Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe

Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 40 mins
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This Creamy Tomato Soup recipe is a family favorite – especially when served with a big buttery grilled cheese sandwich! An easy homemade soup that’s a copycat of Panera’s Creamy Tomato Soup.

A bowl of tomato soup on a marble counter next to tomatoes.

Homemade Panera Creamy Tomato Soup

Despite the heat, my mind and body have already decided it is Fall. Like full on FALL — even if it is still in the 90’s here in Florida. And that’s why I am brining you this Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe in September!

I have been asking anybody and everybody I know to go to Hobby Lobby to buy Fall decorations for my house.

I am also fighting myself on getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.

How can I drink a pumpkin flavored hot coffee in this weather? It’s just not ok.

Creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich in the soup bowl.

Somehow my craving for soups is even stronger than my craving for pumpkin spice lattes and fall decorations.

I have a notebook where I keep ideas of recipes I want to make.

If you look at it today, it has 11 soups in a row — no joke.

I keep asking Jorge if he will eat soup for dinner yet…and his answer is “NO.” every. single. time.

A bowl of homemade tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

I always ask back, but what about your favorite Taco Ranch Chicken Chili?? No!

Ok, how about my favorite, One-Pot Bacon Corn Chowder?? NO! No soup until it’s under 80 degrees!

He is SUCH a kill joy.

(Pssst! You can find all my soup recipes right here.)

A bowl of creamy tomato soup on a wooden board.

So I finally said screw you, I’m making soup. Tomato Soup just like at Panera and you can’t have any!

Well ladies and gents, guess who ate a big bowl of this amazing tomato soup and a big grilled cheese?? Jorge. The soup naysayer.

This tomato soup is a recipe that has been a long time in the making.

I tried using fresh tomatoes, but it was double the time and the flavor wasn’t close enough to the one I love to get at Panera.

Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe: this simple recipe is my families favorite creamy tomato soup when served with a big buttery grilled cheese sandwich!

“Creamy” is in the name, but the soup at Panera is really not all that creamy. So I learned to use only a little cream.

I also add a little sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and not too much basil. And I add a little parmesan cheese – but it’s totally optional.

Is this the exact same soup you get from Panera? No, probably not exactly. However, it is dang close to it! And bonus? It only takes 30 minutes to make!

The next time I make it, I plan on making a triple batch to have extra to freeze the leftovers.

That way whenever I am in the mood, I can just pull a bag out from the freezer!

UPDATE: Panera changed their soup recipe a while back a little. But scroll down to read the reviews…this tomato soup still ROCKS and you must make it asap.

Yield: 4 Servings

Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe

Panera Creamy Tomato Soup

To make your meal perfect, make a grilled cheese with fresh thick crusty sourdough bread, havarti cheese and a ton of real butter. That is my PERFECT grilled cheese.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot (or dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds - until fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring as needed, until translucent - about 8 minutes.
  2. Add San Marzano peeled tomatoes (juice and all), chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to a low simmer. Cook uncovered, for 12 minutes or until it has thickened.
  3. Add the heavy cream, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or carefully transfer soup to a blender), puree soup until there are no large chunks left.
  5. OPTIONAL: stir in parmesan cheese and serve topped with buttery croutons.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


I really like San Marzano canned tomatoes, especially for this recipe. I buy the Cento brand and can find it every where from Walmart to Publix (this is what the can looks like). 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g


Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe: this simple recipe is my families favorite creamy tomato soup when served with a big buttery grilled cheese sandwich!

Panera Creamy Tomato Soup Copycat Recipe: this simple recipe is my families favorite creamy tomato soup when served with a big buttery grilled cheese sandwich!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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176 Responses
  1. Valerie

    I have some canned whole tomatoes from the garden,no way to roast them. Do u think these would wrk or how I can add a roasted effect. Or would you recommend me just buying your recommended tomatoes.

  2. Cheryl

    Absolutely delicious ! I try new recipes all the time, and this was one of my favorites. Followed the recipe, but used a tsp of freeze-dried basil. Used a blender and it was beautifully smooth! Made my own croutons from a leftover baguette tossed in olive oil and s & p. Perfect winter meal!

  3. Fe Kramer

    I just made it for the first time and my husband said it is goodand a keeper . Thank you. So easy to make and delicious.

  4. Christina

    We have been making this soup for years and absolutely love it; it’s so delicious with grilled cheese dippers. I am a cult follower of America’s Test Kitchen (I hope it’s ok that I say that) and your recipe BY FAR beats every single one they have for tomato soup – and yours is easier! I am finally going to start trying other recipes from your site. Can’t wait!

  5. Cara

    The soup was delish. I spent A LOT of time using an immersion blender. I finally caved &used my blender. Would it make any difference if I used crushed tomatoes or does the whole peeled tomato preferred?

  6. Kristen

    Any tips to make this smoother? The flavor is great but my blender (ninja) doesn’t make it smooth no matter how long si blend.

  7. Lisa

    What is the significance of simmering for 12 minutes? I understand sautéing the garlic and onion but could you just add everything else to the blender after that and then heat? I’ve made this two days in row lol. That’s how much we enjoyed it.

  8. Kelly

    Hi! Just curious if I could use just crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce? I don’t have an immersion blender, so looking for a way around that. This soup looks super yummy!Thanks!!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Kelly! I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know for sure. Do you have a blender? You could always move the soup into a blender instead!

      1. Kelly

        Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, no blender either (we’re not smoothie people, so we just never had much of a call to get one!). I will try it and hopefully it’s as good as yours sounds. Thanks!

  9. Sarah

    So yummy! As someone who is super picky, this soup is amazing and very similar to Panera’s. Fresh croutons on top make this

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Sydney, I’m sorry but I do not measure out amounts of cooked food, but I do share how many I think it would feed. So for this recipe, I feel it makes 4 good sized servings for 4 people. Hope this helps!

  10. Kinley

    If I couldnt find San Marzano but did find Red Gold whole peeled tomatoes will that work hopefully?! Thank you! Im excited to make this tonight!

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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