Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Panera
Courtesy of panerabread.com

I Tried 8 Panera Soups — Here Are My Favorites

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Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Panera
Courtesy of panerabread.com

Souper Duper

Panera is a standby for many when it comes to sandwiches, but the chain might be known even more so for the soups. Panera soup is elite when you're sick, and also proves to be a real comfort food delight on a chilly winter day. Which bowl of soup should you order, though? I ran through eight of the best Panera soups and ranked 'em.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Panera Merging With Two Other Fast-Casual Brands

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Broccoli Cheddar

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


I don't really even know what there is to say about Panera's broccoli cheddar soup. For me, it's the gold standard. Nobody does it better, and I mean nobody. Not my mom. Not your mom. Only John Panera's mom. (I don't know who founded Panera but that seems like a safe shot.) This soup is rich and creamy, and even though there's broccoli in it, you stay safe from a thousand little floating bits of green. I don't know how they pull that one off. Eating this soup out of a crusty bread bowl is one of life's greatest indulgences.


Related: Five-Ingredient Soups and Stews for an Easy Meal

Panera Turkey Chili
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

2. Turkey Chili


Price: $7.79 cup / $8.99 bowl


There are very little cravings like the craving for chili, and though it comes for me infrequently, when it does I cannot run away from it. Panera absolutely scratches the itch here. The turkey chili is hearty and loaded with chunky veggies, one of which is edamame. Is this the standard? Did I have a whimsical prankster in the kitchen? I don't know. I don't care. I love this.


Related: 30 Easy Soup Recipes That Last for Days

Panera Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

3. Vegetarian Autumn Squash

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


I cannot comprehend a soup more perfect for a breezy fall day than this son of a gun right here. This is an autumnal flavor death match, every ounce of cinnamon, clove, and allspice trying to beat up some creamy squash. It's decadent chaos and I love it.


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Panera Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

5. Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


There's a severe matter of personal preference going on here, but listen up. I don't like rice pudding. You can yell at me and tell me how wrong I am all you want, but that's all there is to it. Cream of chicken and rice, one of Panera's most popular soups, just feels like a soupier rice pudding. I like it fine, but dang, I wish I wasn't thinking about rice pudding.

Panera Creamy Tomato Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

6. Creamy Tomato

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


There's a good chance you already know exactly what this tastes like. It's a classic creamy tomato-basil soup. This is the Old Faithful of the soup world, reliable as can be, but not particularly exciting. Give it a boost with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Panera Thai Chicken Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

6. Thai Chicken

Price: $7.79 cup / $8.99 bowl


I want to like this so badly. It's kind of like a combination of a few classic Thai soups, but it's a little ... too watery? The aroma is just right, but this is more like the flavor of coconut milk, rather than the texture of coconut milk. The chicken is pretty dry, too. If you like watered down Thai soup, give this a look.

Panera Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

7. Homestyle Chicken Noodle

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


There are a few universal truths about homestyle chicken noodle soup. For one, it cures any illness. For another, the chicken is always as dry as the Sahara. Both of these things are true of Panera's chicken soup, unless of course your illness is sodium-related, because this thing is a salt bomb you're not prepared for.

Panera Bistro French Onion Soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

8. Bistro French Onion

Price: $6.99 cup / $8.19 bowl


Goodness gracious me oh my, this is bad food. Before today, I thought Panera made exclusively terrific soups. This bistro French onion soup, which tastes like water and onions, contains a tiny bit of cheese and zero croutons. I'd skip this one if I were you.