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Warm your soul with our rich, creamy and EASY Potato Cheese Soup recipe! Make this yummy favorite at home with this simple stove-top recipe, ready to serve in 25 minutes!
It’s made with hash browns, and two kinds of cheese, with no flour roux needed. It’s rich and creamy all on its own!
Garnish with bacon bits and green onions, and enjoy it with a piece of crusty bread so you can mop up every last drop!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
I know I’m not the only one who gets way too excited about recreating a popular restaurant recipe that’s either just as good or better than the original.
This cheesy creamy potato soup will have you joining me on this “simple pleasures bring the greatest joy” bandwagon because as far as copycat recipes go, this version of one of Panera Bread’s most popular recipes, my friends, is WAY better than the original!
Panera Potato Soup is super simple to make. It’s creamy, cheesy, and cozy as anything.
Made with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, hash browns, and seasoning, simmered in a flavorful chicken broth, it is the perfect comfort food to warm up with throughout the colder months.
Serve it in a soup bowl or a bread bowl for a budget-friendly dinner the whole family will love.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s made with just 8 ingredients, including seasoning, which means the chances of you having some of the ingredients on hand are pretty good. I pretty much always have these ingredients in my house, which is great for last minute suppers.
- The frozen hashbrowns make it even easier! No need for peeling or dicing potatoes.
- We’re using 2 kinds of cheese that make it super cheesy and extra rich.
- Everyone loves it. This is a great recipe to multiply – double or triple the batch for a larger crowd because everyone will be asking for seconds!
Frequently Asked Questions
You sure can! Sometimes freezing soups that contain potatoes have a funny texture once they are thawed, but when reheating the Panera potato cheese soup, it’s possible to adjust the consistency. No matter what, it’ll still taste great!
Absolutely. Finishing with a topping of bacon bits and green onions is a great way to serve it!
No, it isn’t thickened with all purpose flour. This soup is rich and hearty all on its own from the cream cheese and freshly grated cheddar!
What to serve with Potato Cheese Soup
This cheesy potato soup recipe doesn’t need much else to fill you up!
Although we always have a loaf of crusty bread on the table for good measure. Trust me, you’re going to want something to mop up every last drop.
If you’re doing soup and salad, you could pair it with an arugula salad and lemon vinaigrette.
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have any left, keep the potato cheese soup stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. Add a splash of cream or broth to loosen it up, if necessary.
Use low-sodium or regular chicken stock. Keep in mind, that we are using added salt, plus cheese can be salty too. Level it up by using homemade chicken stock.
Use vegetable broth or vegetable stock to make a vegetarian version.
Add some extra seasoning. Toss in whatever dried herbs you like. Parsley and oregano are always a huge hit.
Allow the soup to cool completely. This way any residual heat won’t get trapped in the container creating too much moisture.
Transfer the soup to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers and keep the leftover potato soup recipe with cream cheese frozen for up to 2 months.
Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Butter. This is simply to sauté the veggies. Olive oil can be used as well.
- Diced onion & minced garlic. Aromatics are what start to build the layers of flavor.
- Salt & pepper. To taste, as always. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of each and taste.
- Hash brown potatoes. You can use frozen hash browns, fresh hash browns, if you feel like grating them yourself, or store-bought shredded, unfrozen. The options are plenty! Russet potatoes work best in this soup, because of their high starch content (which helps thicken the soup)
- Chicken stock. This is a creamy broth-based soup that thins out the thick creamy cheese.
- Cream cheese. I use full fat cream cheese for the creamy texture . Lower fat kinds can be used but they will affect the texture. Bring it to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking. You could also use sour cream.
- Shredded cheddar cheese. I highly recommend grating your own sharp cheddar cheese from a block.
- Stock pot or Dutch Oven
- Cheese grater (or food processor with a shred blade)
- Immersion blender (optional, for a super smooth soup)
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
In a large soup pot, melt the better, and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Boil and simmer
Add the hashbrowns, pour in the stock and mix well. Bring it to a boil and then simmer over medium heat until potatoes are soft. You could use an immersion blender at this point if you want smooth soup!
Remove from heat.
- Add cheeses
Whisk in cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and continue stirring until it all melts together. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper.
Ladle into soup bowls or bread bowls, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
More creamy soup recipes:
- Broccoli cheddar soup recipe. Rich, creamy, and cheesy broccoli soup is made with plenty of cheese and loads of tender broccoli.
- Creamy chicken tortilla soup. A 30-minute flavorful soup made with earthy spices, fire roasted tomatoes, beans, and corn, and topped off with crispy tortilla chips and jalapenos!
- Cheesy cauliflower soup. Sneak in a healthy dose of veggies with this comforting bowl of soup. Ready in 30 minutes, your family will love this cheesy bowl of goodness.
- New England clam chowder. Chunky, thick, and loaded with clams and potatoes in a rich creamy broth that the New England clam chowder is famous for. This soup is always a hit!
Potato Cheese Soup (just like Panera)
Cook the onions and garlic
- Melt the 1 tablespoon butter, cook the 1 cup onion until softened, then add 2 teaspoons garlic. Cook 1 more minute. Season with Salt and pepper.
Boil and simmer
- Add the 26 oz hashbrown potatoes, and 32 oz chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove from heat.
- Whisk 4 oz cream cheese and 2 oz cheddar cheeseinto the soup until it all melts.
Bacon bits added at the end is yummy as well as chives or green onions. What to do with leftovers Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. Add a splash of cream or broth to loosen it up, if necessary.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.