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Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

This copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is a quick lunch or easy dinner for chilly days
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword broccoli cheese soup, broccoli cheese soup recipe, panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 336kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces chopped fresh broccoli florets (about 4 cups) (or substitute with 4 cups of thawed, drained frozen broccoli florets)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Pinch of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  • 4 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley
  • For serving: baguette


  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring regularly, until soft (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle flour over the onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until incorporated. Add broccoli and carrots. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree a small portion of the soup, leaving plenty of visible broccoli florets and carrots in the soup for a little bit of texture.
  • Return soup to very low heat; whisk in the Dijon mustard, hot sauce (if using), Velveeta, cheddar, and half-and-half. Cook, stirring regularly, until cheese is melted and soup is warmed through (about 5-7 more minutes). Do not boil. Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with warm, crusty baguette.


  • If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree about 1-2 cups of the soup in a regular blender and then return it to the pot with the rest of the soup.
  • For an even chunkier soup, don't use an immersion blender at all and just leave the broccoli florets all whole.
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli florets will work in this recipe. If using frozen broccoli, thaw and drain first.
  • I prefer the way that the Velveeta melts into the soup and adds a thick, creamy texture. If you don't want to use Velveeta, you can substitute with an additional cup of cheddar cheese.
  • Use a block of cheddar that you grate yourself -- not a bag of pre-shredded cheese. The pre-shredded cheese will not melt as smoothly into the soup.
  • Half-and-half or heavy cream give the soup the best rich and creamy texture. If you prefer, you can substitute with fat-free or low-fat half-and-half, but the soup won't be quite as thick.
  • Do not boil the soup after you stir in the cream, or the soup may curdle.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 838mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2830IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 360mg | Iron: 1mg