This Copycat Panera Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier!

This Copycat Panera Bread Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier! Get the easy fall soup recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Remember last week when I was talking about my homemade mild curry powder and I said I really truly made it for this soup? Well, here it is!

We were at a church event not too long ago and my pastor’s wife asked me if I had a squash soup recipe on my site. I said yes I have a creamy butternut squash soup with smoked paprika, and a really old post about squash soup with sage. But she was looking specifically for a copycat Panera squash soup.

I don’t blame her – it is delicious! It’s also not the greatest for you, calorie-wise, considering it’s squash soup…which most people may automatically assume is healthy.

This Copycat Panera Bread Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier! Get the easy fall soup recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I made efforts to reduce the calorie content a bit while still keeping the flavors rich and slightly indulgent. I think I found a good balance, but if you’re looking for an exact replica, feel free to add more butter, cream, and sugar. I won’t judge. Your skinny jeans might but we’re coming up to winter so it’s nothing a big comfy sweater can’t fix, right? RIGHT?

This Copycat Panera Bread Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier! Get the easy fall soup recipe on RachelCooks.com!

If you read the recipe closely, you’ll see this squash soup also contains carrots and pumpkin. They give it extra sweetness and depth of flavor. If you don’t have pumpkin or don’t want to add pumpkin, just use a little less vegetable broth. Remember you can always add more at the end to make it thinner but it’s more difficult to make it thicker.

I’d recommend using carrots with the squash because they really do add great natural sweetness, and they help achieve the beautiful color of the soup. Plus, Panera squash soup also has carrots in it.

This Copycat Panera Bread Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier! Get the easy fall soup recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I garnished my Copycat Panera Squash Soup recipe with roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). Their crunch and color add a nice contrast, don’t you think? You could also garnish it with chopped, fresh herbs like sage or parsley, or homemade croutons.

Important note: This soup calls for two cups of apple cider, NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. If you can’t find apple cider (sometimes it’s hard to find if it’s not fall), use a natural (100% juice) apple juice. If you use vinegar by accident, your soup will NOT turn out and will definitely NOT taste like Panera’s.

PS: This isn’t my first rodeo with making a Panera copycat – make sure to check out my Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese! People LOVE it!

Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese on RachelCooks.com

PS: Love butternut squash? Check out my full how to cook butternut squash guide!

Recipe

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe

4.44 from 1241 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This Copycat Panera Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier!
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 pounds chopped butternut squash (about 6 heaping cups)
  • 3 small carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple cider or apple juice (do NOT use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces low-fat (neufchatel) cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • heavy cream, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add squash, carrots, vegetable broth, apple cider, and spices.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until squash and carrots are soft. Remove from heat and add pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Puree with a hand (stick) blender or in batches in a normal blender. Blend until very smooth.
  • Taste soup and add salt as desired. You may also add extra brown sugar or honey to achieve a taste closer that of Panera’s. You can also add a little heavy cream if you want a more decadent soup. If desired, add more vegetable broth to thin soup.
  • Return to burner over medium-low heat, if needed to heat the soup back up, and then serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you want it to be just like Panera squash soup – add more brown sugar and/or honey to taste. Adding more cream will also give it a richer flavor.
  • This soup calls for two cups of apple cider, NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. If you can’t find apple cider (sometimes it’s hard to find if it’s not fall), use a natural (100% juice) apple juice. If you use vinegar by accident, your soup will NOT turn out and will definitely NOT taste like Panera’s.
  • To reduce sodium, use low sodium or no salt added vegetable broth.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 1162mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 16g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did You Make This?Share a comment and rating below! I love hearing what you think!

Verdict: I’m totally obsessed with this copycat Panera squash soup. I love that I can have it all year round now and not just on Panera’s schedule.
Husband’s take: He never tried this. Squash soup isn’t really his thing.
Changes I would make: None are necessary.
Difficulty: Easy.

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4.44 from 1241 votes (1,140 ratings without comment)

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760 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    I love Panera’s soup but it’s expensive to buy the take home version. I made this recipe and it’s so good! You did a great job duplicating my favorite soup. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for leaving a review!

  2. VegGirl says:

    Hello this looks promising! What do you think a vegetarian should substitute for the neufchâtel cheese?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I believe a vegetarian could eat the Neufchatel or cream cheese, but if you’re looking for a vegan substitute, you could use a coconut cream or coconut milk.

  3. LALaw10 says:

    5 stars
    This soup is amazing! I was addicted to Paneras until I made this last night. OMG! Bye, bye Panera, Hello Rachel! My guests loved it too! Perfect fall/winter soup. Thank you!!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a revie!

  4. Sandy says:

    Can I freeze this soup to eat later too?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Absolutely! This soup freezes very well.

  5. LeAnne says:

    Hi! Getting ready to make this I have high hopes because I have a serious addiction to Panera and it’s killing my lunch budget, LOL! I do have a question though, I’m probably just not seeing it, but what size are you considering a serving? A cup?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes, about a cup!

  6. Stacy S says:

    5 stars
    Really yummy. The onion amount direction seemed off from what’s shown in video so I only used half of an average size yellow onion. It seemed about right.
    The flavor was very close to Panera’s.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it!

  7. Summer says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and full of flavor!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you so much!

  8. Jessica Larche says:

    5 stars
    Made this for a potluck and everyone went crazy over it ! Thank you

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad to hear it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  9. Denise Ortiz says:

    5 stars
    UUUUHHHH-MAYYYYY-ZZZING!
    Thank you!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You’re so very welcome! Thank you for the review!

  10. Sheen says:

    5 stars
    Big hit with the family.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So happy to hear that! Thank you for leaving a review!