The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
This Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe tastes just like the original! Save money by making this soup at home!
This recipe serves four and costs about $6.40 to make! That’s just $1.60 per serving.
You will love this Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
I recently moved to Utah, and we are in the middle of winter. The snow has been a little bit of a shock to our systems for my family, seeing that we’ve spent the last few years in a temperate climate. Of course, we love it, but goodness, it is cold! I do not love driving in it, though.
I have found that we have been eating A LOT of soup this winter. However, we have some favorites that we love to get when we’re out and about.
One of them is the Broccoli Cheese Soup from Panera. But remember how I just said I do not love driving in the snow? So what am I to do when I crave one of my favorite soups, and it’s snowing outside?
I decided to develop a copycat recipe of my favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup from Panera. The best part of this soup is that it takes less time to make this recipe than it takes actually to drive to Panera and come home, score!
Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe ingredients (and cost!)
Per Serving Cost: $1.60
Recipe Cost: $6.40
NOTE: The recipe prices are used calculating name brand products from Walmart’s website. The recipe’s actual cost will vary depending on what your pantry is already stocked with and current grocery prices.
- 5 Tablespoons salted butter – $0.50
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion – $0.31
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour – $0.08
- 1 ¾ cups chicken broth – $0.84
- 2 cups half-and-half – $0.88
- 3 cups broccoli florets – $2.08
- 1 cup julienned carrots – $0.42
- 1 teaspoon salt – $0.01
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, mild or sharp – $1.28
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Large heavy-bottomed pot
- Wooden spoon
- Cheese grater
How to make Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- First, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Next, add onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Then make a roux by stirring in the flour. Stir until the roux turns the color of peanut butter.
- Next, slowly whisk in the chicken broth and half-and-half while whisking constantly. Bring the soup to a slow bubble and then reduce the heat to simmer.
- Then stir in the broccoli florets and carrots and simmer for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir the soup every few minutes.
- Finally, stir in the cheese and salt and mix until the cheese is melted. Season with additional salt to taste and serve.
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card and recipe video below!
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe variations
- This soup doubles and triples nicely.
- Instead of chicken broth you can use chicken stock.
- If you don’t have half-and-half you can use milk, just don’t use skim milk.
- You can use frozen broccoli florets in this recipe, just make sure they’re thawed. If you use frozen florets, reduce the simmer time to 5 minutes.
How to store Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
SERVE: As with most recipes with dairy products, you shouldn’t leave this soup out for longer than 2 hours.
STORE: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Note that the broccoli will not be a vibrant green the longer the soup sits.
FREEZE: You can freeze this soup. Just know that the texture may be altered, and it will take some care when reheating it. Place the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months.
DEFROST: Defrost the broccoli cheese soup overnight in the refrigerator.
REHEAT: Place the soup in a saucepan or soup pot and heat over medium heat, and often whisk to work out any lumps and get the liquid to reincorporate. Heat until heated through. You may need to add additional milk to thin the soup out.
My love of this soup led me to create a recipe with my spin on it to share with my family and now with you. I do love creating recipes that my family will enjoy.
I hope you will make this version of Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup for you and your family and friends to share the love with them.
Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup FAQs
You would at first glance think the Broccoli Cheddar Soup is vegetarian, but it is not. The recipe calls for chicken broth, which is not vegetarian. However, you can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth.
You can freeze this soup. Just know that the texture may be altered, and it will take some care when reheating it. Place the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months.
If you need to thicken the soup, you can try adding more cheese into the soup. If that does not work, you can also whisk cornstarch into some water. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved, and then stir the mixture into the soup until the soup thickens.
No, it is not vegetarian, as it contains chicken broth. You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead.
The grittiness in your broccoli cheddar soup could be due to unblended cheese or poorly cooked roux. When making the soup, ensure the cheese is fully melted and incorporated into the broth, creating a smooth and creamy texture. Also, cook the roux thoroughly; undercooked roux can leave a gritty consistency.
The best melting cheese for soup is generally cheese with a smooth and creamy texture that melts easily. Some popular choices include cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, and American cheese.
Cheddar cheese adds a rich and sharp flavor, while Gouda provides a milder, smoky taste. Swiss cheese offers a nutty and slightly sweet flavor, and American cheese is known for its excellent melting properties, creating a creamy and smooth consistency in the soup.
There are approximately 501 calories in a bowl of this soup.
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Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 5 Tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, mild or sharp shredded (about 2 cups)
- Melt butter to a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook until lightly golden brown on the edges and the onions are translucent about 4-5 minutes.
- Make a roux by stirring in the flour. Continue to stir and cook the flour mixture until the roux turns the color of peanut butter. This will take about 4 minutes.
- Grab a whisk and slowly pour in the chicken broth and half and half while whisking constantly.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup to a slow bubble. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to simmer.
- Stir in the broccoli florets and carrots. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the salt and cheddar cheese until the cheese is nice and melted.
- Season the soup to taste with additional salt. Serve.
- Serve the soup on its own or with bread bowls.
- Make sure you don’t heat the broth and half and half too quickly because you run the half and half curdling risk.