Panera Combined Broccoli & Cheddar Soup, Mac & Cheese for the Ultimate Comfort Food

It's the menu mashup of our dreams.

Courtesy of Panera

Panera knows a thing or two about comfort food -- hello, it created double bread bowls. But the innovation hardly ends there. The culinary geniuses behind all your café favorites have combined two menu classics to create quite possibly the chain's best work yet: broccoli cheddar mac & cheese.

Beginning September 16, Panera is marrying its iconic broccoli and cheddar soup with its equally delicious mac & cheese for the hybrid of our dreams.  

"As the new head Chef at Panera, I am incredibly excited to work with our pantry of fresh, clean ingredients to create delicious new innovations on the Panera menu," chef and chief food & innovation officer Claes Petersson said in a statement Wednesday. "I’m obsessed with the flavor combination in our new broccoli cheddar mac & cheese -- it’s an insanely craveable and irresistible creation that our customers nationwide are sure to love." 

Courtesy of Panera

The new dish features two cheddar cheese sauces, broccoli florets, and julienned carrots. You can get it for $5.79 a pop or as part of a you-pick-two meal. It's also hitting grocery retailers, so you can stockpile your fridge full too. 

Of course, if you're in the mood for something a little different, Panera has an entire lineup of summer sandwiches still available on menus nationwide -- for now. And honestly, I'm thinking there is no better pairing than that chipotle bacon melt with a bread bowl of broccoli cheddar mac & cheese. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.