Panera Bread Bistro French Onion Soup

Panera Bread is known for its savory soups. The Bistro French Onion Soup was removed from the menu, and now it is back. Enjoy a bowl of copycat Panera Bread Bistro French Onion Soup.

Homemade Panera French Onion Soup in a soup crock

What makes this soup special? This soup is full of chopped perfectly seasoned onions in every single bite. There are lots of crispy croutons and an excellent blend of melted cheese on top. You can recreate this delicious soup at home with this easy to prepare copycat recipe.

Ingredients for Panera Bread French Onion Soup

What do you need for this recipe? You will need beef stock, chicken stock, butter, and lots of onions. We are also going to add some beef soup base for a nice depth of flavor, and a touch of thyme.

The soup’s flavor comes from the sauteed onions. The onions make the soup amazing. I suggest you use yellow onions. White onions work well too, but for this soup, the yellow onions taste best.

Ingredients for Panera Bread Bistro French Onion Soup.

When preparing your onions for this recipe you will find that they chop their onions rather large, and they are chopped, not sliced. The chopped onions make sure that the onion pieces end up in every bite. It is nice when you can dive into a bowl of soup and get something more than broth in every single bite of soup.

When purchasing ingredients for the soup, I suggest that you buy stock instead of broth. I think it has more flavor, and you want all of the flavors you can get with this soup. The soup base also adds a lot of flavors. You will find it sold near the soups.

They top their soup with croutons. You can use store-bought, make them in a skillet, or learn how to make croutons in an air fryer.

The cheese that is tops the soup is Gruyere cheese combined with a touch of Asiago cheese.

This soup is a savory soup that is easy to prepare. This soup reheats very well so you this soup will taste even better the next day.

Homemade croutons are easy to make

If you would like to make your homemade croutons for the soup in a skillet, you can get a loaf of sourdough bread and cube it up into large pieces.

Add about a tablespoon of butter to a large skillet and then add the bread cubes. Sprinkle in seasoned salt and some garlic powder, and toast the bread until it becomes nice and brown.

French Onion Soup in a soup crock

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Homemade Panera French Onion Soup in a soup crock

Panera Bread Bistro French Onion Soup Copycat

Make Panera Bistro French Onion Soup at home. 
4.77 from 17 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French Onion Soup, Panera Bread Bistro French Onion Soup Copycat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 214kcal


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 pounds yellow onions chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 32 ounces beef stock
  • 14.5 ounces chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons beef base
  • 1 cup croutons

Cheese Mixture

  • 1/4 cup gruyere cheese shredded
  • 1 tablespoon asiago cheese


  • In a large stock pot over medium-high heat add chopped onions and butter. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the onions. Saute the onions for about 20 minutes, or until they have become golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon of flour, and stir to coat the onions with flour. Cook for the flour for another minute or until it becomes fragrant like pie crust. Add in the beef stock, chicken stock, beef base, and thyme. Reduce heat to a low temperature. Cook the soup for another 15 to 20 minutes. Before serving top with croutons and shredded cheeses.



Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 997mg | Potassium: 604mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Amanda

    5 stars
    I just made this tonight and loved it! I just discovered Panera’s French onion soup last week, but didn’t want to keep spending all of my money there for lunch. This recipe was such a good alternative and a MUCH more cost effective option for this grad student. Thank you!

  2. Jan Morgan

    Can’t wait to make this. I lived in France for 3 years as a child (Army Brat) and one of the things I loved when we went to restaurants was the onion soup. Panera has the closest to what I remember, but without crutons and cheese. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. Tala

    I had to buy Swiss,mozzarella,and fontinella cheese to substitute,bc store didn’t have asiago and gureye cheese,how would I use those in their place?thank you

  4. Lizzie O

    Judy, you took this over the top. I made this last night and it was a very authentic taste against Panera’s. I made this exactly as written but I crocked it yesterday for the flavor to marinate in the onion and it was incredible. The cheese blend was perfect. The only thing that made me sad was that it precisely fed my family of 6 with no leftovers. I wanted to take some with me to work today! Great job on the recipe!

    • Pam

      5 stars
      I don’t think there’s such as thing as “too many onions”, “too much garlic”, “too much chocolate”. or “too much sleep”.

  5. Janet Parks

    Thanks so much for the Panera French Onions Soup. Tasted just like it and I loved it!!!!!
    You are a master chef!! Thanks so much!!!!!!

  6. Rachel

    I love this soup and I am thrilled to find a recipe for it! My husband doesn’t share my enthusiasm so I will be making it just for myself. Can I freeze the leftovers?

  7. Ilovesoups

    Made this recipe as exactly written- very good! Now that I tried it, I will go back and double the broth as lots of onions before I freeze. Good cheese blend too! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Sara B

    I’ve tried other mock recipes of this soup and this comes stunningly close to the original flavor. I definitely recommend the “Better Than Bouillon” brand beef base and chopping the onions in the shape you want them to appear in the soup. This recipe turns out amazing!

  9. Christine@Freebies4MeBeez

    Stephanie, this is one of my all-time favorite soups to eat and I order it every time I go to Panera Bread. I decided to try your recipe last night and absolutely LOVED it! I was seriously surprised at just how much it tasted like theirs. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it again!!

  10. Judy Konos

    Stephanie it appears that the cut onions are lengthy rather than the cubed look? Or is that cheese in the photo. I will make this and wish to do it correctly, hoping I can find the stock that you speak of and is the base like the jar that has chicken bullion but instead beef?

    • Stephanie

      The onions a chopped onions, they are chopped into larger pieces. The beef base is a paste, it is typically sold near the dry bullion cubes. They make chicken base as well. These have a little less salt, and seem to have a flavor that is richer.

    • CLBD

      Judy, I think I can help you. It is located in the same aisle that the bouillon cubes are in. It is called ‘Better Than Bouillon’ and it’s an 8 oz. round jar with a black and white lid. When you open it, it’s a nice soft texture, but since it needs to be refrigerated, the texture is harder but with a spoon you can still dig it out. I use it for all my soups that call for broth.. Actually 1 jar lasts me about a year. I hope this helps!

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