If you’ve ever had Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup you know it’s thick, cheesy, and so delicious.
Try our homemade Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe for an easy soup dupe you can make in your own kitchen.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Dupe)
Where are my Panera fans at? This incredible Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is for you and it tastes exactly like the one from Panera.
In fact, we specifically developed this to be an at-home Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe down to the little florets of broccoli to the thick cheesy base.
This broccoli cheddar soup is so delicious served in a bread bowl or in a normal bowl with a giant baguette served next to it!
Why You’ll love it!
- Tastes exactly like Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Ready in less than 40 minutes
- Made on the stove-top
Ingredients You Need
Great news! This recipe calls for basic ingredients. But don’t worry, it has giant flavor.
- Onion: onion is such a great soup starter flavor. It adds depth and savoriness. We used yellow onion, but white works too.
- Broccoli: this recipe calls for fresh broccoli. We only reccomend using fresh broccoli, so make sure you don’t use frozen!
- Chicken broth: technically any kind of broth works, but we love the flavor chicken broth adds to this Panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe.
- Carrots: matchstick carrots add another veggie into this soup, plus a pop of color.
- Flour: flour is used to help thicken this soup so that it’s nice and luscious.
- Milk: milk is used to thin the soup out a bit and to add volume.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: the star of the show is freshly shredded cheddar cheese. The fresher the better. Make sure to buy a block and to shred your own cheese.
How to Thicken Broccoli Cheddar Soup
For this Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, we used flour to thicken it. In our expert broccoli cheddar soup opinion, a roux tastes so much better than corn starch and does the job to thicken it as well.
If you want your soup thicker, you can add more flour, but believe us 1/2 cup should do the trick!
Can I swap the flour for a different flour? The only other flour we suggest swapping all-purpose for in this recipe is white whole wheat flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
All About the Cheddar
Our #1 tip for this soup is to use freshly grated cheddar cheese. That’s right, we suggest buying a block of yellow cheddar cheese and shredding it yourself.
We find that freshly shredded cheese melts and mixes so much better in this soup than pre-shredded cheese.
What kind of cheddar cheese should I use? We used sharp yellow cheddar cheese, but you’re more than welcome to use white cheddar cheese or even a cheddar blend.
Did you know that Panera actually sells bread bowls in store?! Genius right? We highly recommend either eating this Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a bread bowl or with bread on the side.
As my husband would say: “Something about the way the cheesiness tastes with the bread bowl is so much better than other soups.” Yes, that is a direct quote from him.
Otherwise, you can absolutely top this soup with something crunchy such as
- oyster crackers
Broccoli cheddar soup is made from a base of broccoli florets, a creamy roux sauce, and cheddar cheese.
No, there is no meat in Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup.
Broccoli cheddar soup is higher in both calories and fat than a typical brothy soup. If you’re looking to make your broccoli cheddar soup better for you, we recommend making it from scratch than purchasing it from the store or a restaurant where more salt and fat is used.
Let your soup cool completely. Then, transfer it into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Can you freeze this soup?
Unfortunately, we don’t recommend freezing this soup for later. The broccoli would likely get very mush.
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium white onion diced
- 4 cups broccoli finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup matchstick carrots roughly chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons salt separated
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese preferably freshly grated not from a bag
- Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pot and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, garlic powder, and another ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pot and sauté for 2-3 additional minutes.
- Pour the broth into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and carefully remove 1 cup of the broth from the pot and set aside.
- Add the carrots, black pepper and the rest of the salt to the pot and stir. Let the ingredients simmer over low heat.
- Next, add the 1 cup of broth removed from the pot to a medium bowl and whisk the flour into the broth. The mixture will thicken quickly.
- Pour the thickened broth back into the pot and whisk all the ingredients together.
- Add the milk to the pot and whisk.
- Turn heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and slowly add the shredded cheese to the pot. Consistently stir the cheese into the soup until it is completely incorporated.
- Let the soup simmer over low heat until it is thick and reaches desired temperature and consistency.
Tips & Notes
- Nutrition information does not include bread bowl.
amazing soup. however i truly believe the calories are wayyy off – i know it’s just an estimate but 4 cups or shredded cheese in this and I def don’t think the per serving portion is only 268 calories
100% agree with you on that! Just the cheddar cheese alone (assuming 4 oz = 1 cup grated) is more than 290 calories. My calculations bring the total calories per serving to 428 calories. That being said – it’s delicious!!! But I wish I had calculated it out before eating it tonight… definitely took in more calories than intended as I didn’t assume it would be so far off.
This soup is easy to make and soooo delicious. Takes some prepping but nothing difficult. Will be making again and again!
This soup is absolutely delicious! Easy to make and packed full of flavor. I recommend using bone broth to up the nutritional profile.
I had held off on making this soup for a long time due to the recommendation not to freeze leftovers, but I am here to tell you, this soup freezes very well! I just had my first bowl of sup from the freezer and it was delicious!
So happy to hear it, Lennie!
Realistically this takes more like an hour start to finish, to include all the chopping. I made and extra half of the recipe to make sure we had enough for fam of 4 and then 2 lunches for the next day. All in all, this recipe did not disappoint! Not hard to prep or cook and the whole fam loved it. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow at work and make everyone jealous.
The flavor was good but the cheese never incorporated even using freshly grated cheddar 🙁
I was soo stoked to see this recipe posted and it did not disappoint. Pretty simple to make. I used chicken bone broth for added protein and nutrition. Perfect texture and great flavor! Well done!
Can’t comment on the “dupe” part, but this soup was stellar!! Delicious and filling and perfect for a cold dreary day. I halved the recipe since fff recommends not to freeze leftovers. Only negative is it was maybe 2-3 meal servings, def not 3-4!
So glad you loved this!!
Best broccoli cheddar soup I’ve had. Highly recommend!