Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe - The best soup ever! It's creamy, flavorful, and filling. Made with easy pantry ingredients. Can be made in the crockpot or a soup pot, so easy either way!
Soup season has finally decided to come around here. In the last few months of 2015, I wasn't sure if it would ever be appropriate to indulge in a delicious bowl of warm soup. I mean the weather was a little confused and thought we completely skipped over winter and went straight to late spring. Now that's nothing to complain about and I most definitely am not at this second. It's downright cold here now!
If you haven't ever tried Panera Bread's soups, you are seriously missing out. Their soups are so good and usually oh-so-creamy and comforting. I am in love with their chicken and wild rice soup and broccoli and cheese soup. Now my hubby loves their tomato soup, which I haven't tried yet.
Looking for additional soup recipes to try? We highly recommend our one-pot tomato and basil tortellini soup (one of my favorites), slow cooker ravioli soup (perfect for Meatless Mondays), and our cauliflower roasted red pepper soup (everyone loves it).
As with all my soups lately, I have been using my favorite dutch oven. It's the best kitchen investment I have ever made, besides my trusty cast iron skillets. I love being able to sear meats in it on the stovetop and then transfer it to the oven. I haven't found anything I cannot use it for, well...besides, ice cream. 😉
If you are looking for a bowl of soup that warms you up inside and out, is creamy, filling and hearty, so flavorful and makes leftovers the next day, and then give this copycat Panera chicken and rice soup a try! You will not be disappointed!
As with all soups, it starts with your most basic ingredients: chicken stock or broth, carrots, celery, salt and pepper, onions, etc. The ingredient that takes this soup to a whole new level is Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice plus the seasoning packet included with the rice. Trust me on this, it brings the soup flavors together in the most delicious way.
I highly recommend making homemade chicken stock or broth, if you have the time. As the saying goes, "Homemade is always the best." It is and so much healthier for you, plus you can control the sodium content. I'm picky that kind of way. The night before I am making soup, I purchase a whole chicken and roast it on my lovely and amazing dutch oven, then make chicken stock in my slow cooker overnight. It's the easiest thing ever and cheap!
Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – The best soup ever! It’s creamy, flavorful, and filling. Made with easy pantry ingredients
- ½ cup finely diced carrots
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk, divided
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or finely diced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4.3 oz box of Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice + seasoning packet
- salt and pepper, to taste
- scallions, to garnish
Place the carrots, celery, onion, and olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven to the soup pot. Allow the carrots, celery, and onion simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic cloves, chicken stock, water, and 1 cup of milk to the mixture and mix.
Add the pepper, dried oregano, bay leaf, and chicken. Mix until combined. Allow the soup to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Whisk together the other 1 cup of milk with the ½ cup flour until smooth. Place into the soup mixture and whisk until combined.
Place the long grain and wild rice and the seasoning packet into the soup and mix until combined. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and garnish with fresh scallions.
Nutrition estimated is based upon the brands I used. Yours may vary depending on brands.
This soup looks/sounds amazing! I love the Panera version so I'm so glad that you've shared a copy cat one that I can make at home too!
I just made this soup! I substituted the milk for cocoa nut milk, and gluten free flour. I think it turned out great! However I would definitely use less oregano next time.
windy compton says
This soup is Delicious!! I followed the recipe as it is and its perfect. My family fell in love with it at first bite. I'll be making this a lot. It's great on cold nights and it pairs well with warm Artisian bread.
Woohoo! So glad you enjoyed it, Windy! It's a favorite here, especially on a cold night!
Linda Lehr says
Can we freeze it?
You sure can, Linda. I would recommend freezing it in freezer-friendly containers and it should be good for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Made this tonight, thank you for sharing definitely going into the recipe box. Only changes I made were more carrots, celery and an extra chicken breast because the family likes super thick hearty soups; and Mrs dash in place of just pepper. Really spot on recipe though. Thank you!
How can this be made into a slow cooker dish? Would you leave the carrots, celery, onion raw when added to the slow cooker with all other ingredients, or...? Thanks for the advice!
Hi, Kelly! I would add of the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker and leave out the all-purpose flour and Rice a Roni. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. The last hour add in the flour and Rice a Roni and cook on high. Enjoy!
What's in the flavor packet? I buy bulk rice so there isn't a spice pack.
Hi, Kim. There are a lot of flavors in the flavor packet. I highly recommend purchasing a box of Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice.
Absolutely loved this soup. I am not really a fan of wild rice in general but this was supreme.
How do you make this in the crockpot? I appreciate your help!
Hi, Amy! I would add of the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker and leave out the all-purpose flour and Rice a Roni. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. The last hour add in the flour and Rice a Roni and cook on high. Enjoy!
This is the second time I have made this and it is so delicious. I must confess I have never had the Panera version, when I go in there I can't seem to get past the broccoli cheese soup. This is a keeper in our house now, we love it! Thank you for the recipe!!
I found your website just now by googling "recipe for Panera's chick and wild rice soup" so needless to say, I am really excited to try (and grateful to have found) this recipe. Good luck to you. Site looks wonderful. -Jen B Smithfield. RI
You are soo kind, Jen! Thank you so much! Enjoy! 🙂
Does this soup freeze well?
I haven't tried freezing it before, Vicki.
I have froze this soup and it was absolutely wonderful
I don't buy processed products like Rice a Roni. What spice mix would you recommend in place of the rice a roni?
I have only tested this recipe with Rice a Roni, Nicole.
The Near East long grain & wild rice is all good ingredients
Monika Makarewicz says
I dont use the processed things either or as little as possible. I just made this 1st time today. I used little bit orzo, brown rice, long grain black rice. I added more general spices I use alot like, powder garlic, greek seasoning. I squeezed a little lemon in also because it brightens the flavors. I has fresh bone broth I made overnight in slor cooker...turned out good.
Does the rice a Roni have preservatives?
Can I make this in a regular pot without a durch oven?
Oh man, I just made this but not with the wild rice mix I didn't have that. I had Knorr Parmesan Garlic rice and this was awesome! I omitted the garlic but I don't think I changed anything else. So good!! Will make it again!
Thanks for sharing, Katie! 🙂
do you think I could make this with a store bought rotisserie chicken?
Of course, Angela!
I love this recipe I usually use a rotisserie chicken and I also use the Near East long grain and wild rice box original instead of the rice a roni. I like it better! Great soup recipe!!!
So glad to hear that, Tracy!
I made this yesterday. I doubled the recipe because we love Panera soups. I think this is better than Panera's. it is delicious. I will make this again and again.
I may be a little biased, but I think it's better, too! I am so glad you enjoyed it, Jane! 🙂
Fantastic ! I followed the recipe exactly and only had to add a little salt after tasting when it it was done.
So glad you enjoyed it, Jane! It's one of our favorites.
I'm currently making this right now I have a few more minutes of cooking until I enjoy my soup.
This soup is delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe. I used left over turkey from Christmas instead of the chicken, but still umm umm good!
Love this recipe. I didn't have celery or wild rice and used frozen peas and a 4.9 oz box of Quinoa blend with rosemary and olive oil and it was simply delicious. Highly recommend this recipe.
Thanks for posting and making this recipe easily printable. As a busy mom to 5 kids, it is difficult (to say the least) to make food that fit all my kids tastes. This soup hit the spot for all of us. Thanks again!
I searched recipes for soup that were comforting and tasty since the weather was a bit nippy. And I tried this soup for something different, I did double the recipe with carrots and celery..My family finished their bowls and asked for seconds. I served it with a soft French bread and it was a crowd pleaser. This one will be a definite repeat. Thank you for sharing!, ❤
I made this Monday and it was super! It was a hit for my whole family. I too doubled the vegetables, and used 4 chicken bouillon with 32 0z. Water instead of the stock.(didn't have). Instead of mixing the second cup of milk, I used half & half mixed with the flour. Making this for a potluck Sunday and will make a recipe & a half but will use two full boxes of Rice a Roni for more thickness.
It sounds delicious! I hope to give it a try soon. Thank you!
Created this for my family. It has become a monthly meal in my house. Even the grand kids love it.
Delicious !!! Doubled recipe for big family added sliced baby Bella mushroom! It was a home run!!! Thanks again!
So I saw this recipe and tried it before I ever had tried Panera's. I love this soup! So one day I felt a bit under the weather and had my husband grab me some from Panera, and I was so disappointed! I thought it would be on par with this recipe, and it wasn't close (wasn't even very good. Just a mushy mess). I will stick with your recipe. I've already made it four times this winter, and it's my favorite comfort food right now.
Gail H says
Amazing, did not change a thing, creamy, delicious, and filling....thankyou so much for the recipe!
Amber Vore says
We <3 this recipe! I always double the recipe so it fills the whole pot and we like our soups extra creamy so I substitute half the milk with heavy cream... We tone down the amount of garlic because 6 cloves in the adoubled recipe was too much but aside from that it's devine!
So now I have a Board titled "soups" because of this recipe. I can't wait to make it. Thanks for sharing!
I have made this several time! My kids--who can be picky eaters--and husband LOVE it! I usually use rotisserie chicken & whatever brand Wild Rice packet I have on hand or happen to pick up & it's always fantastic! Thanks for sharing. This is a go-to for us now!!
I made this today and added finely shredded cabbage! It was delicious and my husband loves it! He is a vegetarian and this will be a go to soup for us especially on cold nights!
Delicious soup! It's a keeper!
I made this in my pressure cooker. I think mine taste better than Panera's. Thanks for the recipe.
i just found this recipe and I am going to try this nect weekend but curious if it matters if bay leaf is dried or not.
Karen Cox says
This is EXCELLENT!!! So far, everyone I have made this for.....loves it!
This was so good! Just made this for a holiday lunch I'm having tomorrow and I'm making three soups so I'm doing them ahead of time. I snuck a taste and it's great!
Made the soup, love the thickness and how the chicken came. Don’t like the processed taste from the spice packet. Always make things from scratch. Next time I will use fresh spices and herbs.
Being dairy and gluten free which flour would you substitute, rice, brown or coconut floor. I don't think almond flour would work. Thoughts
I am not familiar with those types of flours, Peggy. Sorry!
Peggy I would try using an all purpose gluten free flour, usually that is what I do in my creamy soups.
Can you use skim milk? I'm trying to cut back on the calorie intake.
Hi! Can you share the recipe for making chicken stock in your slow cooker? Thanks!
I haven't posted the recipe for it, yet, but here is what I do roughly. I place two chicken carcasses into the slow cooker, add carrots, add onions, add a few fresh herbs I have on hand (rosemary and thyme), and I usually add a splash or two of apple cider vinegar. Cook on low for 8 hours and then strain.
Omg. I just made this soup. It is by far the best recipe I’ve ever made from Pinterest. My whole family gives it 2 thumbs up. It has the best flavor. I made as per the recipe except I doubled it.
So glad you and your family enjoyed it, Amy! <3
Penny Waters says
Can this recipe be made in an Instant Pot? I'm excited to try this recipe. I love Panera soups! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!
I haven't tried it in the Instant Pot yet because I am still getting used to mine. When I do, I will update the recipe. 🙂
Brook medley says
Great recipe! LOVED IT! My kids did too. Do you happen to know the nutrition facts, calories?
So glad you and your family enjoyed it, Brook! 🙂
Brook, you could run the ingredients in MyFitnessPal to know exact nutrition for yours, but the version I made a few weeks ago was 340 calories, 7g fat, 32g carbs, and 35g protein for each of 6 servings.
So good., I ate it 4 times.
This soup is fantastic and my family loves it. I used knorr mushroom rice and it works good.
So glad you and your family enjoyed it, Michele!
This was so easy to make and just one of the most delicious recipes I've ever had . I used part milk and part cream and it was just perfect! Thank you for the post .
Your recipe is Outstanding! Our family has to eat gluten free so I used Near East long grain rice and Bobs Red Mill all purpose flour. Simply Delicious Soup! Thank You Chelsea for sharing. This is a soup I will continue to make.
Just made today, so very good! I did use canned chunk chicken, just because I had some on hand. Will definitely made again.
This is the BEST soup ever!! My husband and I crave it. A hint to make this recipe even quicker to prepare is to use 2 large cans od Swanson canned chicken breasts.
I made this soup exactly like the recipe and also do coconut milk due to dairy issues and both come out amazing. I have made this for folks after surgery and they rave about it, even froze some and said it was still just as good. Highly recommend !
Super soup! Wow!
I used a can of coconut milk instead of dairy milk. I didn't use celery.
I followed your directions on putting Everything in the crockpot (waited till last 30.min to add boxed wild rice, flour and milk mixture).
Perfect!!! Thanks again. How bout this with Turkey the day after Thanksgiving?!
Chelsea, thank you for this recipe! I just want you to know that I have been coming to your website and making this soup for years, and its such an amazing and easy recipe 🙂
Made this soup but I added cauliflower and roasted it with the carrots, garlic and olive oil. I added an extra can of chicken broth. It was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe.
Made this using rotisserie chicken and a yellow rice packet (my store ran out of wild rice). I added a little half and half to give extra creaminess and liquid (my rice packet was larger than 4oz). This soup was AMAZIJG. I was very easy to make and had a great flavor. Will make this soup again!
This soup is 1000 times better than Panera’s — thank you so much for sharing!
Love this soup. We had this for dinner tonight, and everyone accept my very picky four year old loved it. 5 out of six people liking the same dinner, is always a good night. I couldn't get the rice a roni version of the rice, so I grabbed the Uncle Ben version. it worked out beautifully. It does have 6oz of rice, so it's a bit more than the recipe called for, but it didn't have any negative effect. Thanks for the awesome recipe.
I pinned this recipe and picked up ingredients for a different one, so I didn't grab the rica-a-roni and found that just using a wild rice blend and a chicken bouillon cube works great too!
Mama Maggie's Kitchen says
This dish looks so deliciously good. I wish I could eat that right this minute!
THis soup isn definitely a keeper. My store didn’t have wild rice RiceARoni so I used chicken and added some raw wild rice. I doubled the recipe but added triple vegetables and a handful of bacon bits. I used cornstarch as thickener (so it would be gluten free) . I must say it was delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’d never tried Panera soups before.
So glad you enjoyed it, Donna!
This soup is fantastic! My family and friends have fallen in love with this soup. I get monthly requests from my co-workers to bring it to work. I also add baby bella mushrooms and the last time I made it, I used Near East garlic and herb long grain & wild rice - Delish! Thank you for sharing this scrumptious recipe. It is now a staple in our home.
Yay, so glad you and your friends and family enjoy it, Heather! I will have to try it with mushrooms next time, that sounds delish!
Leslie Miller says
I made this soup with a rotisserie chicken, frozen mixed vegetables and picked out the peas, and near east wild rice and rice mix. All of the other ingredients I had. It was fantastic. My husband was shocked that it was so good. We had been planning on having salmon on the grill, but time got away from us and it was a little nippy out. The prep was fast and fairly easy. I would make this again and even have it for company.
I have made this soup several times! Easy and it’s a family favorite!! Requested at every family function!
Christine @ myblissfulmess says
One word, AMAZING! Chelsea, you created the perfect soup! This soup is so delicious! I think it’s better than Panera’s, quite honestly. I did have a couple of lunch sized servings leftover for the next day, so if you’re wondering what I was wondering, “doesn’t that rice soak up all the broth? Would leftovers be any good?” I’m here to tell you, YES! On both counts. As the soup stands, the rice will soak up the broth. However, I had an extra box of chicken stock on hand. I just add a little extra chicken stock to my leftovers, stir, and reheat. It tastes just as wonderful as the day I made it. I always keep chicken and beef broth/stock on hand. If you don’t and you anticipate leftovers, you may want to make sure you have an extra. I served it with rolls for a delicious warm-you-up meal.
Loved this. For my son who likes everything spicy I took half in a separate pot and added smoked paprika and cayenne the last 15 minutes. Everyone loved.
Hi, I eat the Panera version twice a week and am super disappointed that now due to the Coronavirus decrease in sales, they have temporarily removed it from their menu. 🙁 Looking for a recipe to try replicating it as best I can. Will try your recipe!
Love, love, love this recipe. I've made it several times and it's good the way it is, but I've tweaked some things: used half 2% milk and half heavy cream, added 1/4 cup more wild rice and 1/4 cup more long grain white rice, and doubled the carrots and celery (try to get those veggies in any way I can). Served with a salad and warm baguette.
The whole family LOVED this recipe! I wanted a little more rice so I used some microwaveable Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice. I microwaved it and added about the half the bag. It was perfect! I think I will try with some mushrooms next time like someone suggested.
I’ve been making this delicious soup for a couple of years now, but it was ESPECIALLY tasty this last time. What was different? I accidentally used a box of CHICKEN Rice a Roni. My husband and friend even commented on how extra good it tasted! Guess I’ll keep making that mistake.
Crisanne Werner says
Hands down better than Panera’s- way more flavor and less greasy. Loved every bite!
I love this recipe. Perfect as is. Don't you love it, though, when cooks discover that they can substitute ingredients they have on hand or that they prefer and still come out with a fantastic dish? That, to me, is what cooking is all about. Get the general idea and make it your own. Personally, though, there are some recipes that I just follow and don't alter much. Like this one. ❤
Outstanding. Only thing I would do next time is cut down on the flour. It was too thick. But the flavor was outstanding.
This soup is so good! I am a soup lover and am glad I found your recipe. After the first pot, I shared a link to the recipe with several friends who also love the Panera version of this soup. Thanks!😋