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Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Dairy-Free Version)

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Are you a fan of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, but looking for a healthier option to make at home? This homemade vegan broccoli cheddar soup version is just as rich and creamy as the original, but made healthier with a base of cashews and potatoes. Plus, it only requires one pot and seven ingredients to make!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli (plus more for topping)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: bread for crouton garnish


  1. To prepare the potatoes, poke holes in each one with a fork and wrap in a paper towel.
  2. Microwave for about 8 minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Let cool slightly, then peel off the skin.
  4. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  6. Add the broccoli and stir, allowing the broccoli to begin to thaw.
  7. Meanwhile, make the “sauce”. Add the cashews, cooked potatoes, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth and creamy for a few minutes.
  9. Add the sauce to the onions and broccoli and simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Puree with a hand immersion blender until most of the broccoli has been finely chopped. If you don’t have a hand immersion blender, you could add the broccoli and onions to the blender after the sauce is pureed and continue pureeing with the sauce, then return to the soup pot to simmer.
  11. Optional: If you are roasting additional broccoli and bread cubes for garnish, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  12. Roast the frozen broccoli for about 20 minutes and the bread cubes for about 5 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.
  13. To serve, ladle the soup into four bowl and top with roasted broccoli and a few bread cubes.


  • If you don’t want to microwave the potatoes, you could also chop and boil until fork tender. Don’t worry about removing the skin if you choose this method. 
  • For a lower carb version, you could substitute 2 cups of cauliflower for potatoes. If choosing this method, boil the cauliflower until fork tender and blend with the other sauce ingredients. 


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 305
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 448mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: vegan broccoli cheddar soup, copycat panera broccoli cheddar soup, dairy-free broccoli cheddar soup, vegan creamy soup, healthy soup, soup, vegan soup, 30 minute meals, dinner

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