Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup is comfort food at its best and tastes just like Panera. This soup is an easy dinner that hits the spot and quick enough for a weeknight.
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
This broccoli cheese soup competes for the #1 soup recipe on this blog with this crockpot potato soup.
I know this Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe has made the rounds around the blogs but my job is to share recipes that I really love and this is one of them.
The reason I know that this recipe tastes just like the delicious Broccoli Cheddar soup at Panera is because I ate this at least once a week during my last pregnancy.
It was the ONLY thing that I looked forward to eating and I’m sure the peeps at Panera knew me by name. They serve this Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup with a warm crusty baguette. Oh my goodness.
It almost makes me want to get pregnant again.
I once was in charge of making soup for 250 women. Guess which soup went first? Nope. Not the chicken noodle.
Yes, you guessed it. The Broccoli Cheddar soup. I mean who doesn’t like broccoli and cheese? Not only is it a healthy broccoli cheese soup recipe, it’s only 417 calories a serving.
You’ll need about 3 cups of broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces. You’re supposed to julienne a carrot. I cook a lot and I do not have the patience to do that.
They sell “matchstick” carrots in the produce section. Save yourself some sanity and time and just buy those.
It’s important to use sharp cheese here in this Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe as it gives it more flavor than a milder cheese.
Then eat a couple of bowls of this delicious broccoli cheddar soup. After all, it is the first day of fall today.
Is this Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup gluten-free?
Part of the thickening agent in this soup is the flour in the roux. There’s only 1/4 cup and you can definitely leave it out but your soup will not be as thick.
You can thicken it at the very end if needed by creating a cornstarch slurry.
Add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch to a small bowl and add water until it forms a paste. Whisk in this mixture at the end of cooking to thicken up the soup.
HOW TO MAKE PANERA’S BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
Met the 1/4 cup butter and sautee the onions in it until soft. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
Whisk in the half & half and chicken stock.
Add the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
Add salt and pepper. You can leave the soup chunky or blend about 1 cup of the soup and stir it in for a smoother soup (that’s what I do). Return to low heat and add the cheese. If your heat is too high your soup can get grainy. Stir in the nutmeg if desired.
Serve with crusty bread.
OTHER SOUP RECIPES:
- Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Easy Tomato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Sausage and Tomato Cauliflower Soup
- Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
- Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Egg Drop Soup
- Buffalo Chicken Soup
Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 medium chopped onion
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 lb broccoli, (about 3 cups), chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 cup carrot, julienned (can buy matchstick carrots in produce section)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, (optional but brings out the flavor)
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, (2 cups)
- salt and pepper
- Melt the 1/4 cup butter and sautee the onions in it until soft. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in the half & half and chicken stock.
- Add the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
- Add salt and pepper. You can leave the soup chunky or blend about 1 cup of the soup and stir it in for a smoother soup (that's what I do). Return to low heat and add the cheese. If your heat is too high your soup can get grainy. Stir in the nutmeg if desired.
- Serve with crusty bread.
When I found the ingredients, this recipe was delicious!! I love it! Thank you!
This is a great recipe that will ne one of our keepers. My wife and daughter love Panera broccoli and cheddar soup. My wife thought it was perfect and my 14 year old said it was better than Panera. Thanks!
So good! I used tapioca flour to make it a tiny bit keto friendly..and bacon. Thank you for a delicious recipe.
Yes! You can totally do that!
Does this freeze well? Trying to make a freezer meal for a friend.
Sure! You can freeze it.
I’m sorry but dairy does not freeze well. If you plan on freezing it you should hold back on any of the dairy products. Freeze it without them and add them when you warm it up. Same goes for any type of cheesy soup -wait to add the cheese until you take it out of the freezer and warm it up
This soup was really good and yes add the nutmeg, yum!
The best soup hands down. I made this vegan with just a couple substitutions and not 1 child complained…….until it was gone that is. Thank u for this recipe, it is in my weekly rotation now. 6 children can’t be wrong.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Amazing recipe! Made it for supper, and it was a hit! Thanks for sharing!
Love this recipe easy and very delicious . But it doesn’t make enough . Would you have a recipe for 12 instead of 6 .
Double all ingredients!
Just double the ingredients lol
You can double everything
Delicious soup! Thank you for the great recipe. I did add some extra onion and used 2% milk instead and it was amazing.
Absolutely delish! Thanks!
Is the serving size one cup?
Made this today, delicious!! Will definitely make again. Great, quick and simple ingredients. I used 1% milk which is all I had, but will try it next time with half and half.
My grandson loves Panera’s broccoli cheese soup but the are always out of it when they try to order it so I decided to check on recipes and I love the sound of yours and I was informed by my grandson and the whole family in-fact that they thought it was even better than Panera’s.
Can’t wait to try more of your recipes
If I were to make this the night before it’s needed, refrigerate, and then warm via crockpot, so you think it’d be good the next day?
This was so good!! Tastes just like Panera. I served it with sourdough bread. I didn’t have enough half and half so I subbed a cup with milk and then did the cornstarch mixture to thicken it up. I also added cooked chicken since I had a rotisserie chicken leftovers. My very picky boys asked for seconds… will be making this a lot this winter- thanks 😉
I made this, and it was awesome. My husband loves broccoli anyway and this is just another way for us to enjoy. I will be making this again. Very yummy in our tummies.
I made this today and it’s delicious based on all the tasting I was doing while making it. I want to grab sourdough bowls to serve it in for dinner with a salad on the side. My 12- year old daughter is my biggest critique so can’t wait for her to try! Thanks 😊.
You are welcome!
Can I use a heavy whipping cream instead of half and half don’t have handy
Whipping cream is very heavy. Half and Half is actually. Half cream Half milk! So all you’d have to do is use half as much cream called for in the recipe= 1c heavy cream 1c milk!
I would like to make this for work, but will need to reheat in the microwave. How long do I leave it in for without the soup breaking?
It will depend on your microwave. Slow and low is best.
Maybe transfer to a crock pot?
Can the broccoli cheddar soup be frozen? It is just my 90 year old mother and myself. She loves broccoli cheddar soup !
Can I use 2% milk in place of cream ?
Hi, I’ve made this for my Café, with rave reviews. Yes, you can use 2%, in fact, I use 3 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of milk to make it healthier. It’s great!
Yes, it just won’t be as thick
Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing it. I added only 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg — dividing it when adding it, stirring thoroughly, then doing a taste test to be certain the spice isn’t dominating the soup; thus, relying on taste whether or not the full 1/8 tsp is used. I have an electric oven which doesn’t allow for consistent heat to the same extent of a gas range, so instead of continuing to cook the soup over low heat when adding the cheese, I remove the soup from heat and place it on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Then, add the cheese in 1/2 cup portions, stirring gently but thoroughly after each. This prevents graininess and clumping.
It’s important to buy a block of sharp cheddar cheese and shred it yourself using a grater. Don’t do the short cut — which is a mistake — of purchasing a bag of shredded cheese to save time. The reason: read the ingredients on the label; a bag of shredded cheese contains “cellulose” which is literally wood chip dust more or less. This is added to all shredded cheeses to avoid the forming of clumps. If it’s used in place of cheese you shred yourself the texture will be affected.
This is the second time for making this soup. I decided to make it the night before and leave the cheese out until I reheat it in the morning. Having it with guest for lunch. However, it does not look like there’s enough after following the recipe for six servings. How can I add to it without making another full recipe?
I’m not sure what you’re asking. I’m sorry
just add a can of cream of chicken soup with 1 cup of water
I am making a large batch of this for a wedding and never made before. Do I have to shred the cheese or is there a cheese that will melt fine? Also how do I made sure it does not get grainy? I guess not a good idea to make a day ahead and reheat in pot? Was hoping to do a day ahead? Thanks for helping and sharing sounds like a great recipe.
Shred the cheese by hand— it makes for a better soup consistency. Don’t be afraid of using a couple of different cheeses either. Add cheese in by a small handful and stir each handful thoroughly to avoid grainy texture. As for making it the day before, I don’t see why not? It should keep pretty decently for 3 days
Sorry yes freshly grated cheese is best. Tillamook has an off the block that would be the best alternative. Sometimes reheating can break the soup so you have to be careful.
It tasted so good until I added the nutmeg. That’s all I tasted once I did.
This was delicious and easy to make! What would be considered one serving?
it’s about 1 cup
I made this yesterday. I used frozen broccoli and steamed a little beforehand. Like some, the soup took a long time on low. I increased the heat gradually and put a lid on partially. Then it started to heat up and thicken. Two people tried the soup and said it was good. I thought it was really good and tasted like Panera’s.
Best soup ever!! I didn’t add the nutmeg, but it tasted delicious!! Boyfriend was impressed!
Glad he was impressed!
Not a fan of Paneras soup, but made this recipe and it was soooo good. Probably the best soup I’ve ever made, the whole family loved it. Christy have you ever tried making it with whole milk to cut the calories down a bit?
I have made this with 2% milk and it was just as good.
Yes, you absolutely can
Can you freeze this soup?
Yes, I would just stick it in a freezer bag.
Looking forward to making this, but am curious….does this recipe freeze well?
I make this with gluten free flour in the roux, and it’s nearly perfect.
Would of been perfect without the nutmeg! Don’t put that in. It overpowers everything!
I’ve used this recipe as a basic guideline to make broccoli cheddar soup several times now & it’s great!
The past few times I’ve made it I’ve added the same extra ingredients. I’ll list them in case anyone is interested in making this a heartier soup…of course if you don’t like some of these ingredients you can leave them out.
When the onion is almost done I add some minced garlic and get it lightly browned then get the onion and garlic out of the pot (leaving butter in the pot).
I add closer to a 1/2 cup of flour.
After getting the liquids mixed in here are the additional ingredients I put into the soup…celery, extra broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and diced grilled chicken.
For additional herbs and spices I use bay leaf, mustard powder, paprika & when it’s done I put fresh parsley in it but only in each individual bowl right before eating, not into the entire pot. That’s only bc I have a lot left over and I feel like it’s better when the parsley isn’t cooked where it’s soft.
I also simmer mine for closer to 45 mins.
I freeze the leftovers in freezer bags and defrost them in cool water & it works perfectly!
Can I use heavy cream instead?
Absolutely! When I have it on hand ill use heavy cream and some half and half. Tastes delicious!
You say 8oz of shredded cheddar (2 cups)… which is it?
2 cups is 16 oz.
We have made this mistake before and ended up adding waaaaay too much cheese to a recipe. 8 ounces of shredded cheese by weight takes up about 2 cups. So, I would go by the cup measurement, myself.
Cheese is measured differently. If you look on a package of shredded cheese 8 ounces is 2 cups.
8 ounces by weight, not volume.
Can’t wait to try this, it sounds delicious 🤤
Very delicious I cooked it for my dad and he said it’s the best broccoli cheddar soup he’s had, I would recommend putting some garlic powder and paprika, and don’t skip the nutmeg (I put a little less than in the rescipe though). I also added more cheese on top when I served it
Awesome to hear!
The broccoli doesn’t cook on low 8n 2015 mins…
20-25 is what I meant. What did I do wrong
Maybe you need a little higher heat.
The broccoli cheese soup was wonderful!!
Wondering how can I take this recipe but do it in the crockpot?
You can just cook it in the crockpot once you add all the veggies.
Love this recipe. Only thing is when I followed the first time my cheese went super super grainy. I shredded my own cheese and added when it was on low heat. Had to throw out the whole batch. Made a new batch and took off the heat for ten minutes before I added the cheese and did not put back on the burner afterwards and it was great.
I just want to address that I do have an electric stove so this may have affected the results. But I corrected my mistake and was able to perfect this recipe and it’s delicious!
Great tip Molly. Thank you!
I just had this at Panera the other day and I could have sworn it had some curry in it. But maybe that’s just a quirk of that particular Panera.
Panera gets their soups in bags from the main commissary. They do not make their own in store. But you can find the ingredients listed online to see if Curry is included.
But they’re autumn squash soup does have some curry I think, so maybe a ladle got used in both and cross-contaminated.
Try adding a little tarragon, that could be the flavor you are tasting at Panera.
Just looked! It’s Dijon mustard and pepper sauce!
Doubled this recipe and made it tonight! Family was thrilled! Thank you so much!
There is flour listed in the ingredients but not the instructions. Was I supposed to do something with flour?
It’s listed in step 1. It says to sprinkle the flour over the mixture.
You’re making a roux with the butter, onions & flour
This recipe is to DIE for!!!!!! I love making it for my family!! I usually pair it with a steak and then dip the bites of steak in it too! Yum! Thank you for this recipe. I think this is about the 100th time I’ve made it in the past couple of years!
Yes, so happy to hear that!
One of the best soups I have ever made. I didn’t have bread bowls, but will get those or find a good crusty bread to serve next time. My family said DELICIOUS and do it again. Thanks for sharing the recipe online.
Awesome to hear!
This is one of my favorite soup recipes. We eat it in bread bowls and it’s delicious!!! I follow the recipe *almost* to a T, but I’m a vegetarian so I don’t use chicken broth. Instead I use 2 cups of water and throw in a veggie bouillon cube or 2. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!
So glad you liked it!
I saw on Flavcity that Panera cheddar cheese soup is made from processed cheese product like velveeta
I love getting this soup at Panera and was really excited to try this. It didn’t disappoint! It’s got the same heartwarming comfort that you get from Panera’s soup and it really was easy. Thanks so much!
So happy you agree.
Never use Velveeta. Shred your own sharp if possible. Or use a good quality shredded. I like Sargento. Wonderful recipe!
My only complaint is that there is no measurement for the salt and pepper.
No measurements needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
My family loves this recipe and get excited whenever i make it I usually have to double the recipe. Thankyou for sharing.
I did tweek it a little, swapping the half n half for heavy whipping cream.
So glad you like it!
Made this tonight for my family. I made it exactly as directed and it was a hit with everyone! 10/10 perfection.
Thank you Jenny!
Am planning on making this tomorrow but just remembered I ran out of broth. Is there any substitute I can use or can I just add water and a little more seasoning?
It definitely needs that flavor but I’m sure you can add seasonings to help.
I’m a vegetarian so I always substitute water and throw in veggie bouillon cubes. It always turns out perfect!!!!
I love this recipe. I substitute soy milk for the half and half, add 6 cups broccoli and a cup of celery which adds a nice crunch.
I bet the celery is great.
How much Nutmeg should be used at the end?
A tiny pinch. 1/8th of a teaspoon.
Is it 1/4 or 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg?
Depends on what you like. If you are sensitive to nutmeg go with 1/8
Not sure if I did something wrong? I followed all the directions and set the burner to low for 25 minutes, and the broccoli was still stiff. Let it go for 20 more minutes and the broccoli still wasn’t fully softened. I turned the heat up to medium-low and was eventually able to fully soften the veggies. Any advice is appreciated as to how to what went wrong or what to adjust!
Sounds like for your stove medium low is the way to go.
Love this recipe for my 10 month old! I always use a full onion and 16oz of white sharp cheddar! Thanks so much for sharing!
I love this recipe. No short cuts or add ins. Do it as listed. My daughter who just turner 4. I asked what would you like got dinner. And of course it was this. She loves it. Only suggestion when adding salt and pepper taste as you go. Thanks for the recipe
Mine came out sweet. I shredded my own carrots since the store was out. Thinking maybe with hand shredded carrots they released more liquid so maybe I should have cut the amount of carrots? Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Interesting. Yes, carrots add sweetness so you could cut down for sure.
MMMMM GOOD! I ADDED THE NUTMEG It came out really good.
YUM!! Started making this soup at 9:01pm and had it completed by 9:50pm just in time for hubby to go to work! Quick and easy. I used a full large onion, doubled the butter, added garlic to onion, extra 2 cups on broth, extra cup of broccoli and then an extra 3/4 cup of cheese. Barely needed any salt and pepper, it was so good without it.
Oh and I also used 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk instead of half n half.
So happy that you like it.
I made this soup for dinner last night. IT WAS DELICIOUS!,, I am wondering if it could be made ahead of time and warmed in a slow cooker. I would love to serve it for company but would prefer not to have the last minute preparation.
Yes, just beware if it is overheated it can turn grainy but if it’s on very low it should be fine.
I regretfully put it too high and it turned grainy. Is there a way to de-grain it? Stupid question but I’d hate to toss the whole batch.
Unfortunately no. I’m so sorry. Maybe add some more liquid?
8 oz is actually one cup not two! For the cheddar cheese ingredient list.
Its for an 80z block of cheese that you shred yourself, henceforth (2 cups)
Cheese is measured differently. It’s two. If you look at an 8 ounce package of shredded cheese you can verify this.
I agree with Jason!
Show me the ingredients. Tell me how to cook it. Nobody wants to read thru 20 fuckin pages of your thoughts. We are here for the recipe. Shut the fuck up..
calm down, there’s a “Jump to Recipe” option.
There’s no need to be mean. This person took their time to experiment and test this recipe so it’s the best version, they deserve to share their thoughts and process about it. And this is THEIR platform. Maybe you could try to make your own food blog with just the recipes 🙂
Lmfao make your own recipe then, Jesus Christ! You’ve got some nerve!
Lmfaooooo you ain’t wrong Jason
Hahaha!! Right! 😂 I’m always yelling, “I just want the damn ingredients!” More story
More ads and that’s why we get it for free 🤷🏽♀️😂
Feel free to unfollow. Thanks Jason.
RUDE, profane, angry and hostile. Comment should be removed.
Added additional cup of half and half and a cup of water. There wasn’t enough liquid for me.
I just made this soup today for dinner for my family, what a wonderful meal on this very cold day in beautiful Colorado. I was very hesitant about the ground nutmeg but WOW so glad I did put it in the soup. (I did use fresh ground nutmeg). My family loved this wonderful, creamy, flavorful soup. I will definitely make this soup again and again. I will also share this recipe with my friends and family.
Thank you Patty!
Hi, what if I forgot the flour? Is that going to ruin it?
It won’t be as thick the butter and flour are to make a rou you can make one on the side add it back into the soup just Sautee the butter and flour and slowly wish it back into soup make sure there are no clumps
No! It will just be a little thinner.
So good! I have to be GF so just swapped out regular flour for GF and used 1% milk instead of cream and it came out super thick and creamy still! Also added a stalk of celery and a bit more broccoli. I will definitely make this again!
Good to know you could make it work.
This was so good! My wife and daughter love Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup. After eTing this they said this is better than Panera’s and requested making this more often. The nutmeg took it over the top. The inly thing they told me I did wrong was not make enough.
Haha I guess double it next time.
Yum! This soup was amazing. Thank you for the great recipe. Perfect soup to enjoy while staring at the Northeastern happening outside my window. 😉
Same! Here in CT enjoying the storm outside and making this. It is my 5th time using this recipe to the T and it is perfect everytime!
I love this recipe! It’s my go-to when I have milk/cheese/veggies I need to use up. It’s super delicious as is, and also super flexible if you need to sub milk for H&H, add extra veggies, or freeze before using. I like to purée until virtually smooth but just my preference! Thanks for sharing!
Love this soup! I speed the process up by using my food processor to chop the broccoli. I simmer over medium low heat for 25-30 minutes. I also add a table spoon of Dijon mustard. Yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe!
I made this today, and it was very delicious! I added fresh garlic with the onions, and added more carrots and broccoli. to it with a little more heavy cream and milk. Hubby and son ( who is 8) were eating it up! and i like it too. thanks for the recipe.
I made this tonight with BLTs and it was exactly what I was looking for! I used an immersion blender to blend slightly and it turned out to be a great consistency
My go to soup! Which I have messed up 3 times now by leaving it on high heat too long (I’ve got 3 little ones and sometimes I forget it on the stove). It’s so incredibly good, we eat this (kids and husband request) once a week!
Good flavor but the veggies cannot cook from raw in 20-25 minutes on low with the recipe as written. Maybe the ones who said it could are fake reviewers? (Look it up, it’s a real thing.) I had to jack up the heat to medium and get a low boil after 45 minutes of firm broccoli on low. Even after that it was another 20 minutes to get soft veggies. If you pre-cook the broccoli and carrots, the recipe is OK. Also, 8 oz. of cheese is an awful lot.
The veggies are cut into bite size pieces. Broccoli will cook in 25 minutes when cut to this size. I’ve been making this recipe for 2 years and have never had to cook longer for the broccoli to cook.
I dont think 8 oz of cheese is an awful lot for an entire pot of soup. It is CHEESE soup afterall.
Yes they can! I’ve made this soup 1000 times.
Can this be made in the crockpot?
I’ve made it in the crockpot and the veggies get too done.
I made this recipe but it did not taste very good. Not sure why? Was my cheese old, I use milk instead of cream, maybe that was the problem, or maybe I put too much broccoli in it? Anyone else have any problems? I was so disappointed!
I agree, rather bland. I added onion powder and garlic powder, then it was quite tasty.
The roux can be made gluten free. I substitute brown rice flour for regular flour. You have to use about half the flour though, because the rice flour works MUCH better as a thickener.
This soup always comes out delicious! My mom loves the Panera soup so this was a great thing because it’s cheaper to make it then buy it premade at giant!