This Secret Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Soup is Definitely Better Than Panera

With a secret ingredient and less than 15 minutes, you can make broccoli cheddar soup that is better than Panera (and likely far healthier)!

broccoli cheddar soup


Panera Bread has a fabulous broccoli cheddar soup.

Anyone who loves broccoli cheddar soup is surely a fan of the Panera Bread version. Served in a rustic bread bowl, it is rich, creamy, satisfying and delicious. Purportedly, it is one of the top selling soups at Panera, along with the chicken noodle. 

The secret Ingredient to the best broccoli cheddar soup.

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me decades ago, and I’ve been making this for my family ever since. The secret ingredient is Bearcreek Foods Broccoli Cheddar Soup mix. It is widely available at most grocery stores along with several other soup mixes that are made simple by adding just a few ingredients. 


 Broccoli Cheddar Soup Better Than Panera


This broccoli cheddar soup comes together in 20 minutes.

This soup can be made in 20 minutes or less, and it tastes like it simmered long, low and slow on the stovetop. It is comfort food in a bowl, and everyone (even kiddos) loves it. The Bearcreek Foods soup mix contains ingredients such as dehydrated broccoli that take just minutes to hydrate. You can skip the fresh broccoli, but I think it makes the soup better.

broccoli cheddar soup


Serve this soup as an easy weeknight meal.

I sometimes grab healthy sub sandwiches and make this broccoli cheddar soup to go with for a “kinda healthy” weeknight meal.  The soup is also great served with a chopped or Caesar salad. 

broccoli cheddar soup

The next time you are in the soup aisle, grab an envelope of this mix and give this soup a try. I think you’ll be amazed at how easy and delicious it is! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Better Than Panera)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Broccoli cheddar soup that takes less than 20 minutes to make and that tastes BETTER than Panera!


  • 1 package Bear Creek Cheddar Broccoli Soup Mix
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (1% or 2%)
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • grated sharp cheddar for garnish (optional)


  1. In medium saucepan, bring broth, water, and milk to low boil.
  2. Add soup mix, blending in well with a wire whisk; reduce to simmer.
  3. Simmer on low for 8 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup finely chopped broccoli.
  5. Stir broccoli into soup. Serve warm in bread bowls (optional). Add grated cheddar on top for garnish.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 146Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 27mgSodium 684mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 8g

Similar Posts


  1. I only have frozen broccoli, should I steam it first and add it at the end or go ahead & put it in frozen at the beginning?

  2. I just made this today since I was home sick! I added riced cauliflower, kale and orzo. It made a heartier soup and so delicious. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top just before serving.

  3. I was literally looking for how to pizzazz this exact soup base. thank you so much! I’m adding some sauted onion too!

  4. Personally, the 6 C of liquid made it thicker and creamier. I made it tonight, and loved it!

  5. Hi Rachel~so sorry for the confusion!!! It is 8 cups total of liquid. I usually use 6 cups of water and 1 chicken broth 1 milk…..just my preference. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts!!! XoXo

  6. The package says 8 cups of water but you only have 6 cups of liquid above. Curious if I should add 2 more cups of – maybe 1 each of milk and chicken broth???

  7. Hi Karla! I think you are right; it didn’t occur to me! I will try to let her know! Thanks so much for catching this and for taking time to comment!!!

  8. I just realized that Judy is looking for Potato Cheddar Cheese soup. Could that be why she isn’t finding the soup mix? She is looking for the wrong kind. She should be looking for the Cheddar Broccoli Soup.

  9. I am so sorry that you can’t find it near you, Judy! It is literally everywhere here in Birmingham! Perhaps you can find a store locator on the website? Let me know; I hope you find it!!!

  10. Why is there no potatoe chedder cheese soup on the shelves. I went to 5 different stores in olympia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *