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Homemade Panera Baked Potato Soup

Homemade Panera baked potato soup is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. 
Homemade Panera Bread Potato Soup
You can enjoy copycat Panera style homemade potato soup at home anytime you want! 

My sister and I both love Panera Bread’s soups. I love their broccoli cheddar and I have come up with my own version of it.

My sister does not like broccoli though, so she does not enjoy the broccoli soup. She does however love Panera’s potato soup.

I also really like that one and always have trouble deciding between the two soups when I eat at Panera.

What I like about the potato soup there is that it is so creamy. Most potato soups are cheesy, but not this one. It is just a perfectly creamy potato soup.

Homemade Panera Bread Potato Soup 3

My sister told me that she had found a recipe online for a copycat version of this soup. She thought that it was very good and close to the real thing. I decided to give it a try. I agreed that it was pretty close, but I thought it needed some tweaking. I finally have it the way we think it is best. 

This homemade Panera style potato soup is so easy, pretty economical, and a great meal for a cold day. 

I have been making this soup for over ten years and we still love. 

And I will say the bacon is not like the original, but my family loves a little cooked bacon sprinkled on top. Bacon makes everything better! But feel free to leave it out if you don’t have any or don’t like it.

Homemade Panera Bread Potato Soup

Yield: 8 servings

Homemade Panera Baked Potato Soup


Homemade Panera style soup is easy to make at home using just a few ingredients.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks, room temperature
  • optional- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Combine broth, potatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium until potatoes are tender.
  3. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening. If you like it smooth smash more, if you like it chunky just smash a little of it.
  4. Reduce to low heat. Add cream cheese.
  5. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.
  6. Ladle into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle a little bacon over each bowl of soup.

Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 909mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Andi and I both had the same immediate reaction when we saw the picture…”That looks great.” I’ll be making that in the near future.

  2. Another yummy recipe that I will have to try!! Thanks so, so much for the yeast tip. I would have been so sad if it had ruined. And I wouldn’t have known why my bread didn’t work out:) Do you have a good recipe for baking bread for someone who has NO experience with baking bread? I don’t have a bread machine. I was going to try pizza crust first, I think, and make homemade pizza.

  3. LB, I would suggest trying pizza first. It is easier to make and a great thing to know how to do. You can really change up home made pizza with different toppings. We have it several times a month. Here is the link to my favorite pizza crust, you might want to start with all white flour in it instead of using part whole wheat. Allrecipes also have some good pizza crusts.
    I also have a recipe for 40 minute rolls that are very easy to make you might try those too. Look under the bread and rolls catagory. I hope that helps.

  4. Your Frugal Friend, Niki says

    Wow, this looks amazing. I feel another bookmark coming on!


  5. mmmMMmmm, dreamy. I can’t wait to cook this for my family tomorrow!!
    Blessings ~

  6. A.Marie says

    Wow! That looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it! I like making potato soup, and have always tried to make it nice and creamy, but have always failed. I see were you add cream cheese; brillant!! I never would have thought of that!

  7. I tried this soup tonight, it was delicious! I lost count of how many times I said “This is SOOO good!”

  8. I googled Creamy Potato Soup and chose your link…I made this soup tonight and it is SOOOO good! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum…thanks for the recipe! I didn’t have chicken bouillion, but made beef broth as the base and it was still great!

  9. Been looking for a good potato recipe for a long time…found it…made it…love it! Thanks!

  10. kristen reynolds says

    hey lynn, i am going to make the panera soup tomorrow. i am wondering if you used a certain type of potatoes or if there is any difference. i seem to have a negative breathing reaction to white potatoes and cannot peel them or cut them up. so, does it make a difference if i use yellow potatoes?

    • @kristen reynolds, I usually use white potatoes because that is what I usually have, but yellow will also work fine. And I have used them before. I wonder what is in white potatoes that is not in gold ones that would bother you? I hope you enjoy it, let me know if you like it.

  11. Hi Lynn, thanks so much for the Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup recipe. Just made it and the taste mimics PB’s more than any other recipe I’ve tried. I’ll cut back on the red and white pepper by about half on the next batch-my family & I thought it was a bit spicier/hotter than Panera’s version. I also added approximately 1/2 teaspoon of chopped scallions just to give it a little color. Again, thank you for sharing the recipe-you saved me a lot of time and money by my not having to experiment on my own and I greatly appreciate the time & effort you put into your site & recipes. Will try the Broccoli Cheddar ASAP.

  12. I LOOOOVE their potato and broccoli soups!! I’ve been thinking about them lately, how nice it would be to have them on our menu one week. This is awesome! (I found this from Crystal’s Money Saving Mom blog, which I’m totally reading through right now ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  13. YUM! I am making this for dinner tonight… Can’t wait!

  14. Since I see you have 2 of Panera’s soups here, I thought I’d check in with you regarding my current quest — I’ve been looking for a good copycat version of Panera’s Tomato soup for a couple of weeks now… Any good advice for that one? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Whoops, I meant to add: I’ve already bookmarked your tomato soup recipe as the first to try, but I wondered if you knew anything about how well it compared, or any other suggestions!

      • @Chelsea, I have never had Panera’s tomato soup, but now you have me curious and I am going to have to look into doing that. If it is anything like their other ones I am sure it is good, and a copycat version should not be hard. Now I have a challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • @Lynn, Ohhh, it’s lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚ Creamy without being a ‘cream soup,’ just enough recognizable pieces of tomato and onion… And especially fabulous with the croutons they serve along with it — I think those have Asiago or some other cheese baked in… mmmmm

  15. I thought this was good. I agree with another poster and definitely do not add all that cayenne! I do not think the PB version has any spiciness at all. I added just a dash because I know my own tolerance and it was plenty. I probably added a little more than a 1/4 tsp of white pepper and it was probably too much. The seasoned salt, I doubled, and I still don’t know if it added anything. If you don’t have it, don’t worry about it. Just season to taste with regualr or sea salt. I thought it was pretty blah without adding more salt. (My broth wasn’t very salty). My cream cheese didn’t completely melt probably due to it not being entirely at room temperature. I will have to do better next time! I fried up some bacon bits and added to the bowl, along with a little shredded colby for some extra cheesiness. Yumm. If I had chives or scallions, I would add those too. I also used my immersion blender instead of mashing, but I just did it for a few seconds so it was still chunky. It was a good consistency. You can buy this now at Target with groceries but is defintely cheaper to make your own! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Lynn, I may use this recipe for a soup and salad potluck next Sunday. Would you make it completely and reheat or keep hot in a crockpot, or would you leave out the cream cheese and add it in the crockpot to melt as it stands for two hours?

    • @LisaB, I have never made this in advance, but the leftovers that I have had from it tend to be thicker. I might make it ahead and keep it on warm in the crockpot, if your crockpot has a warm setting. Reheating might also work if you add a little more broth to thin it out. I don’t think it will matter when you add the cream cheese to it if you are not serving it when you make it. I hope that helps.

      • @Lynn, Just wanted to report back that I did indeed make the potato soup and take it to our potluck. I made it (with the cream cheese) Sunday morning and put it hot into the crock pot, then kept it warm during services. It tasted very good, but I agree with other posters that the cayenne was a little too much. Also the cream cheese did not melt completely and floated in little blobs to the top. However, people ate it and I was glad to have a little left over. I would make it again.

  17. Heaven in a bowl…………………, so good!

  18. I included this yummy soup in my meal plan this week (made it a couple weeks ago and froze enough for 3 nights). Thanks!

  19. I didn’t think I would ever find a potato soup I liked better than my dad’s, but I’ve loved your other panera soup recipes so much I knew I had to try this and it did not disappoint! We loved it!

  20. Carrie @ My Favorite Finds says

    Lynn, could this work in the crockpot, I’m assuming? Just put it on low in the morning? Also, I make another potato “chowder” (in the crockpot), which you add cream cheese at the end and stir it until it melts. It works very well.

  21. i made this recipe and used 1/8 teaspoon of both peppers and also used 1/2 pound of bacon and it was amazing

  22. This was so yummy – a big hit with my family!! I’ll check back for more scrumptious recipes!

  23. Barbara Malone says

    I have made this before and it is very delicious , i am making it again tonight for dinner and the smell is rolling the neighborhood. Going to try the broccoli soup next time.

  24. NOM!!!!!!!! Perfect for my pregnant cravings!!! I js finished and OMG its aaaaaaamazing ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. Thank you so much! I was amazed at how simple this was for the soup to be this delicious !

  26. Becky Whetstone says

    Do you have a copycat of the Panera chicken noodle soup?

  27. I just made this and unfortunately I didn’t think it tasted anything like Panera’s soup. I followed the directions to a T and it was too spicy. Just not the same.

  28. Linette Carlan says

    This soup was easy and tasted absolutely delicious. The only thing I added was half and half to have more soup without thinning out the pot. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the Recipie.

  29. I have made this recipe several times, but it has been awhile since I have made it. I had this saved to my old computer and almost freaked when I thought I would not be able to find it ( by another search). Thank you!

  30. Just made this tonight, but I think I did something wrong. My soup isn’t thickening up at all! The cream cheese is also taking forever to melt, I’m just not sure what is up with that.

  31. Great soup! I made it once per the recipe, then added my own touch to make an even better variation. Use the same ingredients as per the recipe EXCEPT use 4 oz of cream cheese (instead of 8 oz) and add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese after the cream cheese has completely melted. The full 8 oz cream cheese was a little much for my taste but using half that amount and adding in the cheddar made it divine.

  32. Maria Miller says

    I love this soup! It is like comfort food to me! But, we love more bacon! We use a whole package.

  33. So I have been making this soup for over a year now and me and my husband LOVE it! It’s really my go to recipe. I’ve been sick the last couple days and my hubby went to Panera to get me potato soup last night (the first time I’ve ever had it) and I have to admit that it tasted very little like this recipe (not at cheesy, not as smooth, had scallions, and not as spicy). However your version is still my favorite ๐Ÿ™‚

    Btw…for those who have trouble getting the cream cheese to blend. I used to have that problem also, but I started using a whisk to incorporate the cream cheese. it also works in place of the masher as it does a great job of getting most of the lumps out. In fact it does such a good job of getting lumps out that sometimes I pull out some of the lumpy potato pieces and reserve them to add back b/c the soup will have no lumps left after whisking.

    • I love hearing that. Thanks! It has been so long since I had the real version, I was not sure if they changed it or not, so I am glad to know it is still pretty close to the real thing. I hope you feel better soon.

  34. Sharon Kleinecke says

    Lynn, loved the recipe! I added some celery, garlic and parsley flakes and we just loved it!

  35. I just made this and it was sooooo good!!! I added a little extra cream cheese and some sour cream and cheddar because I love mine a little extra creamy. It’s so amazing. Add about a half table spoon of hot sauce and it gives it a hint of a kick!


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