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Panera Baked Potato Soup

Panera Baked Potato Soup

Back in high school, there was a Saint Louis Bread Co. or Panera Bread if you’re living right now in any city outside of St. Louis, on Halsted St off of Armitage Ave that I would go to whenever I made enough money doing odd jobs for the adults in my neighborhood. I would always order the small bowl of Baked Potato Soup and hope that it would keep me for the rest of the day. This is also where I found my love of asiago cheese bagels was very deep. Cash was tight, but this bowl of soup would right all wrongs for the day. Of course, there will be a story that accompanies this Panera Baked Potato Soup recipe, so you can jump to the recipe now if that’s your jam.

This soup is cheesy, creamy, and just perfect for a chilly afternoon or evening. To take it up a notch, serve it in a bread bowl or with a side of crusty bread to dip into your soup.

Panera Baked Potato Soup

Panera Baked Potato Soup

Panera Baked Potato Soup

Panera Baked Potato Soup Ingredients

Everything used in this recipe is easy to get in your local grocery store AND they don’t come in at a high price point. I’m always pleased when making dinner at home doesn’t break the bank, especially when we’re cooking for folks who are undoubtedly going to have seconds or third servings.

Before you get to cooking, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients or their substitutes:

  • Potatoes – evenly cubed
  • Chicken Broth//Vegetable Broth
  • Cream Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese (shredded)
  • Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Bacon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Liquid Smoke or Smoked Paprika
  • Red Pepper Flakes or Hot Sauce
  • 2 saffron threads or Turmeric for color
Panera Baked Potato Soup

Tips & Tricks

  • Read through the recipe fully first. That way you can be familiar with the order of operations
  • Prep ALL of your ingredients. This moves pretty fast, so you’ll want to have everything ready to go right off the bat.
  • Pick a proper sized pot to fit all of your soup. When you mash the potatoes, the volume of the soup increases quite a bit.
Panera Baked Potato Soup
Panera Baked Potato Soup
Panera Baked Potato Soup
Yield: 12 servings

Panera Baked Potato Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A cheesy potato soup perfect for fall and winter days


  • 6 tbs butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions
  • 3 tbs garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 10 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 10 cups of potatoes cubed
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt to taste
  • splash of hot sauce - we use Louisiana
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric or 2 strands of saffron
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bacon plus enough for garnish - we use a whole pack.
  • 1/2 cup of chives plus enough for garnish


  1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven and saute onion sprinkled with salt for 3 minutes, until fragrant
  2. Add minced garlic and saute for an additional minute
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onion and garlic mixture and stir until all butter has been absorbed
  4. Slowly add chicken broth and whisk to keep lumps from forming
  5. Add milk and heavy cream and stir
  6. Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender
  7. While potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon until crisp. We chop the bacon first and then fry. It's easier that way, plus you get even pieces to top your soup with.
  8. Mask potatoes in the pot. Leave some chunks since it adds personality!
  9. Add turmeric or saffron for a lovely golden colored soup
  10. Add liquid smoke or smoked paprika for a great smoky taste
  11. Add a splash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a small kick.
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
  13. Serve in bread bowls or with a side of crusty bread for dipping

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 480mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

We are not dietitians or nutritionists. Please consult your doctor to make sure that you are using the best diet for your health

Houseful Of Soups Participants

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Saturday 23rd of December 2023

Does the cream cheese go in with the milk and heavy cream? Or is a topping option?

Natasha Nicholes

Saturday 13th of January 2024

Billynda oh goodness! Sorry about that! It goes in with the milk and heavy cream. Thanks for catching that for me!

Olivia J

Thursday 13th of April 2023

This actually made my mouth water while I was reading this.. LOL! This looks phenomenal! Can't wait to make this!

Jennifer Tammy

Tuesday 18th of January 2022

This looks sooo good especially that bread bowl! I love the addition of liquid smoke to get that depth of baked potato flavor!

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