Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup combines tender veggies, cheese, and spices into the perfect velvety bite. Make this copycat soup recipe today!

titled photo and shown: Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
Nothing is more comforting on a cold day like a warm bowl of soup. Make it with plenty of melted cheese, and it’s even better!

My Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is another easy and delicious copycat soup recipe. Sausage, potatoes, and kale come together in a rich, creamy broth for an easy comfort food meal.

If you need something that’s budget friendly and feeds a crowd, make a big bowl of broccoli cheese pasta salad. You can enjoy it all year round and it’s even better as leftovers!

Or, try this broccoli cheese soup recipe with chicken for when you don’t know what to make for dinner. It also has tender jasmine rice to make it more filling, and you probably already have everything you need to make it.

How To Make Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

All you need is about 30 minutes to put together this delicious copycat soup recipe at a fraction of the cost!

Plus, it makes enough for a week’s worth of lunches or to feed the whole family for dinner.

  1. Saute the aromatics. Cook the onions and celery in melted butter until tender, then stir in the flour. This creates a flavorful base that will also thicken the soup.
  2. Combine the liquids. Gradually mix in the cream, then the broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add in broccoli and carrots. Stir in the broccoli and cook until tender, then repeat with the carrots.
  4. Melt in the cheese. Remove the pot from heat and add the shredded cheese and spices. Stir until everything is smooth and well combined.

overhead photo looks down into bread bowl filled with creamy soup

Serving Suggestions

Since this is a thick soup, it’s perfect for serving in a bread bowl. Or, ladle it into bowls with a thick piece of crust bread on the side.

If you’d like, add a small green salad or a sandwich to make your own homemade lunch combo!

What You Will Need For This Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
  • 4 Quart Stock Pot - Great for soups, roasts, frying, and more! This is a staple in my kitchen.
  • Ladle - A must for dishing up soup!
  • Cheese Grater - As much as I love buying shredded cheese because I'm lazy, freshly grated cheese melts down so much better and creates a smoother recipe.

Recipe Notes + FAQ

What can I use to thicken soup besides flour?

Cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or even instant potato flakes can all be used instead, but they will need to be added at the end.

Mix your thickener of choice with cold water to make a slurry. Then, stir it into the finished soup and let it simmer for another few minutes to thicken. Repeat until it reaches the desired consistency.

If you still want to mix something with the butter and vegetables at the beginning, try an alternative like rice flour or your favorite gluten free all purpose flour.

Can I use frozen vegetables for this broccoli cheese soup recipe?

Absolutely! You don’t even need to thaw them first, but keep in mind that frozen vegetables may not take as long to cook.

Whether you use fresh or frozen, make sure to chop the broccoli into small pieces so it cooks faster and is easier to eat.

Why can’t I add the cheese while the soup is still cooking?

Cooking any kind of dairy soup for too long, especially one with fresh cheese, can cause it to become grainy and separate.

Since the soup was already simmering, it will be plenty hot enough to melt the cheese.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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hand dipping piece of bread bowl into broccoli cheese soup

This post was originally published on January 11, 2018. The content was updated and republished on January 6, 2021.

Yield: 6
Author: Melanie Dueck
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup combines tender veggies, cheese, and spices into the perfect velvety bite. Make this copycat soup recipe today!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 40 Min


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until tender. Mix in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes while constantly stirring. Mix in the cream a little at a time and then add in the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli florets and simmer for 7 minutes and then add the carrots and continue to simmer for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheese and seasonings until melted and smooth.
  3. Serve soup in a bread bowl or with a slice of crusty bread.

titled photo (and shown in bread bowl): Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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  1. Looks great- is there anything we can use besides flour (starch) to thicken?

    1. Cornstarch, Arrowroot, or instant potato flakes ...


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