Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

4.7 / 5 (12 reviews) 43 Comments

Try this Wisconsin Cauliflower Zupas copycat recipe!

One of my favorite soups at Cafe Zupas is the Wisconsin Cauliflower. This soup is cheesy, creamy, and full of flavor! (Especially if you top it off with bacon, which I highly recommend. Yum.) I’ve seen a few copycat recipes floating around, but I was determined to find the best one! This is actually quite easy to make, especially since you can cook bacon in the microwave to make things less messy and faster!

If you want to use this for Weight Watchers, you can get 5 points per serving if you use fat free half and half, light butter, and fat free cheese! Easy and still YUMMY!

Most individual heads of cauliflower weigh about two pounds, so just try to pick out a nice big one. Also, I use a reduced sodium chicken broth – if you use a different broth you may want to adjust the salt amount in the recipe.

Since it was just one onion and I didn’t want to get my food processor dirty, I used this handy method for dicing onions.

You can try using milk in place of the half and half if you want to, but I haven’t tested the recipe that way yet. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

Blend the soup in three separate batches and let the blender run for 3o seconds to 1 minute each time. It is a good idea to do a taste test once you are finished blending to make sure the soup is smooth enough for you. (I learned this from experience.) 😉

Of course, I simply HAD to make a trip over to Zupas in order to do a side-by-side comparison. 😉 I tasted the Wisconsin Cauliflower soup without toppings, made a few tweaks to my recipe, and ended up with an awesome copycat! While I do enjoy the chocolate-covered strawberry and bread with soups from Zupas, I am super excited to be able to make this Wisconsin Cauliflower soup copycat at home!

To make this healthier, you can try using milk instead of half and half and use whole grain flour. Skip the bacon too! It won’t be quite the same, but it will still be yummy!

Here’s how to cook bacon in the microwave:

  1. Line a large microwave-safe plate with two paper towels.
  2. Lay bacon in a single layer on the paper towels. (May be able to fit up to 8 slices.)
  3. Cover with two more sheets of paper towel.
  4. Cook in the microwave for 4-6 minutes.

cooking bacon in the microwave

These tools are highly-rated and might be convenient if you cook bacon in the microwave a lot!

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Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

4.7 / 5 (12 reviews)
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint half and half (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can reduced sodium chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I used Honey Dijon Mustard)
  • Optional Toppings

  • green onions
  • chopped bacon
  • shredded cheese


  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and golden, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Gradually stir in the half and half, water, and chicken broth.

  2. Add the chopped cauliflower and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Use a blender, with the center of the lid removed allowing steam to escape, to blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return it to the pot.

  4. Heat soup over medium heat and stir in the Dijon, salt, and cheese; stir until combined and melted. Serve warm with optional toppings.


Weight Watchers Freestyle Points - 5 with the following modifications: use fat free half and half, light butter, and fat free cheese!

Recipe Adapted From: The Recipe Critic

Ingredients: All-purpose flour, Bacon, Butter, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken Broth, Dijon Mustard, Green Onion, Half and Half, Onion, Salt, Water
Meal Type: Main Dish, Fall, Super Bowl Party, Winter, Egg Free, Weight Watchers
Categories: Copycat, Healthy, Soups and Chilis, Vegetables, Stove Top

Comments & Reviews

  • My 6 year old has been obsessed with “bacon soup” from Zupas since he was just a babe! I’ve tried several other cauliflower recipes, but none hit the spot like this one did! Thank you for the recipe! All of my kids give it 2 thumbs up every time I make it😀

  • This really does taste just like the real thing and is so easy to make! Thank you! From a girl living in Texas away from zupas!

  • Do you think an immersion blender will work as well as a regular blender? Has anyone tried replacing the flour with corn starch? My daughter has a gluten allergy. Eating Zupas Cauliflower soup right now, and wanting to make my own!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • I think an immersion blender would work! You just may need to blend a little longer to make sure it is smooth. The cornstarch alone may not work very well here, but I would do an online search for how to make a gluten-free roux to get some ideas…I found cassava flour, plantain flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch + rice flour as substitute options. Hope this helps!

    • Skip the flour all together! No need for it.
      Also, if you are skipping the flour, you’ll need to skip the water. The cauliflower will act as your thickening agent. Also, I use 1cup pepper jack and skip the mustard. I like the heat from the pepper jack and I think it tastes closer to Zuppa’s. Yummmmmmmmmmy!

  • For the cauliflower, should it be 2 lbs after it’s been cut up or before removing leaves, stem, etc?

  • Making this for Christmas Eve dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Can you make it the day before and reheat? If so, what is the best way?

  • Do you know about how many cups of soup this yields?

  • I was sooo happy how this cauliflower soup turned out! I crave Zupas but I think this is even better because it’s easy and I can make at home. I was thinking of adding half and half after the blending thinking I’d like the texture better. What do you think?

    • I haven’t tried it that way before, so I’m not sure if it would make a difference or not. Might affect the consistency and amount of half and half needed. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it! Thanks, Donetta!

  • Do you think I could sub almond flour somehow to keep it Keto?

    • Yes, very likely. You can put the recipe into myfitnesspal and then substitute the almond flour for the white flour and see how the macros land. Let us know what you find out!

  • Absolutely phenomenal!
    I actually forgot the sharp cheddar cheese, and when I tasted it thought, “Something’s not right.” So I put about a quarter cup of a high-quality German Lager (a bit less watery than American Lagers) and then realized the cheddar cheese was missing and threw that in.
    It was fantastic and I will definitely be making it (with the added splash of beer!) again.

  • I’m trying this right now with Wegman’s organic frozen cauliflower in the crockpot . I left out the water, because I figured there would be water from the frozen veg. I didn’t sauté onion either or add flour. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • Anything I could use to replace the mustard? I hate mustard and am sure it adds a zing but any suggestions for something else?

    • The mustard flavor is very subtle and just adds to the overall depth of flavor. I haven’t tried it without, but I think if you really don’t want to keep the mustard in there, iit would be fine to omit it. 🙂

  • Love this recipe – but made a few changes:

    1. I carmalized the onions (I actually used shallots) to a deep brown color. I find this brings out much more flavor

    2. In addition to butter – I added bacon fat

    3. I added a sarano pepper – because we like heat!

    4. I skipped the flour – making this a great Keto recipe!

  • Funny…. my 7 year old also has been eating Zupas same name soup from a very young age. It’s the only soup he will eat!! This was a hit with our whole family. A great way to get some cruciferous veggies in your diet.

  • This made me feel like I can cook! YUM! My sister made it for me while I was sick and I made it myself tonight for the first time. Definitely a keeper!

  • Family favorite right here. I’ve even taken a little bit of this out of the pot and stirred in some creamy horseradish to garnish steak. It was delicious!

    • Wow, so creative with the steak garnish, Ron! Thank you for your comment and review! I’m so glad that you and your family are loving this Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower soup copycat.

  • Any ideas what I can sub. for pepper jack cheese?

    • Hmm. I haven’t personally tried any of these substitutions, but one of these options might work if you’re in a pinch. You could try using Monterey Jack and adding some red pepper flakes. Or maybe a mix of mozzarella and cheddar with some red pepper flakes would work well too. Or Mexican cheese blend could be an option, if you have that.

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