‘Counting On’: This Vintage Duggar Family Recipe Calls for 2 Pounds of Velveeta and 7 Pounds of Broccoli

Meal planning for a family of 19 is no picnic. At one point, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were spending $4,000 a month to feed their massive family. Keeping every member of the Counting On clan fed without breaking the bank or making daily grocery store runs meant the family shopped in bulk and stocked up on canned and packaged foods, which they stored in their massive, supermarket-like pantry. 

Unfortunately, the dishes the Duggars cooked up often didn’t look that appetizing, at least to viewers of Counting On and the family’s earlier series, 19 Kids and Counting. Critics have made a habit of slamming the family’s unhealthy food choices. Canned soup, processed cheese, and other convenience ingredients seemed to make up a big part of the Duggar family diet. Take this recipe for broccoli cheese soup, which the family shared on their website back in 2007. 

The Duggar family’s broccoli cheese soup recipe 

Velveeta | Greg Powers for The Washington Post via Getty Images; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post via Getty Images; prop stylist Guiletta Pinna

RELATED: Jill Duggar Just Gave Her Followers Insight Into How Much Food Michelle Duggar Actually Had to Make for the Family

When the Duggars hit the kitchen, they cook for a crowd, as can be seen in the ingredient list for the family’s broccoli cheese soup. It calls for a stunning 7 pounds of frozen broccoli as well as 2 pounds of Velveeta, plus sweet whipping cream and cornstarch. Notably absent are any seasonings — not even a dash of pepper.

To make the Duggar-approved dish, you cook the broccoli in water, then add the Velveeta and 1 quart of whipping cream. Then, mix 1 cup of cornstarch with cold water and add it to the hot soup to thicken. 

The family’s website also included instructions for a broccoli casserole that featured similar ingredients to the soup. To prepare, mix three-quarters of a pound of Velveeta with 2 boxes of frozen chopped broccoli, 1 cup of cooked minute or brown rice, 1 onion sauteed in 1 stick of butter, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, and ½ cup of milk, then bake until brown on top. 

The Duggar’s lasagna recipe calls for 4 pounds of meat 

Duggar family
The Duggar family | Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The broccoli cheese soup wasn’t the only super-sized recipe the family shared with their fans. Their slow-cooker lasagna calls for 4 pounds of ground chuck, 4 28-ounce jars of spaghetti sauce, and 6 cups of mozzarella. The ingredient list also includes plenty of lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, and canned mushrooms. The result is an eight-layer lasagna that must be cooked in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Not every Duggar recipe called for large quantities of canned ingredients. The family also shared recipes for sauteed green beans, homemade banana bread, and oatmeal pancakes.   

Have the Duggar kids changed their diet? 

Since the Duggars made their TV debut over a decade ago, the oldest kids have grown up, gotten married, and started families of their own. While they’ve definitely been known to prepare some old family favorites from time to time, the members of the younger generation seem to have cleaned up their eating habits and expanded their culinary horizons in recent years. 

These days the younger Duggars are less likely to sing the praises of tater tot casserole and more likely to whip up a pan of buffalo pancetta brussels sprouts (as Jinger Duggar did earlier this year) or a bowl of Tibetan soup (as Jill Duggar did recently). Meanwhile, Jessa Duggar says her kids love fresh fruits and vegetables. 

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