Home Copycat Recipes Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

There’s nothing like a warm Panera chicken and wild rice soup on a rainy evening.

It’s loaded with chunks of savory chicken, sweet vegetables, hearty wild rice, and best of all – a creamy, dreamy, and perfectly seasoned broth.

Homemade Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Vegetables
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Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

From sandwiches and wraps to soups and bread bowls, Panera never fails to impress.

But among their many offerings, it’s their chicken and wild rice soup that’s made a huge impact on me.

I love it so much that I made it a mission to try and replicate it. Fortunately, it wasn’t that hard.

And call me biased, but I think this copycat recipe is actually better than the original.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Ingredients - Chicken Broth, Chicken Breast, Wild Rice, Ground Black Pepper, Flour, Butter and Carrots

Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a complete list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Here’s what you’ll need, in a nutshell:

  • Chicken Broth – The base of the soup.
  • Chicken Breasts – I like to use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe because it’s less hassle and has more flavor! You can either cube or shred the chicken.
  • Long-Grain Wild Rice Blend + Seasoning Packet – You’ll need both the rice and the seasoning packet. Ben’s Rice works wonderfully well here.
  • Ground Black Pepper – A little bit of spice goes a long way.
  • All-Purpose Flour – The thickening agent that makes the broth rich and creamy.
  • Butter – for sauteing the vegetables and for creating a roux – a mixture that thickens soups and stews – together with the flour.
  • Carrot, Celery, Onion – Called mirepoix, this trio of vegetables is a wonderful flavor base for many soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Light Cream – For an extra creamy broth.

How to Make Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ready to make chicken and wild rice soup that’ll rival Panera’s? Follow these simple steps:

1. Whisk together pepper and flour. This will be your thickening agent.

2. Simmer chicken and rice. Combine them in broth and bring to a boil. Set aside.

3. Sauté the veggies. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan and saute the carrots, celery, and onion for 5 minutes. Season with rice seasoning, and saute some more until tender.

4. Make a roux. Add the flour-pepper mix to the vegetables, stirring constantly. Gradually add the cream and whisk until smooth and thick.

5. Combine with chicken and rice. Pour the cream broth into the pot. Cook over medium heat until the rice is cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Serve and enjoy your homemade chicken and wild rice soup!

Panera Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in a Bowl

Tips and Tricks For the Best Soup

Turn your soup into a culinary masterpiece with these tips!

  • Use a slurry as a roux alternative. Combine 1-2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with some water and mix it into the soup until thick.
  • Use leftover rotisserie chicken. While fresh chicken is fine, rotisserie chicken brings extra flavor and is a great way to use leftovers.
  • Avoid overcooking the vegetables. Aim for soft yet slightly firm veggies to add texture.
  • Opt for lighter cream if preferred. Use light cream, half-light cream, or half milk for a lighter version of the soup.
  • Season to your taste. Feel free to add herbs, spices, and seasonings of your choice.

What to Serve with Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

The soup is a complete meal on its own, but these side dishes make a great companion:

Biscuits: Their buttery, flaky texture pairs beautifully with the creamy soup.

Dinner Rolls: Soft and absorbent, they’re perfect for sopping up every last bit.

Jennifer Aniston Salad: A fresh, crisp salad adds a light contrast to the rich soup.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich: The gooey, melty cheese complements the soup’s warmth and heartiness.

Or, for a fun twist, ladle the soup into a bread bowl for a charming, edible presentation!

Recipe Variations

Personalize your chicken and wild rice soup with these variation suggestions:

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  • Mix up the meats: Add shredded turkey, sliced ham, or bacon bits for a flavorful change.
  • Explore grain options: Try regular rice or orzo pasta instead of wild rice, and tweak the cooking time as needed.
  • Go gluten-free: Opt for gluten-free flour and chicken stock for a gluten-sensitive diet.
  • Richer and creamier: Swap in heavy cream for a more indulgent texture.
  • Turn up the heat: Sprinkle with red pepper flakes or paprika for extra spice.
  • Match Panera’s hue: Add a touch of turmeric towards the end for that signature yellow color.
Warm of Homemade Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Carrots, Celery and Onions

How to Store

Got leftovers? Here’s the best way to store and freeze your soup.

To Store: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To Freeze: Transfer the soup to Ziploc bags. That way, you can lay them flat on the freezer and stack them on top of each other.

You can freeze the soup for up to 3-4 months.

To Reheat: Let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave the next day.

You can also place the sealed soup bag in warm water to defrost it much faster.

If the soup has thickened too much, thin it out with chicken broth, water, or milk.

More Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love

Zuppa Toscana Soup
Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Crockpot Potato Soup

Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Course: SoupsCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

583

kcal

Experience the joy of Panera at home with this copycat chicken and wild rice soup! It’s the perfect blend of comfort and flavor.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 2 boneless chicken boneless breast halves, cooked and cubed

  • 1 (6-ounce) package quick-cooking long-grain wild rice blend + seasoning packet

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup butter

  • 1 cup carrot, diced

  • 1 cup celery, diced

  • 1 cup onion, diced

  • 3 cups light cream

Instructions

  • Combine the pepper and flour. Set the mixture aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, combine the broth and chicken and bring it to a boil. Stir in the rice. Cover and remove it from heat.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice seasoning packet and cook further until the vegetables are softened, about 5 more minutes.
  • Add the pepper-flour mixture and stir constantly until a roux is formed. Continue to stir for 3-4 more minutes to cook the flour.
  • Gradually whisk in the cream until smooth. Cook it for 5 more minutes, or until it’s thick.
  • Pour the cream broth into the pot of chicken and rice. Cook it over medium heat until the rice is ready, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve it and enjoy!
  • Alternative Method for Traditional Rice:
  • Cook the rice in the broth for 25 minutes over medium heat before combining it with the cream stock.

Notes

  • Use rotisserie chicken. It brings extra flavor and is a great way to use leftovers.
  • Add a touch of turmeric towards the end to give your soup that signature Panera hue.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 583kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Fat: 44g
  • Saturated Fat: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 149mg
  • Sodium: 993mg
  • Potassium: 624mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Calcium: 83mg
  • Iron: 2mg
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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author avatar
beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup”

  1. THANK YOU!!!!!
    I first tried this soup several weeks ago, but boy is it an expensive meal if you buy it at Panera! Yikes!
    BUT…
    I found your recipe and it tastes JUST LIKE THE REAL THING!! I followed your directions and it turned out so delicious!! Easy meal and makes enough to enjoy throughout the week!
    Seriously, thank you for sharing your recipe…this is a keeper FOR SURE!!!

    Reply

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