Slow Cooker Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup–reminiscent of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup this slow cooker version has chopped broccoli, shredded carrots and celery simmered in a velvety smooth cheese sauce. I believe this version is just as good or better than you could order at any restaurant! Try it for dinner this week.
Get the INSTANT POT version of the recipe here
Slow Cooker Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
YUM is all I can say about this broccoli cheddar soup. The vegetables and broth are slow cooked and then the creamy and cheesy goodness is added in to the pot to produce a soup that will knock your socks off. This slow cooker panera broccoli cheddar soup is amazing served in bread bowls or served with some crusty bread…or just some crackers on top.
Some notes about the recipe:
Better than Bouillon Chicken Base*: I don’t always have a carton or can of chicken broth in my pantry but I always have Better than Bouillon in my fridge. I buy the big jars at Costco…they are so much cheaper. Then when a recipe calls for a cup of chicken broth I simply add in one cup of water and one teaspoon of the chicken base.
Broccoli: I chose to go with fresh broccoli for this recipe. You could totally go a lot heavier on the broccoli if you like to have broccoli in every bite. I just used the florets but if you like the stems you could dice them up and throw them in as well.
Carrots: I used only 2 carrots for this recipe but again, you could totally throw in a third carrots if you like to have more vegetables. I chose to cut my carrots up matchstick style which took a while but you could also just used grated carrots or diced carrots.
Sharp Cheddar: I love that sharp cheddar can bring so much more flavor to a dish than mild or medium cheddar. Don’t worry it’s not overwhelming. I used an entire 8 ounce block of cheddar. I grated my own. I don’t like to use pre-grated cheddar for soups because it has that weird powdery substance on it. What is that stuff anyway?
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What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
For this slow cooker panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker (you can see me talking about it in a video here). It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.Print
Reminiscent of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup this slow cooker version has chopped broccoli, shredded carrots and celery simmered in a velvety smooth cheese sauce. I believe this version is just as good or better than you could order at any restaurant! Try it for dinner this week.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 or 3 celery ribs, diced
- 2 or 3 carrots, match-stick style or grated or diced
- 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh broccoli florets
- 3 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups of water and 3 tsp of Better than Bouillon Chicken Base)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp of cornstarch and 3 Tbsp of water
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 1 (8 oz) block of sharp cheddar, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted stir in the diced onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the onion to the slow cooker.
- Add in the celery, carrots, broccoli and broth.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
- Turn the slow cooker to high. In the microwave or on the stovetop melt the 1/4 cup butter. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup flour until a creamy mixture forms. Stir one cup of the broth from the soup into the flour/butter mixture. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk the entire mixture into the slow cooker. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Stir in the milk, cheddar and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 60 minutes.
- Remove the lid, ladle into bowls and serve.
I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.*
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.