Better Than Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe (gluten-free)

I have two soup recipes I’m known for and this is one of them. I absolutely cannot restrain myself from getting several cheddar broccoli soup bread bowls from Panera in the fall and winter seasons. However, since going gluten-free, that’s not really an option anymore. This deliciously cheesy and creamy soup is to die for and not too hard to whip up. Plus, there’s like so many vegetables in it, it’s like so super healthy (did you read that in a sarcastic and breathy high-pitched voice?).

Just interested in the recipe? Skip straight to it.

Here’s where I try to sell you on making the recipe: You know you like cheese, there are enough vegetables in the darn thing to call it a salad, and it’s not even all that difficult. But in all seriousness, this recipe is great. I say better than Panera, because, well it is. You’re using fresh ingredients and you can use high-quality cheese if your heart desires. Plus, if you want to add double the amount of cheese, you can. Additionally, it isn’t just factory prepared soup reheated in a bag and thrown in a bowl, it’s made with love (unless you’re cooking with hate again, then I don’t know, you do you).

Copycat Panera Cheddar Broccoli Soup Recipe 2

Now, I really wanted to make bread bowls for this recipe and give y’all a tested GF bread bowl recipe, but it didn’t work out. I don’t talk much about my personal life or struggles, but I’m going to now! I recently re-injured my back, and have been a ball of pain and annoying stubbornness (I hate sitting around doing nothing) for the last few days. So sorry for no bread bowls! If any of you lovelies have a trusted go-to bread bowl recipe, please share them in the comments below! I have tried a few, but none that ever really worked.

Copycat Panera Cheddar Broccoli Soup Recipe 1

Now there are a few things I need to discuss with you before you make this recipe, feel free to take notes. Don’t you dare skip out on the nutmeg. There is something divine in the flavor combination that is nutmeg and cream in savory dishes. It just adds that little something that really elevates the flavor. It is a must, and I’ll leave it at that. I trust we’re on the same page now. Lastly, DO NOT BOIL THE MILK! If you let it come to a simmer or boil after adding the milk, it will curdle and that is not cute. Besides affecting appearance, the whole soup will have a grainy texture instead of the absolute creamy dream it should be. So, try not to boil it, keep an eye on it, stir it often, and if it’s steaming it is cooking just fine. Alright, let’s make the darn thing already!


Better than Panera Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

It has so much cheese, what's not to like?

This recipe was adapted from Genius Kitchen

You can use all-purpose wheat flour in place of gluten-free flour.


  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 a medium white/yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup gum-free GF flour (2 tablespoons white rice flour, 4 teaspoons potato starch (not flour), 2 teaspoons tapioca starch/flour)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1-2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or half and half if that’s all you can find; heavy cream will be creamier/thicker)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup (~1 1/2 medium-large carrots) grated or julienned
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-16 oz by weight sharp cheddar cheese (depends on your preference, I usually use 13 oz), freshly grated (do not use pre-shredded) plus more for garnish (optional)


1. Sautee onions. In a large pot, melt the 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add in the chopped onion. Sautee until lightly golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the onion from the pan and set aside.

2. Make a roux. In the same large pot, melt the 1/4 cup of butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is completely melted (try not to brown it), sprinkle in the GF flour mixture while whisking. Whisk the flour and butter mixture constantly until the flour has become pale yellow/golden and smells toasted (it will most likely not drastically change color as a normal gluten roux would).

3. Add stock and bring to a boil. Once the roux is finished, pour in the chicken stock while whisking to stop the roux from cooking further. Add in the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once the stock mixture is boiling, drop the heat to medium-low and whisk frequently until it noticeably thickens.

4. Add the creams and veggies. Once the stock has thickened, pour in the heavy cream while whisking. Once the heavy cream has been incorporated, add in the milk and stir. Finally, add in the onions, broccoli, and carrots. Leave the heat on low, and turn down if the mixture looks like it may start boiling (DO NOT boil, or the milk will curdle). Keep the temperature low enough for the mixture to not boil, but is steaming. Cook this mixture for 12-20 minutes depending on how soft you like your broccoli (I usually cook for 15 minutes and like a soft, but still tender broccoli). When the broccoli is almost ready, add in the nutmeg.

5. Add cheese. Once the broccoli is where you like it, remove the bay leaves and begin sprinkling in the cheddar a quarter at a time. After each addition give the soup a good stir and wait to add the next batch of cheese until the previous addition has fully melted. Once all the cheese is in and melted, give the soup a taste and salt and pepper to your preferences.

6. Enjoy! Place the soup in a bowl (or bread bowls for a special treat) and top with a little extra cheese for garnish. I highly recommend this soup be enjoyed with crusty bread!

Recipe Plug 1

That’s it, a super easy recipe for a yummy dish! Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite soups are.

For more fabulous Fall recipes:

Spiced Pear + Bourbon Autumn Cocktail Recipe

The Best Ever Mac and Cheese Recipe (Gluten-Free)

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf Recipe (gluten-free)

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sing-off image 3

Better Than Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Pinterest


5 thoughts on “Better Than Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe (gluten-free)

  1. I used half n half since that’s what I put on grocery list after looking at the ingredients. It would definitely be better with heavy cream; way too milky. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

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