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!

Click HERE to save recipe to Pinterest!

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!

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

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.

How to serve Broccoli Cheese Soup

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is delicious when served as a main with bread, such as No Knead Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls or Cheesy Onion Beer Bread.

 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.

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!


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 the Orange Scones, Cobblestone Muffins and my favorite, Strawberry Pecan Salad.

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 do I need for Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 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!

I created a fun little group on facebook and I’d love for you to join in! It’s a place where you can share YOUR favorite recipes, ask questions, and see what’s new with Shugary Sweets (so that you never miss a new recipe)! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag #shugarysweets so I can see all the wonderful SHUGARY SWEETS recipes YOU make!

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More Easy Dinner Ideas


Yield: serves 4

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

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: 725 Total Fat: 55g Saturated Fat: 33g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 160mg Sodium: 1777mg Carbohydrates: 40g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 26g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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

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!

**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**

108 comments on “Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe”

  1. Yum – I can’t resist this soup when I eat at Panera. Thank you for recreating a version we can make at home!

  2. Anonymous

    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.

    • Babs

      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!

  3. Mary Ann

    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.

  4. Broccoli cheese is one of our all time favorite soups!  Now I’m totally craving a big bowl!!!

  5. 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.

  6. Perfect for those winter days when nothing but a yummy, hearty soup will do!

  7. Love this soup..make it all the time!!

  8. 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.

  9. Judy

    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!!

  10. Rachel

    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 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. Barbara King

    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.

  13. shirley

    Can I use all Almond Milk and no cream???

  14. Very good. Will make this soup again. And easy to make with ingredients at hand.

  15. Shelley Murphy

    My kids all loved this soup. Sooo quick and easy .  Will definitely double the recipe next time. 

  16. MB Dennis

    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. 

  17. Jennifer

    Do you think this will freeze well?

  18. Michele

    Can it be made in crockpot

  19. 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!

  20. Sarah

    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.

  21. Eva McBride

    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!!

  22. Carrie

    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.

  23. Made this several times and sooooooo yummy!

  24. Kira

    Just made this soup omg delicious!!!
    Thanks for the recipe

  25. Uina

    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?

  26. Tina

    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.

  27. Anonymous

    Can this be frozen?

  28. Scott cooke

     I am concerned that at the beginning of this recipe the butter will burn. Any suggestions?

  29. Beth Vaillancourt

    Soooooooo GOOD! And super easy to make! This one is a new family favorite. 

  30. Leslie

    Had anyone tried to freeze this?

  31. Maggie

    I made this soup tonight for dinner no  cold rainy day in New England. It was delicious and SO easy to make! 

  32. Savannah

    Do you cook the broccoli first?

  33. Candy

    Can you please tell us if it will freeze well??????

  34. Rebecca

    Can you use pre shredded cheese or do I need to shred myself? Sometimes bagged cheese gets too stringy

  35. 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!

  36. Sarah

    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?

  37. CooknKim

    Love this recipe, very tasty and easy to make.  I followed your recipe exactly and it turne out great!

  38. Leigh Anna

    Wow, excellent recipe, didn’t change a thing and it was a hit in my house! Thank you!

  39. Melanie

    Wow, talk about yum . It was a hit in my house.

  40. How can I convert this recipe to crockpot?

  41. Jessica hogan

    Do you have the calorie count for this recipe?

  42. Melissa

    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 

  43. JasonM

    What is the nutritional information on this recipe? Low carb??

  44. Kelli

    Mine doesn’t taste that good – what did I do wrong? and there are clumps of flour in it

  45. This looks so yummy, all I want to add to it is crusty bread, and maybe a campfire !

  46. Krista

     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! 

  47. Michelle

    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! 

  48. Dina Cooper

    I just made this today . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! Absolutely delicious!

  49. Stacy Grohs

    Can you make this in the crockpot?

  50. Jodi

    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!

  51. sandra Oliverius

    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.

  52. Pat

    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!

  53. Paula

    So easy and SOOOO DELISH. Thank you for sharing your recipe

  54. Nikki

    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

  55. Melinda Burczycki

    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. 

  56. Nicole

    Looking forward to trying this! Did you use mild, medium, or sharp cheddar?

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  58. Larisa

    Can you keep this warm in the crock pot if you make it in the morning?

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  60. Anne D

    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.

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  62. Tina

    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 

  63. Melissa

    LOVE this recipe. It’s so good!

  64. 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!

  65. Karen

    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!!

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  73. Jay

    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.

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  75. Toots

    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.

  76. Sylvie

    Could I freeze broccoli soup?

  77. Rhonda borba

    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!!!

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  80. ericaluvspanera

    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 🙁

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