Panera Soup at Aldi: Broccoli Cheddar and Baked Potato

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In 1987, Ken and Linda Rosenthal founded a restaurant. They called it St. Louis Bread Company, and their plan was to create an upscale café experience: serving sandwiches, soups, pastries, coffee, and other artisanal products. In the early 1990s, a company purchased the growing chain from the Rosenthals and gave it a new name.


Today the chain operates some 2,000 restaurants nationwide. One hundred of those locations are in the hometown of St. Louis, where Panera is still called St. Louis Bread Co. (sometimes shortened to “Bread Co” by local customers). St. Louis Bread Co. / Panera remains a popular place to grab a panini sandwich, drink some coffee, and perhaps get caught up on remote work via the restaurant’s popular Wi-Fi.

Like many other restaurants, Panera realized at a certain point that it could sell licensed versions of its products in grocery stores to produce additional revenue streams. Since then, we’ve seen Panera products show up on supermarket shelves, most notably its beloved soups.

I can’t say that I expected them to land at Aldi. I certainly didn’t expect them to land at Aldi as an everyday buy. But here we are.

Panera Soup Aldi

Panera Bread Soups can be found in Aldi’s refrigerated section. They’re Regular Buys, which means they can be found in the store all the time. They come in single serve 10-ounce containers and cost $3.19 apiece. That’s about 32 cents an ounce. That’s a little less than the 35 cents an ounce the 16-ounce Panera containers go for at Walmart, to say nothing of the 75 cents an ounce (8-ounce cup) or 66 cents an ounce (12-ounce bowl) these soups cost at the restaurant itself.

People may debate what they think about Panera soups. Strictly on price, Aldi looks to be the cheapest place to get them that I can find.

The Aldi soups come in two varieties, broccoli cheddar and baked potato. Both have identical preparation instructions, involving either the stovetop or microwave.

To cook on the stovetop, remove the lid and film, then pour the soup into a saucepan. Heat to 165 degrees but do not boil.

To cook in the microwave, you remove the film and place the cup on a microwave-safe plate, covering loosely. Next, you heat for 2-3 minutes or until hot (165 degrees), stirring halfway through. Let stand 1 minute in the microwave and then carefully remove by taking hold of the plate.

We used the microwave for both soups, pouring them into a microwave-safe bowl. When we did that we only needed about 1 1/2 minutes to heat these, but your mileage may vary.

One other note: we had some problems peeling the seal off. Because the plastic container is flexible, pulling the seal just took the container with it. We ended up using a knife. It proved a minor annoyance for something we hoped would be the kind of container we could take to work and open easily without extra tools.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera Soup Aldi - Broccoli Cheddar

Broccoli Cheddar is a personal favorite, so we were interested to see how this cooked up. We’re pleased to say that we liked it. The broth is creamy and flavorful, and there are decent-sized broccoli chunks in the soup. It seems pretty close to what we’d get in the restaurant, and it also feels like a decent-sized portion for a single person.

Panera Soup Aldi - Broccoli Cheddar

Nutritionally, it’s loaded with plenty of things your doctor might tell you to avoid. It’s high in fat (17g / 22% DV), saturated fat (11g / 55% DV), cholesterol (60mg / 20% DV), and sodium (1,160mg / 50% DV). Those numbers are consistent with the restaurant version. Allergens include milk and wheat.

Panera Soup Aldi - Broccoli Cheddar

Nutrition information for Broccoli Cheddar. (Click to enlarge.) 

Panera Soup Aldi - Broccoli Cheddar

Ingredients and heating directions for Broccoli Cheddar. (Click to enlarge.) 

Baked Potato Soup

Panera Soup Aldi - Baked Potato

We’re not as big a fan of baked potato soup, but we still thought it worthwhile to give this soup a try. We weren’t disappointed: while we still prefer the broccoli cheddar, this at-home version is a solid, flavorful blend of creamy broth and potato chunks. Like the broccoli cheddar, we think it’s about the right serving size.

Panera Soup Aldi - Baked Potato

The baked potato soup isn’t as bad nutritionally as the broccoli cheddar, but that’s a low bar. This soup is still fairly high in fat (12g / 15% DV), saturated fat (8g / 40% DV), cholesterol (40mg / 13% DV), and sodium (570mg / 25% DV). As before, all of these are consistent with the restaurant version. Allergens include milk.

Panera Soup Aldi - Baked Potato

Nutrition information for Baked Potato. (Click to enlarge.) 

Panera Soup Aldi - Baked Potato

Ingredients and heating directions for Baked Potato. (Click to enlarge.) 

The Verdict:

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup are both sound imitations of their in-restaurant counterparts. While we had a little trouble getting the seal film off, they otherwise heat up easily and have a good taste and texture. The Aldi versions have the additional benefit of being less than half the cost of the restaurant version and a little cheaper than Walmart. They’re both pretty high in fat and sodium, especially the broccoli cheddar, so we’ll probably treat these as an occasional indulgence.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at


  1. Wow. look at the sodium content for one bowl of soup!

  2. In colder weather I sometimes buy two of the broccoli soups and a package of two broccoli crowns. I steam the broccoli and add it to the soup. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable, so I like more than the soup comes with. I don’t heat the soup in the container, I pour it into a bowl, cover with paper towel and heat it in the microwave. It’s a delicious treat!

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