Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup


Snow, snow, and more snow here in Utah!  And it has been quite gloomy and cloudy this past week.  I really hate the cold! With this pregnancy I have had to be pregnant through the winter.  Which I thought was going to be so much better than through the summer like I was with my other boys.  All was pretty good until I slipped on some ice and totally crashed ruining my knee.  It was pretty scary being pregnant but I survived.  Now I think I will just stay inside until the snow melts and dream of somewhere warm and tropical. 🙂

With all of this snow and colds that are going around our house, all that sounds good to me is a delicious bowl of soup.  This soup hit the spot perfectly.  And let me tell you it is the BEST broccoli cheese soup that I have had!  We put it in bread bowl and it was fantastic.  This soup is so creamy and I loved the veggies inside.  It was perfect for a cold snowy day and we will be making it again and again!

4.8 from 63 reviews
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy and delicious soup that tastes just like Panera Bread!
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. For a smoother soup puree it in a blender... but I love the chunks!
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Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Every once in a while, you run across a recipe that is just wonderful. I found that with this one. I made it tonight for the first time. First, thank goodness for all the comments. I replaced the nutmeg with salt, garlic powder (I didn’t have any season salt), 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, and 1/2 tsp. paprika as recommended, and about 4 cups of brocolli.
    I make my own stock, but forgot to label some of it so it was either vegetable or mushroom. I used about half the cheese in the soup, and the rest on top. The recipe says 4 servings which was just enough for my wife and I. She absolutely loved this soup as did I. This is definitely a keeper. ( I have a note book so I copy and print off the recipe so I can print in in a larger font which makes it easier for these old eyes to read easily). I highly recommend this one. I

  2. Do you cook the broth and cream for 20 minutes then add broccoli for another 25 minutes like you have posted. If so then the cook time should be listed as 45 minutes not 30 minutes. And total time should be 1 hr not 45 minutes. I plan on trying this due to I love this soup.

  3. Thank you so much!! I have Celiac and can no longer have Panera Soup and I LOVED it. I made this last night and it was fabulous! Gluten free flour was the only sub and who would ever notice with the great blends they have these days. This was a real treat!

  4. Greet recipe for high fat, low carb eaters like me. I just replaced the flour with almond flour. Plenty of full fat cheese really brought this soup home…thanks for posting.

    1. Yep! I have before. Just cook everything including the veggies in chicken broth first and then add the cheese and heavy cream at the end.

  5. I made this for lunch today. Really good. I took a large ladle full out after step 3, used an immersion blender to puree the rest, put the ladle full back to the pot and finished. I also added a couple of sprigs of Thyme only because I had it in the fridge. It was very thick. I will add a little extra broth next time. Excellent recipe. I will add this to my “yummy”‘ recipes and make again. Thank you

  6. Thanks for this delicious recipe. My family agrees with me that it tastes even better than Panera! I cheated and made pizza dough breadbowls, but as soon as I get a hold on some good sourdough, I’m making this again.

    1. That is AWESOME! I do love Panera but having this soup in my pajamas on a cool night, is perfection!! I love the idea of pizza dough bread bowls! I will have to try that soon!! Thanks for sharing! XOXO

  7. I definitely want to follow you! I love Broccoli & Cheese Soup, so I will be trying this soon & look forward to whatever you post next!

  8. BETTER THAN PANERA! This recipe was great – everyone loved it. I only made a couple tweaks which was doubling the chicken stock and omitting the nutmeg (I don’t like the taste).

  9. This is what dreams are made of…serving this soup makes me look like a good cook!!! Only thing I did was add a little bit of garlic powder. Simple and easy to follow – spot on = Panera’s recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I wanted to like this soup. I loved Panera’s Broccoli Cheese soup so I was excited to make this. Here are some of my personal thoughts on the process and results..

    – 1 cup of Broccoli almost disappears in the soup. My feeling is 2 cups is necessary if you actually want to experience much Broccoli. I also used a WHOLE onion of a small/medium size.

    – 8z of cheese is also not enough in my opinion. I ended up adding 16oz total because the soup just didn’t taste like anything to me with only 8oz. And even then, I used some spices to try to bump up the flavor. A bit of Harissa to lend a smokiness and some light “heat”, but it didn’t really come through and didn’t want to add too much

    – If I make this soup again, I will NOT use the Sharp Cheddar, but a Medium Sharp. I found the sharp gave the soup a funky finish. Since I was using a good local brand (Tillamook) I know it wasn’t the quality of the cheese. I’m a cheese lover and no stranger to strong cheeses, but I feel the sharp just lends a sourness to the soup that I didn’t like. My adult daughter felt the same.

    I appreciate the recipe since now I have a guideline. Was thinking of sauteing a minced Serrano chili with the onion for some real zing. next time. Wanted to give 3 stars, but all 5 lit up when I put my cursor over them and I couldn’t make it change.

  11. I have made this soup twice now. The first time my changes were (1) using a combination of 2 cups Tillamook’s white sharp cheddar, 1.5 cups mozzarella and 1/2 cup Romano; and just cooked the onions in all of the butter – I didn’t bother melting it first. From then I followed the recipe as written. I’m guessing you adapted your recipe from this one since the instructions are pretty close?: I noticed with the Allrecipes version, though, they call for celery. I’m not sure how they made that work without sauteeing the celery. Anyway, even though I thought it was strange simmering the milk/cream as you instructed, I did it anyway and it was delicious. My husband asked me to make it again two days later and I decided to add celery but forgot to saute it early in the recipe with the onion. So I had to simmer the soup post-cream/milk addition about 10 minutes longer. I also added garlic. It was still amazing even with the milk and cream simmering all that time. However, my next try I’m going to saute the veggies first, then add the flour, then the broth, then cream, and once hot enough, add the cheese just to see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing this devine recipe!

  12. I didn’t have nutmeg so I read you can substitute it with cinnamon. Do NOT put either in it. It all tasted like cinnamon. Thanks consistency & everything else was fine.

  13. This was delicious. My four year old is licking her bowl as I type this. I’ve made variations on this recipe for a few years but I think this is the only recipe that got the roux right. I followed the recipe completely. The only difference is that I think the 1 cup of broccoli is off. I used 2 cups. Thanks for the rainy night dinner idea. It’s going to be bookmarked from now on.

  14. This soup was great!!! I had to hack it because I had no half and half so I used 2% milk, and it was still delicious. I doubled for my family of 8 and it was just enough, next time I will triple so we have leftovers. Thank you so much 🙂

  15. would I just follow recipe to triple the recipe? Making the soup for school luncheon and want to have enough.
    Also, I like it thick but what would you recommend using to thin the soup?

  16. sheridan
    This soup was excellent!!!!, my family enjoyed it, we had no left over for the 1st time ever!!!. Thanks for sharing

  17. I just had this soup from Panera yesterday. I don’t think there are carrots in this. I didn’t see or taste any.

  18. Wonderful recipe! I don’t know if it is anything like Panera’s, since I don’t eat there, but I imagine it is even better. After reading all of the comments, I did make a couple of tweaks. The first was with the broccoli. I used my scale to measure out 8 ounces, and my broccoli was very light. It came out to 3 or so cups when packed down. We love garlic, so I added a couple of cloves chopped up with the onions. My roux worked really well, so I thinned it out with an extra cup of chicken broth. I was skeptical about the nutmeg, but went ahead and put it in (I’m glad I did). I know cheddar cheese can vary, but I found an 8 ounce package of Kraft extra sharp cheddar was perfect. I made bread bowls from frozen dinner roll dough, and then topped them with crumbled bacon strips.

  19. Love this! I made it in my instant pot with riced broccoli. Added just a little extra white cheddar with the original. Amazing!!!

  20. A new family favorite! Next time I am going to add dry mustard to my flour and butter mixture like I do with my Mac n cheese. I also think that I will only use HALF a package of grated cheese. Loved having the chunks of broccoli. My daughter asked for more and more. I was able to feed myself, husband and 11 yr old daughter with enough for another small bowl leftover. Very flavorful and inexpensive to make on a chilly fall night!

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