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Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Who doesn’t love a nice hot bowl of broccoli cheddar cheese soup in a bread bowl from Panera? This copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup is a great recipe that is easy enough to make at home and tastes just like the famous restaurant soup. And it is the perfect winter meal for the family. 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Broccoli cheddar soup in a black bowl

Winter is coming, and we all need some warm and delicious soup to make for friends and family. I’m hard-pressed to think of a better place to eat than Panera Bread. It’s like comfort meets trendy, and my taste buds get excited. I love to dip their French bread into broccoli cheddar cheese soup. It is comfort food at its finest.

But going often can take a toll on my pocketbook, so I thought it would be fun to try and figure out a way to eat it for less, right in my cozy kitchen. Follow the broccoli soup recipe, and you’ll be sitting in your kitchen thinking you were kickin’ it in the midst of the store, eating their soup and listening to some classical music. Oh, and you’ll have enough to share with the entire family for just about the same price as one bowl at the restaurant.

Copycat panera broccoli cheddar cheese soup

Ingredients For Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Saucepan
  • Cuisinart or blender
  • Extra-large bowl
broccoli cheese soup in a bowl with cheese

How to Make Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. Sautee the onions in half of the butter in a saucepan. Once they are sautéed, remove them and set them aside. 
  2. Add the remainder of the butter to the saucepan. Next, add the flour and mix the two ingredients together. 
  3. Now, add the half-and-half and the chicken broth and stir together with a whisk. Cook for twenty minutes on low. 
  4. Add the onions back to the liquid base, then add the carrots and broccoli and cook for another twenty minutes.
  5. Pour a portion of the soup into the Cuisinart or blender, blend for a moment, and then pour it into the large bowl. Continue repeating until all of the soup has been blended. 
  6. Next, pour the blended soup back into the saucepan and add the cheese and nutmeg. Cook on low until the cheese melts. Serve with French bread. 

Step-By-Step Instructions

Steps for making soup in a large pot.

A full printable recipe with measurements and instructions is listed below on the recipe card.

We have a couple of stores around here that sell French bread, which is cooked daily. Grab a loaf and add it to the side. 

There are so many ways to eat dishes from your favorite restaurants and save money. Don’t stress over perfection; just follow the recipe, and you will end up with a delicious bowl of Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

A spoonful of broccoli cheddar soup in a black bowl.

Storage

If you have leftover broccoli cheddar soup, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. The soup is good for about four days. To reheat, simply add it back to the saucepan or microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl.

What We Love About Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Creamy Texture: The combination of heavy cream and chicken stock creates a velvety, creamy broth that perfectly cooks tender broccoli florets.
  • Cheesy Flavor: The blend of real cheddar cheese gives the soup a rich, cheesy goodness that rivals Panera’s version.
  • Comforting Soups: This hearty meal is perfect for a cold day, providing a warm and satisfying dish that the whole family will love.
Creamy soup in a black bowl.

What To Serve with Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • A fresh salad
  • Add some crusty bread on the side
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches

Whipping up a batch of copycat Panera Bread broccoli cheddar cheese soup is a total win. Whether you’re simmering it up for the first time or diving in for a second batch, there’s something super satisfying about nailing that cheesy broth and tender broccoli combo. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, grab those ingredients, crank up the stove, and get ready for a bowl of homemade goodness that beats the pants off any restaurant version.

Soup in a bowl

Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup is a great recipe that is easy enough to make at home, and tastes just like the famous restaurant soup. Broccoli and cheddar soup is the perfect winter meal for the family. 

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup broccoli (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Saute onions in half of the butter in a medium saucepan. Once sautéed, remove the onions and set them to the side.
  2. Add the remainder of the butter. Add the flour and mix.
  3. Next, add the half-and-half, and the chicken broth and mix. Cook for 20 minutes on low.
  4. Now, add the onions, broccoli, and carrots back to the soup base and cook for 20 minutes on low.
  5. Add the soup to the Cuisinart or blender in batches. Once you've pureed all of the soup, add it back to the saucepan.
  6. Finally, add the cheese and nutmeg and cook on low until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Notes

You can use heavy cream if you want it more creamy.

If you don't have any chicken broth, chicken stock will work great, too.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 995mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Christina McNeal

Monday 18th of May 2020

Could you also use an immersion blender for the soup, if you don't have a food processor.

Julie Pollitt

Monday 18th of May 2020

Hi Christina,

I think an immersion blender would work fine. A lot of people don't even use a blender at all and have the larger chunks of broccoli, carrots, and onion in their soup.

Hope you enjoy it! Julie

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