Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup


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If you’ve ever had Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup you know it’s thick, cheesy, and so delicious.

Try our homemade Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe for an easy soup dupe you can make in your own kitchen.

soup in bread bowl

Yummy Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Dupe

Where are my Panera fans at? This incredible Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is for you and it tastes exactly like the one from Panera.

In fact, we specifically developed this to be an at-home Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe down to the little florets of broccoli to the thick cheesy base.

This broccoli cheddar soup is so delicious served in a bread bowl or in a normal bowl with a giant baguette served next to it!

Why You’ll love it!

  • Tastes exactly like Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • Ready in less than 40 minutes
  • Kid-friendly
  • Made on the stove-top
  • Vegetarian
ingredients on countertop

Ingredients You Need

Great news! This recipe calls for basic ingredients. But don’t worry, it has giant flavor.

  • Onion: onion is such a great soup starter flavor. It adds depth and savoriness. We used yellow onion, but white works too.
  • Broccoli: this recipe calls for fresh broccoli. We only reccomend using fresh broccoli, so make sure you don’t use frozen!
  • Chicken broth: technically any kind of broth works, but we love the flavor chicken broth adds to this Panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe.
  • Carrots: matchstick carrots add another veggie into this soup, plus a pop of color.
  • Flour: flour is used to help thicken this soup so that it’s nice and luscious.
  • Milk: milk is used to thin the soup out a bit and to add volume.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: the star of the show is freshly shredded cheddar cheese. The fresher the better. Make sure to buy a block and to shred your own cheese.
cooking soup in pot

How to Thicken Broccoli Cheddar Soup

For this Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, we used flour to thicken it. In our expert broccoli cheddar soup opinion, a roux tastes so much better than corn starch and does the job to thicken it as well.

If you want your soup thicker, you can add more flour, but believe us 1/2 cup should do the trick!

Can I swap the flour for a different flour? The only other flour we suggest swapping all-purpose for in this recipe is white whole wheat flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.

All About the Cheddar

Our #1 tip for this soup is to use freshly grated cheddar cheese. That’s right, we suggest buying a block of yellow cheddar cheese and shredding it yourself.

We find that freshly shredded cheese melts and mixes so much better in this soup than pre-shredded cheese.

What kind of cheddar cheese should I use? We used sharp yellow cheddar cheese, but you’re more than welcome to use white cheddar cheese or even a cheddar blend.

roux in bowl

Serving Suggestion

Did you know that Panera actually sells bread bowls in store?! Genius right? We highly recommend either eating this Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a bread bowl or with bread on the side.

As my husband would say: “Something about the way the cheesiness tastes with the bread bowl is so much better than other soups.” Yes, that is a direct quote from him.

Otherwise, you can absolutely top this soup with something crunchy such as oyster crackers, croutons, goldfish, etc.

bread bowl with soup in it


Let your soup cool completely. Then, transfer it into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Can you freeze this soup?

Unfortunately, we don’t recommend freezing this soup for later. The broccoli would likely get very mush.

panera soup in bread bowl

soup in bowl

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup is deliciously cheesy, creamy, and seriously tastes just like the real deal!

Prep: 15 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 35 minutes

Fat 29 Carbs 21 Protein 28

Yield 68 1x


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cups broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5.5 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots, roughly chopped  
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, separated
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper  
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup 2% milk 
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (preferably freshly grated not from a bag)


  1. Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add butter. 
  2. When the butter is melted, add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pot and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the broccoli, garlic powder, and another ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pot and sauté for 2-3 additional minutes. 
  4. Pour the broth into the pot and bring to a boil. 
  5. Turn the heat to low and carefully remove 1 cup of the broth from the pot and set aside. 
  6. Add the carrots, black pepper and the rest of the salt to the pot and stir. Let the ingredients simmer over low heat. 
  7. Next, add the 1 cup of broth removed from the pot to a medium bowl and whisk the flour into the broth. The mixture will thicken quickly. 
  8. Pour the thickened broth back into the pot and whisk all the ingredients together.
  9. Add the milk to the pot and whisk. 
  10. Turn heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 4-5 minutes. 
  11. Remove from the heat and slowly add the shredded cheese to the pot. Consistently stir the cheese into the soup until it is completely incorporated. 
  12. Let the soup simmer over low heat until it is thick and reaches desired temperature and consistency. 

Tips & Notes

  • Nutrition information does not include bread bowl.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Sugar: 6 Fat: 29 Carbohydrates: 21 Fiber: 4 Protein: 28

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: SoupMethod: StovetopCuisine: American

Keywords: Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Soup

About Lee Funke

Lee is the founder of Fit Foodie Finds and based in Minneapolis, MN. She started this website in 2010 as a way to share her love for real food and wellness.

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