Copycat Recipes | March 13, 2019

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup in less than 30 minutes! All of your favorite veggies in one cheesy delicious soup.  If you love Panera, you’re going to love making this soup at home.

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup is filling and cheesy but not the gloppy-overly-salty-processed-cheese type of soup you find in so many restaurants. Most of those recipes include processed cheese in some form. You won’t find any processed cheese in this recipe for Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Sharp grated cheese and vegetables are center stage in this recipe.

When I set out to a make a homemade version of this popular soup, I looked at several recipes that claim to duplicate Panera’s recipe. Many of those recipes left out (little, but significant) ingredients, like a bit of mustard, hot pepper sauce, or paprika, which are all listed as ingredients in Panera’s soup. So, I made my own version- a one pot, less than 30 minute recipe! 

This soup tastes like Panera in your own kitchen, but slightly better.  Everything is better home made! You won’t believe how easy it is to make this delicious soup at home. If you can chop veggies and grate cheese, you can make this soup. I promise everyone from young kids to your grandparents will love this filling soup. 

This cheddar broccoli soup is packed with onion, carrots, broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, spices, and a bit of cream. It’s the perfect pick-me-up on a cold day and the best type of comfort food for weeknights or an easy weekend meal!   Try making these soft herb breadsticks to go along with the soup. Or these cheese and garlic twisted breadsticks. Both bread recipes are perfect for soup dipping!

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4.95 from 20 votes

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

​Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a make at home version of Panera's most popular soup! Filled with broccoli, carrots and cheese this recipe is a one-pot easy to make meal. 

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 as a main course


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots I used baby carrots
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • few drops of hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups cream or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch whisked into 1/2 cup cold water or cold broth
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese about 8 oz


  1. Melt butter in large stockpot. Add onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. 

  2. Add carrots and broccoli cook for additional 3-4 minutes, season with salt, pepper, paprika and hot pepper sauce.

  3. Pour chicken broth and cream into vegetable mixture. Add one teaspoon mustard, whisk until smooth.

  4. Simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the 1/2 cold water (or additional broth) together with the cornstarch until smooth. Pour into the stockpot with the vegetable mixture. Whisk until smooth. 

  6. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.  Add cheese and cook just until cheese is melted. 

  7. Reduce heat until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Sharp or extra sharp cheese is best for this recipe.
  • If you want to make a heartier soup, cook a couple of chicken breast halves and shred or chop before adding to the finished soup.

35 thoughts on “Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

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  1. Just clicked over from Instagram- these definitely looked like something special! And I was already telling my Husband I was craving cookies today. This will probably be my next baking project.
    Couple quick questions:
    • I’m not a huge cookie expert, so I was curious- why never use salted butter? We always have salted kerrygold that I prefer to use, would it ruin these?
    • And, I can tell you obviously worked really hard to get the meticulous details of this recipe exactly right; so I shouldn’t even ask, but again curious- what would happen if we didn’t use cake flour? I don’t have that but I do have a couple other flours including einkorn. I wondered how much I’d mess these up if I didn’t make a grocery run for cake flour first.

    Thanks so much for all your work on sharing this with us!

    1. Hi Krystal,
      I prefer to use unsalted butter because it is the easiest way to control the amount of salt in my baking and recipes. I’d rather add salt to a recipe than guess how much salt is in the cube of butter, and how that will taste in the finished product! I definitely do not think Kerry Gold will ruin this recipe, I love their product, but would purchase the unsalted for baking. If you use All Purpose flour instead of cake flour you will end up with a cookie that is not quite the same texture. Take a look at this post for full disclose and details on the difference in flours and the end result! Thanks for your questions and comments 🙂 and for reading ABK,
      happy baking,

    1. Hi Jessie, I think it’s best to use special dark cocoa powder to get the best result for these cookies. It adds to the rich chocolate flavor. Thanks for asking!

        1. I’m sorry to hear that, Emily. They’re definitely worth another try, the special dark cocoa makes a difference in this recipe! Thanks for reading ABK,

    1. Hi BreAnn, if you live at a higher altitude, you could try using more flour if they bake too flat. You could also try refrigerating them beforehand. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!

  2. Hi, Si. I love your Levain chocolate chip recipe! Why a different recipe for the peanut butter chip vs chocolate chip chocolate cookies? And why brown/white sugar vs all white sugar? That’s the only difference I see.

    1. Hi Emily, the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip is made with all granulated sugar because when I tested the cookie in NYC, they bottom of the cookie is very hard (explained in the recipe post) the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie does not seem to have as crispy of a bottom, so I assumed the cookie has a bit of brown sugar as well as white! Thanks for asking and for reading ABK,

  3. 5 stars
    Just leaving a comment because I love the way this cookie turned out but it took me two tries and I learned some things I wanted to share!

    The first time I tried making this a month or two ago they turned out HORRIBLY – there was no distinct chocolate flavor even though it was packed with chocolate – and it just felt muddy. My cookies also baked out really flat compared to the size and the way the other “levain” cookies have turned out.

    I just made a version of these cookies tonight and they turned out GREAT. Here are the differences I’ve picked up on that may help others:

    1. Neither of the stores in my area had Hershey’s Special Cocoa Powder – so for the first batch I used what I assumed was good cocoa (Ghiradhelli 100%). However, this time around I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge and it made ALL the difference. In both appearance (Guittard’s has a very deep brown/reddish hue compared to Ghiradhelli’s much lighter one) and in smell (Guittards truly SMELLED richer and more deeply of cocoa). This made an ENORMOUS difference in both the color and taste of my cookie.

    2. The first time I mixed semi sweet and bittersweet chips and not only was I missing some texture in the cookie, the chocolate flavors seemed to muddle together. This time, I used your 3.5 cups chip as a guide for volume and used 1.5 c semi sweet (Guittard), .5 cup smashed pretzels, .5 cup mini marshmallows and about 3/4 cup pb chips. Having different flavors and textures helped – and they kept their shape much better.

    3. I formed the cookie balls and weighed them – then refrigerated them completely before baking. I think this may have helped them keep their shape? But I’m not sure. If nothing else, it’s how I bake your other “levain” cookies and definitely ensures they’re super gooey!

    They turned out perfectly and the chocolate dough base is delicious! Thanks so much!

  4. I have made these amazing cookies many times !! Can’t get any better than all the chocolate that is in these gems !! So grateful for people like you who take time to share these copycat recipes with us and all of your other delicious creations !

  5. 5 stars
    These are the BEST! If you love chocolate these are the way to go! I brought them the a neighbor gathering and everyone wanted the recipe. Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. 5 stars
    At last… my love has come along. Another gem from our friend Si. I visit New York frequently for work, so I’ve indulged in this cookie more than I care to share. I love that I can share a Levain-like experience with my friends at home. Thanks for perfecting this one, Si!

  7. I know you said you prefer the classic over the dark chocolate but do people prefer the dark chocolate peanut butter or just plain dark chocolate? Don’t want to make a recipe and wonder if the other type of cookie is better 😂

  8. Love Levain cookies. I made the chocolate chip and the turned out great. This is the second time making the dark chocolate and both times they flattened. What makes Levain’s so great is the mound. I followed your recipe exactly and even refrigerated the dough. Still flattened. All I can think of is adding a little more flour and not so much butter. With all the chocolate and butter they seemed to be more oily. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Peggy. I would make sure you refrigerate the dough after you shape it into balls, also make sure the eggs are cold and the butter is only slightly softened. I hope this helps and thanks for asking!

  9. I live in Manhattan and consume levain choc choc chip cookies regularly. I would like to create copycat that is a bit less sweet and seek your advice on how to go about this without sacrificing all other cookie attributes

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for being so detailed in the instructions! I have worked with some wonky ovens as we have been moving around to different rentals the past few years so that has been a challenge with baking, but we usually make out ok when I follow you directions to the T! These are SO GOOd! If you are a serious chocolate lover these are your cookie!

  11. 2 stars
    Recipe has great flavor due to the Cookie Cowgirl dark cocoa blend but gets zero stars for how they bake. They ended up almost oozing all over the baking sheet and I pretty much had a flat cake. Next time I’ll add more flour and refrigerate until the balls are firm. I have a baking business so I know how to bake cookies but this recipe really didn’t work for me as is. I’ll try it again tho. Thanks.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Julie, let me know how they turn out for you the second time around. I definitely recommend refrigerating them for a while longer before baking. Thanks for sharing,

  12. 5 stars
    Just made them and they turned out fabulously. Now the majority of them won’t be eaten until tomorrow. What is the best way to store them for a day?

    1. Hi Aaron, I would store them in a sealed container or covered tightly with plastic wrap. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  13. 5 stars
    Yuuuuuummmmm!! I just made these and they are perfect and yummy!! I used white chocolate chips. Thank you soooo much for this amazing recipe

  14. Hi there… I made your oatmeal raisin cookies. I hate raisins but my hubby loves them. They were delicious, they may make me a convert. Tomorrow I am going to make these double chocolate cookies. My question is about refrigeration. I need to make these in advance and I am planning on making them 4.5 oz. If I refrigerate the formed dough balls overnight can I stick them straight on a cookie sheet and stick them in to bake or should I let them come up to a cool room temperature before baking? I see two different directions for different sizes…thanks.

    1. Hi Kristine, sorry for the late comment! I would stick them on a cookie sheet and go ahead and bake them if you’re refrigerating overnight. Thank you for asking!

  15. 5 stars
    Thank you so much. I moved out
    Of NYC 5 yrs ago. Yes, I would wait online for these cookies. ❤️ I have been missing Levain Bakery cookies. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out amazing. Taste just like them. 😊 I did make mine smaller. Can’t wait time try the other recipes.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Karyn! Thank you for sharing and let us know what else you try on the blog!

  16. 5 stars
    one of my go-to cookie recipes that’s always a hit since they taste more like brownies! I followed the recipe to a tee and refrigerated the batter overnight to make 25 3oz little mounds of love which I baked at 425 for 6 minutes and cooled for a significant amount of time. I did wish I left them in the oven for a minute or two longer since they were a bit too gooey and didn’t have as much of the hard crust I wanted, but I think it’s because I had 3 trays baking at the same time. regardless, they were still a huge hit!