We propose a novel, computationally efficient coil combination technique for multi-channel phase data based on the Laplacian of single-channel phase images. This renders explicit knowledge or estimation of the receive sensitivities unnecessary. The combined phase Laplacian can be either be transformed back to unwrapped phase domain (Laplacian-based unwrapping) or directly utilized for further analyses based on the phase Laplacian, e.g. harmonic background-field removal. At 3T we demonstrate similar-to-improved phase reconstruction compared to the vendor-provided state-of-the-art coil combination, which uses the body-coil as a uniform reference, and successfully apply the technique at 7T.