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7 Best Soups at Panera Bread, Ranked

By Lana Kisner | December 8, 2023

Panera soups are amazing because there’s one for every mood. From the Creamy Tomato to the savory Broccoli Cheddar, you may discover a new favorite at Panera Bread each time you try one of their soups. All of their soups come with a French baguette, chips, or an apple on the side. Some are also available in Value Duets with a sandwich or salad and can be part of the “You Pick Two” special. Talk about making it a complete meal! I’ve rounded up and ranked every soup on the Panera Bread menu, including two seasonal favorites.

7. Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

If you’re feeling under the weather or can’t decide between the other delicious options on the Panera soup menu, the Chicken Noodle soup is always a safe bet. There isn’t too much to get excited about, but it’s easy on the stomach and filled with healthy ingredients. It comes with white meat pieces simmered in a seasoned chicken bone broth. Then, they add some egg noodles, carrots, and celery and finish it off with a tasty blend of herbs. This soup is also available with a Caesar salad in Panera’s Value Duet deal.

6. Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Cream of chicken soup is great on its own, but it’s made ten times better when a bunch of tasty ingredients are added to the mix. In Panera’s version, you’ll get a whole portion of protein alongside healthy grains and veggies for a thick and hearty dish that’s great on a cold evening.

It starts with a chicken stock and cream base that’s heavy, starchy, and seasoned to taste. Next, diced white meat chicken is added and simmered in the base, with a blend of long grain and wild rice, celery, onion, and carrots. Want to make a duet deal? Order it with the Napa Almond Chicken Sandwich!

5. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar is a classic dish on Panera Bread’s soup menu. A hearty portion of broccoli gives it a bite, while the cheesy base is perfect for dipping your bread or whole sandwich. It’s made with broccoli florets, a cheddar cheese mix, and shredded carrots. This is one of my favorite soups at Panera. It’s seasoned to perfection and goes down smoothly with every spoonful.

4. Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

One of the best parts of the fall season is the abundance of tasty squash in a variety of dishes. The Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup is rich and creamy with a hint of sweetness. It’s made with a blend of butternut squash, and pumpkin simmered in a vegetable broth.

Honey, apple juice, cinnamon, and sweet cream are added to brighten up the fall flavors, while a hint of curry balances the sweetness. Everything is then blended until smooth, and some roasted pumpkin seeds top it off to create a hearty and healthy fall meal. Unfortunately, it’s only available seasonally, so be sure to try it when it’s available.

3. Bistro French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup combines several bold flavors into one hearty, broth-based soup. The broth is flavored with sea salt and a sherry wine vinegar gastrique, which is a type of French sauce that caramelizes sugar to create a sweet and sour flavor. This is then loaded with caramelized onions, melted cheese, and homemade black pepper focaccia croutons. 

Panera discontinued this soup in 2019, but luckily, that decision didn’t last very long. Many fans flooded social media with complaints and disappointment, and they put it back on the menu.

2. Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili combines lean turkey meat with beans and rich tomato sauce, which makes for a perfect lunch or dinner meal. Panera’s version even takes it further by adding crushed veggies to the mix and serving it with their famous French baguette.

It starts with an ancho and pasilla stock that’s filled with tomatillos, tomatoes, edamame, carrots, cilantro, cumin, and lime. Dark meat turkey, chickpeas, and kidney beans are slow-cooked in the base, which creates a chunky and filling dish. This is another seasonal soup, so keep your eyes peeled during the fall season.

1. Creamy Tomato Soup

There’s just something about tomato soup that hits the spot for me no matter the time of year. It’s a flavorful comfort food that feels light but fills you up, and it pairs perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich. For all those reasons, the Creamy Tomato is my favorite soup at Panera by far.

It’s made with vine-ripened pear tomatoes that are pureed with fresh cream until they’re perfectly smooth. Oregano and red pepper flakes are added for some flavor, and black pepper focaccia croutons give it a crunch. You can pair it with a variety of sandwiches as part of the “You Pick Two” deal, but I always stick with the classic grilled cheese.

About the Author

Lana Kisner is a writer on the team with more than 15 years of experience in the food service industry. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, and hiking with her dog.