Best Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat)

It’s here! The best broccoli cheese soup that tastes so close to Panera Bread’s, you may never leave your house for soup again!

I know it doesn’t feel like soup weather, just yet. But you and I both know this delicious time of the year is just around the corner. So that’s why I needed to share with you now this yummy, oh-so-good, Broccoli Cheese soup recipe. I’m pretty sure this is a comfort food recipe you are going to want to make again and again into the fall and winter months. I know I will be!

So, a little back story.

If you have ever dined at Panera Bread restaurant, you know they are pretty famous for their Broccoli Cheese soup. And rightly so because it’s amazing! One of their classic ways to serve it is in a scrumptious sourdough bread bowl.

It so happens one day when I was shopping for bread at our local grocery story, I stumbled upon Panera sourdough bread bowls. Instantly I started thinking maybe I could enjoy their super yummy broccoli cheese soup in a freakin’ bread bowl – at home! So I bought all the bread bowls on the shelf – true story – an rushed home to whip up a delish broccoli cheese soup copycat recipe that would not disappoint.

And guess what? I did it!

This soup is soooo close to the real deal. I actually visited Panera Bread’s website to see the listed ingredients of their broccoli cheese soup classic. It has a secret ingredient – well I guess it’s not so secret because they did list it. But I think you might be shocked to know there’s Dijon mustard in that broccoli cheese bowl. I know. I was like what the what?! And since I big fan of Dijon mustard, I was all for it.

The Ingredient That Matters

This may seem obvious but really – I have to say it – use an amazingly good cheese! Broccoli pretty much comes in one flavor – broccoli. But cheese can vary and when it’s the star of the soup – it must be delish. So I suggest to do lots of taste testing to get a sharp cheddar cheese you love. Then don’t hold back! I used almost 3/4 lb of cheese in my soup and I have no regrets. None. It was so tasty, to the very last scoop!

Give this soup a try then let me know what you think. My family gave me a big two thumbs up. Chris’s only compliant – there wasn’t enough for seconds! 🙂

Be sure and PIN this recipe for later!

Best Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat)

Best Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera Copycat)

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small or medium sweet yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced finely
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 to 3 cups broccoli florets, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups matchstick cut carrots
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces grated high quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, with a small amount reserved for garnishing


  1. In a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon butter, the diced onion, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent and barely browned, about 4 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  2. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it won't burn. Remove from heat and then set the pan aside.
  3. In a large heavy-bottom pot, add 4 tablespoons butter and flour. Cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly until flour is thickened.
  4. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly.
  5. Then slowly add the half-and-half, whisking constantly.
  6. Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some.
  7. While mixture is simmering, chop the broccoli. Then after simmering about 15 to 20 minutes, add the broccoli, carrots, and the onion and garlic you previously set aside.
  8. Next add the salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine.
  9. Allow soup to simmer over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some.
  10. While soup simmers, grate the cheese. After soup has been simmering for about 20 to 25 minutes, add most of the cheese, reserving a small amount for garnishing bowls. Stir in the cheese until melted and incorporated fully, less than 1 minute.
  11. Transfer soup to bowls or to preheated bread bowls, garnish with reserved cheese, and serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight for 5 to 7 days in the fridge.

And if you love a good copycat recipe, I have even more delicious ones for you to check out below. 🙂

Summertime Peach Whiskey Sours // Modern Glam

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Starbucks Recipe // My 100 Year Old Home

Copycat Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew // My Sweet Savannah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *