Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!

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My family doesn’t love traditional fast food. Which I suppose is a good thing, except when I’m looking to just pick up a quick, on the go meal I’m limited by their taste buds!

Fortunately (or not) for us, our Panera Bread has a drive through, and it’s one of the “fast food” choices we all love. Except it’s pricey. They don’t have a dollar menu!

My goal with my blog has been to create a database of recipes that my family loves. They scroll through often and say, “Hey, can you make Chicken Lime Enchiladas for dinner?” Or, “I’m craving some Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes for dessert.”

I’ve also been adding to our collection of copycat recipes. Things like Starbucks Lemon Loaf, Panera Mac and Cheese, and Hostess Cupcakes. If my kids are craving it, I can probably recreate it!

With today’s Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe, we may never have to actually go to Panera again.

When I can make Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup at home, I know I’m saving us some money and a trip out.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!

30 minute dinner

From start to finish, this Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe takes less than 30 minutes.

Real talk: It will probably take less time to make this soup at home than it would to get everyone in the car and drive to Panera. Not to mention the drive back home!

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is the perfect weeknight dinner idea when you are staring at your pantry unsure what to make! Most of the ingredients are things we almost always have on hand, so it’s super easy to pull together at the last minute.

You can always use fresh broccoli to make Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup, but it’s ok if you want to reach into the freezer for a bag of frozen broccoli florets. We’ve all done it a time or two and they’ll be just as delicious in this soup!

My Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe makes 3-4 decent sized bowls of soup…but you can easily double the recipe if you have hungry eaters, and this is your main dish.

Keep this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

 You could also serve this soup as a side alongside sandwiches. Try my Turkey Cheddar Sliders or, if you want to mix favorites from different restaurants, Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

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How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

STEP 1: In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add in onions, broccoli and carrots. Cook to soften (until broccoli is tender, and carrots too!) about 5 minutes (may be more or less depending on the size vegetables you cut).

Slowly add in broth, milk, and cream. Sprinkle with flour and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and heating over medium heat until thickened. This will take about 10-15 minutes. If you want your soup a little thinner (and lighter), substitute some of the milk or cream for more chicken broth (chicken stock).

STEP 2: Once the soup thickens, reduce heat, and add cheddar cheese (either prepackaged shredded cheddar or hand grated cheese). Stir until melted and smooth. Serve soup and enjoy!

Want less chunks in your soup? Use an immersion blender to smooth it out! Our family loved this soup, it’s a great recipe for busy weeknights! 

Today’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup can also be made in the Instant Pot! Dinner in under 30 minutes! Loaded with vegetables and cheese, you’ll love this easy, creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe! It’s the BEST!

More Copycat Panera Recipes

Does your family love Panera as much as mine does? Lucky for you, I have a whole list of recipes I’ve recreated from Panera.

In addition to the Panera Mac and Cheese and Broccoli Cheese Soup, our family loves

I told you – breakfast, lunch or dinner, I’ve got you covered!

What take out food do YOU wish I had a recipe for? Maybe I can work on it…..

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!

What You’ll Need

  • Large soup pot (or crock pot)
  • Immersion blender (if desired)
  • butter
  • onions
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • chicken broth
  • skim milk
  • heavy cream
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • cheddar cheese

What to serve with Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Easy, buttery Beer Bread goes perfect with this soup! Also great to cube into bite sized pieces and use for dips!

Are you looking for a fluffy, delicious Dinner Roll? These No Knead Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls will please the whole family!

Easiest side dish ever. Whip up a batch of these Puff Pastry Bread Sticks to dunk in your soup!

You can also go to most bakery sections in the grocery store and find a great homemade bread bowl!

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More Easy Dinner Ideas

Yield: serves 4

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I used matchsticks that I cut into half inch pieces)
  • 2 1/2-3 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim/fat free)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more as desired)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. Add in onions, carrots and broccoli. Cook to soften about 5 minutes (may be more or less depending on the size vegetables you cut).
  2. Slowly add in broth, milk, and cream. Sprinkle with flour and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and heating over medium heat until thickened. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once thick, add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Serve soup and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 725Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 1777mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 11gSugar: 9gProtein: 26g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Today’s recipe for Panera Broccoli Cheese soup was originally published on Shugary Sweets on January 18, 2017.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect bowl of comfort food without leaving your house!


About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 21, 2019

Comments & Reviews

  1. I love this soup!!! It tastes amazing! Although I feel like the onions could be left out and it would be better. But I loved it! Even though I’m pregnant and puked it all back up 😢

  2. Because f the stay at home order without the cream, I just replaced it with more milk, it still turned out delicious’ nice and thick and creamy.

  3. Once the veggies have softened down, I take about two cups and blend them for 10 seconds and then add back in before the cheese is tossed in. It gives the soup a real creamy texture.

    1. Why are you yelllinggggggg.

      Yes, you can freeze it.. 3-6 months I’d imagine, if everything was fresh before cooking.. just don’t kill anyone..

  4. This was very very good! I only added 1/2 cup of shredded carrot and no chili flakes, everything else kept the same. Will have to double recipe as it was not enough.

  5. My husband made this tonight! Really really good! He used two cups of half & half instead of one cup of heavy cream and one cup of milk. I think to cut calories, I would try one cup of half and half (instead of heavy whipping cream) and one cup milk. I also think it would be just as good with half the amount of cheese which would cut some calories as well. Thanks for the recipe – really good soup!

  6. The soup was delicious! My husband and I both loved it! Followed per instructions except made a double batch. Thank you for posting this.

  7. Does this soup store well? Would you recommend freezing? My husband can’t have dairy so I’d be the only one eating it, but I’d love to be able to make a big batch to eat off of for a while!

  8. This soup is AMAZING. This is my second time making it this month; we can’t get enough! Thank you for the recipe, definitely adding it to our collection!

  9. I am with you on this one. I am not a fan of fast-food restaurants, and will not eat a fast-food hamburger at any fast food restaurant. However, I do eat at fast-food restaurants occasionally, against my better judgment. However, Panera Bread is my favorite place. I feel like I can eat there and not hurt my heart too much. My wife loves their Brocolli Cheddar soup so I thought I would try to find a recipe for one, and here I am. Thank you for posting this, I am sure we will love it.

  10. This soup is fantastic. Followed the directions except added added 2 cups of diced potatoes. Definitely will make this again… 

  11. Can this be made without onions? Will it taste about the same? I’m pregnant and the smell of sauteed onions (which I normally love) has made me nauseous all throughout my pregnancy 🙁

      1. I know this is a stretch but I work in an assisted living community and I’d like to make this for my residents, I have 60, any idea on numbers and measurements for that many?

        1. This serves 4 so you take the ingredients listed and multiply it by 15. You’re gonna need a cauldron.

  12. Do you think I could use sour cream or Greek yogurt in place of milk? I am allergic to milk or cream in its whole form. Sounds so yummy!!!

  13. This is so good. I didn’t have regular milk in the house so I ended up using a cup of heavy cream and a cup of half & half. Made it very rich but equally delicious.

  14. I dont Use red pepper flakes but I do Add in some nutmeg after it’s done before I serve it. We can’t eat this soup without it now that we’ve had it that way. My recipe is a little bit different. This way seems about 15-20 mins quicker but still has the same ingredients.

  15. Ok, I’m also a huge Panera fan and love their broccoli cheese soup! Made this tonight and it was so good! I’ll be making it again soon. Thanks for posting this, it hit the spot!!

  16. First, genius idea to have your family use the blog as a menu. Yes!! I get a little defensive when I get dinner complaints and always want to tell them to do the menu planning themselves, hehe. And love that this is ready in 30! Yum!

  17. I browned about 2 Tablespoons of butter and sautéed it with the flour so the soup wouldn’t have a flour taste to it. I also substituted chicken broth with bone broth (did not taste as good). Made it again using chicken broth and it tasted great! I prefer my soup more brothy than thick so I added more broth. Didn’t compromised the taste 

  18. I made this for the second time tonight and it was great!  The only thing I changed was the order of adding things.  I made a roux first and then mixed in the milk and broth.  While I was doing that, I steamed all the veggies.  I added the veggies in once they were soft, stirred for a few minutes, then added the cheese.  It was perfect!  If anybody is worried about having clumps of flour in theirs, this order will fix that.

  19. I’ve made this a few times in the last several weeks, and the only thing I would not do again is add that much extra salt, if any. I used unsalted butter and low sodium chicken broth as stated. 

  20. Came across this on Pinterest and had my husband pick up
    The ingredients so I could make it tonight. Really easy. No 
    Issues. I did mix the flour and butter before adding veggies.
    The butter did not burn. The veggies were plenty soft.
     The soup does not taste floury.
    It turned out perfect. The only oops was my husband 
    Grabbed a block of Colby instead of cheddar.???? 
    Still good.???????? 
    Thank you

  21. Temperatu In Oh is 15 degrees with lots of snow. This was the perfect meal for today. I’ve made this before using another recipe, but think this is definitely the best and closest to Panera.  Thank you!

  22. I made this and ate it right after the cheese melted. I was not thrilled, it seemed to have to much flour. I tried it the next day and WOW it was delicious. My suggestion is to let it sit a day before eating. I will make this again and again.

  23. I cheated and used frozen broccoli florets and in a separate pot, brought my chicken stock up to a boil and then added the broccoli to soften before adding to the rest of the mixture. I also added some finely chopped kale to the broth with the broccoli  for added nutrition- you can’t even tell it’s in there! It’s so good!

  24. Made this soup last night. Next time I  have to use a different cheese to put in. The cheddar cheese we added made the soup extremely salty! 

    1. Oh sorry to hear that! Yes, some cheeses have a salty taste, I always stick with Cabot 🙂 Next time don’t add any salt until the cheese is in, then you can decide if it even needs some 🙂 ENJOY!

  25.  Made this incredibly easy soup today for our office dinner this evening. We work nights and we each take a turn bringing in dinner. This recipe was fast and easy. I even used frozen broccoli florettes! For an added kick, I added some crumbled bacon. The soup is phenomenal!!!!  Thank you for sharing! 

    1. I would say it needed more whisking after you added the flour…and as to why it doesn’t taste good, clumpy flour could be it. Otherwise I would say, add more salt and pepper and use a good brand of cheese! makes a difference 🙂

  26. I haven’t froze this exact broccoli soup recipe before, but I have froze another broccoli soup recipe in mason jars and it freezes super good! Perfect for the lunch box 

  27. If I have frozen broccoli vs fresh, can I steam and add when noted in recipe or should I wait till the end to avoid them getting mushy?

  28. Iam going with another suggestion to use corn starch in stead of flour, and also to steam veggies first, iam going to make this tomorrow, it will go great with the sourdough bread I baked today, thanks!

    1. I’ve done both ways, and it’s totally up to you! It’s a little thicker with pre shredded (as I think maybe there is cornstarch in it??)

  29. My daughter is a fan of this soup I will need to try it gf because she can’t eat at Panera due to her food allergies just diagnosed.

  30. Can I do this on crock pot? How long should I leave it there for? Should I leave the soup slow cooking adn add cheese later?

  31. So I made the soup and loved it. I added potatoes to it by boiling the potatoes carrots broccoli and onion, then I made the sauce aside and poured it into the pot of ingredients that were already boiled.

  32. Made this for my family and they absolutely loved it. I’m now tripling the recipe to have it for a birthday party to go with some sandwich sliders. I love how simple it is to make and my family sings mom’s praises. Thank you for the recipe!!

  33. Have you ever had issues with the flour clumping up?? I was wisking pretty hard to get the flour to mix in to the soup.

    1. I haven’t. But you can whisk the flour into the butter first…and then continue if that helps (making more of a roux).

  34. Made this weekend, it was sooo good. Used cornstarch to thicken instead of flour & steamed the florets then added them at the end. Everyone loved it!

  35. A big hit at our house and friends I shared with. Will be my “go-to ” soup to take to others who need a meal. 
    I made it just like recipe and my husband added a little sugar. I also used those shedded  carrots rather than matchstick, and cooked faster. 

  36. Found this recipe on Pinterest and made today while home with a cold. Didn’t feel like going to store so used what I had on hand which ended up being a cup and a half of 2% milk and a half cup of half & half. I didn’t quite have enough cheese, probably ended up with a cup and a half. I also added lots of the red pepper flakes, hoping the spice will help with my cold. lol Otherwise, made exactly per directions and this is very good. Loved how easy and quickly it came together. I really love the extra spice from the red pepper flakes.

  37. OK, so I am making this soup for the first time. With only 1/4 cup butter, the veggies do not soften because not enough moisture.  As I had already measured out the liquids into one container to be added, there was nothing I could do but pour all of it into the pot so the begs would cook.  Next time I will add the broth after the buttery has melted.  Other than this adjustment, this is a great recipe.

  38. Do you have any idea if this soup would freeze well? I’m on the lookout for some good meals to make now before baby #3 shows up 🙂

  39. My son and I used to grab something because we didn’t want to cook or clean up the kitchen.   I made a copycat of something, don’t remember what, but the next day we could not eat any fast food, it tasted awful even though it was a favorite.  We discovered that home made is best by far!!    There’s an endless supply of recipes, 30 minutes or less and a zillion other categories.  Now both my sons and some of their 30+ friends go to Pintrest.  They share a pic with the recipe and any changes they make.  A few of them even use slow cookers for a hot meal when they get home!!

  40. Made this today for the football games. It is already gone & the games haven’t even started! Very popular in my household. I would recommend doubling the recipe.

  41. I made this soup today and used half and half instead of cream, and put broccoli and cauliflower in it and Gouda cheese (that’s what I had in the house) and it turned out perfect. I never had the restaurant soup so I had nothing to compare it to. Will try it your way next time.

  42. Your soup would taste less ‘flourly’ if you first put your butter and flour in the pan to make the cream sauce. and lightly brown. Use whole milk instead of skim, since you’re using heavy cream. Make the cream sauce then add the broccoli and other ingredients. Lots of flavor when done this way.

    1. I have done it that way too…although, with only 1/4 cup flour, this soup does not taste floury 🙂 As for the milk, I rarely have whole milk in my kitchen so I use skim.

    2. Thanks for sharing about the flour because I was thinking the same thing. When I make my potato soup I always start with a roux. Cook flour in butter for at least one minute to get rid of raw flour taste. I only use 3 tablespoon of flour and if you don’t do this your recipe can definitely have a raw flour taste to it. 

  43. This looks awesome! And yes, I agree that Panera is pricey (or spendy as they say in my neck of the woods). I’m not sure about the markup on soup, but having worked in the restaurant industry for a long time, I know restaurants make a ton of money on desserts.

    1. I made this recipe and my daughter liked it so much she ate it for breakfast the next morning! I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe!

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