compares to the humble and versatile potato. Sliced, seasoned, and baked to perfection, Hasselback potatoes are a hearty and satisfying side that complements broccoli cheddar soup without masking its flavor.
Turn on and set your oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash and pat dry your preferred amount of baby potatoes. Carefully slice each potato at regular intervals, making sure not to cut all the way through. Transfer sliced potatoes to a baking sheet and lightly coat with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices.
Roast the potatoes for 40-50 minutes, until tender and crisp. Top with crushed walnuts, minced garlic, and finely chopped chives.
Buttermilk Parmesan Biscuits
Buttermilk biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to creamy and cheesy soup. This handheld side is perfect for dunking and scooping the bottom of the bowl.
Preheat your oven to a toasty temperature of 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix 2½ cups self-rising flour, ¾ cup grated Parmesan, one teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of black pepper and sea salt.
Grate 3oz (90g) cold, unsalted butter into the bowl and use your fingertips to rub and incorporate the butter into the flour. Add 1 cup buttermilk and stir until the mixture forms a dough. Gently knead the dough on a floured surface, then roll it into a 1¼-inch (3cm) thick rectangle.
Using a 2-inch (5cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as possible. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet, brush lightly with buttermilk, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Best Beverage Pairings For Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Broccoli cheddar soup seeks a wine with fruity flavor, floral notes, and low tannin content. White wine pairings include Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc. Fruit-forward Pinot Noir balances the soup’s earthy and savory taste.
For something festive, pair this creamy soup with bubbly such as Blanc de Noir or a Pinot Noir-based sparkling wine.
In terms of beer, we recommend lager since it has a touch of sweetness and is refreshing yet strong enough to stand up to the soup’s bold flavor.
A sparkling pear or apple cider will add a sweet, refreshing, and unique element to the meal.
Best Sauces For Broccoli Cheddar Soup
To give broccoli cheddar soup a fresh and interesting flavor, stir in a bit of sweet, cool, and tangy mint sauce.
For extra creamy decadence, add a drizzle of hollandaise sauce or a dollop of crème fraiche.
Adding a few drops of Worcestershire or soy sauce enhances the umami flavor and complements the sharp cheddar cheese perfectly.