There’s nothing like a warm Panera chicken and wild rice soup on a rainy evening. It’s pure love and comfort in a bowl.
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.
Call me biased, but I think this copycat recipe is actually better than the original.
It’s loaded with chunks of savory chicken, sweet vegetables, hearty wild rice, and best of all – a creamy, dreamy, and perfectly seasoned broth.
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
This iconic soup is a combination of diced chicken, wild rice, and vegetables simmered in a rich and flavorful chicken broth.
It’s cozy, warming, and absolutely perfect on a cold rainy day. If comfort is what you’re looking for, this is exactly what this soup is about.
After several attempts, I think I’ve finally nailed the perfect copycat! Try it and let me know what you think.
- Chicken Broth – The base of the soup.
- Chicken Breast Halves – I like to use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe because it’s less hassle and has more flavor! The chicken can either be cubed or shredded.
- 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 – Besides being used to cook the vegetables in, the butter also creates the roux – a mixture that thickens soups and stews – together with the flour
- Cup Carrot, Celery, Onion – Called mirepoix, this trio of vegetables is a wonderful flavor base to many soups, stews, and sauces.
- Light Cream – For an extra creamy broth.
Tips and Tricks For the Best Soup
- This recipe uses a roux, which is a mix of melted butter and flour, to make the soup creamy. You can also use a starch slurry by combining 1-2 tablespoon of flour or cornstarch with a bit of water and adding it to the pot of soup.
- While you can use fresh chicken for this recipe, I prefer leftover rotisserie. It’s a great way to use leftovers, plus its flavor gives the soup more character.
- Try adding other meats, too, like shredded turkey, sliced ham, and bacon bits.
- Be sure not to overcook the vegetables. You’ll want them to be soft, but still a bit firm for texture.
- For a lighter version, use light cream, half-light cream, or half milk instead of regular cream.
- Season the soup with your choice of herbs, spices, and seasonings. Make it your own!
- Aside from wild rice, regular rice and orzo pasta will work, too. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the type of grain you’re using.
- The soup is a complete meal on its own, but these side dishes make a great companion:
- Biscuits, Crackers, or Dinner Rolls
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Serve the soup in a bread bowl!
- Store leftover soup in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Gluten-free soup: use gluten-free flour and chicken stock.
- Creamier soup: use heavy cream instead of light cream.
- More heat: Add red pepper flakes or paprika.
- Want a more yellow soup, just like Panera’s? Add a dash of turmeric towards the end of cooking.
Can I Freeze the Soup?
Definitely. The beauty of this soup is that it freezes well.
If you want this copycat soup available to your whenever you’re craving it, simply double the recipe and freeze leftovers for up to 3 to 4 months.
I like to place the soup in Ziploc bags. That way, I can lay them flat on the freezer and stack them on top of each other.
The night before serving it, thaw the soup in the fridge and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave the next day.
Alternatively, you can also place the sealed soup bag in warm water to defrost it much faster.
If the soup has thickened too much during reheating, gradually pour chicken broth, water, or milk and stir until you get your desired consistency.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?