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Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

Copycat Panera Tomato Basil Soup. This is pretty much the BEST soup I have ever eaten!

******* BREAKING NEWS: I have been so overwhelmed at the response to this post and all the people who have told me that they LOVE this recipe because it is so easy & delicious so I decided to start an Instagram account (like today) dedicated to bringing you simple recipes that can be made quickly with only a few ingredients!  I would love for you follow me there!  Find me on IG as @easyfamilyrecipes *******

So if you have been reading The Pinning Mama for any length of time, you probably know that we L-O-V-E Panera! They have so many really yummy things. What we love even better though, is cracking the code to make their super yummy food at home. As a matter of fact, our all time biggest post has been our Panera Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycat, and we also have a delicious Double Chocolate Chip Muffie Top Copycat. Today though, is epic. I am sharing one of my all time Panera favorites,  a copycat recipe for their Creamy Tomato Basil Soup.

With winter STILL in full force around the country, I think it is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a piping hot bowl of creamy tomato basil soup.  And Panera’s is fabulous.  It is rich and thick.  It is smooth and creamy.  It is pretty much the tomato soup lover’s heaven!

The absolute best part about this soup is that it is extremely easy to make.  You do not have to spend days laboring in your kitchen peeling tomatoes and chopping garlic.  As a matter of fact, you can make one quick trip to the store and then whip this soup up in about 15 minutes right on your very own stove top!  That’s my favorite kind of recipe, the kind that tastes like it took hours, days, years, to make, but really it was super easy!

So after your trip to the store, the rest is easy!  Combine your tomatoes, broth, and garlic in a pot and let boil for 10 minutes. This recipe is perfect for our crock pot chicken broth!  The can of diced tomatoes give it the same chunky texture that they serve at Panera.  If you prefer a smooth texture you can use two cans of crushed tomatoes instead of one of each.  Also, in a pinch I have used a can of whole tomatoes that I crushed with a fork and then added.

Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup recipe - Click here for easy recipe!

Next, turn the heat down to low and stir in the sugar and butter, stirring until everything has melted and dissolved and is well mixed.

After it is combined, stir in your chopped basil.  You can use more or less depending on size but 15-20 leaves is a good estimate of what I use.

The next step needs to be done very carefully and takes either a little bit of coordination or a little bit of help.  Pour in your heavy cream extremely slowly with one hand while mixing continuously with the other.  By pouring it slowly while mixing you allow it to fully combine and achieve a really creamy and wonderful soup.  If you get excited and just pour in all of the cream at once, it can separate and make a not horrible, but definitely not as wonderful texture.  Trust me… do it slowly, it is worth the wait!

I can't believe this takes only 15 minutes to make!!! Copycat Panera Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

Now, if you are a freezer cooking junkie {which I am,} then you will be thrilled to know that this recipe freezes beautifully.  I often double the recipe so I can freeze an entire batch!  Just prepare the soup as directed, let cool, and then put into a tupperware or gallon sized bag or two and freeze.  To reheat, place in a pot over medium until warmed through on the stove top, or my favorite way,  just microwave for 6-10 minutes stirring each minute until heated through.

As promised!  Quick and easy!  And if you serve this with a big fat grilled cheese sandwich, you might just make all the worries in the world disappear.  At least for as long as lunch lasts!  This is one of my all time favorite recipes and I hope will be one of yours too!  Make sure and check out all of our other tasty recipes here and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest to keep up with all of the new and super delicious recipes we post!

If you like this soup then you will love this Creamy Lemon Chicken soup recipe.  It is just as quick and easy and every bit as delicious.

Can't believe how easy this chicken soup recipe is! Making it tonight!



{Copycat} Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by


Copycat Panera Tomato Basil Soup. This is pretty much the BEST soup I have ever eaten!



4.8 from 4 reviews
Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth {or 2 cups}
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 15-20 Basil leaves, chopped
  1. Combine the tomatoes, broth, and garlic bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sugar and butter and mix until they are dissolved, melted and well combined.
  3. Very slowly pour in the heavy cream while simultaneously stirring until all the cream is combined and the soup is creamy.
  4. Stir in the basil.
  5. I like to serve it hot garnished with a dollop of pesto and freshly grated parmesan cheese!


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  1. says

    Sounds like a great idea to freeze. I love making soups in the winter! Since it’s a snow day today, that’s exactly what I am going to do!! Unfortunately since I have no basil on hand, I can’t make this one today but I am pinning it!

    • says

      Don’t tell anyone Michelle, but if I don’t have basil on hand I will use dried. It isn’t as good but still pretty darn amazing as far as a quick and easy lunch goes!

  2. Kathy says

    I made this today for our family gathering and it was awesome. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was as promised, easy and delicious.

  3. Diane says

    Your soup is simmering on my stove as I type, I made bacon beer cheese bread to go with it. Can’t wait for dinner!!! I love tomato soup!

  4. Nancy says

    Panera doesn’t have tomato basil soup. Panera has creamy tomato soup. Corner bakery has a tomato basil soup. Shouldn’t mislead your viewers. They may be similar, but it shows your not a true lover of Panera.

    • Dani says

      I don’t think your comment was necessary. We are all human, we make mistakes. I’m a lover of Panera but can I correctly name every item on the menu? Nope. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it just as much as the next person!!

    • NotSoSeriousCommenter says

      Agreed. Nancy needs to relax unless she’s only trying to portray herself as a bored and lonely soul OR as someone who works for Panera, but knows nothing about PR. But nonetheless, this was a good and helpful recipe for us quick cookers. In the ends what matters in the dish are the ingredients and the taste….not the name.

  5. Shanade says

    This soup was amazing! I’ve been looking for a yummy Tomato Basil Soup and I think I’ve found it. I did add some orzo pasta at the end, which is how Cafe Zupas does it. So good. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kaetty says

    Nancy, first of all take it down about 20 notches. Second of all, a little bit of basil isn’t going to mislead people. Last of all, if you want to really pick a part little tiny things, it’s “you’re not a true lover of Panera” not “your.”

    • says

      I am really not sure on that substitution. I would have to experiment. I love that this recipe uses canned because it makes it so quick and easy to make so I have never really thought about putting in the time and effort to use fresh.

  7. says

    Could I substitute milk for the heavy cream? I don’t eat anything with added chemicals or fillers. I know milk isn’t as heavy as the cream but if i added a little bit of gluten free flour to it to make a roux, would that work? Also, how about fresh tomatoes?

    • says

      You can definitely sub milk. It makes it much thinner and less rich but it does work. I have never made this with fresh tomatoes so I would have to experiment to give you good advice. Sorry!

  8. says

    I am excited to try this soup, it’s simmering now and smells wonderful! Our cupboards are really bare right now so I was happy to find some things could toss together for a meal until we can grocery shop; I have dried basil and Half & Half cream, I’m sure it will be a good substitute.. :)

  9. Lynne says

    I made this last night. It was delicious! I used “fresh” basil that I got at the grocery store but how much dried basil do you use if you don’t have fresh?

  10. Holly says

    I have made this soup at least 20 times already and it is my favorite soup ever! I have never used the basil though, only because I never have any on hand but it is perfect anyway but I’m sure that would make it even better. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  11. renee says

    I made this and it turned out really good. I used canned tomatoes that had garlic and basil in them and used half the amount of sugar. The next day it reheat well and tasted even better. Thank you for the recipe!

  12. Sharon says

    Just made this soup to bring to a family dinner. Of course I had to try it first. Absolutely amazing!!! I also used the low sodium canned tomatoes with garlic and basil and unsalted butter. Thank you for the recipe!!

  13. A fan says

    My mom always said “Red into White and you’ll never be blue”… this in regards to using dairy and tomato…

    She added a bit of the “red” tomato to a bowl of the “white” dairy – much like you do to temper eggs when making custard… and I’ve never been blue. :)

  14. Joy says

    Thanks for sharing your recipe with us! I’ve made it twice in the last couple of weeks. I’ve doubled the recipe both time and it still is gone quickly! I don’t use dairy so I replaced the cream with Cashew Milk. (I used the brand called Silk). I also used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I didn’t have any basil nor did I have just diced tomatoes. (I had diced tomatoes with chilies made by Rotel.) This was definitely a hit in my household! Thanks for the easy, yet delicious recipe. Oh.. btw, I made croutons from Panera’s tomato basil soup and added just a bit of ditalini pasta to the soup.

    • trishinboots says

      One year later… totally glad you commented that this worked for you with Cashew milk because I’m an Almond milk gal myself.

      This looks amazing, and I am all about that freezer life so I will be giving this a whirl next month!

  15. joy says

    I should of proofread my comment above! One mistake…. says I used Panera’s tomato basil soup to make croutons! It should have said Panera’s tomato basil bread! (I cut up the bread into small pieces and left it on a cookie sheet for the day to dry out. Then, I lightly brushed on Earth Balance spread and seasoned and then toasted them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.)

  16. Charneal Dixon says

    Brilliant! I made this today and served it with tuna melt sandwiches. The first and only tomato soup I’ve been able to tolerate. Both comforting and delicious. I enjoyed every spoonful.

  17. Misty says

    Thank you so much for this recipe ! I did alter it slightly – cooked the onions , garlic, and one celery rib in said amount of butter , then combined all other ingredients. I also used dried basil ( 1 and 1/2 teaspoon) and only 1 tablespoon sugar . This soup is amazing !! Thanks again !!

  18. Hilary says

    Thank you for this recipe. I love that it’s so fast and easy. And I don’t care if it’s Tomato Basil Soup or Creamy Tomato Soup….it’s still yummy. Thanks!

  19. Sydney says

    This is delicious! I was a little skeptical because it doesn’t have the same color as panera, but it tastes very similar. The only difference is that it’s a little chunkier than Panera, so next time I might put the diced tomatoes in a food processor and pulse them a little so that they’re smaller chunks. Also, make sure to keep it uncovered when it’s boiling (I didn’t) or it won’t thicken. Silly me.

  20. Sherri says

    Have you, or anyone, tried canning this as a concentrate? I considered making this except for the milk/cream and canning it at that point, then adding cream when heating it to eat. Thoughts?

    • Jenna says

      I was thinking of doing the exact same thing! Did you end up trying to can it? I have a ton of fresh basil to use and this recipe is delicious!

  21. Gloisawesome says

    I just made this and it was fabulous! I followed the recipe + salt and paper. Loved it and made it with some grilled cheeses. Will make again! Thank you!

  22. Bethany says

    I made this for dinner tonight with grilled cheese sandwiches and it was delicious! I used my immersion blender before serving to make it smoother and it was great. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      So glad you you liked it! Next time you can just use all crushed tomatoes instead of the diced to skip the blender. I love it chunky so I use diced, but the flavor should be the same.

  23. Chrissy says

    I haven’t tried to make this soup yet but going to give it a try for dinner tomorrow. I was curious if anyone tried to make it in the crockpot? If so what changes did you have to make accordingly and how long did you let is cook? Thanks!

  24. Chrissy says

    Hi! I haven’t tried making this soup yet, I’m excited to try it for dinner tonight. Just curious if anyone has tried to make this in a crockpot? If so what changes did you make and how log did you let us cook? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Chrissy, I have not but it is on my to do list! There is a comment a bit up in the thread of someone who tried it and said it came out great! Best of luck!

  25. B says

    I apologize if this is already in the comments but I do not see it. Any idea how this freezes? I am making it for the first time and doubled it with high hopes. Only cooking for 3, so I am hoping to freeze half. Thanks!

    • says

      Adapting this to a slow cooker recipe has been on my to do list for a while! I am pretty sure it will work beautifully but haven’t quite got to it yet

  26. Kristie says

    I make this with light coconut milk instead of cream and honey instead of sugar and it’s fantastic. It’s a bit of a “lighter” option as well. :)

  27. says

    This was a quick & easy soup to make on a cold rainy day. It hit the spot. I used reduced fat cream (8%) and added 2 tablespoons of pesto in addition to the chopped basil. I had used reduced sodium tomatoes so it needed a little something to replace the salt. The pesto worked beautifully. I also used my hand blender to puree the tomatoes a bit as they were a little too chunky for my liking. I will definitely make this one again.

  28. Carole says

    Changed this up and is delicious. I sauted shallots and garlic in butter, then added that. I also omitted the diced tomatoes and instead added a can of campbells tomato soup.

  29. Melody says

    Hi! I made this today and it was delish! In one of the pictures, it looks like you added some seasoning to it. What did you add? I didn’t see it in the recipe. I added salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning. Thanks so much!

  30. Jennifer G says

    This recipe was actually pretty good! And really easy to do although I did use dried basil bits. For me, who doesn’t cook much it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

  31. Mavis says

    Just made this and it was delicious! Thanks so much for posting! I made a pig of myself and had three bowls!

  32. Deanna says

    Wow. This was fantastic. My four-year old loves tomato soup, but I was tired of the canned stuff. I have made this three times now. Tastes so good. I make sure to always have basil on hand. Oh, yeah. She loved it, too.

  33. Rebecca says

    This was so easy to make and smells and tastes delicious! I made it for a friend recovering from surgery, and after taste-testing, put on a second batch to freeze for school year lunches. Thanks so much!


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