Copycat Panera Chicken And Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot

If you’re a fan of Panera’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, then you’re in luck! This Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot recipe is here to satisfy your cravings in the comfort of your own home. Using simple ingredients and the convenience of a slow cooker, you can enjoy a hearty bowl of this delicious soup without the hassle of going out. This recipe captures the essence of Panera’s signature soup, with tender chicken, hearty wild rice, and a flavorful broth. The best part? It’s incredibly easy to make, allowing you to set it and forget it while it simmers away in the crock pot. So, grab your ingredients and get ready to indulge in a bowl full of warmth and comfort.

Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot | 101 Simple Recipe
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The Origins of a Classic Dish

The copycat Panera chicken and wild rice soup crock pot is a beloved and classic dish that has gained popularity over the years. This hearty soup combines tender chicken, flavorful wild rice, and a rich and creamy broth. To truly appreciate this delicious recipe, it is important to understand its history and cultural significance.

Ancient Origins of Rice Soup

Rice soup has a long and rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated in ancient China, where rice was a staple food. The Chinese would cook rice with water or broth to create a simple and comforting soup. Over time, this dish spread to other parts of Asia and became a popular meal option for people from various cultures.

In addition to its comforting qualities, rice soup was also seen as a nutritious and easy-to-digest dish. It was often prepared for those who were sick or recovering from illnesses. The combination of rice and broth provided nourishment and helped to restore strength.

Traditional Chicken Soup Recipes

Chicken soup has been enjoyed by cultures around the world for centuries. It is often referred to as the ultimate comfort food, offering warmth and nourishment. Many traditional chicken soup recipes include vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to enhance the flavor.

Each culture has its own unique twist on chicken soup. For example, in the United States, chicken noodle soup is a popular choice, while in Mexico, tortilla soup is a common variation. These recipes often use local ingredients and reflect the culinary traditions of the region.

The Rise of Panera’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Panera Bread, a popular American bakery and cafe chain, introduced their chicken and wild rice soup to their menu and it quickly became a customer favorite. The soup’s combination of tender chicken, hearty wild rice, and a creamy broth proved to be a winning combination.

One of the reasons for the soup’s popularity is its resemblance to homemade comfort food. Many people grew up enjoying homemade chicken soup and Panera’s version taps into that nostalgia. The convenience of being able to enjoy a bowl of comforting soup at a restaurant instead of spending hours in the kitchen also contributed to its rise in popularity.

In addition, Panera Bread’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients and preparing their dishes from scratch helped to elevate the reputation of their chicken and wild rice soup. The soup was made with real chicken, fresh vegetables, and a flavorful broth. This attention to detail and dedication to quality resonated with customers.

Overall, the copycat Panera chicken and wild rice soup crock pot is a dish that combines history, cultural significance, and delicious flavors. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal or want to recreate a restaurant favorite at home, this soup is sure to satisfy.

The Delights of Slow Cooking

When it comes to preparing delicious and comforting meals, there’s nothing quite like using a crock pot. The slow and steady cooking process unlocks mouthwatering flavors, tenderizes meats, and blends ingredients to perfection. If you’re an avid soup lover, your crock pot can become your new best friend. With its ability to simmer ingredients for hours on end, it’s ideal for creating hearty and flavorful soups, like the Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

The Magic of Slow Cooking

Slow cooking is more than just a convenient way to prepare meals; it’s a method that enhances the taste and texture of your food. As ingredients slowly cook at a low temperature, flavors have time to meld together, resulting in a depth of taste that cannot be achieved through traditional cooking methods. In the case of the Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, the slow cooking process allows the savory flavors of the chicken and wild rice to infuse the broth, creating a rich and satisfying dish.

Advantages of Crock Pot Cooking

Using a crock pot offers numerous advantages when it comes to cooking soups. First and foremost, it saves you time and effort. Once you’ve prepped your ingredients, you can simply throw them into the pot, set the timer, and forget about it until it’s time to eat. This makes it a perfect option for busy individuals or those who prefer to do minimal hands-on cooking.

Additionally, the slow cooking process in a crock pot ensures that your soup simmers gently, preventing it from boiling or burning. This gentle heat allows the flavors to develop and intensify without the risk of scorching the bottom of the pot. It also means that you don’t have to constantly monitor the stove, giving you more time to focus on other tasks.

In terms of versatility, a crock pot is unmatched. You can use it to cook a wide variety of soups, from hearty stews to light broths. Its large capacity also allows you to prepare enough soup to feed a crowd or to enjoy as leftovers throughout the week. The Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, for example, can easily be doubled or tripled in a crock pot without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Tips for Perfect Slow Cooked Soups

  • Choose the right cuts of meat: When making soups in a crock pot, opt for cuts of meat that are well-suited for slow cooking. These include bone-in chicken thighs or beef chuck roast, as they become tender and flavorful as they simmer.
  • Sauté your vegetables: To enhance the flavors in your soup, take the time to sauté your vegetables before adding them to the crock pot. This simple step adds an extra depth of flavor to your soup.
  • Layer your ingredients: For optimal cooking, layer your ingredients in the crock pot. Start with the meat, followed by the vegetables, and then the broth. This ensures that all the ingredients cook evenly and results in a well-balanced soup.
  • Don’t peek too often: It may be tempting to lift the lid and check on your soup, but resist the urge. Each time you lift the lid, heat escapes, which can extend the cooking time and affect the final texture of your soup.
  • Adjust the seasoning: As flavors concentrate during the slow cooking process, your soup may require additional seasoning towards the end. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly before serving.

So, why not embrace the delights of slow cooking with your crock pot? With its convenience, versatility, and ability to produce delectable soups like the Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, it’s a kitchen tool that will revolutionize your cooking experience. Plus, with the added bonus of minimal cleanup, you’ll have even more reasons to love your crock pot.

Secrets to Flavorful Broths

When it comes to creating a mouthwatering and rich soup, the key lies in the flavorful broth. It serves as the foundation of your soup and adds depth and complexity to every spoonful. To achieve a truly memorable broth for your Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot recipe, you need to uncover a few secrets. Let’s dive into the techniques that will ensure your broth is bursting with irresistible flavors.

Bone Broths: The Key to Depth of Flavor

One of the secrets to achieving a deep and robust flavor in your broth is using bone broths. These broths, made from simmering bones and connective tissues, release a wealth of nutrients and impart a savory taste to your soup. Whether you choose chicken, beef, or vegetable-based bone broths, they all add a rich and velvety texture that elevates your soup to a whole new level.

Bone broths are packed with collagen, gelatin, and amino acids that not only enhance the taste but also provide numerous health benefits. They are known to support gut health, strengthen joints, and promote healthy hair and nails. To achieve the ultimate depth of flavor in your Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot, consider using homemade bone broth or opting for high-quality store-bought versions.

Balancing Herbs and Spices

To create a harmonious and well-balanced broth, the right combination of herbs and spices is essential. These aromatic ingredients add layers of complexity and enhance the overall flavor profile of your soup. Experimenting with different herbs and spices can help you find the perfect balance that suits your taste buds.

Some classic herbs that go well with chicken and wild rice soup include thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and parsley. These herbs impart earthy and slightly floral notes that complement the savory chicken flavor. Additionally, spices like black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder can add a subtle kick and enhance the overall umami taste of your broth.

Adding Umami with Non-traditional Ingredients

Umami, often referred to as the “fifth taste,” is a savory and deeply satisfying flavor that takes your broth to the next level. While traditional ingredients like mushrooms and soy sauce are known for their umami-rich properties, there are also some lesser-known ingredients that can add a unique twist to your Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot.

One non-traditional ingredient you can try is miso paste, a fermented soybean paste popular in Japanese cuisine. It adds a distinct umami flavor and lends a rich and satisfying taste to the broth. Another great option is fish sauce, which is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking. Its potent and pungent flavor can intensify the overall umami profile of your soup.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different umami-boosting ingredients. Each one brings its own unique taste and character to the broth, allowing you to tailor the flavor to your preferences.

By following these secrets to creating flavorful broths, you can ensure that your Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot is a sensation. The depth of flavor, balance of herbs and spices, and the added umami dimension will make your soup a standout dish that rivals the original.

Chicken Choices for Your Soup

When it comes to making a copycat Panera chicken and wild rice soup in a crock pot, choosing the right chicken is essential. The selection and preparation of chicken significantly impact the flavor and texture of the soup. In this section, we will discuss different aspects of chicken choices for your soup to help you create a delicious homemade version.

Fresh vs. Frozen Chicken

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to use fresh or frozen chicken for your soup. Both options have their advantages and it ultimately depends on your personal preference and convenience.

Using fresh chicken ensures that you have complete control over the quality and freshness. It also allows you to marinate the chicken and infuse more flavor into the soup. However, fresh chicken might require additional preparation time, as you’ll need to clean and debone it before using it in the crock pot.

On the other hand, frozen chicken can be a more convenient choice, especially if you’re short on time. It eliminates the need for cleaning and prepping, as it usually comes pre-cut and ready-to-use. Frozen chicken also tends to be more budget-friendly. However, keep in mind that the texture of frozen chicken may differ slightly from fresh chicken.

Important Note: Regardless of whether you choose fresh or frozen chicken, make sure to thaw it completely before adding it to the crock pot. Thawing the chicken in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost function on your microwave are both safe methods.

The Benefits of Dark Meat

When it comes to choosing the type of chicken for your soup, considering dark meat can add an extra depth of flavor and juiciness. Dark meat refers to cuts like chicken thighs and drumsticks, which have slightly higher fat content compared to white meat.

Dark meat is known for its rich, succulent taste. The extra fat keeps the meat moist and tender during the slow cooking process in the crock pot. It also adds a fuller flavor profile to the overall soup. If you prefer a heartier and more robust soup, using dark meat can be a great choice.

However, if you’re watching your fat intake or prefer a lighter taste, you can opt for skinless and boneless chicken breasts. They are leaner and have a milder flavor compared to dark meat. Remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as white meat tends to cook faster than dark meat.

Marinating and Pre-cooking Techniques

To enhance the flavor of the chicken in your copycat Panera chicken and wild rice soup, you may consider marinating and pre-cooking techniques.

Marinating the chicken with herbs, spices, and your favorite seasoning blend can infuse it with additional flavor. You can choose to marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator or for a shorter time period before cooking. This step helps to tenderize the meat and allows it to absorb the marinade’s flavors.

Another option is to pre-cook the chicken before adding it to the crock pot. Searing or grilling the chicken briefly can help develop a nice crust and enhance the overall taste. It also helps to lock in the moisture, resulting in a juicier end product. Additionally, pre-cooking the chicken reduces the risk of undercooked chicken in the soup.

Please Note: Whether you choose to marinate or pre-cook the chicken, ensure it is fully cooked before adding it to the crock pot. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety.

By carefully selecting and preparing the chicken for your copycat Panera chicken and wild rice soup in a crock pot, you can create a flavorful and satisfying homemade version. Whether you prefer fresh or frozen chicken, dark meat or white meat, don’t forget to add your personal touch with marinades and pre-cooking techniques. Now, get ready to enjoy a comforting bowl of the popular Panera soup in the comfort of your own home!

Perfecting the Rice

Mastering the art of cooking rice is crucial when it comes to preparing a delicious and satisfying copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in your crock pot. The rice should have the ideal texture and taste, perfectly complementing the flavors of the soup. Let’s dive into the essential steps to achieve rice perfection.

Selecting the Right Rice Variety

The first step is to choose the right type of rice for your soup. In this recipe, opt for long-grain wild rice. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that adds depth to the soup. Avoid using short-grain rice as it tends to become too starchy and might affect the overall consistency.

Pro tip: Look for high-quality wild rice with a rich, dark color, indicating that it is fresh and packed with flavor.

Cooking Techniques for Fluffy Rice

To achieve fluffy rice, it’s essential to follow the correct cooking techniques. Start by rinsing the wild rice under cold water to remove any impurities and excess starch. Then, place the rice in a saucepan and add the appropriate amount of water or broth based on the package instructions.

Pro tip: For an extra boost of flavor, cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water. This will infuse the rice with a savory taste.

Once the rice is in the saucepan, bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer for the recommended cooking time. This slow and gentle cooking process allows the rice to absorb the liquid and ensures even cooking.

⏰ Pro tip: Patience is key! Avoid lifting the lid or stirring the rice during the cooking process to prevent the moisture from escaping, resulting in perfectly cooked, fluffy rice.

Infusing Rice with Additional Flavors

To take your rice to the next level, consider infusing it with additional flavors that will enhance the taste of your Panera-inspired soup. You can achieve this by adding herbs, spices, or aromatics to the cooking liquid.

Pro tip: Try adding a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme, or a few crushed garlic cloves to the saucepan while the rice is cooking. These ingredients will infuse the rice with wonderful aromas and flavors.

Once the rice is fully cooked and has absorbed all the liquid, remove any additional flavorings such as bay leaves or sprigs of herbs. The result will be a beautifully cooked rice with a delicate balance of flavors, ready to be incorporated into your copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

With these tips, you can confidently cook the perfect rice for your copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in the crock pot. Take your time, savor the process, and enjoy the amazing flavors that will undoubtedly elevate your homemade soup to restaurant-quality.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in a crock-pot. It’s a delicious and comforting recipe that is perfect for a cozy night in. As always, be sure to visit again later for more tasty and easy-to-follow recipes. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about making copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in a crock-pot:

No. Questions Answers
1. Can I use frozen chicken for this recipe? Yes, you can use frozen chicken. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
2. Can I substitute the wild rice with another type of rice? Yes, you can substitute wild rice with another type of rice, such as brown rice or white rice. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary.
3. Can I make this recipe vegetarian? Yes, you can make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omitting the chicken.
4. Can I add other vegetables to this soup? Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, celery, or mushrooms, to make it even more flavorful.
5. How long can I store the leftovers? You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
6. Can I freeze this soup? Yes, you can freeze this soup. Just make sure to let it cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Experience the Deliciousness of Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Now that you have all the information and steps to make this copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in a crock-pot, it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test. Gather your ingredients, set up your crock-pot, and get ready to enjoy a bowl of warm and comforting soup that will remind you of your favorite Panera dish. Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family, and let us know how it turned out for you. Happy cooking!

Jump to Recipe

Copycat Panera Chicken And Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot | 101 Simple Recipe

Copycat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Learn how to make a delicious copycat version of Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup using a crock-pot. This easy-to-follow recipe will warm you up on a cold day.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 240 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup wild rice blend
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  • In a crock-pot, combine the chicken breast, wild rice, chicken broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours or high heat for 2 hours, or until the rice is tender.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Serve the soup hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
Keyword copycat, Panera, chicken, wild rice, soup, crock-pot