Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup

Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup is a delicious soup with butternut squash and pumpkin that you don’t want to miss. Now you can make this classic fall soup anytime with this copycat recipe.

two bowls of copycat Panera autumn squash soup.

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Panera Fall Menu Soup

Panera Bread is known for a menu that changes seasonally. During the fall the Autumn Squash Soup can’t be missed. This unique soup is a cornucopia of flavors.

This Panera soup combines butternut squash, pumpkin, vegetable broth, apple juice, cinnamon, and curry powder. You will love this combination of flavors.

What Makes This Soup So Good? 

When the leaves change colors, and the crisp air carries the scent of the first fires of the season, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home to a warm bowl of Butternut Squash Soup.

This creamy soup has just the right amount of spice to help balance the slight sweetness from the honey and apple juice. Enjoy the soup as a first course or a light lunch. 

This is a vegetarian soup and it’s gluten-free. Making it from scratch means you will enjoy a soup with no artificial preservatives or sweeteners.

Why You Should Try This Copycat Recipe 

Other versions of copycat Panera Butternut Squash Soup contain ingredients like cream cheese, shallots, ginger, garlic, and carrots. This recipe lets the taste of the slowly roasted butternut squash and pumpkin puree play a more prominent role in the soup’s flavor profile. 

Panera Squash Soup Ingredients

For this butternut squash soup, you’ll need:

  • Butternut squash
  • Vegetable oil 
  • White onion, chopped
  • Pumpkin puree, canned
  • Vegetable stock
  • Curry powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Apple juice
  • Honey
  • Heavy cream
  • Pepitas

Many stores sell peeled and cubed butternut squash if you want to skip the hassle of doing it yourself.

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds without their hulls. You can find pepitas in many supermarkets. 

Panera autumn squash soup ingredients.

Ingredient and Recipe Notes

I use fresh butternut squash and canned pumpkin for this recipe.

Canned pumpkin is my personal choice for soups because it tastes good and can be used easily and quickly for recipes.

When roasting butternut squash for soup, try not to let it get too brown. You don’t want the soup to have a brown color.

This soup uses two warm spices; curry powder and cinnamon. The curry powder is going to add just the right amount of heat. The cinnamon adds the familiar fall flavor that we all love.

For this recipe, you will use pumpkin seed kernels, the inner portion of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds have an outer shell that is white. The meat of the seed is green and also called pepitas. I like to toast them in the oven or in a pan because I think it adds just the right flavor.

How to Make CopyKat Panera Autumn Squash Soup

To roast the squash for this recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut off the skin of the butternut squash. 
  3. Dice the flesh of the squash into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Toss the pieces of squash with some vegetable oil and spread them out on a baking tray.
  5. Roast the squash until it is fork-tender but not browned, about 30 minutes.

To finish preparing the copycat Panera squash soup recipe:

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Pour a splash of vegetable oil into the pot and add the diced white onions.
  3. Season the onions lightly with salt and saute until they become translucent.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, roasted butternut squash, vegetable stock, curry powder, cinnamon, apple juice, and honey.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until the soup is hot. 
collage of recipe steps for Panera autumn squash soup.
  1. Puree the soup right in the pot with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender to blend the soup, but be careful since blending hot food can cause a mess.
  2. Stir the heavy cream into the soup.
  3. Toast the pepitas in a pan over medium heat or in the oven at 350°F.
collage of Panera autumn squash soup recipe steps.
  1. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with pepitas, and serve warm. 
bowls of copycat Panera autumn squash soup.

Recipe Variations 

Make this recipe your own by changing the ingredients to suit your tastes. You may want to try the following suggestions:

  • Replace the vegetable stock with chicken broth or stock for more flavor. 
  • Use croutons and a swirl of sour cream as garnishes instead of pepitas.
  • For a dairy-free and vegan version of this recipe, replace the heavy cream with coconut cream.

What To Serve With Panera Butternut Squash Soup

Panera Autumn Squash Soup pairs wonderfully with many main dishes including chicken and turkey. Or you can enjoy the soup as the main course with a hunk of bread smothered with butter or garlic bread on the side for a satisfying light meal.

How To Store Panera Autumn Soup 

Cool the soup down as quickly as possible by chilling it in a cold-water bath.

  1. Fill a large mixing bowl a third of the way with ice cubes and cold water. 
  2. Place a slightly smaller mixing bowl inside the larger bowl. 
  3. Pour the squash soup into the smaller bowl and stir. 

After the soup is cold, you can keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months. It is helpful to freeze the soup in individual portion sizes, so you won’t have to defrost more soup than you want to eat.

If you want to make a batch of soup to freeze, leave out the heavy cream in the initial recipe and add it when you reheat it later. Doing this gives the soup a smoother texture.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Squash Soup?

The ideal method of reheating squash soup is slowly in a heavy-bottom pot on the stove top over medium-low heat. Stir continuously and watch the heat carefully because this soup can scorch easily. 

I hope you enjoy my copycat Panera Autumn Squash soup.

overhead view of copycat Panera autumn squash soup in three bowls.

More Panera Bread Copycat Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy soup recipes and the best Panera Bread copycat recipes here on CopyKat.com!

two bowls of copycat Panera autumn squash soup.

Panera Autumn Squash Soup

Panera Bread Autumn Squash soup is a seasonal offering, you can make it all year long.
4.86 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Autumn Squash Soup, Panera Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil divided use
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 15 ounces pumpkin
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed kernels

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1-inch cubes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over the butternut squash and stir to coat it well. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Do not let the squash brown.
  • In a large stockpot, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and saute onions until they are translucent. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions as you saute them. By salting the onions you will pull moisture out of the onions and the onions will cook more quickly. 
  • When the onions are translucent add pumpkin, butternut squash, vegetable stock, curry powder, and cinnamon, apple juice, and honey. Heat through. When the soup is hot, use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth. You can use a blender to make the soup if desired. Add cream to the soup, and stir the cream.
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet. Heat through until they become fragrant. Remove from heat immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 13540IU | Vitamin C: 24.3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Cathy

    I am on a diet plan and butternut squash, apple juice, & white onions are not on it… are there substitute ingredients I could use instead? Will other types of squash taste good?

    • Stephanie Manley

      I am perplexed by this request. As the butternut squash is crucial to the soup, as is apple juice and white onions. I am not certain of the result when so many of the primary ingredients need to be swapped out. What type of soup are you looking for?

  2. Cassie

    My mom is allergic to curry; would it be okay to leave it out? If not, any suggestions for a replacement? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  3. Mysweetmary

    I love this soup at Panera too. Thanks to you I just fixed it myself, using pre cut cubes from the grocery store. After cooking all ingredients in a large pot, I ran it through my Vita Mix machine. Fast and easy. Yummy

  4. Lida Sauve

    I’ve made this twice now and it’s so good. I quartered and seeded the squash and then microwaved for about 14 minutes. It wouldn’t be as good as roasting but it’s pretty quick. While it’s softening you can prep everything else. Thanks for this great recipe

    • Shelby

      You can use almond milk yes. Are you able to use butter? IF so add a tbsp of butter and that will help add the creaminess of heavy cream. I agree we use almond milk over coconut when trying to replicate heavy cream.

  5. Diane Boyce

    i always make my squash in crockpot! So easy & no worries about cutting. Put 2 cups water in crockpot, squash & cook til tender 3/4 hours on high or til fork pierces easily. Then just cut in half & remove seeds! its that easy! :-))))

  6. Carly

    How long does this soup keep? I am planning to make it for a party but the easiest way to do so will be to make it the day before. If I make it the day before, am I ok to reheat it the next day for my party?

  7. Tina

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving and what a hit it was. It has already been requested for this year….lol
    This soup is my favorite soup at Panera and I’m so glad I can make it whenever I want.
    Thanks Stephanie ????

  8. janine

    Yes, can’t you cut the squash in half and put on a cookie sheet and bake? Then just scoop out the insides; It’s a killer to cut a butternut squash in half nevermind one inch cubes! Good way to lose fingers.

    • Stephanie

      You should do whatever you think will work out for you. It will take a little longer to cook that way. You can also buy butternut squash cleaned and pre-cut as well.

      • Michele Bennett

        Once fall arrives, there is always squash precut and ready to go home with me! Since it keeps jumping in my cart, I have been making this soup at least 2-3 times each month once the cold weather hits! I now find 2 new challenges. 1. It’s still in the 70’s-80’s, yet I can’t fight the urge to make it! 2. My husband and son discovered that squash is delish when roasted, so now it is a battle to keep the squash long enough to make the soup! What to do?

      • Michele

        Once fall arrives, there is always squash precut and ready to go home with me! Since it keeps jumping in my cart, I have been making this soup at least 2-3 times each month once the cold weather hits! I now find 2 new challenges. 1. It’s still in the 70’s-80’s, yet I can’t fight the urge to make it! 2. My husband and son discovered that squash is delish when roasted, so now it is a battle to keep the squash long enough to make the soup! What to do?

  9. Sue

    I love this soup so much, I think about it in the off season, and wished they served it year round. I’m so happy that I can have it whenever I want thanks to CopyKat.com.

  10. Pam

    Stephanie, cooking the butter nut squash in the instant pot makes easier. I never wanted to use the squadh due to the tough skin but ip took that excuse away. Have enjoyed butter nut squash since I started using the ip.

    • Jay

      Can you tell me how you do this? Put it in with the skin on and then scoop the guts out? I just got an instant pot and was hoping to make a panera like soup in it. There is a squash soup recipe in the book that came with it but it is not quite the same. Calls to peel and cut up squash though.

      • Stephanie

        I haven’t tried this, but I don’t think there is much difference in that you have to cut it in half, then scoop out the seeds. This is one instance where I would suggest baking, as you may get more flavors as the sugar of the butternut squash caramelizes.

  11. AnneFolger

    Thank you so much for this. This is one of my favourite Panera soups and can’t wait to try. This is really appreciated.

  12. Stephanie

    I am sure either would work ok. I thought about doing it this way, but I thought the squash would cook a little faster this way. I don’t think it matters, I think what is key is to not allow it to brown too much.

    I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  13. Tanya Campbell

    I’m wondering if I could bake the squash whole instead? It’s so hard cutting it into cubes, especially dealing wit the hard outer skin, thiking blisters. But wondering if cubing improves the texture and reduces stringiness.

    Will definitely try this, combination of flavors sounds scrumptious!

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