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Broccoli Cheese Soup

Way better than Panera’s, this broccoli cheese soup is a great way to effortlessly add more of the good stuff (veggies) to your weekly meals. Loaded with milk, cheese, and paprika, every spoonful is addictively creamy!

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Comfortingly rich, this broccoli cheese soup is a bowl of veggie and cheesy goodness that’ll have everyone asking for seconds. It’s so good it’ll outshine Panera’s version in a second. Better yet, it’s much healthier because you’re in full control of what goes into it.

Loaded with milk and chicken broth, even the pickiest eaters will fall in love with this velvety soup despite having additional secret veggies like carrots and onions. As long as the cheddar is melty, there’s no way they’ll refuse a warm bowl of it. Simmered over low heat, it comes together easily and will be on your table in less than an hour.

After everyone’s had a taste, you’ll be driving straight past Panera for a while in order to cross off the “green tree” vegetable from your shopping list each week. Addictively creamy, cheesy, and sweet, you’ll wonder how you didn’t come across this recipe sooner to help you sneak more veggies into your weekday menu. It’ll be a hit!

Ingredients for broccoli cheese soup.

What You’ll Need

Broccoli, milk, and cheese are the 3 most important ingredients for this broccoli cheese soup. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.

  • Unsalted butter – If you use salted butter then adjust the salt in the rest of the recipe.
  • Yellow onion – White onion is a good alternative.
  • Garlic – Feel free to substitute it for 2-3 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • Carrots – You can also use 1 1/2 cups of leftover baby carrots.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour – Don’t use whole-wheat flour for this, only all-purpose. Also, no cornstarch.
  • Milk – I prefer full-fat for the creamiest soup.
  • Low-sodium chicken broth – Veggie stock is a good alternative.
  • Bay leaf – Feel free to leave it out.
  • Broccoli florets
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Sweet paprika – Mild and smoked paprika are great options as well.
  • Low-fat cheddar cheese – Full-fat cheese works too.
Broccoli cheese soup in a bowl.

How To Make Broccoli Cheese Soup

Making this broccoli cheese soup is easier than it seems.

  • Cook the onions. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, and carrots for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are fragrant and the carrots have softened.
  • Add the milk. Whisk in the flour and add milk. Mix until everything is well combined. Make sure to break up any large lumps of flour that may form.
  • Pour in the broth. Stir in the chicken broth and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the broccoli. Add in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Blend it. Pour the soup into a blender and process it until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender.
  • Melt the cheese. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cheese. Cook it for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Adjust the flavor with more salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pot from the heat and serve.

Tips For Successful Soup

Avoid a separated broccoli cheese soup by following these simple tips:

  • Don’t leave it in the pot. Although this soup should be served warm, you shouldn’t leave it in the pot for a long time because overheating the soup will cause it to seize and separate.
  • Cook it over low heat. Raising the heat will often result in a grainy texture. Keep things super creamy by cooking this soup over medium-low heat and stirring occasionally.
  • Add melty cheese. Don’t worry if you’re out of cheddar. Any melty cheese blend or leftover cheese will work.
Bowl of broccoli cheese soup.

What to Serve With Broccoli Cheese Soup

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To Refrigerate: Wait until the soup has cooled down to room temperature before refrigerating it in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat: pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir well. Microwave it for another 30 seconds or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  • To Freeze: Transfer this broccoli cheese soup to large freezer bags once fully cooled. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Pop it into the fridge overnight to defrost a day before ready to serve. Reheat it as usual. If it’s too thick, just add milk or heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency.

More Cozy Soup Recipes:

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

Katerina | Diethood
Better than Panera's, this broccoli cheese soup will have you skipping visits to the restaurant in order to make this creamy recipe at home. 
4.58 from 14 votes
Servings : 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 ounces broccoli florets, thaw if frozen
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 8 ounces low fat shredded cheddar cheese


  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
  • Add onion, garlic, carrots, and salt to the melted butter and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add the rest of the butter and melt.
  • Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until incorporated.
  • Slowly add milk and 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 soup with salt and pepper, and cook the soup over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pour batches of soup into a high-powered blender or a food processor, and process until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender.
  • Return soup to the pot; continue to cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add in the cheese and stir until melted and completely combined.
  • Stir in the paprika and nutmeg. Taste the soup for salt, pepper, and seasonings, and adjust accordingly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Ladle into soup bowls and serve.



Serving: 1.5 cups | Calories: 277 kcal | Carbohydrates: 20 g | Protein: 17 g | Fat: 16 g | Saturated Fat: 9 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0.4 g | Cholesterol: 43 mg | Sodium: 334 mg | Potassium: 592 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 8 g | Vitamin A: 6090 IU | Vitamin C: 71 mg | Calcium: 316 mg | Iron: 1 mg | Net Carbs: 17 g

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.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best broccoli cheese soup recipe, broccoli, broccoli cheese soup, easy broccoli cheese soup recipe, soups
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