Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Outback Bread

There are about 9 billion versions of this recipe out there, and that’s because it’s amazing. The best part is that the carb/protein balance is great for insulin resistance. It is a little on the high side for fat, so it’s not something I’d recommend eating weekly, but every once in a while it’s a great addition to the menu that won’t bust your macros or your calorie budget. Kids love it, too!

Panera Broccoli Cheddar soup | Fefferfit

I don’t mess much with the ingredients, but I’ve streamlined the process a tad.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli (I never weigh, but two smallish heads about does it.)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned. (You can buy this pre-bagged if you prefer.)
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. In large soup pot over med-high heat, melt 1 tbsp butter and sauté onion.
  2. Add remaining butter to onion and melt. Whisk in flour, mixing completely and stirring for a couple of minutes to cook flour paste (roux) and allow it to pick up the other flavors in the pot. 
  3. Stirring constantly, slowly add the half & half. The roux will thicken as you add liquid. Add the chicken stock and whisk well. 
  4. Add the broccoli, carrots, salt & pepper and reduce heat to low/med-low so the soup simmers. Simmer 20-25 minutes.
  5. Using a stick blender or food processor, purée the larger chunks out of the soup (optional). Return to low heat and stir in cheese and nutmeg. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving with warm, hearty bread. 

I love this served with homemade bread; it’s pictured with copycat Outback Bread. I guess it was copycat recipe night?

Serves 6. Adapted from a recipe found on 

Panera Broccoli Cheddar soup nutrition | Fefferfit


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