This Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup recipe features a rich blend of butternut squash, pumpkin, and carrots. This creamy soup is perfect for cooler months and will quickly become a fall favorite.
If you love Panera Bread, especially in the fall when they release their Autumn Squash Soup, then you're going to love this recipe!
This creamy combination of pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, and apples tastes like fall in a bowl.
This Panera Autumn Squash Soup Is:
- A quick meal for a busy day.
- Full of rich and cozy flavors like cinnamon and a hint of curry.
- Even better the next day (leftovers!).
- The perfect fall soup.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup recipe. Most are pantry staples, easy, and affordable to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Yellow onion: grab a small one if you can and roughly dice it.
- Butternut squash: this is the base of the whole soup recipe and makes it taste a little sweet. It also adds creaminess when it's all blended together.
- Carrots: this isn't particularly noticeable when it's done, but it adds depth and color.
- Vegetable stock: Use this to thin out the soup. You can also use a low-sodium vegetable broth.
- Apple juice: I try to get unsweetened juice or juice with no added sugars. You could also use apple juice concentrate.
- Warm Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and curry powder.
- More spices: onion powder and garlic powder.
- Pumpkin purée: canned pumpkin puree is best here! Make sure you don't buy pumpkin pie filling.
- Butter: You could also use coconut oil or a plant-based butter.
- Cream cheese: Adds creaminess without the coconut flavor. To keep it vegan, use a plant-based cream cheese (like Kite Hill).
- Heavy cream: a splash of this adds richness. Swap it for full-fat coconut milk to keep it dairy-free.
- Maple syrup: Just a touch of maple syrup that compliments all the fall flavors and sweetens it just a bit. I decided to opt for a refined sugar-free option, but if you have brown sugar on hand you can use that too. You could also swap it for honey!
How to Peel and Dice Butternut Squash
Peel and cut: Start by cutting both ends off of the butternut squash with a sharp knife. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the thick layer of skin. You may need to go over it a few times to get it down to the yellow flesh. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise.
Scoop and dice: Use a spoon to scoop out the seedy centers. Then carefully use a sharp knife to cut it into strips then dice it into cubes. This soup is being blended, so the dice don't have to look perfect. However, you want them mostly uniform in size so they cook evenly.
How to Make Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This copycat Panera autumn squash soup is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Simmer the veggies: Saute the sweet yellow onion in olive oil until soft then add the squash, carrots, broth, and apple juice in a large pot. Bring them all to a boil over high heat then turn the heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Or until the squash and vegetables are fork-tender.
Stir: Next, add the pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup and mix to combine with a spoon over medium heat.
Blend: You'll either use a handheld blender or a traditional blender to blend all of the ingredients to make it smooth and creamy.
Serve: pour the soup back in the stock pot and keep it warm over very low heat. Serve it right away with a drizzle of heavy cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and/or toasty pumpkin seeds.
Two Ways to Blend the Soup
Regular blender: If you have a large, heat-safe blender like a Vitamix you can blend the soup in that. You need to work in batches so it all fits! I tried it both ways and found the Vitamix (we love this Vitamix) made it silky smooth.
Immersion blender: an immersion blender is great for making creamy soups like this one. They range from $30 - $100 and are great to keep the cleanup to a minimum. Keep the immersion blender down in the soup and move it around the soup to break it up until it's smooth and creamy. Avoid pulling it out of the soup or you could splash hot soup everywhere.
Video: Watch How to Make Autumn Squash Soup
Autumn Squash Soup Toppings
- We love topping it with roasted pumpkin seeds for an added crunch!
- We also added a sprinkling of extra spices and a touch of fresh cracked black pepper.
- More options: croutons, a swirl of heavy cream
What to Serve with Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup
- Salads: soup and salad goes hand in hand and we love this kale salad with goat cheese, shaved brussel sprout salad with apples or this autumn pear salad.
- Sandwiches: if you're post-Thanksgiving, these leftover turkey sandwich sliders would be delicious or you can serve it with curry chicken salad sandwiches.
- Main dishes: this pairs well with a light fish like blackened salmon or a show stopper like stuffed flank steak or roasted beef tenderloin. It would also make a great veggie option at Thanksgiving!
Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and warm back up on the stove.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More easy copycat recipes
- Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
- Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi (3 Ingredients)
- Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew (Dairy Free)
Panera Autumn Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and diced (6-7 cups)
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced (1 - 1 ½ cups)
- 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon EACH: cinnamon, curry powder, and onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese or plant-based cream cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Toppings: roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh cracked black pepper, or extra spices
- Lare pot
- High Speed Blender or Immersion Blender
- Add the olive oil to a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Once it's hot and shimmering, add the diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until transluscent.
- Stir in the squash, carrots, vegetable broth, and apple juice. Bring them all to a boil over high heat then turn the heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. The squash and vegetables should be fork-tender.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, all of the spices, and maple syrup. Stir well until the cream cheese is melted into the soup.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a large, high-speed blender. I like to spoon out the veggies and then carefully pour the broth in next. Blend on high speed until it's smooth and creamy and no chunks remain. Alternately, keep the soup in the pot and use a handheld immersion blender.
- Carefully pour the soup back into the stock pot. Serve immediately with a drizzle of cream, pumpkin seeds, and a dash of cinnamon. Soup stays fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.