Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup is a favorite of so many of us. This creamy, broccoli cheddar soup is perfect for a hearty lunch. This is easy to make and it just takes frozen broccoli, fresh carrots, and two types of cheese to make this soup.

You can purchase bread bowls from the grocery store. Then you will have broccoli cheese soup just like at Panera Bread.

a bowl of homemade Panera broccoli cheddar cheese soup

About Panera Bread Restaurant

Panera Bread is a bakery-café chain of casual restaurants in the United States and Canada. There are currently more than 1,900 Panera Bread bakery-cafés offering soups, pasta, sandwiches, salads, bakery items, and specialty drinks.

The name Panera is a Spanish word that means bread basket or bread box. Find out all the things you may not know about Panera Bread.

Panera’s Homemade Soups

Panera Bread is especially known for its delicious homemade-tasting soups which change daily. Their soups use only high-quality ingredients and you can even have your soup served up in a fat, round, crunchy bread bowl.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup is a favorite with lots of us and my recipe copycats the fresh ingredients and flavors of this popular dish. There are fresh carrots and onions in here, but for the broccoli, you can use fresh or frozen if you wish. Frozen is often more convenient because it’s already chopped up.

Whichever way you go, you’ll end up with a rich, creamy soup that’s perfect for a hearty lunch and warming the soul. You are going to love this copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • White onion
  • Half-and-half
  • Broccoli
  • Velveeta cheese
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup ingredients

How to Make Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and onions. Cook for about a minute.
  2. Slowly add half-and-half, whisking until thickened and smooth.
  3. Add broccoli and processed cheese.
  4. Slowly add chicken, stirring occasionally, until the soup has a consistent texture.
  5. Add the carrots and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cheddar cheese and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve when all the cheese is fully melted and blended.
homemade Panera broccoli cheddar soup and bread slices

What to Serve With Broccoli Cheese Soup

I love to serve this style of soup with popovers or fresh yeast rolls with butter. Or, with a thick soup like this one, you can serve it in bread bowls just like Panera does. You can buy bread bowls from some stores.

How to Reheat Your Soup

If you have leftover soup and need to reheat it, just add a little milk because it may have thickened in your refrigerator.

A Perfect Family Soup

Panera broccoli cheese soup is so easy to duplicate, you can put it together in no time. Try this recipe—it tastes just like it does in the restaurant.

overhead view of a bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar cheese soup and bread slices

More Panera Bread Recipes

Check out more of my easy soup recipes and the best Panera Bread recipes here on CopyKat!

a bowl of homemade Panera broccoli cheddar cheese soup

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is a recipe everyone will love.
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup, Panera Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 589kcal


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onions
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 16 ounces chopped broccoli frozen
  • 16 ounces American cheese Velveeta
  • 29 ounces low-sodium chicken broth 2 cans
  • 1 cup carrots Julianne cut, or shredded
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and onions. Cook for about a minute,
  • Slowly add the half-and-half, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking until thickened and smooth.
  • When all of the half-and-half is incorporated, add the broccoli and processed cheese. 
  • When the cheese is completely melted, add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until soup is well mixed and has a consistent texture.
  • Add the carrots and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheddar cheese and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve when all the cheese is fully melted and blended through.



Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1629mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5385IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 1156mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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. Barbara Miller

    5 stars
    I have been making this recipe (exactly as it appears) for years. A few months ago I made it for my community’s food club. These are residents who have refined food palettes. It was a hit. Some were shocked Velvetta was an ingredient. In my opinion, Velvetta gives it a smooth, umami flavor.

  2. Donna G.

    Do you think that this recipe would turn out ok using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
    Any changes you would make?

    Thank you.

  3. Steve

    Never been to Panera Bread but we do love broccoli and cheese soup so I’d try this recipe. BUT the sodium content would probably put me in the hospital. >1,600 mg per serving? That’s more salt than I’m allowed in a whole day! If anyone has a way to pare that salt down to a reasonable amount please let me know.

    • Stephanie

      There are two things you could do, use unsalted butter, and use homemade chicken stock. This would pare down the two of the three sodium offenders would be stripped from the recipe. If a low sodium American cheese is available, you could to swap that out as well. I hope this was helpful.

  4. Andrea

    Have not made this recipe yet but sounds very good. One question – can you freeze this soup, thaw and reheat with success? Just the two of us so a lot of leftovers get frozen.

  5. Tash

    So I’ve made this soup twice and I really don’t like it at all honestly to me it tastes nothing like Panera and to me is kinda gross…. I’m not posting to be a jerk, I’m posting because people are raving about this recipe and I don’t like it at all so I’m wondering why, what could I possibly be doing wrong??? I used velveta and for my shredded cheese I used medium.

    • Stephanie

      I am sorry you found this recipe gross. Can you be more specific about what you didn’t like? Was it a texture thing? Was it too salty? This could help in diagnosing what didn’t work out for you.

      • Patricia Moore

        You could put the broccoli in last for less time. So many things can be altered to work in a Crock Pot or an InstaPot. Happy Cooking Everyone!

  6. Lori

    Which directions are correct…the video or written? They are a bit different. Also, you add more butter in the video but don’t say how much. I’m confused!

      • Pamela McClendon

        5 stars
        This was my first time on your site. I made the soup tonight. It turned out better than I thought. It was very delicious to me. I’ll get my husbands opinion, also. I love broccoli and cheese soup and I had some at work this week. So it was still on my mind. I used regular chicken broth. Thank you.

  7. Donna

    Hi, I am hoping that you can tell me that this recipe would work using vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth? I am a vegetarian, but have found sometimes vegetable broth gives things a funny taste. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you. Donna

  8. D. J. Moye

    5 stars
    I made this soup today and it was delicious. I did substitute one cup of cheese whiz for the processed cheese (it is what was available) but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Thank you so much!

    • Jessica Dannaman

      I tried using frozen broccoli but when I opened the bag it was mostly chopped stalk and hardly no florets so I think next time I’ll try fresh broccoli…

  9. Theresa

    First time on this site, first time making this soup. I made it to the T and it came out awesome! Will be on this site often for more things to try for sure!

5 from 16 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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