Home Soup Copycat Panera Bread Potato Soup

Copycat Panera Bread Potato Soup

Panera Bread potato soup is perfect for cold winter nights. Loaded with cream cheese, potato chunks, and topped with juicy bacon, this copycat recipe is better than the original!

With just a few simple ingredients, you can recreate this classic at home.

Potato soup in a bowl garnished with cheese and chopped onion leaves.
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Panera Bread Potato Soup

It’s creamy, hearty, and so delicious. Once you see how easy it is, you’ll have this recipe on repeat!

People were disappointed when Panera Bread removed their potato soup from the menu. But with this copycat recipe, you can make this fan-favorite at home!

Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this simple recipe. It makes this baked potato soup extra rich and creamy.

Diced potatoes, cheese, broth and seasoning on top of white surface.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to recreate Panera Bread’s magical potato soup at home. And you likely have most of them on hand.

  • Chicken broth – Not only does chicken broth add flavor, but it also makes this soup perfectly salty. If you want to make a vegetarian version, reach for vegetable broth. Or, if you want to control the sodium levels, use low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Potatoes – You want a starchy potato that falls apart into creamy bliss when cooked. Reach for potatoes like Russet or Idaho potatoes for the best texture.
  • Seasoning salt – There’s no need to dive into the spice rack with seasoning salt! Most seasoning salt blends combine salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder for a punch of flavor.
  • White pepper – White pepper is just black pepper with the skins removed. It’s milder than black pepper and gives this soup subtle, earthy flavors.
  • Ground red pepper – Cream cheese is a little sweet and tangy, so red pepper flakes give this soup a bit of a kick. Don’t worry, it’s not overly spicy. The flakes just add a bit of gentle heat.
  • Cream cheese – Behold: the secret ingredient. Cream cheese makes this soup so thick and decadent. If anyone knows the power of cream cheese, it’s Panera Bread!
Bowl of Panera bread potato soup garnished with grated cheese and chopped onion leaves.

How to Make Panera Bread Potato Soup

If you can cube potatoes, you have all the skills needed for this tasty soup. You simply chuck everything in a pan and let it work its magic.

Seriously, check out how easy it is to prepare this tasty soup!

1. Prepare the potatoes. Chop the potatoes into even cubes. Keep the pieces small, so they cook quickly and evenly.

2. Cook and mash the potatoes. Combine the cubed potatoes, spices, and chicken broth in a large stock pot and bring it to a boil. When they’re tender, smash a few potatoes with a fork. This step will make for a thicker soup.

3. Simmer. Reduce the heat to low. When the mixture stops boiling, gently fold in the cream cheese.

4. Stir. After adding the cheese, stir constantly until it melts. Once the cheese is fully melted, it’s ready to serve. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Potato Soup

Here are a few easy steps to recreate a near copycat of Panera Bread’s original recipe.

  • Don’t overcook! Be sure to cook the potatoes until they’re just done. If you overcook them, they’ll disintegrate as they simmer. Always err on the side of undercooked.
  • Use room-temperature cream cheese. If you pop cream cheese out of the fridge, it will take forever to melt and could even make your soup clump. Room-temperature cream cheese melts much quicker and easier.
  • Take control of the thickness. When you mash a few potatoes, it releases natural starches that will thicken your soup. If you want a thinner broth-like soup, skip the mashing step.

Variations

Want to take your creation over the top? Take a gander at some of these amazing (and easy) variations.

  • Transform it into a full meal. This soup makes a great side with sandwiches, but you can transform it into a full meal. Adding protein-packed ingredients like bacon or cubed ham dials up the flavor, making it so filling.
  • Give it a healthy twist. Well, make it healthier. Instead of full-fat cream cheese, swap it out for two ounces of Neufchâtel, one cup half and half, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve it in a bread bowl! Is there anything better than soup in an edible bowl? This thick potato soup is a great candidate for bread bowls. You can make your own at home or just pick up a round of crusty bread at the grocery store.
Closeup of potato soup served on a bowl topped with grated cheese.

Serving Suggestions

1905 Salad – Is there anything better than soup and salad? This 1905 salad recipe is hearty, crisp, and pairs perfectly with potato soup!

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With crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and salty cured meat, it’s insanely delicious.

And don’t get me started on that mouth-watering garlicky dressing!

Wingstop Garlic Parmesan Wings

While we’re on the topic of copycat recipes, why not serve this soup with Wingstop Garlic Parmesan wings?

They’re so buttery and delicious, and the meat just falls off the bone.

It’s the perfect pairing with a steamy bowl of potato soup.

Paula Deen Crockpot Mac and Cheese – Ready for some carb overload? This mac and cheese recipe is the perfect comfort food and a great sidekick for soup.

What’s great about this recipe is it all comes together in the Crockpot. Get it started in the morning, and come home to a delicious meal.

I can’t decide which I love more, the soup or the mac and cheese!

How to Store

The great thing about soup is there are always leftovers. And Panera Bread’s potato soup is so easy to store for a simple next-day lunch.

To Store: Place the cooled soup in an air-tight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To Freeze: Sadly, this soup isn’t a great candidate for freezing. Frozen potatoes turn grainy when defrosted, and the texture isn’t the same.

To Reheat: To reheat leftovers, place them in a microwave-safe dish and reheat them for 1-minute intervals until they’re steamy and hot.

Panera Bread Potato Soup

Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour
Calories

349

kcal

This copycat recipe for Panera Bread potato soup is top-notch! Loaded with potatoes and cream cheese, it’s savory, creamy, and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into even cubes.
  • Place the potatoes, chicken broth, and seasoning in a large stock pot and bring it to a boil.
  • When the potatoes are fork-tender, lower the heat. Then, smash a few of the potatoes with a fork to thicken the soup.
  • Gently fold in the cream cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese melts into the soup.
  • Ladle it into bowls, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a starchy potato, like Russet or Idaho, in this recipe.
  • Always use room-temperature cream cheese to prevent clumping.
Panera Bread Potato Soup

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Copycat Panera Bread Potato Soup”

    • Hi Iris, here's the nutritional breakdown:

      Calories: 220 calories per serving
      Protein: 5.3g per serving
      Fat: 13.3g per serving
      Carbohydrates: 20g per serving

      Reply

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