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bread bowl on a white plate filled with broccoli cheddar soup

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

  • Author: Brooke
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 13 cups 1x


Our copycat broccoli cheddar soup tastes better than Panera's, and it's an easy dinner for a weeknight meal. Enjoy cheesy comfort food at its best with this gluten free and keto friendly recipe.


Units Scale


  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (86g)
  • 1 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced (214g)
  • 2 cups julienned or matchstick carrots, cut in 1/2 inch lengths (138g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric, for color
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Other Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (40g)
  • 6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (1.42 L)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 3 tablespoons carrot puree (45 ml)
  • 8 cups fresh broccoli florets (435g)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for slurry (20g)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated and packed (182g)


  1. Cook Aromatics: Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat until it's bubbly.  Add the onions and carrots and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Bloom Spices: Add the garlic, dried spices, and Dijon mustard and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  3. Make Roux: Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  4. Deglaze: Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth, than scrape off the brown fond on the bottom of the pot with a wooden turner.  Continue whisking in 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth until smooth, then pour in the other 4 cups.
  5. Other Ingredients: Add the sugar, pureed carrots (see notes), and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce.  Mix it well, then add in the broccoli florets.
  6. Simmer: Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes to cook the broccoli.
  7. Cornstarch Slurry: For a thicker soup, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth.  Add it to the soup and let it simmer for 2 minutes on medium low heat.
  8. Add Dairy: Stir in the whole milk and the cream and let it warm through for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the shredded cheese one handful at a time.  Taste and adjust seasonings, possibly adding a tiny bit more of Dijon and Tobasco.  If you like your soup more yellow, add another 1/16 teaspoon of turmeric.
  9. Serve: Garnish with cheese is optional, but does provide extra cheesiness.  Serve hot in a sourdough bread bowl or with slices of sourdough bread or French baguette. 


  • Save time, use matchstick carrots.
  • Grate your own extra sharp cheese with a box grater; it will melt better than pre-grated.
  • Fresh broccoli = best flavor and texture. 
  • Adding the carrot puree and turmeric will give the soup the correct color.  To make the carrot puree, blend chopped raw carrots with water.
  • Need this keto? Omit the carrots, flour, and sugar. Add 4 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum as the thickener. 
  • Need this gluten free? Use gluten free chicken broth and gluten free flour.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Soups and Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Panera Cheddar Soup Recipe, vegetarian, gluten free