Every Panera Grocery Store Soup, Ranked Worst To Best - Mashed (2024)

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Every Panera Grocery Store Soup, Ranked Worst To Best - Mashed (1)


BySamantha Maxwell/

For those who love all things brothy, soup season is a reason to celebrate. Forget the salad — you can chuck all of your vegetables into a simmering soup instead. Add some protein and grains, and you've got a meal in a bowl that you can eat for days to come. What's not to love?

Unfortunately, though, we don't all have time to be making big batches of soup on the regular. And you're probably not going to want to keep going out to eat just for soup. But just because you have these limitations doesn't mean you have to turn to the canned stuff. Instead, you can try Panera's line of grocery store soups. That's right — you don't have to go all the way to Panera to get your favorite classics. (They don't come with a bread bowl, though — sorry to disappoint.)

Most of these soups are pretty solid, and some are downright amazing. However, we don't absolutely love them all. That's why we've decided to rank them, starting with the worst and making our way down to the best of the best. Give these soups a try the next time you see them in your local grocery store.

17. Creamy Tomato Soup

We know that there are some people out there who go absolutely wild for tomato soup. However, for most of us, it's probably one of the most boring soup options imaginable. It's basically just a thick, warmed-up Bloody Mary without any of the fun. While we would love to tell you that Panera's Creamy Tomato Soup was an exception, it's not. Basically all you're going to get here is some pureed tomatoes with slight hints of oregano and garlic, neither of which imparts a particularly strong flavor on the bland soup. And while Panera advertises this soup as "creamy," we think it's on the thin side. Warning: It's not enough for a filling meal on its own.

We guess that this soup could be appropriate if you were sick and you were having a hard time keeping anything else down. It probably won't upset your stomach because there's really not much there. Otherwise, though, you should probably skip this one entirely. There are much better Panera grocery store soups to choose from.

16. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It's true that there are diehard fans of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup out there, but we happen to think it's one of the company's more lackluster options. First of all, we think it's too thin. It would taste a lot more filling if there were bigger chunks of broccoli in the mix, but that's just not what you're getting here. And while you may be expecting a sharp cheddar flavor, this stuff is a letdown. The cheese tastes good, for sure, but it's probably not the strong, bold taste you'd normally expect from a cheddar-infused dish.

This one also functions better as a side dish than as a meal on its own (especially seeing as you don't have the option of getting it in a bread bowl — though you can always make your own). But considering that it's not that filling and it doesn't even taste that good, we probably just wouldn't bother.

15. Lobster Bisque

Panera's Lobster Bisque sounds lovely, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it is quite bland. While you're hoping for an intense lobster flavor, you're really going to get more of a slight touch of flavorless seafood. The seasonings in this soup are nice, which is why it doesn't fall to the bottom of the ranks. But overall, it's just a simple, boring soup that's not really up to snuff.

One thing we do like about this soup, though, is the fact that it is quite creamy. While it may not be excellent on its own, it's a great side for dipping your sandwich into. Don't have a sandwich? You could just use some plain bread as well, but you shouldn't expect too much.

This isn't the worst soup of the bunch, but would we go out of our way to get it? Probably not. You can do better with some of Panera's other offerings.

14. Chicken Noodle Soup

We want to be clear about one thing here: It's not that we don't like chicken noodle soup. For some of us, it evokes memories of childhood and being taken care of when we were sick. But because chicken noodle soup means so much to us, we want to make sure that anyone who attempts it does it justice. Unfortunately, we're here to report that Panera's Chicken Noodle Soup isn't quite what we're looking for. Yes, it is packed with veggies, and we appreciate that they didn't skimp too much on the chicken. But we really don't think it's far off from a canned chicken noodle soup.

We're not surprised that the noodles were too soft considering they've been stored in liquid, but that doesn't make them any more appealing. And the broth itself is salty, but there's no complexity to make you wonder where the other flavors are coming from. It's an okay soup if you feel sick and you just want to heat up something that's easy to eat. Otherwise, take a look at some of the other chicken-filled options on this list.

13. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slightly more flavorful than the Chicken Noodle Soup, the Chicken Tortilla Soup may be a winner amongst some of you out there. Black bean, corn, and tomatoes give this soup some bulk and plenty of flavor — plus, you know you're getting your veggies in for the day. There's also plenty of chicken, which you don't always expect from a pre-packaged soup. And we're even happy to admit that the broth is relatively good. You can definitely taste hints of cumin and lime, which makes this one better than some of the other blander soups on this list.

However, we do think that the Chicken Tortilla Soup misses its potential a bit. It's not really spicy at all, which is what we were hoping when we opened the container. But, alas, not everyone likes spicy food, and perhaps Panera is trying to appeal to as many customers as possible. As far as we're concerned, the lack of spice makes this one a no-go in most cases, but if you tend to prefer mild food, then it may be just what you're looking for. Give it a try before you write it off completely.

12. Organic Tomato Basil Bisque

You already know how we feel about the Creamy Tomato Soup — it's not that good. But what if you absolutely love tomato soup? You don't have to settle for that stuff. Instead, turn to Panera's Organic Tomato Basil Bisque. This one is a lot better than the Creamy Tomato Soup because it actually is quite creamy. While the other variety was pretty thin, you're not going to have the same problem with this bisque. The other upside is that you can definitely taste more flavors going on here. The taste of basil is strong, so if you're a basil fan, this one might just be a hit for you.

And the best part? It's also one of the better-for-you choices on the menu. It's actually made with coconut milk, so you'll be happy to know that it's dairy-free. All you lactose intolerant people, you can finally indulge in a bisque. And if you care about eating organic, this one has you covered there as well.

Still, it's a pretty basic soup that's not super interesting, especially compared to some of the other soups on this list. It is, however, the best tomato offering you'll find from Panera, so it's worth a try if that sounds good to you.

11. New England Clam Chowder

Some people like their soups brothy, but for all those who prefer something on the thicker, creamier side, the PaneraNew England Clam Chowder is the way to go. We love that this soup is really filling. The clams and the potatoes come together to create a dish that won't leave you starving an hour later, and for that, we're grateful. If you haven't had much clam chowder in your life, but you love seafood, then the Panera at Home may just become a new favorite for you. If, on the other hand, you grew up on the East Coast or just happen to be a clam chowder aficionado, you may be less than impressed. There should be more clams in the mix, and we wish that the broth was a little bit more well-seasoned.

Is this the best clam chowder we've ever had? Definitely not. But considering that this soup comes in a plastic container, we're not too surprised that it's not top-notch. That being said, we wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to us.

10. Baked Potato Soup

Don't you love a good baked potato that's dressed up with all the toppings you love? It's a classic favorite that will never get old. But we're happy to report that all of those flavors you love can be found in soup form when you get Panera's Baked Potato Soup from the grocery store. The cream sauce is super decadent, which makes this one of the more filling options on the list. The potatoes only add to the bulk. While there's not a lot of bacon to be found, there doesn't need to be — the stuff that is there provides plenty of flavor.

This stuff is great on its own, but there are some aspects of a baked potato that they just can't manage to add in a packaged soup like this one. It's way better when you add some chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese on top, so we urge you to pick up those extra ingredients if you decide you want to try this soup. Otherwise, it just feels like it's missing something.

9. Black Bean Soup

Calling all bean lovers! Panera's Black Bean Soup is surprisingly tasty, and you're going to love the fact that it's both vegetarian and dairy-free. This makes it an excellent choice for people with all kinds of dietary restrictions, as well as those who are just looking for a healthier soup option. Since it's absolutely packed with beans, you know you're going to be eating a filling soup that will give you the energy you need to get through your day. Red bell pepper, onion, cumin, and garlic make it as flavorful as can be (though we wouldn't mind some additional garlic in there).

Panera's website does suggest that this soup is spicy, but unless you're very sensitive to heat, we doubt you'll find much spiciness here. We would prefer if it had more fire to it, but the addition of some hot sauce or crushed red chili flakes can make a huge difference. For all those looking for a high-protein vegetarian option, this Black Bean Soup is where it's at.

8. Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

If you want to eat a soup that's going to fill you up and make you feel healthy, while sating any chicken cravings you may have, do we have something for you: Panera's Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. They weren't lying when they said creamy: The broth is so thick and unctuous that it is hard to stop once you've started digging into a bowl of this stuff. In addition to the delicious broth, it's also packed with brown and wild rice along with celery, onions, and carrots for the nutrition you need to get through your day. The chicken rounds it off.

The only problem we have with this one is that it could have a bit more chicken in the mix. However, since there are so many other good-for-you ingredients in there, it's not that big of a deal. If you love warm and filling soups that you can eat for a meal, this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is probably going to be right up your alley.

7. Minestrone Soup with Chickpeas and Kale

When it comes to the all-time best soups ever dreamt up by cooks, minestrone has to be one of our favorites. It's packed with all kinds of different veggies, and the broth is usually as flavorful as can be despite the lack of meat in the mix. But minestrone can take plenty of different forms, and one of them is this Minestrone Soup with Chickpeas and Kale from Panera's grocery store lineup. You don't see kale and chickpeas in every minestrone recipe, so we were happy to see these trendy veggies playing a starring role.

Even meatless, this soup is going to give you the nutrition you need to have a great day. We love this soup as a light lunch. Because it's packed with chickpeas, you're going to get plenty of protein. However, the fact that it's also heavy on the veggies means that it won't leave you feeling sluggish. Basically, this is an ideal lunchtime soup, and you should definitely give it a try. While the broth could be a little bit more flavorful, we still think it's a solid option for everyone who loves veggies as much as we do.

6. Autumn Squash Soup

A good blended soup is truly the best part of the weather getting colder. We love a good potato leek situation, but perhaps a delicious squash soup is the blended stuff at its best. The hearty flavors make it seem indulgent, but in reality, squash soups are often one of the healthiest meals you can eat. However, making a blended soup at home is a lot of work. In most cases, you'll have to roast your veggies, place them into a stock pot to boil, and blend everything up when you're done. Sounds like a lot to deal with, right?

That's why you should turn to Panera's Autumn Squash Soup. It contains both pumpkin and butternut squash, so you're going to get a depth of flavor you won't find in any old ordinary soup. Ginger and a touch of apple really take the flavor profile of this soup to the next level. It's nice and creamy, and it's also really filling. In short, what's not to love?

5. Southwest Corn Chowder

When you think of the best soup recipes out there, corn chowder may not be the first thing that comes to mind. That's understandable — it's not a soup you'll see everywhere. However, just because it's often overlooked doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try ... especially when you buy Panera's Southwest Corn Chowder. While a lot of Panera's "spicy" options are really anything but, this chowder has a kick to it from the chipotle. We wouldn't say it's spicy, per se, but it has an extra touch of heat that really takes it to the next level.

It's also a really hearty soup. The corn is blended with potatoes, which ensures that when you choose this dish, you're going to get a filling meal. Add some cilantro and garlic, and it's clear why this one is such a winner in our books. If you want to make it a whole meal, we suggest adding a salad and some tortilla chips on the side.

4. Italian Style Wedding Soup

You're probably not going to serve this plastic-encased soup at your wedding, but when you want a hearty, comforting bowl of soup that you know is going to fill you up and make you feel great, turning to Panera's Italian Style Wedding Soup just makes sense. The chicken meatballs are surprisingly flavorful, and they bulk up the hefty serving of carrots and spinach. Pasta adds some much-needed carbs to the mix, so you basically have an entire meal when you opt for this soup.

We love how the broth in this selection is nice and salty, even though it doesn't get all its flavor from the salt. While this soup is more than delicious on its own, it also doesn't hurt to serve it with a side salad. And of course, you'll need some bread for dipping — you don't want to leave any of the broth behind with this one.

3. Thai Style Chicken Soup

If you want to keep things simple, you can always choose Panera's Chicken Noodle Soup. However, as we've already mentioned, that's a pretty boring option, and you have way better soups to choose from at the grocery store. For those who want a more exciting option that's way, way tastier than your average chicken noodle, the Thai Style Chicken Soup from Panera is the way to go. The spicy and sweet coconut-infused broth is where the magic really happens — it makes all of the other ingredients pop, and we couldn't love it more.

You'll also find shiitake mushrooms, carrots, red bell peppers, lemongrass, and kefir lime in this soup — doesn't that all sound amazing? And when you add in the simmered white meat chicken, it rounds the whole dish out, giving it the substance and protein you're looking for. We were actually surprised that Panera dreamt up a soup this interesting, but we're certainly glad they did. It's one of our favorites during soup season and beyond.

2. Turkey Sausage, Kale and Quinoa Soup

When you're in the mood for some Panera soup but you want to keep things as healthy as possible, which option do you turn to? Well, if you love turkey just as much as we do, we think you're going to fall head-over-heels in love with the Turkey Sausage, Kale, and Quinoa Soup from the brand. We know what you're thinking: Turkey tends to be dry and boring. Why would you want it in a soup? Well, in this case, the turkey sausage is actually quite moist and pleasant. Since it's simmered in turkey stock, it holds on to flavor really well too.

You'll also love the fact that this soup is packed with veggies. Of course, you've got plenty of kale, but there are also sweet potatoes in the mix. And when you add in plenty of whole grains, it takes this soup from just tasty to beyond filling. This is the perfect soup to take to the office on a busy day when you want to eat a quick lunch, but it won't feel like you're depriving yourself one bit.

1. Greek Style Lemon Chicken Soup

Congratulations, you've finally made it to the best of the bunch: the Greek Style Lemon Chicken Soup. We didn't know if we would like this one at first, but once we took a sip of the ultra-flavorful egg-lemon broth, we knew we couldn't get enough of it. If you've never tried a soup like this before, you're going to be blown away by this selection. It features brown rice, thyme, and spinach, but the real standout veggie is the leeks — they really take the flavor to the next level. Because you have all this goodness floating around in the broth, you know you're getting a complete meal with this soup too.

But it doesn't end there. The tender chicken makes this selection even more filling. We absolutely love the acidity with the chicken, as it makes it way more flavorful than any of the other chicken-based soups on this list. Basically, we could eat this stuff every day of the week and still not get tired of it. If you want to check out what Panera has to offer in their grocery store soup line but don't know which one to choose, take it from us: The Greek Style Lemon Chicken Soup is not going to let you down.

Every Panera Grocery Store Soup, Ranked Worst To Best - Mashed (2024)
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