4.60 from 74 reviews

Panera Autumn Squash Soup (Copycat)

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squash soup in a bowl topped with pepitas, cream, and paprika.

I actually can’t get enough of this Panera Autumn Squash Soup recipe. I’ve made it once a week for the last few weeks and I’m still not over it. Errrr, I’ll never be over it!

If you’re as obsessed with every single soup from Panera as I am, you’ll be sure to love this copycat recipe. Dare I say you’ll love this homemade version even more. I’ve already decided myself I love it even more, especially with a grilled cheese!

After I made this Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup I knew I had to make another copycat recipe from Panera. With the chilly Fall weather creeping in, I am craving all of the cozy soups and this one hits the spot.

squash soup in a dutch over topped with cream and paprika.

It’s filled with roasted honey-cinnamon butternut squash, pumpkin puree, bright-orange carrots, apple juice, a hint of curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of cream. And you got to admit, the color alone is pretty dang autumnal! It’s just so pretty.

The roasted butternut squash adds a magical touch to the soup. It gets perfectly roasted and caramelized with a little addition of butter, honey, cinnamon and salt. Truuuust me, it really does make all the difference! Roasting the squash helps to condense it’s flavor and takes it from a basic tasting soup to an oh-my-gosh-this-soup-is-so-good kind of soup. Ya know?!

squash soup in a bowl topped with pepitas, cream, and paprika.

You’ll simmer then blend all the ingredients up to create this creamy, silky-smooth, vibrant Autumn Squash Soup. It’s like Autumn in a bowl, I just know you’ll love it!

This soup is…

  • FULL of flavor
  • Easy to make
  • Perfect for Autumn or really all year long
  • Easily made vegan/vegetarian
  • Perfect for an appetizer or filling enough for a main meal!

Ingredient Notes

With a few pantry staples and some fresh produce, this soup comes together in a breeze.

ingredients in small bowls needed to make soup.
  • Onion: You’ll need a yellow onion for aromatics to kickstart the soup. A little olive oil (or butter) and onion creates a great base for soup. You can use a yellow onion, sweet onion or a white onion.
  • Butternut Squash: Of course an Autumn soup needs some butternut squash! Feel free to buy a fresh, medium-sized squash and peel, seed and cube it up. Or you can buy it pre-cut to save some time. You’ll need 2 lbs. for this recipe.
  • Carrots: the carrots help to add a touch of sweetness and color to the soup.
  • Seasonings: this soup has a blend of some special cozy spices that take this soup to the next level. Curry, cinnamon, nutmeg (fresh nutmeg if you’ve got it), turmeric and coriander.
  • Apple juice or apple cider: When reading the ingredient list from the Panera website, I discovered they use apple juice concentrate. But apple juice or cider does the trick. This is the ingredient that really sets this soup apart and you’ll love how the apple juice and butternut squash compliment each other.
  • Fresh ginger and garlic: because hello depth of flavor!
  • Vegetable broth: you could also use water but I’ve found a good quality vegetable broth really brings it all together.
  • Pumpkin puree: be sure to use 100% pumpkin puree, and not the pumpkin pie mix. This adds a wonderfully luscious texture to the soup and gives it the Autumn vibes you’re craving.
  • Brown sugar and honey: Panera uses both in their recipe, so I’m using both in mine. The sugar really helps to enhance the flavors of the squash and carrots and balances out the flavors from all the warming spices. If you find your soup is too sweet, add a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness.
  • Cream cheese and heavy cream: these final touches brings the soup home and creates that ideal creamy soup you crave. Use coconut milk, coconut cream, oat milk, or any other dairy free alternative if allergies or intolerances are a concern.
butternut squash on a baking sheet tossed in honey and butter and cinnamon.

Step by Step Directions

  1. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
  2. Saute the onions, then add in the carrots, garlic, ginger & honey.
  3. Add in the roasted squash, broth, spices, apple juice and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and brown sugar.
  5. Blend in a high powered blender until smooth (you’ll need to do this in batches).
  6. Stir in the heavy cream at the end and garish with pumpkin seeds.

Tips and Variations

  • Use a stand blender, not an immersion blender: I’ve found a blender results in the best consistency, as opposed to an immersion blender. It’s worth cleaning the extra dishes, I promise!
  • Use caution when blending hot soups: you’ll need to work in batches when blending. Let the soup cool just a little so it’s not boiling hot. Then fill the blender about 1/3 of the way up, vent the top and you can cover with a kitchen towel to blend. Pour the blended soup into a clean pot and repeat with the remaining soup.
  • Roast the carrots, too! This recipe as written only directs you to roast the squash but if you roast the carrots too it’ll help bring out the sweet delicious flavors even more.
  • Use pre-cut butternut squash if you’re feeling apprehensive about peeling and cutting your own squash.
  • Use coconut cream in stead of heavy cream and a vegan cream cheese, if needed. An almond milk creamer would be yummy too or oat milk to help with the creamy consistency yet still be dairy free.
  • As with most soups, toppings are key. This soup is pretty simple with a little roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of heavy cream and a sprinkle of paprika if you’d like.
  • Be sure to use apple juice or apple cider, and not apple cider vinegar.
  • Prep the soup in advance by chopping the veggies and measuring out spices and putting them in a baggie so when it’s time to make the soup you’ll already have some of the steps done.
squash soup in a bowl topped with pepitas, cream, and paprika.


Is Panera Autumn Squash Soup gluten free?

Yes! This soup is gluten free.

Can you freeze this soup?

Soups that contain cream or milk unfortunately do not freeze well. They get a grainy texture and it’s just blah. If you do want to freeze, don’t add in the cream cheese or cream and then let it cool completely and transfer the soup to a freeze safe container, leaving a few inches between the lid and the soup so they soup has space to expand. Defrost the soup in your fridge overnight and then heat on the stove when ready to enjoy.

How long does Autumn Squash Soup last?

It will last up to 5 days in the fridge, properly stored.

Favorite part about Fall?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

squash soup in a bowl topped with pepitas, cream, and paprika.
4.60 from 74 reviews

Panera Autumn Squash Soup (Copycat)

Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This silky-smooth and creamy Panera Autumn Squash Soup is made with roasted honey-cinnamon butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, warming spices and a bit of cream. It's Fall in a bowl and you won't believe how much it tastes like the real deal from Panera!


For the roasted butternut squash

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (about 6 cups squash or 2 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt and cinnamon

For the soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into thin rounds or diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple juice or apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1, 15 oz. can 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • garnish: pepitas, cream, paprika

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • Note: this soup is on the sweeter side (which I love) just like the Panera soup! But, if you'd prefer a less sweet soup, omit the additional brown sugar and honey added into the soup.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired.
  • Place the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheet. Add the honey, butter, salt and cinnamon on top and toss until coated and arrange them in a single, even layer. Roast the butternut squash until they're caramelized and tender, ~25 minutes.
    1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes, 2 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter, pinch of salt and cinnamon
  • When the butternut squash is almost done, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are soft, being sure to stir occasionally.
    1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Add the carrots, garlic, and ginger and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
    2 large carrots, chopped into thin rounds or diced, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • Add the roasted butternut squash, followed by the broth, apple juice, lemon juice, honey, and all the seasonings. Bring the soup to a boil, then down to medium-low and simmer until carrots are tender, ~10 minutes.
    4 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups apple juice or apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar), 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • Once the carrots are done, add in the pumpkin, cream cheese and brown sugar. The cream cheese will be a little clumpy but it's OK.
    1, 15 oz. can 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix), 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese, 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a blender. Puree the soup, working in batches, until the soup is smooth.
  • Stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    1/2 cup heavy cream, garnish: pepitas, cream, paprika
  • Serve with pepitas, a drizzle of cream and paprika. Enjoy!



  • Storage: It will last up to 5 days in the fridge, properly stored. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 254kcal (13%), Carbohydrates: 38g (13%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 11g (17%), Saturated Fat: 6g (38%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 26mg (9%), Sodium: 537mg (23%), Potassium: 585mg (17%), Fiber: 3g (13%), Sugar: 25g (28%), Vitamin C: 25mg (30%), Calcium: 140mg (14%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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I looked at multiple copycat recipes for this Autumn soup and tried this one first. It’s DELICIOUS! I’m saving this and unpinning the rest. I made this soup as written except for adding the brown sugar. I thought I would taste it first before adding more sweetener. The flavors are complex. This is a keeper!

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Not great. The curry and coriander don’t seem to belong in this soup, flavor-wise. I would like to try again leaving those spices out. As written, however, this recipe did not work for me or my family.

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I used a tablespoon of brown sugar and it was still quite sweet from the carrots, honey, and apple cider. I used coconut milk because I didn’t have heavy cream and sour cream because I was out of cream cheese. Taste as good as the restaurant if not better!

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Sandra Arnold

This was easy to make and wonderful to eat. My family really enjoyed it, I will be making again. Thanks for sharing detailed instructions for this soup.

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This soup is so delicious!! I omitted the 1/4c of brown sugar since I wanted a slightly more savory taste. I garnished with a little smoked paprika! Incredible!!! Definitely saving this recipe, 10/10 recommend.

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Jennifer Hattenburg

This was really easy and yummy!

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I kept to the recipe aside a few tweaks… no brown sugar and used coconut cream and mascarpone cheese instead of dairy. I also still had to use my handheld immersion blender since it wasn’t quite smooth enough with just the blender. I felt the soup was still on the sweet side even leaving out the brown sugar and I realized it’s the 2 cups of apple juice. I think the recipe would have been better with just 1 cup, so that’s what I will change for next time. All that said, it is a yummy soup with lots of bursting flavors. Love all the spices.

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I agree, it was pretty sweet but good. I was planning to do the same… omit brown sugar and use 1/2 the amount of apple juice.


I decided to try this as was searching for the panera pumpkin soup and I really like it. So smooth, silky and healthy. Great recipe. I made it and divide in 3 bowls to eat now and to keep for the week. Thanks

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This is incredible! I just made it tonight for dinner as I am obsessed with Panera’s Autumn Squash soup. I came across this recipe so I had to try it. Dare I say this is better than Panera’s? Well, I’m saying it LOL. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s a keeper!

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I followed the recipe exactly, it felt like a bit of a labor of love, but WOW did it turn out FANTASTIC and tasted just like the Panera soup! I was also pleasantly surprised by the large quantity the recipe yielded (I love having leftover soup, especially when it takes some time to prep/cook in the first place). I was unfamiliar with this blogger prior to stumbling across this recipe from a google search, but I’m happy I gave it a try and would recommend this recipe to anyone!

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