How many carbs in a bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar soup?

Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup is a popular menu item, but many health-conscious customers wonder about the carb count. This creamy, cheesy soup may taste indulgent, but does it fit into a low-carb diet? Let’s take a closer look at the nutrition facts.

Quick Answer

A regular bowl of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup contains around 45-55 grams of net carbs, depending on exact ingredients and preparation. The soup is high in carbohydrates mainly from added flour or starch used as a thickening agent.

Breaking Down the Ingredients

According to Panera Bread, the ingredients in broccoli cheddar soup are:

  • Lowfat milk
  • Broccoli florets
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Flour
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

The primary sources of carbs in this soup come from:

  • Milk: Milk contains around 12 grams of carbs per cup, mainly in the form of lactose or milk sugar.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour contains about 75 grams of carbs per cup. Even small amounts thicken up the soup.
  • Vegetables: Onions, carrots, broccoli and celery all contain around 5-10 grams of carbs per cooked cup.

The cheddar cheese and seasonings add flavor but minimal carbs. So milk, flour and veggies make up the majority of total carbs.

Nutrition Information

Here are the nutrition facts for a regular bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar soup (approximately 12 oz):

Calories 350
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 12g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 760mg
Total Carbohydrates 34g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 13g

Based on these nutrition facts, a regular bowl of broccoli cheddar soup contains 34 grams total carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber. To calculate net carbs, we subtract the fiber from the total carbs, giving us 32 grams of net carbs.

Serving Size Variations

It’s important to note that the carb count can vary based on the exact serving size. Panera Bread offers several serving size options:

  • Regular bowl (12 oz): 34 grams total carbs, 32 grams net carbs
  • Large bowl (16 oz): Around 45 grams total carbs, 43 grams net carbs
  • Bread bowl: Adds an extra 15-20 grams of net carbs from the bread

The bread bowl option can add a significant amount of carbs from the bread itself. In general, the larger the serving size, the more carbs it will contain.

Tips for Ordering

Here are some tips for ordering a lower-carb broccoli cheddar soup from Panera Bread:

  • Opt for a regular bowl or cup rather than a large size
  • Avoid the bread bowl option
  • Request the soup without flour or starch thickeners
  • Ask for extra broccoli and veggies rather than noodles or rice
  • Choose full-fat milk or cream instead of lowfat or skim
  • Add chicken, bacon bits or other protein toppings
  • Pair with a low-carb salad or sandwich

Making customizations like these when ordering can help reduce the total carb content by 10-15 grams for the meal.

Low-Carb Alternatives

For an even lower-carb soup choice at Panera, consider ordering one of these options:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a Cup

  • Around 15 grams net carbs in an 8 oz cup
  • Skip the bread bowl

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  • Around 15 grams net carbs in a regular bowl
  • Higher in protein than broccoli cheddar

Ten Vegetable Soup

  • Around 10 grams net carbs in a regular bowl
  • Filled with low-carb veggies

While Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup is higher in carbs, these alternatives can fit better into a low-carb, keto, or diabetic diet.

Low-Carb Homemade Substitutes

Making broccoli cheddar soup at home can allow you to control the ingredients and carb count. Here are some tips for a low-carb homemade version:

  • Use cauliflower instead of broth for the base
  • Add extra broccoli and low-carb veggies
  • Use dairy or nut-based flour alternatives
  • Add cream, cream cheese, or full-fat cheese
  • Flavor with garlic, onions, bacon, spices
  • Top with avocado, olive oil, seeds

With these substitutions, you can recreate a keto broccoli cheddar soup with around 10 grams of net carbs per serving.

Should You Eat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup on a Low-Carb Diet?

Panera’s version is quite high in carbs, with around 32-43 grams of net carbs in a regular bowl. This soup should be limited on strict low-carb, keto, and diabetic diets.

However, it can potentially fit into a more moderate carb-restricted diet in small portions. Some low-carb dieters eat 50-100 grams of net carbs per day, so a bowl of the soup could work if carefully accounted for.

Overall, for low-carb diets, it’s best to minimize intake of the standard Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup and opt for lower-carb alternatives when possible. But you may be able to work it in occasionally in small portions if carb counts are closely watched.

Calculating Net Carbs

To calculate net carbs, simply subtract grams of fiber from total grams of carbohydrates. For example:

Total carbs in a regular bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar soup: 34g

Fiber in a regular bowl: 2g

To calculate net carbs: 34g total carbs – 2g fiber = 32g net carbs

This quick calculation gives you net carbs, which is the carb count that impacts blood sugar and ketosis on low-carb diets.

Nutrition Tips for Low-Carb Diets

Here are some general nutrition tips for reducing carbs and managing health conditions like diabetes or metabolic syndrome:

  • Focus on non-starchy veggies: Get plenty of leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, bell peppers, etc.
  • Choose lean proteins: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, etc. are all great low-carb choices.
  • Eat moderate fruit: Stick to options like berries in small portions.
  • Avoid grains and starches: Skip breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, etc.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks: Desserts, juices, sodas and other sugary items quickly spike blood sugar.
  • Use healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and cheese can help satisfy hunger.
  • Drink water: Stay well hydrated, especially around meals.

Following these low-carb diet tips can help manage blood sugar and promote weight loss if needed.

The Bottom Line

A bowl of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup provides around 32-43 grams of net carbs, mainly from milk, flour and starchy vegetables used to thicken and add body. Ordering a cup or customizing the order can reduce carb counts. Lower-carb options like other soups or homemade versions are recommended for diabetes, keto and low-glycemic diets. But Panera’s version may occasionally fit into a more moderate low-carb plan if servings are controlled.

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