Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Health meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Craving the creamy, comforting taste of Panera’s famous Broccoli Cheese Soup? Now you can make it at home with this easy-to-follow copycat recipe. This soup is perfect for chilly days and makes a delicious and hearty meal. With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, you’ll have a pot of warm, cheesy goodness ready in no time.


Main Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup diced onions (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (matchsticks cut into half-inch pieces)
  • 2 ½-3 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (skim/fat-free)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more as desired)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Step 1: Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Chop the Vegetables: Dice the onions, shred the carrots, and chop the broccoli florets into small pieces.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions

  1. Melt Butter: In a large pot, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat.
  2. Cook Onions: Add the diced onions and sauté until they become translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Vegetables

  1. Add Carrots and Broccoli: Stir in the shredded carrots and chopped broccoli florets.
  2. Add Chicken Broth: Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Simmer: Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Step 4: Prepare the Cream Base

  1. Make a Roux: In a separate saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is lightly browned.
  2. Add Milk and Cream: Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy whipping cream. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 5: Combine Everything

  1. Mix Together: Slowly add the cream mixture to the pot with the vegetables and broth. Stir well to combine.
  2. Season: Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Step 6: Add the Cheese

  1. Add Cheese: Gradually stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until it is fully melted and the soup is smooth.
  2. Simmer: Let the soup simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Step 7: Serve

  1. Serve Hot: Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. Enjoy it with a slice of crusty bread or in a bread bowl for the full Panera experience.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Tips for Success

  • Fresh Vegetables: Use fresh broccoli and carrots for the best flavor and texture.
  • Consistent Size: Chop the broccoli florets and carrots into small, consistent pieces to ensure even cooking.


  • Vegetarian Version: Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth to make this soup vegetarian-friendly.
  • Spicier Option: Increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes or add a dash of hot sauce for a spicier kick.
  • Creamier Soup: For an extra creamy texture, blend a portion of the soup and then mix it back into the pot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use frozen broccoli?

Yes, you can use frozen broccoli if fresh is not available. Thaw it completely and drain any excess water before adding it to the soup.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.

3. Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, this soup can be frozen. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

4. What can I serve with this soup?

This soup pairs well with a variety of sides such as crusty bread, a green salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich.

5. Can I make this soup in advance?

Yes, you can make this soup a day in advance. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits. Reheat it gently on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

This Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is a delicious and comforting dish that brings the taste of your favorite restaurant to your home. With its creamy texture, cheesy flavor, and tender vegetables, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy a bowl of this hearty soup on a cold day or any time you crave a warm and satisfying meal.

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