The Best Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

4.62 / 5 ( 52 Reviews )
52 Comments Jump to Recipe

Best Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

Try this Wisconsin Cauliflower Zupas copycat recipe!

One of my favorite soups at Cafe Zupas is the Wisconsin Cauliflower. Mmm. 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 choose stovetop or Instant Pot method. One pot either way!

Instant Pot Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

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!

saute onions in instant pot for cauliflower soup

How to Make Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat

I prefer making this Zupas Cauliflower Soup copycat in the Instant Pot, but instructions for both methods are included below.

First, sauté the onion in melted butter. Sometimes I pull out my handy food chopper to make quick work of chopping onions. Then whisk in flour, then chicken broth, and add the cauliflower florets.

cauliflower cheese soup instant pot

How Much Cauliflower in Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Copycat

Usually two medium heads of cauliflower, or a large one and a small one, end up yielding about 2 pounds of florets. However, the easiest way is to do the cauliflower is to just buy a bag of fresh pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-go cauliflower florets. 😉

easy cauliflower soup in instant pot

When making this Zupas copycat recipe in the Instant Pot, I add the half & half after the cooking time. Adding it beforehand is more messy when releasing the pressure. I also just go with straight chicken broth instead of a mixture of broth and water.

How to Blend the Zupas Copycat Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

The easiest way to blend the soup is with an immersion blender right there in the pot! The cauliflower is so soft, especially in the Instant Pot, that it easily blends smooth with an immersion blender.

immersion blender for zupas cauliflower soup in instant pot

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Blend the soup in three separate batches and let the blender run for 3o seconds to 1 minute each time. Remove the center of the blender lid to allow steam to escape.

Taste test when you are finished blending to make sure the soup is smooth!

cheesy cauliflower zupas soup instant pot

Side by Side Taste Test for the Best Zupas Copycat!

Of course, it was necessary 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 what I believe to be 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! I love serving this with 1-hour rolls or breadsticks.

best zupas wisconsin cauliflower copycat

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.

See more of our favorite Instant Pot recipes!

We’ve found a few other awesome copycat recipes from Zupas, Olive Garden, and more. Check out our favorite copycat recipes!

How to Make Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

Best Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

The Best Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Copycat Recipe

This soup is cheesy, creamy, and flavorful! I did a side-by-side taste test and this copycat recipe is right on for Cafe Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower soup!
4.62 / 5 ( 52 Reviews )
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8
Adjust Servings: 8


  • Instant Pot


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets roughly chopped (5-6 cups)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint half and half 2 cups
  • 1 ½ cups water omit for Instant Pot
  • 1 14.5 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth (3 cups for Instant Pot)
  • 1 ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • ¾ cup pepper jack cheese shredded
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

Optional Toppings

  • green onions
  • bacon crumbles
  • shredded cheese



  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Gradually stir in the half and half, water, and chicken broth.
  • 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.
  • Use an immersion blender in the pot and blend until smooth. Or use a regular blender, with the center of the lid removed to allow steam to escape, and blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return it to the pot. Heat soup over medium heat and stir in the Dijon, salt, and cheese; stir until combined and melted. Serve warm with optional toppings.

Instant Pot

  • On sauté setting, melt butter. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Gradually stir in 3 cups chicken broth (instead of water & broth above, and don't add half & half yet).
  • Add chopped cauliflower. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure first.) Natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  • Keep on "keep warm" setting. Pour half & half into pot. Use an immersion blender in the pot and blend until smooth. Stir in the Dijon, salt, and cheese; stir until combined and melted. Add more salt, if needed. Serve warm with optional toppings.

Recipe Notes

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


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 724mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

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, #StayHome, Fall, Super Bowl Party, Winter, Egg Free, Weight Watchers
Categories: Copycat, Healthy, Soups and Chilis, Vegetables, Instant Pot, 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.

  • Have you ever roasted the cauliflower first?

    • I have not tried doing it that way before. I really like the cauliflower soup as written, so I figure I don’t need to add an extra step! Haha.

      • Followed your recipe as written, but did roast the cauliflower & it was great. Gave it a ‘nutty’ flavor and looked pretty. Added a 1/4 t of nutmeg too. Thanks for the recipe. It was a hit and it will be on our rotation.

        • Ohhh I love the idea of roasting the cauliflower – and nutmeg! What a great idea! So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to share your variation!

  • I have to tell you that never in my life did I think I’d ever like cauliflower soup, much less make it. But one day I had some at Zupas and I was hooked. I searched for a copycat recipe and here I am today. I’ve made this many, many times in the past couple of years and it never disappoints. I’ve had so many compliments and requests for your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.

  • I didn’t think it tasted like Zupa’s, but still an ok soup. My family liked it well enough for one meal but no one wanted more.

  • Hello Melanie, European subscriber here. What is “half and half”?

    • Hi Carla, I am unsure what it may be called where you are, but half and half is one-half cream and one-half whole milk. Hope this helps!

  • Can you use cauliflower rice?

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