Thursday, March 3, 2022

Panera Style Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This is the copycat recipe of the popular Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup. This is a creamy and cheesy comforting soup, perfect for a chilly night. 

Cheddar and broccoli are amazing pairs and will be ideal in a soup or a casserole. The trio of broccoli, cheddar, and carrots is often used in many avatars in our home. Broccoli and carrots are my favorite and often make this Pepper Cumin Broccoli and this Carrot Fries. These two veggies are often included in pulao and vegetable curry too as they are rich in nutrients and there is no need to mention the benefits of including them in our diet. This is a great choice to make with the season's best produce and a soup is comforting for the season too!

This copycat version of Panera Breads soup requires a few ingredients that are easy to find. No exotic ingredients! All you need are onion, garlic, celery, milk, water/broth, cream, pepper, and of course carrot, broccoli, and cheddar cheese,  the star ingredients of this soup. I did puree a little with an immersion blender just to add creaminess and flavors from the pureed veggies, but it is totally optional. If you choose to do, do with caution as the contents are hot and use the immersion blender with caution.

Creamy and cheesy soup and who doesn't love it? Every spoonful is comforting or the winter and this soup has the perfect balance of flavors. This is also easy to make and will be ready in under 30 minutes.! That's a winner! Serve with crusty bread or garlic toast for a perfect weeknight meal.  Vegetable broth can be substituted with water if you don't have it on hand. This is rich and creamy but not overwhelming. For a lighter version use half and half instead of heavy cream. Low fat or fat free milk can also be used. Add pepper as per taste if you want less or more heat. Pepper flakes can be sprinkled on top for a perfect kick. 

Cheddar is the best cheese for this recipe to make the exact Panera version. However, if you ran out of these, Jack cheese or a blend of jack/cheddar cheeses can work in this recipe. When using cheese, I would advise on buying cheese as a block, grating, and then using them. If you have more, the grated cheese can be frozen to use later. This way added anti-caking agents and preservatives in shredded cheese can be avoided. But you can use shredded cheese if that is what you have.

Panera Bread is one of the joints that we would like to dine in. One of the spot the whole family agrees to. We love their tomato soup, black bean soup, and broccoli cheddar soup. Not to mention their sandwiches and a couple of their seasonal salads. I am a huge fan of soups and salads and when Aruna suggested the theme for this month's event in our Shhhhh Cooking Secretly group, I decided right away that this is going to be the choice. We love this soup from Panera and make it often at home, recreating the same flavor and is the best one to share.

I did mention Shhhh Cooking Secretly, right? Yes, this is a very interesting group of bloggers blogging on a chosen theme. If you think about what is secret, when a theme is chosen, well.....wait, the interesting part is we partner up with a buddy and suggest two secret ingredients. Using these two and some other ingredients we prepare a delicious dish and share the picture of the same in our group for the rest of the members to guess the secret ingredient and that is the most fun! I love being part of this group and would not miss it. If you'd like to participate check here.

Alright! I mentioned secret ingredients! This month I partnered up with Aruna and she suggested to me cream and pepper as the two secret ingredients to use to make restaurant style food at home. In turn I gave her tomato and turmeric as the secret ingredients and she made this delicious Paneer Do Pyaza. By the way, Aruna has a beautiful blog and I would love to make  Thuthuvalai Rasam and Pachai Sundakai Thogayal. I miss the fresh thuthuvalai and sundakai here and whenever I get my hands on these, I am going to try these amazing recipes!

Serves 4
Prep time: 7 minutes
Cook time : 15 minutes

Butter - 2 to 3 tbsp
Garlic - 2 tbsp, chopped
Onion - 3/4 cup
Celery - 1/3 cup, chopped
Carrots - 1 cup, thick shreds
Broccoli florets - 3 cup, medium florets
All-purpose flour - 4 tbsp
Milk - 2 cups
Water/broth - 2 cups
Salt - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 3/4 tsp
Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese - 2 cups, shredded
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, for garnish


Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pot or a Dutch oven, over medium flame. When it completely melts, add garlic, onion, and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the flour and mix thoroughly and cook until the flour slightly begins to turn golden. 

Add the broccoli florets, carrots, milk, water/broth, and cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree a little to make it creamy, leaving most of it chunky.

Switch off the flame. Stir in half the cheese.

Ladle into serving bowls, top with a little of reserved cheese, a little black pepper, garnidh with cilantro, and serve immediately.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful recipe of broccoli cheddar soup.i have tasted this during my stay in the US but was unable to get the exact recipe to replicate. I certainly loved the creamy texture and subtle flavors of the soup

  2. Panera Style Broccoli Cheddar Soup looks super creamy, cheesy and no doubt it tasted super yummy. Loved the way veggies cooked in milk and cream, it gave good taste and texture to soup.

  3. Wow this looks such a hearty and comforting soup with all the veggies. Adding cheese to it makes it rich and creamy.

  4. Radha I'm not a big fan of broccoli soup, I avoid it when possible. However, during my visit to US, we went to Panera with my sister in law and she insisted that I try out the broccoli cheddar soup and loved it. Now I have your recipe to follow and make it at home.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday, 578. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. I had the olive garden minestrone soup bookmarked to make for this theme, but couldnt get around to. bookmarkign ur panera style soup. super creamy, delish I bet !

  7. Omg this is my favorite and I make sure I order this every time I go to Panera. I have never tried to make this at home and I would love to try it.

  8. Panera style broccoli cheddar soup looks so delightful! Love the creamy texture amd flavors of this soup.

  9. Broccoli cheddar soup looks irresistible. Loved the colour of the soup. Soup sounds so healthy nutritious and absolutely delicious. I would love to try soon.

  10. Broccoli cheddar soup looks so creamy and delicious. It makes a good treat for winter nights. On my list to do.

  11. Panera Style Broccoli Cheddar Soup looks irresistible !!!! Loved the pretty color of the soup. So healthy nutritious and absolutely delicious.....

  12. Broccoli cheddar soup looks so rich and creamy. Absolutely irresistible! I love soups and will definitely try your recipe soon. Perfect soup for the cold nights.

  13. Broccoli and Cheddar soup is one of our soup to order when I was in US,while dining out.Thanks for your recipe now I can make replicate it at home as kids miss this restaurant style creamy cheddar soup. Looks so inviting.

  14. The Broccoli and Cheddar Soup looks irresistible! I'm sure my family and I would love it. Thank you so much for the detailed recipe - bookmarking it to try shortly.

  15. Our Autumn months have just started. Once the cools down starts I am sure I will relay of the easy and warmth of this broccoli cheedar soup recipe for a very long time.