Copycat Panera Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Copycat Panera Chicken & Wild Rice Soup recipe is simple, hearty, creamy, and tastes just like my favorite soup at Panera Bread! It’s light enough soup recipe for the spring and summer months.
Yes, I’m posting a comforting soup recipe in May. Panera Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is worth it. In my defense, it’s going to be in the 50’s all week and rainy so I deemed it appropriate.
I love soup recipes and I make them often. Panera bread is kind of my go-to place when I go out to lunch during the week.
Being the creature of habit that I am, I alternate between the Broccoli Cheddar Soup and the Chicken & Wild Rice Soup. This Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is what I make when I’m fresh out of snacks.
I’m so glad you’re here! Follow along on Pinterest for more inspiration!
Back in 2012 when Mr. Wishes and I lived in Miami for six months, I went to Panera Bread every single day for lunch. I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not. It was someplace I could walk to and sit for hours doing work on my laptop without looking out of place.
The employees there at Panera got to know me and knew my order ahead of time after a while. One of Mr. Wishes’ favorite stories was how one day I was sitting in Panera Bread in Miami and I had the tomato soup. I called him up while he was at work because I thought I was having a heart attack.
I literally thought I was going to keel over right there in that booth. He actually left work to come help me and I called him back a few minutes later to tell him it was just heartburn. Ha! It was actually really scary though.
I have not eaten tomato soup since that day!
I already have a copycat version of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup and I thought it was about time that I learned how to make my other favorite at home. I could eat soup for every meal, much to Mr. Wishes’ dismay. How can anyone be a soup hater?
This one has meat in it so it didn’t torture him as much as soup normally does. The seasonings in this soup are just right and the creamy texture is spot on. It is perfect for chilly weather but not too heavy at all for the warmer weather. I may never have to go to Panera again after tasting this! But, I will….nothing will ever stop me. Not even a tomato soup-induced heart attack.
Here are a few of my other favorite soup recipes from my blog:
- Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup (this one is also great for summer and spring)
- Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- 20 Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup
I also love this Creamy Butternut Squash Soup from my friend Sandy.
Check out my how-to video of me making this Copycat Panera Chicken & Wild Rice Soup recipe!
- ½ cup finely diced carrots
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk, divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or finely diced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4.3-ounce box of Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice + seasoning packet
- salt and pepper, to taste
- scallions, for garnish
- Place the carrots, celery, onion, and olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot.
- Allow the carrots, celery, and onion to simmer over medium heat for around 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic cloves, chicken stock, water, and 1 cup of milk to the mixture and stir until combined.
- Add the pepper, dried oregano, bay leaf, and shredded chicken. Mix until combined.
- Allow the soup to simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk with the ½ cup flour until no lumps remain.
- Pour this into the soup mixture and whisk until combined and no lumps remain.
- 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 more minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh scallions and serve hot. Enjoy!
Recipe source: adapted from galonamission.com
Chicken and wild rice soup is in constant rotation at our house, even in the summer months! Your recipe looks similar to the one I make, except I take a shortcut and use rotisserie chicken. Thank you for sharing this with us!
I hate spending money on buying soup because I know I can make a huge batch for a lot less at home. And I love a good copycat recipe. This looks delicious and kudos for recreating it!
This is one of my all time favorite soups! Can’t wait to try it out!
Wow! That must have been scary! Good on Mr. Wishes for coming to help you, even if it was just a little heartburn. Panera does have the best soups. I’m sure this one is no exception.
I’ve never eaten at Panera but I love wild rice soup – sounds so good!
We love soup! And although it have it much more often during cold weather, we make it throughout the year. Maybe just 2 or 3 times a month in the summer rather than 2 or 3 times a week. 🙂 Anyway, this looks terrific — our kind of recipe. Thanks!
I’m still wearing long underwear and a long winter coat so I’m cool with this. 😀 Looks awesome!
I love how creamy and delish this is!!! Panera soups are our fav… I’m totally checking out your copycat broccoli cheddar — that’s my daughter’s favorite. <3
Do you know if this can be done in a crock pot and if so how long? Any differences?
I would say it could work maybe 5-6 hours on low? Gotta give the veggies time to soften. I would also leave out the oil since you’re not browning the onion/celery, etc.
Thanks so much for the quick reply. Can’t wait to make it. 🙂
You’ll love it!! Everyone seems to 🙂 Thank you!!
Would you put the rice in at the beginning? I’m worried about over cooking it. Thanks.
I always do it as I have it in the instructions and it’s never mushy! Hope that helps 🙂
If going the crock pot way, would you say to put in the rice a roni half way thru as well as the milk and flour mixture? Thank you-making this tomorrow!
I would say that’s about right because you don’t want it too mushy!
Ok great! Thank you for your quick response. Started this in the crock pot a few hours ago and my home already smells delicious! Eagerly awaiting dinner time!!
Everyone raves about the soup! Enjoy!
How can I make this gluten free?
Just using a gluten free flour should suffice. Cup for cup is a great GF flour I’ve heard.
Use a GF flour or corn starch and you cannot use rice a roni. I use Zatarans long grain and wild rice. I’m a celiac. Just read the label to double check ????
Just found this wonderful website. This looks like a great recipe. I am going to spend all weekend going through your archives – LOL. Looks like some good recipe
Thank you so much Nancy!
This is a lovely recipe! I could eat this summer or winter. Panera is a favorite of ours!
If I don’t want to use the spice packet in rice a roni, what spices should I add to make up for it?
I would like to know this as well!
Can I ask why you don’t use the spice packet in the rice a roni?
It’s just nice to be able to control what goes into your food. Some are watching salt or sugar intake, while others (like me) don’t want the MSG, preservatives, and other additives that are in that packet–there are a lot of iffy ingredients, if you read the box.
I found a recipe for the seasoning. It makes a big batch–you can use it with homemade rice, potatoes, etc., but you only use one tablespoon of it for the box of rice.
1 cup dried parsley
1/3 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup of garlic powder? Sounds like a lot of garlic powder is this correct?
I don’t see where the ingredients list says 1/3 cup of garlic powder. Can you help me out?
Yes. This is for the Homemade Rice Seasoning. You only use one tablespoon of the mix per box of rice.
I’d like to know this too! I couldn’t find Rice a Roni at my grocery store, so I had to just buy long grain and wild rice (with no flavour packet).
Search for this… “COPYCAT “UNCLE BEN’S” LONG GRAIN & WILD RICE”
I made this tonight– easy and delicious!
Very delicious! Thanks for the recipe
I would also like to know about the alternative spices
How many servings does this make?
I would say 6-8 depending on whether it’s served as a main course or not.
can u freeze this?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this.
Delicious soup! Everyone in my family just loved it!
This is my favorite Panera soup! Does it matter what kind of milk you use? Is 1% okay?
Yes that’s totally fine! Thanks Andrea!
Made this tonight for dinner with rotisserie chicken and it was a huge hit! I will definitely be making this again and again.
Thank you Crystal!! So happy to hear it.
Does the pot need to be covered while the rice is simmering?
I didn’t cover it but it wouldn’t hurt to! You don’t need to though. 🙂
Just tried this soup and it’s awesome! What flavor and it’s so creamy – just down right yummy! Will surely make this over and over.
I love this recipe! I’ve made it several times. Today, I tried making this with whole wheat flour and doubled the veggies. Still delicious. Next, I’m going to try brown/wild rice with another poster’s seasoning suggestions to substitute for the Rice a Roni.
Thanks so much! Glad you love it!
To make a lot more I need to make a larger portion. Do I just double everything in the ingredients?
Yes just double everything. Enjoy!
What can I sub the milk with?
Cream, half and half, non-dairy milk? Anything with the same consistency.
I’m not one to usually leave comments but I do always read them. Everyone loved this soup. I am also bad to tweak everything but I stuck to this and it turned out it great. Recently my mother broke her ankle and I am on double duty cooking for my dad. He is not a meat eater so I made this substituting mushrooms for chicken and was equally fantastic! STill a big hit with the meat eaters.
Ashley, this soup was incredible and SO easy. Thank you!
Can I freeze this soup and reheat it??
Yes, you can freeze it!
Would this work with Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express? (long grain and wild – mushroom flavor)? That’s all my hubby could find! :-/
yes! I don’t see why not
Ok, thanks for the reply! I’ll be trying it today!
This soup was so good and so easy to make. Yum!!!
Made this last week and my husband couldn’t stop raving about it. So delicious and hearty. I want to make it again tonight but am out of milk, though I have some half & half on hand… do you think that would make it too thick? Should I just stick to milk?
You can use half and half! It will be thicker but not necessarily in a bad way 🙂
I’ve never had theirs but, I know homemade is better, always.
Always a family favorite as it s so easy to make.
Wild rice is so underrated, and this is such a great way to use it!
This soup is delicious! I’m going to cook some up for this weekend during the big storm!
I just had lunch at Panera today. Ha! Love this soup. A long-time favorite!
Turned out tasting ,good but it’s a pale grey color. Followed exactly. Any idea??
It looks so comforting! Would love to give this a try!
I never seem to make it in when they serve this. I can’t wait to try!
I’m going to make this all winter long!
Just made this. DELICIOUS!!!!Thank you for sharing!
Hi! This looks so yummy. Is it a really runny soup? Could I maybe leave the cup of water out or less of something to make it a tad bit thicker? Sounds weird, I know.. because its soup. But I like soups that are maybe like the consistency of.. stew or something…. ? Thanks!
It’s not runny at all but you can leave out some liquid to make it thicker!
This soup is absolutely delicious! Probably the best soup I’ve made in a while. I did add an additional box of rice with only adding an extra 1/4 cup of liquid. I used half and half.. I will definitely make this again.. sooner rather than later ????
I made this soup last night using a rotisserie chicken and served it with fresh baked Italian crusty bread. I also doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers for the week and it turned out delicious. Everyone went back for seconds! I will definitely be adding this recipe to my winter rotation.
Is it just me or is the written recipe missing when to add the rice?
I love soup, and I am a sucker for a delicious copycat recipe I can make at home. The last time I went to Panera I wanted to try their chicken and rice soup but decided on another. I can’t wait to try this.
Made this today and it was a hit. It tasted so goods, kids came back for seconds. I made a couple of changes: Used half and half instead of milk and only use 3/4 cup of flour. I also used salt-free chicken broth so can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Next time I plan to try making my own wild rice mix to make it even more from scratch hopefully it tastes as good! I also think some tiny dumpling drop would taste good in it ( THE KIDS AGREED!)
I want to double this and then freeze it. Can I put this frozen into a crock pot and just leave it several hours; I wanwt to serve this at a ladies’luncheon. Thank you for any advice.
Yes, I don’t see why not. Just make sure you give it enough time to unfreeze.
I just made this recipe and it turned out amazing, thank you!
It had really good flavor! My problem was that I made it in the instant pot. I think it was just too hot for the milk and flour because it curdled and was really thin but looked like egg drop soup. So don’t make it in that! I’ll try it again on the stove ?
Did you use a setting lije “soup” or just the”sauté” setting? I make ALL my soups in the instant pot using the Sauté function… it can be changed to low. Medium or high.
I love Panera Bread! The soups there are some of my favorite items on the menu. This one and the broccoli cheddar are at the top of my list. Thank you for this recipe, I will definitely make it.
What step do you add the chicken? It doesn’t seem to say in the recipe.
Can I use regular rice a roni that’s what I have here!
Yes, that would be fine!
This should not be called a copy cat recipe…it is WAYY better than Panera’s soup!!!
Awww thank you so much!
Is there a place where I can leave myself notes on this recipe. We really liked it.
I made this tonight. It was a huge hit in my house. Thank you. Will definitely make it again.
This was an amazing soup! I used 1 cup each carrot and celery, 2 fresh bay leaves and a little more garlic! We absolutely loved it!
I added 1 cup of Sherry for part of the liquid, wow this took a great soup over the top.
Oh I love that idea so much!
I can’t get this kind of ricearoni at the grocery stores here. Is there a different kind you recommend?
I used Uncle Bens Long Grain and Wild Rice if that is available to you.
I made this today using homemade stock and added fresh mushrooms (only because I had them in the fridge.) Took some to a grouchy neighbor and just got a message saying “the soup was superb.” I had everything except the rice mix but I’ll make sure and keep a couple on hand from now on. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this is a perfect way to use up leftover turkey or previously pressure canned chicken. Thanks for a great recipe.
Made this soup last night for dinner. Doubled the recipe and used a rotisserie chicken. Added a couple cups of shredded cheese…my son said mommy you out did yourself with this one…Very delicious indeed.
I have no idea what the Panera one tastes like as we do not have them in my country but if it tastes like this I am so sad we don’t have any!
This is SO good! I love savory and this is a beautiful savory soup.
I had a little adventure in making it though. I got it all together late on a Sunday night for my “soup of the week” to take for lunches. I tasted it before I put it in the fridge and I went to bed wondering what everyone was raving about as I found it overpoweringly strong in flavor and was so sad, I had been so excited about this soup (I am a BIG soup person, all year long) . So I didn’t take it for lunch the next day and was so bummed and missing my soup for lunch! I decided to look over the recipe again to see if I missed something … and there it was! I forgot to add water! Duh! No wonder it was so thick and so strong! LOL . I couldn’t wait to get home and pull it out of the fridge and back into the pot and reheat with some water. I ended up adding an extra cup or so of water as I didn’t want a really thick soup this week. I added some more oregano and a few teaspoons of Epicure’s Little Italy Seasoning. I used Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice as the store did not have Rice a Roni in the Long Grain and Wild and I used canned chicken breast meat from kirkland (such a lifesaver and you can not tell it’s canned). I think this soup could be made a little hardier for cold winter months by adding a bit of potato (for body if you have it thinner like i did) and maybe even some smoked sausage or ham pieces.
Thank you for a great recipe. It is getting printed and claiming it’s space in my cookbook!
Can you use straight up wild rice? I just have so much on hand being from Minnesota!
Yes that should be fine. Maybe would take longer to cook though?
I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! My husband and I are both lactose intolerant so I used Lactaid milk and it worked out perfectly. Cooked the chicken with seasonings while I prepared the vegetables, followed your recipe to a “T”, and my husband just told me “it was the BEST”! Thank you! Anxious to try your other “copycats”.
I’m lactose intolerant too! I’ve used oat milk before and it was still delicious.
Can I use the minute rice and quinoa mix? It’s all I could get in my small town.
Sure! That would work just great.
JUst de this and subbed a can of coconut for the milk and used gluten free flour. Everything else stayed the same. It is the best soup I have ever made!! Loved it.
The best chicken and wild rice soup! Should be called better than Panera soup! Loved it!
I’m so glad you loved it!! Thank you!
Made this and WOW delicious soup. Will put on my rotation meal!
Can I do it in the Instapot ?
Absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe exactly.
Do you boil or bake the chicken breast?
I boiled the chicken breast.
I made this recipe today and it was awesome! I used rotisserie chicken and Uncle Bens wild rice and it came out perfect.
When I look at recipes I read all of the reviews. I look for ones where they have made the recipe as written not for ones where they have changed it so much it is not even the same recipe.
If you just wild rice how much would you put in?
I have a question….can I put 2 UNcooked chicken breasts in the crock pot and cook with the other ingredients?
Just made this and instead of putting the rice in it, I poured it over a bed of rice. SO GOOD! My husband absolutely loved it. I had chicken pieces in the skin from the freezer, so I defrosted them and boiled it in the broth after the veggies were added and cooked for about 45 minutes and pulled apart with a fork. Omg..mouth watering.
Delicious! I made this tonight and we loved it. I omitted the milk and just made it broth based. Great flavor! Thanks for the recipe.
This has been my husbands favorite soup this fall! I would like to add in some mushrooms. Would I do so at the beginning with the celery carrots and onions? Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!
I love this recipe!!! I followed except I didn’t add any of the water, and I used cornstarch instead of flour, and it came out like stew instead of soup, and that’s exactly what I wanted.
Made this twice now. Changed how I did the rice the second time.
Minus amount of water for rice from recipe. Cook rice in required amount of water with seasoning from package separately. When called for, add cooked rice with liquid and let simmer for the 20 minutes. Cooking the rice with the seasoning separately made the soup so much more flavorful.
Delicious!! I have been searching for “this” recipe for my favorite Panera soup, so thank you!! This one is perfect!! The only changes I made (because I didn’t have them): I used 2 cans of premium white chicken breasts (rinsed) instead of fresh and I used Italian seasoning instead of oregano!! I want to try your cheesy lasagna soup next!
Made this for supper tonight!……This was delicious! Followed the recipe to a T. We will definitely be having this again. Thanks for the recipe!
This soup is delicious and so easy. Thank you for a flavorful meal the whole family loves. Even my picky eater gobbles it up.
Very good! Thank you!!!