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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
4.96 from 42 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.

88 thoughts on “Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Recipe Rating

  1. Yum!! My parents live in Farmington and every time they cone visit me in Seattle we have to make a stop at panera….???? Thanks for dinner tonight!! I am pregnant and cant plan meals ahead right now to save my life….this looks good and I don't need to hit the g. store!!! Love everything you share!!! Have a good one!

    1. Thanks Jen! I wish we had Panera here, Im a big fan of their breads. Such a fun lunch spot! Hope all is well with your pregnancy. It is hard to stay motivated to cook when you're dealing with being pregnant!

    1. Hi Christine,
      I have not shared that recipe yet, but will make sure to do it soon. I tis really simple and one I throw together when I'm in a hurry. Thanks for the reminder!
      Happy cooking 🙂

    1. I think this recipe will work with frozen broccoli, not as good as fresh, I would chop the pieces small. Let us know if you try it with frozen!

      1. I made it tonight with Costco’s frozen broccoli and it was incredible. I let the broccoli thaw and then cut it up and added it after the carrots had cooked for a bit. Everyone loved the soup!

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this soup for this first time and it’s delicious!!
    Definitely will be making it again. My kids were fighting over who had more 🙂 Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I whipped this up for quick dinner and it really hit the spot for my family. I was out of baby carrots so I added celery. It’s just the right amount of cheese and the chicken broth gives it a delicious flavor. We loved that the broccoli was still crunchy and delicious too. Thanks for the great idea. As usual.

    1. You’re welcome, Emily! I love this recipe too, especially on colder days. Great idea to use celery! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Someone asked about frozen broccoli….I had frozen some roasted broccoli a few weeks ago and used it. I just added it (I gave it an extra chop, but it was still slightly frozen)after the carrots and onions were softened. It worked great!

    And, just a reminder…don’t let boil after you add the milk or it can funny.

    We will definitely make again!!

  5. 5 stars
    My whole family loves this soup! I love that all of my picky eaters will fill up their bowls. We especially love dipping the twisted breadsticks in it. This recipe is so quick and simple to make. I usually have the ingredients on hand, so it is one of our go-to hearty meals in a pinch! Thank you!!

    1. That’s why I love this soup too, Emily. I usually have most of the ingredients and everyone loves it. Great idea to serve it with twisted breadsticks. Sounds so yummy! Thanks for sharing,

  6. 5 stars
    We love love love this soup!!! My picky 3 year old asks for it daily! It’s one of the only things he will eat. We make it weekly and love how quick and easy it is. I always have the things needed on hand. Thank You Si!!!

    1. This recipe is perfect, even for the pickiest of eaters. I love how easy it is to make too, MJ. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last night for my husband whose favorite soup is Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar and it was a hit! I made it exactly as directed and it was so creamy and delicious and a crowd pleaser… even the kids loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe. This will be one of our go-tos from now on.

    1. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it, Marlene. It’s one of our favorite soups to make too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this the first time, for a friend, and it turned out perfectly! So perfect that she told me her daughter’s favorite restaurant was Bread Co. (Panera to everyone outside of St. Louis) and her daughter said it was even better. I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂 I made it the next night for my family and let it sit just a tad too long with after the cream/half&half was added and it flopped so I learned that part of the instructions were really important. Third time’s a charm as I’ll be making this over and over again! Thanks Si!

    1. Hi Amy, sometimes the little details are what makes this soup so good. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it, it’s definitely one of my favorite soups to make. It will only get better the more you make it! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  9. 5 stars
    I doubled this recipe for our family of 10. I cooked it in the Instant Pot on sauté mode and we ended up toasting some Grandma Sycamore bread to go with it and had a green salad. Fabulous dinner! No leftovers whatsoever! Thank you for the recipe-I’ll add it to our regular rotation! I love finding food that’s a hit with our gang of teenagers, middles, and littles!

    1. That sounds delicious, Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup as much as our family has. Thanks for sharing,

  10. 5 stars
    Made this recipe last night, and it was easy and delicious! Our whole family loved it, including my picky toddler. Thanks for sharing it!

  11. 5 stars
    I have never tried Panera’s version of this soup but I really enjoyed this recipe. I thought it was very simple and all the ingredients were normal household ingredients that most people have in their home. I made a few adjustments: I used 3 C chicken broth and 1 C water. I still felt like there was plenty of flavor and a bit healthier. I didn’t have Tabasco sauce so I used a few drops of Tapatio hot sauce. Overall, 5 STAR rating!

    1. Thank you, Megan! I’m glad you were able to make some healthier substitutions that worked for you. I know this is especially helpful for anyone looking to cut out a few calories and still enjoy this yummy soup.

    1. Hi Jules, I usually let it simmer until it thickens up in consistency. The end result is a fairly thick soup. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this soup today for company that was over. So delicious! Perfect for a cold, rainy day. Thanks for sharing! Also, I’m gushing over your pots – where are they from?!

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe WOWS both adults and children alike every time I make it. My 3 and 4 year olds beg for ‘Vegetable Soup’ anytime I let them choose what’s for dinner. I add as many veggies as I have on hand. The mustard and hot sauce give a subtle depth of flavor fit for a fancy restaurant—but it’s not anything that throws off my in-laws who don’t believe in any kind of spice or flavoring outside of salt and pepper. It’s just a win all around.

  14. 5 stars
    Very very good, would probably just add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard instead of a full 1 teaspoon. Was a little too much for my taste. Didn’t have any hot sauce so just threw some red pepper flakes in and it turned out great!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Jillian, it’s perfect for altering to your own preferences. Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK!

  15. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe! So easy and tasty! Just pair it with a fresh baguette and dinner is ready.

  16. 5 stars
    Favorite broccoli cheddar soup! Even my 2yo loves it! It’s so easy and I love that it’s made with real cheese. Better than Panera‘s I think 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! If you make this, you’re going to really want to make the garlic twisted breadsticks! I only had mild cheddar cheese on hand, so I added a little bit of Swiss cheese as well in an effort to add a bit more flavor. I also used frozen broccoli, but it turned out great! Hopefully I’ll be able to use the sharp cheddar next time.

  18. 4 stars
    This was easy to prep and cook as directed and was received by the rest of the Family as a reminder of a famous Restaurant soup. I had to tell them.
    Except for the temperatures and time details with each step, I was a little lost. The vegetables will be slightly steamed before adding to the pot next time to soften more. Will enjoy leftovers even better tomorrow. Following as directed, this made more than four servings; two ladles per bowl. Very filling, comforting, and delicious.

    1. Hi McKenna, the hot sauce gives the soup a little bit of vinegar that really makes the flavor profile amazing.
      Thanks for reading ABK,

  19. Love love love this soup! I made a big pot for dinner one night, and it lasted my husband so long to have for lunch throughout the week! We didn’t have any hot sauce, but it still turned out super yummy. I definitely want to try it with Tabasco next time! Also need to try the bread sticks with it! I loved how fast it was to make though!

    1. Hi Allie, yes you need to try this soup with the breadsticks! I LOVE making this during the fall because it’s so easy and filling.
      Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK,

  20. 5 stars
    This soup is a staple in our home! It’s easy to whip up and the whole fam loves it- including my toddler!

    1. Jaiden,
      I’m so glad you love this soup! I love a great go-to recipe that gathers the family and makes everyone happy! Thank you for your positive comments and thanks for reading ABK.

  21. 5 stars
    This is my go to soup! It is delicious, and a crowd pleaser. I love you suggested cornstarch to thicken the soup. I never knew you could use cornstarch to thicken instead of flour. Game changer for our family with food sensitivities. I use this tip in all my cooking now. Fantastic meal added to the rotation. Thanks Si!

  22. Did not try the soup yet…but I loved this soup before. Could I ask that, if possible you put Nutritional Label on your recipes. It would be appreciated.

  23. 5 stars
    This recipe is a hit every time I make it! So easy and so yummy!!! Thank you for this!

  24. Great recipe! The flavor was delicious and the soup wasn’t as thick as most Broccoli Cheese soup recipes (which was a major win in my opinion)!

  25. 5 stars
    My kids affectionately call this soup “mama’s soup”. It was one of the first recipes I tried from your site, but still one our family favorites. I usually double the amount of carrots because I love them, and add rotisserie chicken. Can’t decide if this is my VERY favorite on your site, but this one is one of my most tried and true. It’s SO good!

  26. We love this at our house! If your kids are picky with veggies, just blend it with an immersion blender. Works like a charm!

  27. 5 stars
    This is an absolute favorite at our house! So quick to throw together and so delicious. I’ve tried lots of cheddar broccoli soups and this one is the best. My kids request this for their birthday dinner which is the ultimate compliment! 🙌🏻😂

  28. 5 stars
    This soup was so yummy and quick to make! The kids all gobbled it up so that is a double win in my book! Did half broccoli and half cauliflower and loved it.

  29. 5 stars
    so good and so easy! I make it at least twice a month in the winter and my family adores it!

  30. 5 stars
    Our family loves this recipe! I love that there’s no velveeta or cheezwhiz involved. But the flavor is so good and I love making it when I’ve got a Costco bag of broccoli handy! The shot of mustard adds a lot!

  31. 5 stars
    This is one of the very first ABK recipes I tried, and it was an instant hit! It has just the right balance of veggies to cheesy, creamy soup, and my kids enjoy eating it. I also love how flexible it is to add in some bonus veggies – sautéed celery anyone? – and to switch between fresh and frozen veggies. I’ve started keeping frozen broccoli on hand so I can quickly whip this up for weekday dinners.

  32. 5 stars
    I live in Utah after growing up in Florida. I really miss living by Panera, but this recipe feels like home. It’s the perfect soup for a cold winter day. This recipe is a family favorite!

  33. 5 stars
    One of my VERY favorite soups and this is truly better than any other broccoli cheese soup. I always make it several times each winter.

  34. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe for my favorite kind of soup. When I made this for a teacher appreciation lunch it was the first kind of soup we ran out of because it was a hit.

  35. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe! I love the soup from Panera and this is just as delicious, if not better!

  36. 5 stars
    My husband doesn’t love soup – but he this goes on the repeat list! It was so good!

  37. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe! Do you think it would freeze well if I prepped a week in advance? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jenna!
      I wouldn’t recommend it, dairy often separates and the vegetables become a bit soggy after freezing! Hopefully this helps!
      Let me know how it turns out 🙂