Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup – Unbelievably creamy broccoli soup with vibrant cheddar flavor tastes even better when you make it at home! This version of the popular Panera dish includes cauliflower, carrots and no added sugar or flour.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Any other Panera Bread fans out there? I love that they have so many more healthy (or healthier) options compared to your typical fast food restaurant or coffee shop and I’m especially partial to their soups.
Nothing says “comfort” like a steaming hot bowl of creamy soup. When I first tasted Panera’s Broccoli Cheese soup on a cold winter day, it was love at first bite. I knew I had to recreate it at home!
While some creamy soups have added flour used to thicken them, this Broccoli Cheddar recipe is completely gluten and sugar free! Delicious as a side dish, appetizer or meal all on its own.
Skip the line at Panera (and save a few bucks) by making a big pot of this copycat Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup for dinner tonight. Serve with a big hunk of our gluten free (keto friendly) garlic bread!
- Broccoli and Cauliflower – I used fresh heads chopped into small florets. You can substitute frozen broccoli if you chop the florets a little smaller while they’re still frozen.
- Shredded carrots – You can leave these out if you need the recipe to be even lower in carbs. I buy my carrots pre-shredded for this recipe to make it even quicker and easier. You can also shred your own with your grater or food processor.
- Heavy whipping cream – Make sure to use real heavy cream without any added sugars.
- Cheddar cheese – I recommend buying cheddar cheese in blocks and shredding it yourself. Freshly shredded cheese will melt easier when you incorporate it into the soup.
- Red pepper flakes – You don’t need to add a ton to get the perfect kick of flavor and this soup will not be particularly spicy. After tasting the soup, feel free to add more red pepper flakes until it reaches the spice level you prefer.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup comes together so easily using just one pot!
Start by cooking the vegetables in melted butter until softened, then adding the cream and seasonings. After letting the cream base simmer for a few minutes, you stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.
If you prefer an even thicker soup with smaller pieces of vegetables, you can use an immersion blender to slightly blend the soup after simmering and before adding the shredded cheese. I’ve made and loved it both ways.
Serve on its own or with a side of gluten free crackers or rolls!
You can freeze this soup, however some separation between the water and cream will occur. If freezing, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove top while stirring to reincorporate all the ingredients. It’ll keep in the freezer for 1 -2 months.
No, I don’t recommend using milk. It has a much lower fat content and the soup will not thicken.
Because of the carrots, this recipe is not Keto friendly. It IS free of added sugar and flour and low in carbs. Omit the carrots for a more low carb soup.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, Broccoli Cheddar Soup should stay good for about 3 days.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Cheeseburger Soup
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Balsamic Glazed Chicken
- Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Soup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped small
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. Add in broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly add in broth, cream, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring several times.
- Remove from heat and add in shredded cheese. Stir until melted. Serve hot.
- Can use frozen vegetables, you may want to chop them smaller while frozen.
- Or, if you want to naturally thicken your soup and chop the vegetables smaller, use an immersion blender after the simmering is done. Blend until desired consistency. Add cheese.
- Shred your own cheddar for best results!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 34gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 1062mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g
Ready to eat in about 30 minutes, this soup recipe is ideal for those busy nights when you need something that everyone at the table will love. Served as a side dish, lunch or dinner this creamy, flavorful good-for-you Broccoli Cheddar Soup is sure to become a new favorite!