The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup is a thick, rich and creamy soup with chunks of tender broccoli pieces, shredded carrots and a hint of nutmeg all cooked together in melted sharp cheese! The perfect comfort soup for the colder months!
Our Recipe is Better Than the Broccoli Cheese Soup Panera has to Offer
With the colder weather moving a nice warm soup is just what to look forward to at dinner time.
This Panera copycat broccoli cheese soup hits the spot perfectly.
And let me tell you it is the BEST broccoli cheese soup that I have had!
Adding this soup to a bread bowl makes it even more fantastic.
This broccoli cheese soup recipe is so creamy and I love the vegetables inside.
They are so tender and add so much thickness to this broccoli cheese soup.
It is just what you need for a cold. snowy day outside.
You will be making this broccoli cheese soup again and again!
What you need to make broccoli cheese soup
This is a simple broccoli cheese soup that is perfect for the colder months to come.
Sitting by the fire and warming up with this creamy and thick soup is not only comforting but keeps you warm throughout.
Top you soup with extra cheese, crumbled bacon or ham and some chives for a full broccoli cheese soup experience.
Hollow out a round loaf of bread and add a scoop of broccoli cheese soup for a combination MUST.
A creamy and delicious soup that tastes just like Panera Bread if not better!
- Butter: melted butter that will go along with sautéing an onion.
- Onion: medium sized onion, chopped and then sautéed in onion.
- Butter: more butter… but for good reason! This will make a simple roux with flour.
- Flour: this is you thickener to go along with your flour.
- Half-and-half cream: makes you broccoli cheese soup ultra thick, rich and creamy!
- Chicken stock: adds flavor and the liquid that you need.
- Broccoli: fresh is better than frozen and chopped up into pieces.
- Carrot: cut into short, thin strips.
- Nutmeg: secret ingredient that adds so much flavor!
- Sharp cheddar cheese: cheese is good!
- Salt and pepper: just a pinch!
How to make broccoli cheese soup
Start your broccoli cheese soup with a roux of butter and flour for a more thicker recipe.
Later your cheese will be creamed for a thick and creamy cheese.
For a more thick and rich texture just continue to add more flour and butter combination.
- Making the roux: 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.
- Whisk together liquid: Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Cook in vegetables: Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
- Add seasonings and cheese: 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!
Variety of cheeses
You can’t go wrong with cheese!
There are so many fun flavors and types of cheese that this broccoli cheese soup can be mixed up in.
We love to try a mixture of cheeses when we make this broccoli cheese soup!
All of these cheeses tastes so good. Mix and match and have several ways of making this broccoli cheese soup recipe.
- Cheddar cheese: creamy, milk flavoring.
- Colby cheese: soft, moist and milder.
- Jack cheese: rich, sharp and slightly nutty.
- Swiss cheese: a mild cheese.
- American cheese: smooth and creamy texture.
- White cheddar cheese: mild, spicy and compliments other cheeses.
- Fresh parmesan cheese: fruity and nutty with a harder texture.
Tips for making broccoli cheese soup better than Panera
Panera by far makes the best broccoli cheese soup.
With these tips and my recipe you will not only love my broccoli cheese soup recipe but it will be even better than Panera!
Enjoy these upgrades today for a thicker, richer and creamier broccoli cheese soup!
- The smaller the pieces of vegetables cut up the quicker the broccoli cheese soup will cook.
- Fresh broccoli is preferred by frozen broccoli will also work. Frozen tends to cook faster because it is already blanched.
- If you are wanting to make it vegetarian or don’t have chicken broth, vegetable broth also works well.
- To make it a little more healthy, low sodium chicken broth works well too.
- Want some heat! Add in a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes into the broccoli cheese soup recipe.
- You can substitute the half and half for a heavy cream or even whole milk. Each milk base will give it a different consistency.
- Stay away from low fat or fat free milk. You will want the fat from the milk to make it thick, rich and creamy!
- To make a thicker broccoli cheese soup, create a cornstarch slurry. Whisk 2 to 3 tablespoons water or cold chicken broth and cornstarch. Slowly add a little at a time to reach your desired consistency. Add an additional 10 minuets. The cornstarch will be your thickener.
- Adding more cheese also helps to thicken the soup.
- Cream cheese melted also is a great thickener for a soup texture.
- When adding the milk, add it very slowly and stirring continuously at the same time. Mixing milk and the heat will sometimes cause the milk to curdle.
- This will be the same with the cheese. When adding your cheese turn your heat down to low and slowly sprinkle your cheese in to avoid it clumping in your soup mix.
- If you can shred your cheese yourself this is a great way to make sure it will melt evenly compared to pre-shredded cheese.
- For a more creamier texture use an immersion blender or puree the soup to make it as smooth and creamy as possible.
- Make this broccoli cheese soup recipe with shredded chicken or leftover rotisserie for extra protein.
How to make broccoli cheese soup in the slow cooker
Sometimes a slow cooker is just the trick.
You can get a few extra things done while the slow cooker does most the work.
Set yourself a little bit of time to get started and then a little after. Let the slow cooker do the rest!
This broccoli cheese soup recipe warms up well in a slow cooker.
- Making the roux: Whisk together the butter and flour.
- Add ingredients and stir: Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker, leaving out the cheese, milk and broth. Gently stir in your chicken broth.
- Slow cooker time: Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
- Stir in dairy ingredients: About 20 to 30 minutes before your broccoli soup is done, slowly pout milk and sprinkle cheese in to the slow cooker. Cook another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally. Ready to serve once the cheese is all melted through!
Storing broccoli cheese soup
This broccoli cheese soup is so delicious hot, fresh and right off the oven.
Add some croutons and extra cheese and you have a delicious meal.
Unfortunately, dairy does not do the greatest when frozen.
When reheating, it becomes grainy or the texture of the broccoli cheese soup can change slightly.
It can be done; however, there may be a little change to taste and texture when reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Enjoy this soup as often as you can this fall and winter season! This soup will warm you up in minutes!
- Making Ahead: I love a fresh and hot soup with the steam coming off of it once it is poured into your bowl. Making ahead can be tricky but leaving it on the stove top or in a slow cooker will be best, stirring occasionally. Eat within 4 to 6 hours of making it.
- Refrigerating: This broccoli cheese soup can last in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days long. Let your soup cool completely. Then place in an airtight container to store.
- Freezing: If you are planning to freeze, let your broccoli cheese soup cool completely. Add it to a freezer ziplock bag. Lay your soup flat in the freezer for easy stacking and saving space in the freezer, This will last in the freezer for about 1 month.
- Freezing without dairy: Dairy does not freeze well. It is best if you leave out the milk and cheese until you are ready to warm it up. Even undercooking your broccoli can help when reheating your frozen broccoli cheese soup recipe.
- Reheating: To reheat your broccoli cheese soup place in a saucepan over low to medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes or microwaved 1 to 2 minute increments. Stirring slowly each time until it is warmed through.
Here are more recipes with broccoli in them
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/2 medium chopped onion
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 lb fresh broccoli about 1 cup
- 1 cup carrot julienned
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
- Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. For a smoother soup puree it in a [url:2]blender[/url]... but I love the chunks!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.