Chicken And Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat

Craving a warm and comforting bowl of soup? Look no further than this delicious recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, a perfect Panera Bread copycat dish that you can easily recreate in the comfort of your own kitchen. ✨ This hearty soup is packed with tender chicken, flavorful wild rice, and a blend of herbs and spices that will warm your soul with each spoonful. Whether you’re a fan of Panera’s version or simply looking for a new soup recipe to try, this homemade rendition will surely satisfy your taste buds. So grab your apron and get ready to dive into a bowl of pure comfort! ‍

How to Make Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Panera Copycat | 101 Simple Recipe
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The Inspiration Behind a Classic Soup Recipe

Discover the story behind a beloved soup recipe and its origins.

A Sentimental Connection

In the world of comfort food, soups have always held a special place. They warm our hearts and nourish our bodies, offering a taste of home even on the coldest days. One such soup that has captured the hearts of many is the chicken and wild rice soup. This classic recipe has a rich history and an enduring sentimental connection to those who enjoy it.

The origins of this soup can be traced back to a small town in Minnesota, known for its bountiful lakes and picturesque landscapes. It was here that a woman named Dorothy McNett first created the recipe, drawing inspiration from the flavors and ingredients available in her surroundings. The simplicity of the dish resonated with her, as it reminded her of the comforting meals she enjoyed as a child.

Fun Fact: Dorothy named the soup “Lund’s wild rice soup” after the nearby Lund’s grocery store, where she often sourced the ingredients for her recipe.

An Iconic Dish at Panera

Over time, the chicken and wild rice soup gained popularity beyond Dorothy’s kitchen and became an iconic dish at Panera Bread. This renowned bakery-café chain embraced the recipe and added its own unique touch, making it a much-loved menu item for customers seeking a hearty and delicious meal.

At Panera, the soup is carefully crafted using high-quality ingredients such as tender chicken, flavorful wild rice, and a medley of vegetables. The result is a creamy and comforting soup that continues to captivate the taste buds of soup enthusiasts.

Panera Tip: If you visit Panera to enjoy their chicken and wild rice soup, try pairing it with a freshly baked baguette or a crisp salad for a delightful meal.

A Copycat Recipe Worth Trying

While nothing quite compares to the original chicken and wild rice soup at Panera, many home cooks have attempted to recreate this beloved dish. A copycat recipe can be an exciting venture for those who wish to replicate the flavors and experience the comforting warmth the soup provides.

Creating your own version of the chicken and wild rice soup allows for customization based on personal taste preferences. Some may add extra vegetables to enhance the nutritional value, while others may experiment with different herbs and spices to add a unique twist.

‍ Expert Tip: To successfully make a copycat version of the Panera chicken and wild rice soup, remember to cook the wild rice separately and add it to the soup at the end. This ensures that the rice maintains its texture and doesn’t become mushy.

Whether you decide to recreate the Panera classic or put your own spin on it, attempting a copycat recipe of the chicken and wild rice soup can be a rewarding culinary adventure. So, don your apron and grab your soup pot to embark on a flavor-packed journey that will warm both your soul and your taste buds.

Exploring the Key Ingredients

Delve into the essential components that make up this delicious soup.

The Perfect Base: Chicken Broth

When it comes to creating a savory and flavorful soup like Panera’s famous chicken and wild rice soup, the secret lies in starting with the perfect base – chicken broth.

Chicken broth serves as the foundation for this delightful soup, providing a rich and aromatic flavor that enhances the overall taste. It is made by simmering chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs in water, allowing all the flavors to meld together and create a deliciously comforting broth.

Using high-quality bone-in chicken pieces or even a whole chicken will result in a more flavorful and robust broth. Simmering the chicken for an extended period of time allows the flavors to develop fully, resulting in a savory broth that will elevate the taste of your soup.

Rich and Nutty Flavor: Wild Rice

No discussion about making chicken and wild rice soup is complete without highlighting the star ingredient – wild rice.

Wild rice adds a unique and nutty flavor to the soup, creating a depth of taste that sets it apart from other rice varieties. The combination of the rich chicken broth and the earthy notes of the wild rice creates a perfect harmony in each spoonful.

One important thing to note is that wild rice is not actually rice; it is a type of grass seed that is full of essential nutrients. This nutrient-dense grain adds a pleasant chewiness to the soup, giving it a hearty texture and substantial bite.

When selecting wild rice, opt for the whole grain variety for the best flavor and nutritional value. The whole grain type contains the outer bran layer, which adds a beautiful dark color and a slightly chewy texture to the soup.

Adding Depth: Herbs and Spices

To take your chicken and wild rice soup to the next level, you need to add depth and complexity to the flavors with a selection of herbs and spices.

Common herbs like thyme and bay leaves are classic choices that lend a subtle earthiness to the soup. The gentle herbal notes help to balance the richness of the broth and enhance the overall flavor profile.

For a hint of warmth and spice, you can incorporate ground black pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper. These spices add a subtle kick without overpowering the other flavors, giving your soup a deliciously satisfying taste that will leave your taste buds tingling.

While these are some popular choices, feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to tailor the soup to your personal preferences. Whether you prefer a touch of garlic, a sprinkle of parsley, or a dash of turmeric, the addition of herbs and spices allows you to customize the soup to your liking.

In conclusion, the key ingredients that make up this delightful chicken and wild rice soup are the rich and savory chicken broth, the nutty and wholesome wild rice, and the aromatic herbs and spices. When combined, these components create a flavorful and comforting soup that will remind you of Panera’s mouthwatering version. So next time you’re in the mood for a cozy and delicious soup, try making this Panera copycat recipe in the comfort of your own kitchen. Enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Dressing is a great accompaniment to Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

The Art of Perfecting the Soup

When it comes to making a copycat version of Panera’s famous chicken and wild rice soup, attention to detail is key. By following a few simple techniques, you can recreate this beloved dish in your own kitchen. Let’s delve into the secrets of perfecting the soup!

Slow Simmering for Maximum Flavor

To achieve a rich and flavorful soup, one must master the art of slow simmering. This cooking method allows the flavors to meld together and intensify over time. The key is to be patient and let the ingredients cook at a gentle simmer, rather than a rapid boil.

Start by sautéing the onions, carrots, and celery in a large pot. This aromatic trio forms the flavor base for the soup and provides a savory foundation. Once the vegetables have softened and become fragrant, add in the chicken broth and wild rice.

Simmer the soup for at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until the rice is tender. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop fully and creates a comforting and hearty soup that will remind you of Panera’s version. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper along the way to enhance the taste even further.

Choosing the Right Cuts of Chicken

The choice of chicken is crucial in achieving that perfect copycat taste. Panera typically uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts in their soup, which provides a tender and juicy texture. To replicate this, opt for high-quality chicken breasts from your local butcher or grocery store.

Before adding the chicken to the soup, it’s important to cook it separately to ensure it remains tender and doesn’t overcook. You can grill, bake, or poach the chicken breasts until they are fully cooked. Once done, let them cool slightly before shredding or dicing them into bite-sized pieces.

Add the cooked chicken to the simmering soup during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. This will allow the chicken to heat through and absorb the flavors of the broth and spices without becoming tough or dry. The result will be tender, flavorful chicken that perfectly complements the soup.

Enhancing the Texture and Presentation

In addition to the flavors, the texture and presentation of the soup play a significant role in recreating Panera’s copycat version. One way to enhance the texture is by adding a variety of vegetables. You can include diced mushrooms, peas, or even chopped spinach to add depth and color to the soup.

For presentation, garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or thyme. This not only adds a pop of color but also elevates the overall appearance of the dish. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your garnishes!

Finally, serving the soup in a bread bowl can take your copycat experience to the next level. Hollow out a round sourdough bread loaf, ladle the soup into the bread bowl, and enjoy the combination of the creamy soup and crusty bread. It’s a delightful and aesthetically pleasing way to serve this comforting dish.

Now armed with the secrets of perfecting the soup, you can confidently recreate Panera’s chicken and wild rice soup in your own kitchen. Remember to simmer slowly, choose the right cuts of chicken, and enhance the texture and presentation for an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy!

Try making a delicious Wild Rice Pilaf to serve alongside your Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Adding a Personal Touch

When it comes to making chicken and wild rice soup, Panera copycat style, the beauty lies in the ability to customize the recipe to suit your own taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you’re looking to add a little extra kick of flavor or make it a bit healthier, here are some tips to help you put your own personal touch on this popular soup.

Vegetarian Alternatives

If you follow a vegetarian diet or simply want to switch things up, there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional chicken in this soup. Instead of poultry, you can use tofu, seitan, or even tempeh to add a meaty texture. You’ll want to marinate the alternative protein in a savory blend of spices and vegetable broth to enhance the taste.

Note: Vegetarian alternatives can make this soup a delicious option for those who don’t consume animal products.

Boosting the Nutrition with Superfoods

If you’re looking to make your chicken and wild rice soup even more nutritious, consider incorporating superfoods into the recipe. You can add a handful of kale or spinach for added vitamins and minerals. Another option is to throw in some diced carrots or sweet potatoes to increase the fiber content. For a protein boost, you can include cooked quinoa or chickpeas.

Note: Adding superfoods to your soup is a great way to pack in extra nutrients and enhance the overall health benefits.

Garnishing and Pairing Suggestions

When it comes to garnishing your chicken and wild rice soup, the possibilities are endless. Adding a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or chives can add a pop of color and freshness. Crumbled cheese, such as feta or Parmesan, can provide a delightful tangy flavor. You can also top it off with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for added creaminess.

When pairing this soup with other dishes, think about complementing flavors. A side salad with a tangy vinaigrette or a crusty bread roll can be the perfect accompaniment. For those looking to add a touch of heat, serving the soup with a side of hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes can spice things up.

Note: Garnishes and pairings can elevate the flavors and presentation of your soup, making it a delightful meal.

With these tips, you can take the basic chicken and wild rice soup recipe and make it your own. Whether you choose to experiment with vegetarian alternatives, add superfoods for an extra health boost, or enhance the flavors with garnishes and pairings, you’ll be able to create a soup that suits your palate perfectly.

Tips and Tricks from the Experts

When it comes to making a delicious chicken and wild rice soup that rivals Panera’s famous recipe, you can’t go wrong with these insider tips and expert advice. With these techniques, you’ll be able to elevate your soup-making skills to a whole new level.

  • Use a flavorful broth: The key to a tasty soup starts with a high-quality broth. Opt for a rich and savory chicken broth, or even a combination of chicken and vegetable broth, to give your soup a depth of flavor.
  • Chop your ingredients evenly: To ensure that all the flavors meld together perfectly, make sure to dice your onions, carrots, and celery into small, uniform pieces. This will ensure even cooking and distribution of flavors throughout the soup.
  • Sauté your veggies: Before adding the broth and rice, take a few extra minutes to sauté your diced onions, carrots, and celery. This step helps release their natural sweetness and adds a delicious caramelized flavor to the soup.
  • Season to taste: Don’t be afraid to season your soup with herbs and spices. A generous sprinkle of thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves can elevate the flavors and add a delightful aroma to your chicken and wild rice soup.
  • Fresh herbs for garnish: When serving your soup, don’t forget to add a touch of freshness with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh herbs. Parsley, chives, or even a squeeze of lemon juice can brighten up the flavors and make your dish look more appetizing.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a chicken and wild rice soup that is just as delicious as Panera’s copycat recipe. Get ready to impress your family and friends with your newfound soup-making skills!

The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Wild Rice

Wild rice adds a unique texture and nutty flavor to your chicken and wild rice soup. To ensure that your wild rice is perfectly cooked, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Rinse the rice: Before cooking, rinse the wild rice under cold water to remove any impurities. This step helps prevent the rice from becoming overly starchy.
  2. Correct ratio: For perfectly cooked wild rice, use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 3 cups of liquid. This will allow the rice to absorb the flavors of the broth without becoming mushy.
  3. Simmer gently: Bring the rice and liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the rice simmer gently for about 45 minutes to an hour until it is tender and has a slightly chewy texture.
  4. ‍ Test for doneness: To check if the wild rice is cooked, taste a few grains. They should be tender and not overly crunchy. If needed, continue cooking for a few more minutes until the desired texture is achieved.
  5. Allow for resting time: After the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest, covered, for about 10 minutes. This resting time allows the rice to absorb any remaining liquid and become fluffy.

By following these steps, you will have perfectly cooked wild rice that adds a delightful chewiness and nutty flavor to your chicken and wild rice soup.

Storage and Reheating Recommendations

If you have leftovers or want to make a batch of chicken and wild rice soup in advance, here are some storage and reheating recommendations to keep in mind:

  • Store in airtight containers: Transfer the soup to airtight containers or individual serving-sized containers before storing in the refrigerator. This helps maintain the freshness and prevents the soup from absorbing unwanted flavors.
  • ❄️ Freezing the soup: If you want to freeze the soup for longer storage, make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
  • ️ Reheating: To reheat the soup, simply transfer the desired amount to a pot and gently warm it over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Alternatively, you can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.
  • Adjust seasoning: After reheating, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. Over time, flavors can mellow, so it’s essential to add a pinch of salt or any other herbs or spices that may have lost their potency.

Following these storage and reheating recommendations will help you enjoy a delicious bowl of chicken and wild rice soup even on busy days or when you’re craving a comforting meal.

Impressing Your Guests with Soup Variations

If you want to take your chicken and wild rice soup to the next level and impress your guests with flavorful variations, here are some creative ideas:

  • Creamy chicken and wild rice soup: Add a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk to your soup to create a creamy and indulgent version of this classic dish. This addition adds richness and a velvety texture to the soup.
  • Chicken and wild rice chowder: Incorporate corn kernels and diced potatoes into the soup to transform it into a hearty chowder. The sweetness of the corn complements the earthy flavors of the wild rice perfectly.
  • ️ Spicy chicken and wild rice soup: Give your soup a kick by adding some diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper. The heat will bring a new dimension to the flavors and awaken your taste buds.
  • Vegetable-packed soup: Increase the nutritional value of the soup by adding a variety of colorful vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach. It’s a great way to sneak in extra nutrients and add a vibrant touch to the dish.

By experimenting with these soup variations, you can create a personalized twist on the classic chicken and wild rice soup recipe. Get creative in the kitchen and wow your guests with your culinary skills.

Peanut Butter Cups go perfectly with a bowl of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to read our article about “Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat”. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help clarify any further inquiries you may have:

No. Questions Answers
1. What ingredients do I need to make the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat? The ingredients you will need for the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat include chicken breast, wild rice, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, thyme, chicken broth, milk, flour, and butter.
2. Can I substitute the chicken breast with another protein? Yes, you can substitute the chicken breast with turkey or tofu for a vegetarian option.
3. How long does it take to cook the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat? The total cooking time for this recipe is approximately 45 minutes.
4. Can I freeze the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat? Yes, you can freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw it thoroughly before reheating.
5. What can I serve with the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat? You can serve the soup with a side of crusty bread or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.
6. How many servings does the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat recipe yield? This recipe yields approximately 4 servings.

Thank You for Reading!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our article on how to make the delicious and comfortingly warm Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat. We hope you found the recipe and instructions easy to follow and that you’ll try making it at home soon. Don’t forget to visit our website again for more tasty recipes and cooking tips. Happy cooking!

Jump to Recipe

Chicken And Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat | 101 Simple Recipe

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Panera Copycat

A delicious and comforting copycat recipe of Panera's Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Perfect for cozy nights in!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup wild rice uncooked
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the flour and thyme to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Stir in the shredded chicken and uncooked wild rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
Keyword chicken and wild rice soup, panera copycat, comfort food, soup recipe