Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup To Spice Up Your Day

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Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a creamy, comforting blend of chopped broccoli and shredded carrots, enveloped in a rich cheddar cheese broth. This velvety soup delivers a perfect balance of vegetable goodness and indulgent cheese flavor, making it a beloved choice for those seeking warmth and satisfaction in a bowl. It’s a signature dish renowned for its hearty, soothing qualities.

You’ve come to the right place if you love Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe! Panera Bread’s delicious broccoli cheddar soup is surprisingly easy to recreate at home.

It’s arguably the best Panera Bread recipe we can copy.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

What makes things even better is that Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup recipe can be made in a crock pot (Also check out How To Make Panera Thai Chicken Soup At Home).. This makes making a hearty soup with very little fuss super easy.

Today, we will show you how to make a Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup crock pot recipe that rivals the fast food chain.

We’ll show you exactly what you need and how to make it before answering some frequently asked questions.

This crock pot soup recipe is ideal for family dinners and dinner parties, so stick around if you want to make a soup your family and friends will love!

What Is Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a creamy, rich soup that combines the hearty flavors of fresh broccoli florets and sharp cheddar cheese. Known for its comforting consistency, it’s a popular choice among patrons.

The blend of vegetables and cheese, complemented by subtle seasonings, offers a delightful balance that warms the soul. Revered for its mouthwatering taste and texture, it stands as one of the signature dishes of the Panera Bread menu, loved by many for its homestyle appeal.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto Replace flour with almond flour or xanthan gum. Use heavy cream instead of milk and opt for high-fat cheese.
  • Paleo Swap regular butter for ghee. Use almond milk and skip the flour, thickening with arrowroot powder instead.
  • Gluten-Free Substitute flour with a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch for thickening.
  • Whole30 Use ghee instead of butter, compliant almond milk, and skip the cheese. Ensure your chicken broth is Whole30 approved.
  • Vegetarian Use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
  • Vegan Omit the cheddar or use a vegan cheese substitute. Replace butter with a vegan spread and use plant-based milk, like almond or oat.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Recipe Directions

  1. Preparation: Grate the cheddar, dice the vegetables, and set up your crock pot.
  2. Sauté Onion: Melt butter in a pan, sauté onions, and transfer to a crock pot.
  3. Add Ingredients: Pour carrots, broccoli, celery, and chicken broth into the crock pot.
  4. Slow Cook: Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. Creamy Mixture: Prepare a creamy mixture of butter, flour, and broth, then whisk it into the soup.
  6. Thicken and Season: Combine cornstarch and water, and whisk into the soup with milk, cheddar, salt, and pepper. Cook on high for 60 minutes.
  7. Serve: Dish out the delicious soup and enjoy!
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


You can make several variations to this recipe if you need or want to.

Below, we’ve listed some of the simple variations you could use to make our broccoli cheddar soup!

  • If you don’t have chicken broth, use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base mixed with water instead.
  • If you follow a vegetarian diet, use vegetable broth or stock instead.
  • You can also use dairy-free milk, cheddar, and butter to make this soup.
  • Don’t be afraid to throw in any other vegetables left in your cupboards.
  • You could add a dash of cayenne pepper to your soup for a spicy flavor.


  • Proteins: Enhance heartiness by adding diced chicken, turkey, or tofu.
  • Veggies: Boost nutritional value with additions like spinach, kale, or diced bell peppers.


  • Crunch: Introduce croutons, toasted almond slivers, or even roasted chickpeas for a delightful crunch.
  • Cheese: Top with additional grated cheddar, Parmesan, or feta for a varied cheese profile.
  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, chives, or cilantro can impart a new contrast to the creamy base.
  • Heat: A drizzle of hot sauce or a sprinkle of red chili flakes for those who desire a spicy kick.
  • Creaminess: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt can lend a tangy, creamy element.
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Can I Make Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • Follow the initial steps of sautéing onions and vegetables on the stovetop and then transfer them to the slow cooker
  • Add broth and cook on low for 4-6 hours. In the final hour, introduce the creamy roux mixture and cheese, allowing it to meld with the vegetables.

Instant Pot

  • Use the “Sauté” function for onions and vegetables. Add the broth and cook using the “Soup” setting. 
  • Once done, revert to “Sauté” mode to incorporate the roux and cheese, stirring until creamy.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Ideal for quick preparations, saving time.
  • Standardized Taste: Offers a predictable flavor profile.
  • Options: Comes in various types, like organic, low-sodium, and bone broth.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor: Customizable, enabling a richer and fresher taste tailored to your liking.
  • No Additives: Free from preservatives or unwanted ingredients.
  • Resourceful: A great way to utilize leftover bones and vegetable scraps.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

How To Serve ?

  • Temperature: Ensure it’s steaming hot but not boiling. The perfect temperature brings out the flavors.
  • Bowl Choice: Use a warm bowl to maintain the soup temperature. Pre-warm by rinsing with hot water.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar, a few finely chopped broccoli florets, or fresh parsley on top for color and texture.
  • Accompaniment: Offer crusty bread or croutons for a delightful crunch.
  • Consistency: Ensure the soup has a creamy, uniform texture. Stir well before serving.
  • Pairing: Consider a light salad or sandwich to complement the rich soup.
  • Setting: A cozy ambiance with dimmed lights and soft music enhances the soup-savoring experience.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread Rolls: Adds texture and helps to soak up the soup.
  • Apple Walnut Salad: Offers a crunchy, sweet contrast to the creamy soup.
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh: Provides a light, refreshing side with a herby zing.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Enhances the meal with earthy flavors and adds color.
  • Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks: Delivers a savory crunch and garlic flavor.
  • Caesar Salad: Classic pairing that brings a tangy and crispy texture.
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Adds sweetness and a soft, crisp texture.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A traditional partner for soup, offering gooey, comforting warmth.
  • Kale and Almond Salad: Introduces a bitter note and crunchy texture, balancing the creamy soup.
  • Cornbread: Offers a sweet, crumbly alternative to traditional rolls.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Place cooled soup in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until hot.
  • Freezing: Allow soup to cool; avoid freezing if using fresh cream as it may separate. Freeze in portions for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare soup up to two days in advance to enhance flavors. Keep refrigerated and reheat gently, adding a little milk or stock if the soup is too thick.
  • Reheating: Warm slowly on low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and maintain creamy texture. Avoid boiling to prevent separation.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Broccoli Pasta Sauce: Reduce until thickened and toss with pasta for a creamy dish.
  • Casserole Base: Use as a flavorful base in casseroles, combined with rice, chicken, or other vegetables.
  • Stuffed Baked Potato: Pour over a baked potato for a rich and hearty meal.
  • Bread Bowl: Hollow out a bread loaf and pour the reheated soup into a delicious edible container.
  • Risotto: Incorporate the soup into a risotto recipe for added flavor and creaminess.
  • Pot Pie Filling: Topped with puff pastry or pie crust as a filling in pot pies.
  • Soup Base: Add new ingredients like beans, lentils, or additional veggies to create a new soup variant.
  • Gratin: Layer with sliced potatoes in a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake until bubbly.


  • Quality Ingredients: Use fresh broccoli and high-quality aged cheddar for the best flavor.
  • Sauté Vegetables: Cook the onions and carrots slowly until they’re soft but not browned to create a sweet, flavorful base.
  • Roux Foundation: Make a roux with butter and flour to thicken the soup, ensuring a creamy texture.
  • Gradual Cheese Addition: Add cheddar gradually while stirring to avoid clumps and ensure smooth melting.
  • Simmer Gently: Avoid boiling once the cheese is added to prevent separation and maintain a velvety consistency.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust salt and pepper before serving, enhancing the soup’s rich flavors.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup To Spice Up Your Day

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup To Spice Up Your Day

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Course: soup recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup combines fresh broccoli and savory cheese in a creamy base. Every spoonful delivers comfort and rich flavor, making it a beloved choice among patrons.


  • 1 Tbsp+ ¼ Cup 1 Tbsp+ ¼ Cup Butter

  • 1 1 Yellow Onion (Diced)

  • 2-3 2-3 Celery Ribs (Diced)

  • 2-3 2-3 Carrots (Diced)

  • 4 Cups 4 Broccoli Florets

  • 3 Cups 3 Chicken Broth

  • ¼ Cup ¼ Flour

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Cornstarch

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Water

  • 2 Cups 2 Milk

  • 1 Block 1 Cheddar Cheese

  • ½ Tsp ½ Salt

  • Ground Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • The first thing you need to do when making this soup is prepare all the ingredients. This includes grating the cheddar, dicing the vegetables, and lifting the crock pot from the cupboard.
    You can start making the soup when you’ve prepared the ingredients.
  • You can now start by melting butter in a pan on medium heat. Then, you can saute the diced onion in the butter for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. 
    After that, throw the sauteed onion into your crock pot.
  • Once you’ve sauteed the onion, things start to get incredibly easy. The next step in making this soup is to add the carrots, broccoli, celery, and chicken broth to the crock pot.
    To do this, throw all the ingredients mentioned into the crock pot. It is as simple as that.
  • Arguably the easiest step, you can now cover your soup and leave it to cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Once 4 hours have passed, turn your slow cooker to high and prepare the creamy mixture.
    To do this, heat ¼ cup of butter in a microwave or stovetop until melted. Then, slowly whisk in the flour until you’re left with a creamy mixture.
    Then, stir 1 cup of broth from the soup into the mixture. Again, whisk until thick. You should then whisk the mixture into your soup.
  • Mix the cornstarch with water in a small bowl until it becomes smooth. Once smooth, whisk it into the soup before stirring in the milk, cheddar, salt, and pepper. 
    After that, cover the soup and leave it to cook on high for 60 minutes.
  • When 60 minutes have passed, you can remove the lid and serve your Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup to your guests.

Recipe Video


  • Adjust salt according to your broth’s sodium content.
  • For a smoother texture, blend half the soup before adding the cheese.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Consider using fresh, organic ingredients for enhanced flavor.
  • Substitute heavy cream with milk or a non-dairy alternative for a lighter version.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

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