Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese soup, is creamy, rich, full of flavor, and fresh broccoli florets. This easy copycat recipe will have your family begging for seconds!
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This Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is easy to make at home like my Copycat In N Out Burger, Starbucks Banana Bread. Creamy, cheesy, and loaded with broccoli. It comes together fast which makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal served with some of my Ciabatta Garlic Bread.
Why this recipe works
Homemade copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup is cheaper to make and tastes just as good, if not, BETTER! This hearty soup with its cheesy goodness is ready in only 40 minutes- not hours on the stove. Creamy soup like this is pure comfort food that the whole family can't get enough of. Hearty warm soups like this great soup are perfect for a blustery, cold day!
- Butter: Unsalted butter
- Four: All purpose flour
- Vegetables: onions, diced carrots, celery, and fresh broccoli florets
- Garlic cloves: Fresh minced.
- Chicken stock: adds a nice depth of flavor and can be swapped for vegetable broth or veggie stock, if needed.
- Dairy: I use whole milk and heavy cream
- Spices: nutmeg, salt, and black pepper
- Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese
How to Make Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Step 1: In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Step 2: Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until soft.
- Step 3: Next, add flour to the pot and whisk.
- Step 4: Then add the chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream. Use a wooden spoon to stir.
- Step 5: Add in broccoli and nutmeg. Cook and stir.
- Step 6: Toss the shredded cheese into the pot, stir until cheese melts.
- I use whole milk and heavy cream, but you could use half and half if you want.
- Always shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses contain potato starch and don't melt as nicely.
- I chop my broccoli in tiny florets, but if you like them larger go for it.
- You can serve this in a bread bowl like you'd get at the restaurant if desired. Buy a bread bowl from the store, or make your own, cut the top crust and remove the center to create a well for the soup to be added in. Use the removed bread to dip in the soup.
- Serve this homemade broccoli cheddar soup with some crusty bread like Ciabatta Garlic Bread, breadsticks, or some homemade Artisan Bread.
Fresh is always best, so if you have access to fresh broccoli that should be your first choice. But you can use frozen in a pinch.
When it comes to melting cheese into soup, the best kind of cheese to use is cheddar. Cheddar melts easily and gives a nice flavor to the soup. You just want to make sure it's shredded straight from the block and not pre-shredded cheese, since pre-shredded cheeses contain potato starch which can affect the melting process.
Just like your other favorite soups, wait until this has cooled down before storing any leftovers. Transfer leftover broccoli cheddar soup
to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
If you want to keep this Panera's Broccoli Cheddar soup for longer than 5 days, you can freeze it for up to a month. Once the soup has cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or lay it flat in the freezer to help save space. You can use freezer-safe containers as well. The best way to reheat leftover soup is on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through. Stir often. You may need to add a little milk or heavy cream depending on the consistency.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups broccoli florets cut small
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add in onions, celery, carrots, and garlic cook to soften about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in flour and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add in chicken stock, milk, heavy cream, and broccoli and whisk until combined. Simmer on medium-low until thickened about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once thickened turn off the heat and add in the cheese and nutmeg. Whisk until melted and smooth.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool and the soup will thicken more.
- Serve with crispy bread slices or crackers.