This Panera broccoli cheddar soup is a copycat favorite soup recipe is the perfect comfort food recipe that is easy to make and incredibly delicious. Loaded with tender broccoli florets, shredded carrots, and onions, this creamy, cheesy, and delicious soup can now be made at home and enjoyed anytime.
If you’ve never experienced the delicious flavors of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup, then you have been missing out! It’s so rich and delicious and filled with the flavors of broccoli and cheddar cheese in a rich, creamy soup. Oh, I love it. It’s one of my favorite things to order when we go to Panera.
The thing is, I don’t always go to Panera, and I’m certainly not going to make a special trip just because I have a craving for their soup. So, like anyone who loves to cook, I decided to give making it myself a try. I gave it a few attempts. While the first couple of batches were delicious, they weren’t quite the same flavor as my favorite Panera soup. Finally, on the third try, I had it. I guess the third time really is the charm. This soup is just as good – maybe even better – than the original, and I’m so happy to share it with all of you today.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This copycat version of my favorite Panera broccoli cheddar soup absolutely hits the mark. It has the same texture and flavor as the original, and I think it might even taste a little bit better. It starts with a creamy base for the soup. Then, it’s combined with sharp cheddar cheese, broccoli, and carrots, along with some onion and a kick of Slap Ya Mama sauce for just a touch of spice. All of it comes together to create a rich, creamy, and oh, so cheesy broccoli cheddar soup that will have everyone begging for more.
It’s so easy to play with this recipe to create other delicious soups for your family. All it takes is a few tweaks in the ingredients or the way you serve it to really stretch out this recipe.
I would definitely stick with the classic cheddar for this recipe, but any kind of cheddar will work. From mild cheddar to strong, extra sharp cheddar, you’ll still get that classic flavor, but it can be as mild or as bold as you want it to be.
I used vegetable broth for this recipe, but you could also use chicken stock or chicken broth if you like to give it a little more flavor.
This soup is so good as it is, but you can kick it up even more by adding your favorite protein to it. Almost any will work well. Some great options include:
Bread bowls are always a great choice for thick soups, especially this one. It’s so delicious when it’s served up hot and steamy inside a big crusty bread roll.
Tips for the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This is a very simple recipe, but I do have some tips that will help you make it the best that it can possibly be. These are simple tips, but they can make a big difference so be sure to give them a read.
- Cut the stalks or stems off of the broccoli and cut the florets as needed to ensure that your broccoli pieces are all the same size for uniform cooking.
- Whenever possible, use freshly shredded cheese from a block rather than pre-shredded cheese. The pre-shredded stuff has added ingredients to keep it from clumping which can interfere with how smoothly they melt.
- Whole milk and heavy cream are both preferred to lower-fat varieties. They give the soup its extra-rich texture and flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about this copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup, then look no further. This FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about broccoli cheddar soup.
What’s the best cheese for broccoli cheese soup?
High-quality cheddar cheese is the way to go for any cheese-based soup. For broccoli cheddar soup, sharp cheddar is recommend to get that classic bold flavor.
Why is my broccoli cheese soup grainy?
This usually happens if you cook the soup on heat that’s too high. When this happens, the proteins in the soup compress and squeeze out the fat, leading to a grainy, curdled consistency.
Can you substitute frozen broccoli for fresh in soup?
You sure can. It will take a little longer for the soup to cook if you add the broccoli frozen, so be aware of that. To prevent that, you can defrost the broccoli first. This has the added benefit of preventing any ice crystals from adding more liquid to the soup.
How can I thicken soup without flour?
You can use a cornstarch slurry to thicken soup without flour. Use a 1 to 1 ratio of cornstarch and cold water and blend it together well.
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This soup is absolutely delicious, and it’s even better when you pair it with other tasty sides. Some excellent ideas for pairing with soup include:
- Serving in a bread bowl
- Garlic bread
You can store this soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
To reheat leftovers, either reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan until hot, stirring frequently. The reheat the soup if frozen, place in the fridge overnight to thaw or simply place it fully frozen in a pot and heat it over medium-low heat until it defrosts and heats through.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious copycat recipe. Chances are, you have most or all of them in your kitchen already.
- Broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
- Onion, chopped
- Shredded carrots
- All purpose flour
- Vegetable broth
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Slap Ya Mama
- Black pepper
- Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Making this delicious soup is just as easy as gathering up the ingredients for it. It only takes a few simple steps, and you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time.
Step 1: Sautee Vegetables
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove-top. Then, add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onions are tender.
Step 2: Make the Soup Base
Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and cook for 2 minutes. Then, pour the vegetable broth, milk, heavy cream and seasonings into the pan, stir. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.
Step 3: Finish the Soup
Reduce the heat and add broccoli to the soup base mixture. Simmer until the broccoli is tender, add the cheese and stir until melted. Serve hot. Salt and pepper, to taste.
Slow Cooker Variation
Cook the vegetables, broth, milk, and cream on low for four hours. Next, make a roux of flour and butter on the stovetop. Then, add the shredded cheese to the roux and stir until melted. Add the cheesy roux to the slow cooker, and cook on low until bubbly.
Instant Pot Variation
Sautee the vegetables in the Instant Pot on sauté setting as you would in a pan. Then, add the stock, vegetables, and seasonings and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. use quick release and mix a roux of cornstarch and water. Set the Instant Pot to sauté, add the roux, and cook until the soup is bubbly and thickened. Turn of the Instant Pot and slowly stir in the cream and milk and then the cheese.
Try This Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe Today
This tasty copycat Panera Bread® broccoli cheddar soup is so easy and so delicious, you need it in your life – even if you don’t know it yet. It’s a quick, hearty soup that will satisfy the entire family, and it goes so well with so many other dishes. Serve it up as a side or a main course! However you choose to serve it, I know you’ll find yourself making it again and again.
Looking for More Soup or Broccoli Recipes
Lasagna Soup – This is a delicious and hearty soup with all the classic ingredients in lasagna. So filling and a family favorite soup recipe.
Broccoli Mashed Potato Bake – This mashed potato bake is packed with broccoli, bacon, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and more, and makes a delicious side dish recipe that goes great with chicken, beef, and pork.
And, here is a delicious Ham Broccoli Rice Casserole from our other blog, Great Grub, Delicious Treats, that you might enjoy as well.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Panera Copycat
- 3 cups broccoli florets cut into small pieces
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
- 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions and carrots and saute until onions are tender.
- Sprinkle flour over onions and carrots. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour vegetable broth, milk, heavy cream, and seasonings into the pan, stirring constantly.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and add broccoli.
- Cook until broccoli is tender, sprinkle with cheese, and stir until melted.
- Serve hot and enjoy!