Dinner is ready in 30 minutes with this comforting, creamy, hearty Broccoli Cheese Soup that's a meal by itself.
Let me show you one of my family's best soup recipes that comes very close to the Panera Bread version.
Grab a spoon because we’re serving up soup for dinner tonight!
It seems everyone has their own copycat version of Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe from Panera Bread. However, I think my version is the best.
The first time I made this recipe, I followed the online recipe. But over the years I've made a few adjustments and I believe I've come up with a very easy soup recipe that's perfect to serve all year long.
If you enjoy Panera Bread soups, you're going to want to try my Loaded Potato Soup which is another copycat version. What makes both of these recipes even more delicious is serving them in semi-homemade bread bowls instead of a soup bowl.
Table of Contents
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This is a rich, creamy soup ready in 30 minutes. It makes enough for 6 people, so if you're preparing it for a larger crowd, you definitely need to double the recipe.
I use frozen broccoli florets that I hand chop. Using broccoli florets is better than frozen chopped broccoli, which in my opinion is full of broccoli stalks.
You can also use fresh broccoli, which I have done plenty of times. I've also substituted the half and half with fat free half and half. The recipe still tastes creamy and delicious.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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Main Ingredients Needed
This is an overview of the ingredients and instructions. Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact quantities, detailed instructions and special notes.
- Half and half
- Chicken stock - you can substitute vegetable stock if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian.
- Chicken bouillon cube - I always add a bouillon cube or two to my homemade soup recipes.
- Broccoli - I use frozen broccoli florets. You can also use fresh broccoli.
- Carrots - finely grated which will help give the soup the flavor without the texture of chunks of carrots.
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste. I almost never need to add salt to this recipe.
- Step 1: In a large Dutch oven or stock pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Step 2: Then add the the flour and cook together until it turns golden.
- Step 3: Next, pour in the chicken stock and then the half and half.
- Step 4: Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until the mixture thickens.
Add the Chopped Broccoli
- Step 5: Add in the chicken bouillon cube followed by the chopped broccoli. It's okay if the broccoli is still frozen.
- Step 6: Then add the grated carrots. Again, allow everything to return to a boil and cook until the soup is thickened.
- Step 7: Then add the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Step 8: Season the soup with salt and pepper if needed before serving.
- Garnish with extra shredded cheese and serve immediately. One of our favorite ways to enjoy Broccoli Cheese Soup at Panera Bread is in a bread bowl.
- Have you ever tried making your own bread bowls to serve soup? They're not that difficult; especially if you follow my recipe that starts out with frozen bread dough.
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- Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Store the soup in the refrigerator as soon as possible after it has cooled down. The longer it sits at room temperature, the higher the risk of bacteria growth.
- Use the leftover Broccoli Cheddar Soup within 4-5 days.
- If you don't plan on using the soup within four days, consider freezing it.
- Pour the soup into freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags.
- Make sure to leave some headspace to allow for expansion during freezing.
- Label each container with the date for easy reference.
- Soups can generally be kept frozen for around three months.
Frequently Asked Recipe Question
While there is no meat in this broccoli cheese soup, I do use chicken broth. Therefore, you cannot consider this soup vegetarian. You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you want.
🌟Try these recipes next...
- Potato and Corn Chowder - this recipe is made using the crock pot and is very economical.
- Three Bean Minestrone Soup - another soup recipe that can be served like a meal.
- Homemade Beef Barley Soup - I grew up on this recipe but never enjoyed it when I was younger! That's not the case now with this recipe!
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- ½ cup finely grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- In a large dutch oven or stock pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then add the the flour and cook together until it turns golden.
- Next, pour in the chicken stock and then the half and half. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until the mixture thickens.
- Add in the chicken bouillon cube followed by the chopped broccoli. It’s okay if the broccoli is still frozen.
- Then add the grated carrots.allow everything to return to a boil and cook until the soup is thickened.
- Then add the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with extra shredded cheese and serve immediately. One of our favorite ways to enjoy Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Panera Bread is in a bread bowl.
Have you ever tried making your own bread bowls to serve soup? They’re not that difficult; especially if you follow my recipe that starts out with frozen bread dough.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.