June 14, 2024

If your go-to order at Panera is a big bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, this is the recipe for you. Whip up a batch of homemade soup in just 40 minutes that rivals the restaurant. Each creamy bite is loaded with carrots, broccoli, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve the finished soup with crunchy croutons, crusty bread, or all on its own. It’s the comforting, nostalgic recipe you’ve been waiting for.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients

You’ll need just a handful of inexpensive ingredients to make this Panera copycat broccoli cheddar soup.

  • Butter: Salted butter forms the base of the roux which is used to thicken the soup.
  • Flour: This is the other half the roux that gives this soup it’s thick, creamy texture.
  • Yellow Onion: You can substitute white or sweet onion here for flavor. You can use red onion in a pinch but it may change the color of the finished soup.
  • Chicken Broth: To help control the saltiness of the finished soup, our Test Kitchen recommends using low sodium broth.
  • Half-and-Half: Our taste testers preferred the flavor and richness of half-and-half but you can substitute milk if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Carrots: Shredded carrots add flavor and sweetness to the finished soup.
  • Broccoli: We recommend using fresh broccoli in this recipe but you can use frozen. Rather than add it right to the pot, we recommend thawing it and patting it dry to remove as much excess liquid as possible.
  • Cheese: To ensure a smooth and creamy soup, our Test Kitchen recommends buying a block of cheddar cheese and shredding the cheese just before using. Pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well. You can use sharp or mild cheddar depending on which flavor you like best.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and nutmeg are all the spices you need to make this copycat recipe.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Making this homemade broccoli cheddar soup is as easy as stirring. Seriously! You’ll start by melting the butter and cooking the onion until its translucent. The next step is all about making the roux. For that, you’ll stir in flour and cook for a minute. Be sure to keep stirring so the flour doesn’t burn. Use a whisk to stir as you add the broth and half-and-half. Once it’s thickened, add carrots and broccoli. Just before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and seasonings.

How to Serve Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If you want to serve this soup just like the restaurant, ladle it into bread bowls and serve right away. We also love to add some croutons for a crunch or serve with a crusty baguette. If you’re looking to make it a heartier meal, serve it alongside a baked potato, salad, or roasted veggies.

How to Store Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Store any leftover broccoli cheddar soup in the fridge for up to 3 days. Package it up in a labeled, airtight container. For longer storage, you can freeze broccoli cheddar soup. Place the soup in an airtight container or bag and label it with the date. Broccoli cheddar soup will last for 1-2 months in the freezer.

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