This easy recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup requires zero prep! Just dump everything into your crockpot and let your slow cooker do all the work. Made with cream of celery soup, fresh or frozen broccoli, cheese and potato flakes. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean up. Can be made on the stovetop as well.
There are so many recipes for making Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup at home. I've tried many of them. And no offense to anyone, but they just don't taste right or hit the spot. They are also typically very labor intensive. Lots of chopping and sauteing.
I wanted something that tastes great, is very easy to make in the crockpot, and requires minimal prep.
So I am bringing you a brand new recipe for making Broccoli Cheese soup that actually tastes like the real deal and requires zero prep!
Just toss everything into your slow cooker and let it cook.
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This cozy creamy soup will warm you up on a chilly day. It's great for dinner and leftovers make an easy-to-pack lunch to take to work.
Top this with croutons made from simply chopping up a bakery-fresh French baguette and you're in business!
This soup is made with fresh or frozen, broccoli florets and a healthy serving of carrots.
These two veggies combine with creamy cheesy chicken broth create that signature broccoli cheese flavor combination made popular by Panera years ago. It's just a cant-go-wrong combo.
Cheese, broccoli, soup. Yes, yes, yes.
We're using cream of celery soup so there's no need to make a roux, although you could. If you want to make your own cream of celery sauce, please feel free!
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
What's in this broccoli cheese soup?
As I mentioned, I set out to make this as easy as possible to prep and as close as possible to the actual Panera soup as you can get.
Here's everything you'll need:
- Milk. Any percentage works. Higher fat content will result in a creamier texture and more rich flavor but will be higher in calories.
- Butter. Salted or you can go unsalted and add salt to taste. You can also use margarine if you prefer.
- Potato flakes. These are dehydrated, dried potatoes that dissolve easily and will thicken your soup as well as add flavor.
- Onion soup mix. You can also use just plain dried onions if you prefer a simple flavor. You'll need ¼ cup if using dried onions.
- Chicken broth. I'm a fan of bone broth for the health benefits and it has a nice flavor too but choose any chicken stock you like or go with vegetable stock if you want to make this vegetarian.
- Cream of celery soup. We're using canned cream of celery soup to keep this easy but you can also make your own cream sauce.
- Paprika. For seasoning.
- Broccoli. Fresh or frozen. Finely chop if desired or leave them chunky. Up to you!
- Matchstick carrots. Or peel and shred your own.
- Cheese. I prefer Velveeta or American cheese, it's more subtle in flavor and melts well. You can also use mild cheddar cheese if you prefer "real" cheese. However, I find that American cheese produces a better tasting soup that's more similar to Panera's famous soup.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
Stir. Cover and cook. Add potato flakes, cheese and paprika. Stir. Serve!
★ Tips & FAQs ★
What does this broccoli and cheese soup taste like?
This soup is similar in flavor to Panera's broccoli cheddar soup. It's thickened with potatoes, flavored with onion and spices and has a rich, creamy taste which compliments the vegetables so well.
Want to put it in a bread bowl or dip in some crusty bread? Go for it. But you don't have to, which is nice. It eats like a meal just like it is.
Can this soup be made on the stove top?
Absolutely. Follow the same instructions, combining the first group of ingredients in one large pot. Set the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir until ingredients are combined. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes hour or until veggies are softened. Stir in potato flakes, cheese and paprika right before serving.
How to Make this Soup Vegetarian
You might not realize this soup is not vegetarian. But yes, it is chicken-broth based.
So if you're making this yourself and want to make it vegetarian, just substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Do I have to use cream of celery?
This is my preference for the best, most Panera-like falvor. However, you can also swap out the cream of celery with cream of chicken, onion or mushroom if you prefer.
Want to add meat?
Why not? Unless you're a vegetarian of course. But if you're not, them try adding in ham. Or chicken. Both work great with the broccoli cheese flavor.
Want to add pasta to this soup? You can!
Just bne sure to cook your pasta al dente which is about 1 minute less than the recommended cook time on the package.
This will allow your pasta to absorb some of the broth when you add it to the soup and will help prevent the noodles from getting too soft and falling apart.
If you want to double or triple this recipe, you can, and then freeze some of the leftovers.
Freeze in individual sized portions and reheat in the microwave for about 3 minutes or until you've reach your desired temperature. I love my soups, just under burning my mouth, ha!
A One-pot Dinner
Everything slow cooks in your crockpot which just makes life so much easier than dealing with multiple pots and pans and steps.
Know what's even better? You can use a crockpot liner so you have zero dishes to wash!
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Me too! Soup is the perfect meal during the cool months of fall and winter, heck, even early spring around here. But honestly, I eat soup in the summer too. They're just fun to make, easy and make yummy leftovers.
Check out my other soup ideas!
Browse all my soup recipes (Be sure to pin your favorites for later!)
Want more easy dinner ideas?
This easy recipe for broccoli cheese soup was featured on South Your Mouth!
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoon butter (½ stick)
- 2 oz packet onion soup mix
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 10.5 oz cream of celery soup see notes for homemade option
- 1 cup broccoli spears finely chop if desired
- ½ cup matchstick carrots finely chop if desired
- 1 cup potato flakes
- ½ cup shredded American cheese or Velveeta cubes (shredded cheddar cheese can also be used)
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ cup sour cream or to taste
- Add milk, butter, onion soup mix, chicken broth, cream of celery soup, broccoli and carrots to your crockpot and stir.
- Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Stir until ingredients are combined.
- Stir in potato flakes, cheese and paprika then serve.Top with sour cream if desired.