Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe (A Better Than Panera Copycat!)

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This easy Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is based upon Panera’s, but if you ask me, it’s better! If you love Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!

Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat) | | If you love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!


Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup? You be the judge! Thick, rich, creamy, cheesy comfort in a soup bowl with tender broccoli and cheddar cheese, just the way I love it!

This is an older recipe from the Diethood Archives, now updated with fresh content and photos. Original post/recipe published on 4/18/2011.

Hi-Ya, friends! Happy about-to-be-the-weekend! What are your plans? Any parties to attend?? I have a wedding to go to tomorrow night and a pre-party tonight, AND I couldn’t be more excited! I get to hang out with all my besties, eat cake and drink champagne! It’s a hard knock life.  

Soooo, since I’ll be a bit tied up with trying to get my party dress on, and fixing my face, and getting my hair did – it’s going to be a busy 2 days – I thought this was the best time to share one of my recipes from the Diethood Archives. I posted this recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup back in 2011, when Diethood was just a few months old. [[[[applause]]]] 😉

Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat) | | If you love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!


With that said, do you know what happens when you take two very very healthy vegetables, broccoli and carrots, and marry them with milk and cheese? You make them very very… delicious!! Actually, the taste is beyond delicious. This soup is seriously, SO GOOD!

One of the things I could not eat as a child was broccoli, but put a bowl of soup with it in front of me (with cheese), and I was game. This probably goes for most of you, too. Those green trees just weren’t very appealing back then. Even now, for some.

Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat) | | If you love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!

When we came to the States, and when I discovered that this bowl of deliciousness existed, I thought that soup couldn’t get better than this. Then, years later, I discovered Panera and its broccoli cheese soup – oh my bejesus! Now, for real, soup could not get better than that! Have you had their soup? I wanted to have it every day (and I did for about two weeks), so I had to find out how to make this at home.

During my long extensive search (Google couldn’t produce results for “Panera Broccoli Cheese/Cheddar Soup” in 1994), I ran into someone who swore that they had the recipe, and it couldn’t be any different than the real stuff. I took down the recipe, followed it to the “T”, and every dotted “i’”, and low and behold, this is it!


  • Broccoli, butter, onion, flour, milk, vegetable broth, carrots, salt, paprika, nutmeg, and cheddar cheese.
  • Throw all of that, step by step, in a soup pot and let it do its thing. 35 ish minutes later, this is what you get.

Broccoli Cheese Soup | Panera Copycat | | If you love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!

I believe it tastes even better than Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup, but, you be the judge – give it a go, you’ll see.


  • Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
  • Soup in the refrigerator stays good for up to 4 days.


  • Let soup cool completely and transfer it to large freezer bags.
  • Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, defrost in the fridge over night, then add the soup to a saucepan and reheat over medium heat. If soup is too thick, add water, broth, or cream, couple tablespoons at a time to reach desired consistency.





5 from 5 votes
Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat) | | If you love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

9 9 9
WW Freestyle: 8
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
If you love Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup, you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 252


  • 5 tablespoons butter , divided
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 3 carrots , sliced into thin rounds
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces low fat shredded cheddar cheese


  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
  • Add onion, garlic, carrots, and pinch of salt; cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the butter and melt.
  • Whisk in flour; whisk until incorporated.
  • Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until everything is well combined and there are no clumps.
  • Whisk in chicken broth, add bay leaf, and turn up heat to high; bring soup to a boil.
  • Add the broccoli florets, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Pour batches of soup into a blender or a food processor, and puree.
  • Return soup to the soup-pot; continue to cook over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until melted and completely combined.
  • Stir in the paprika and nutmeg.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Serve.
Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 252 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 395mg16%
Potassium 324mg9%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 5615IU112%
Vitamin C 3.5mg4%
Calcium 271mg27%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Keywords: best broccoli cheese soup recipe, broccoli, broccoli cheese soup, easy broccoli cheese soup recipe, soups

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75 Responses

    I love this soup! I did add three stalks celery with the veggies and augmented with more milk and broth as well as vermouth or white wine for added elegance. Delicious!

    1. Krys

      This recipe is a family favorite! Only one amendment; if you have an immersion blender, take the soup off the heat and use it to purée the cooked broccoli and liquid. Then put it back on the burner and stir in grated cheese. Saves a LOT of time and mess if you can skip transferring in batches to a blender or food processor.

  2. Olivia

    I just made this soup. I really like that this recipe uses milk instead cream or half and half. I actually used 1% milk, since that was what I had on hand. It is incredibly good! I would personally say it’s better than Panera’s. I’m so glad I doubled the recipe!

  3. Sherrie Schulz

    What is the WE points for the cheddar cheese broccoli soup. It looks so delicious. I tell everyone to go to your site because you always post the WE points. It is so helpful.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      OH you’re right! I’m so sorry!! I will update it right away. Thank you so much for letting me know! xo

      1. Linda T

        Hi, I only had full fat cheese today when making this soup. Will it still be ok, except for the extra calories and fat?

  4. Joanne

    I would leave out the flour altogether as it was WAY too thick when I blended it, I had to add 2 cups more liquid. I originally used only one cup milk and 3 cups broth, but the flour was unnecessary, requiring more cups of broth. Next time I will leave the flour out and using immersion blender, it is plenty creamy. I make other veggie soups w/o flour and they are very creamy and w/o dairy or flour. Just sayin’. Very good with the ending addition of that cheddar cheese!

  5. Sheronna

    I made this tonight, it tastes wonderful to me. I had some leftover nacho cheese so that’s what I used and it works. My family loves meat so I’ll add bacon to their bowls. I’ve always resisted broccoli cheese soup but your simple recipe changed my mind. Thank you!

  6. Michelle | A Latte Food

    I LOVE Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup! Even when it’s 100 degrees outside, I can never say no to it in a bread bowl! I can’t wait to try this homemade recipe!

  7. Meg @ With Salt and Wit

    OH my word. Now this is heaven. My hubs is gonna be so thankful when I whip this up as he LOVES that soup. And pretty sure this will make me fall in love with it too (I always get their chicken noodle!).

  8. Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron

    WOW, this looks amazing! I’ve never tasted the Panera version, but I am SOLD on this soup!

  9. Fresh and Foodie

    Broccoli cheese soup is probably my all-time favorite! Yours certainly looks great — will definitely check out your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Juliana

    This soup looks very inviting…love the idea of broccoli and carrots…creamy and tasty. Have a great week 🙂

  11. Celia

    Love the addition of carrot to this soup! It’s grey and rainy out here in NY and I could totally use a warm, cheesy, cheery bowl of this…yum!

  12. Magic of Spice

    Looks so delicious…I have always loved broccoli actually and the pairing with carrot sounds wonderful 🙂

  13. Emily @ Life On Food

    This is one of my favorite soups. I made it for the first time recently and the cheese flavor was not nearly as strong as I would have liked. I will try this out soon!

  14. yesim

    i love soup , and i love broccoli soup as well but as u mentioned when u add milk and butter and egg , it become more calory and not so healthy:(
    but tasty anyway:)

  15. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    I guess I’ve been missing out – never had Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup – but yours looks pretty terrific, so I’ll take your word for it 🙂

  16. Krissyp

    Looks wonderful Kate and I see NOTHING unhealthy about this. We need calcium and vit D so why not combine broccoli and carrots with milk and cheese…into a great big bowl of “more please.” This is real food, if we were all eating more like this and less of that processed junk diabetes would not be as prevalant, thyroid issues would auto correct with adequate vitamin D levels, and we would all have strong bones 😉 I was really craving soup this week, I may pair this up with your whole wheat bread (the quick stuff). Thanks for sharing!

  17. kita

    I love broccoli and cheese soup. Every guilt inducing bite of it. I could really go for a bowl of this right now.

  18. Karen

    Yes, cheese and milk do tend to make things better, don’t they. This soup looks delish! A sure-fire way to get broccoli haters to eat their greens!

  19. fooddreamer

    I don’t know that I’ve ever had Panera’s version, but I really did love the Cook’s Illustrated version I made recently. Yours looks great too!

  20. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Hi Kate! Thanks for your kind comment over on my site. This broccoli cheese soup looks fantastic and SO flavorful! It may be warming up around here, but I can always use another excuse to use my immersion blender! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. 🙂 Have a great week!

  21. Claudie

    There’s just one thing I will disagree with 😀 I will claim that even with its milk and cheese, this soup is healthy hehe. I mean, how can something which tastes so good be unhealthy? 😛 I think it’d make a perfect dinner for the cold Monday evening we have here in San Fran! Thank you for sharing!

  22. Sandra's Easy Cooking

    Beautiful presentation as well as your photos! Great recipe, didn’t try broccoli soup before because I love them mostly raw but will give it try soon! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Krissyp

      Hey Sandra, saw your response to this wonderful recipe and wanted to mention that steamed broccoli is better than raw if trying to lower cholesterol (it binds better with bile salts and helps to reduce cholesterol that way). Jusy a little tip. So eat it raw and steamed 😉

  23. Liz

    Oh, how yummy!!! I have a feeling there will be a few more soup worthy days left this spring…and I will definitely put this on the menu!

  24. The Farmers Wife

    Love broccoli cheese soup, especially panera’s! I miss their soup so much… Yours looks incredible!

  25. Kate

    If this is Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup than this blog post is gold! I am about to do the same and heat right over to foodbeast as we speak! Cannot WAIT to try this!

  26. Sandra

    In a moment of weakness about a month ago, I bought a couple pkgs of seasonings for Broccoli Cheese Soup. Right now I haven’t the faintest idea where it is. That’s probably a good thing, I’d prefer to make this one.

  27. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Ha! I saw the title and thought there was NO way you were able t make broccoli cheese soup low fat and tasting good. I’m glad to see that you didn’t even try. I can’t wait to give this a go though. Thanks for doing the research for us!

    1. Kate@Diethood

      Not that I haven’t tried to slow this one down on the cals… but the truth of the matter is that it tastes best with all the high-calorie goodness in there. 🙂

  28. Charlie

    I love broccoli. Even loved it as a child ;).
    Broccoli soup is one of my favorites but I actually never had broccoli cheese soup! But I had broccoli with cheese & I know it is delicious :).

  29. Lauren @ L-Mo Cooks

    Well I guess I’ll be going over to Foodbeast. Baby lady adores Panera’s broccoli cheese soup, so it’s essential that I learn how!

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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