Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

You’re craving a warm and comforting bowl of soup, but you don’t want to leave the house.

Well, you’re in luck! With this Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe, you can recreate that deliciousness right in your own kitchen.

Get ready to indulge in a creamy, flavorful broth filled with tender chicken and hearty wild rice.

It’s the perfect meal to satisfy your cravings and enjoy the freedom of cooking at home.

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Key Takeaways

  • Wild rice is the star ingredient, but alternatives like brown rice or quinoa can be used.
  • The chicken can be marinated with lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and spices for added flavor.
  • The wild rice should be cooked until tender and fluffy, following package instructions.
  • The creamy base of the soup is made by whisking milk, flour, and butter in a saucepan until thickened.

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Recipe by Heather SmithCourse: SoupsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Nothing beats the comfort of a warm bowl of soup, and our "Comfort in a Bowl: Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup" recipe brings that comfort home. This delightful soup is a harmonious blend of tender chicken, earthy wild rice, and savory broth. In this recipe article, we'll guide you through creating this Panera-inspired masterpiece, allowing you to enjoy a cozy bowl of soup any time you like. Whether you're a seasoned soup lover or new to the world of comforting flavors, this recipe is a must-try.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup wild rice

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the chicken breasts, then shred them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook wild rice according to package instructions, then set aside.
  • In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms until softened.
  • Stir in flour to make a roux.
  • Gradually add chicken broth and milk, stirring until the mixture thickens.
  • Add the cooked chicken, cooked wild rice, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer until heated through.


To make Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, you’ll need a list of ingredients. The star of the show is, of course, wild rice. However, if you’re looking for alternatives, you can try using a blend of brown and white rice or even quinoa for a different texture.

To add extra flavor to your soup, consider adding some chopped onions, minced garlic, and a pinch of thyme. For a hint of acidity, squeeze in a fresh lemon juice or add a splash of white wine. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to taste.

With these tips, you can elevate the flavors of your soup and make it truly exceptional.

Now, let’s move on to preparing the chicken.

Preparing the Chicken

Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to move on to preparing the chicken for your Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Follow these steps to ensure your chicken is flavorful and tender:

  1. Marinating Techniques: To infuse your chicken with delicious flavors, try marinating it before cooking. Create a marinade using ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and spices. Let the chicken soak in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight for maximum flavor.

  2. Alternative Proteins: If you prefer a different protein in your soup, consider using alternative options like tofu or seitan. These plant-based proteins can be marinated and cooked just like chicken, providing a tasty and nutritious alternative for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

  3. Cooking Methods: There are various ways to cook the chicken for your soup. You can roast it in the oven for a crispy exterior and juicy interior, or you can simmer it in a pot of flavorful broth until it’s fully cooked and tender. Choose the method that suits your preference and enjoy a delicious bowl of Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Cooking the Wild Rice

Cook the wild rice until it’s tender and fluffy. This step is crucial in achieving the perfect texture for your Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. The cooking time for wild rice may vary, but it usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package for best results.

While the rice is cooking, you can begin to think about the seasoning options for your soup. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or you can add herbs like thyme or rosemary for a more flavorful taste. Feel free to experiment and adjust the seasonings to suit your preferences. Remember, cooking is an art, and you have the freedom to make it your own.

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Making the Creamy Base

Start by whisking together the milk, flour, and butter in a saucepan. This creamy base will give your Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup its rich and velvety texture.

Here are some cooking tips to ensure your base turns out perfectly:

  1. Gradually add the milk to the flour and butter mixture to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk continuously until smooth.

  2. Cook the base over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. This will take about 5-7 minutes.

  3. For flavor variations, you can add a pinch of garlic powder or a dash of nutmeg to enhance the taste of the base.

Once your creamy base is ready, you can move on to the next step of combining the ingredients.

Combining the Ingredients

Now that you have made the creamy base for your Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, it’s time to move on to combining the ingredients.

One important cooking technique to keep in mind is properly cooking the rice to ensure it’s tender and fully cooked.

If you don’t have chicken on hand, don’t worry! There are also great substitutes you can use to still achieve that delicious, savory flavor.

Cooking Techniques for Rice

Combine all the ingredients for the rice in a large pot.

To ensure perfectly cooked rice, follow these rice cooking tips:

  1. Rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch and prevent clumping.
  2. Use the appropriate rice variety for your dish. Long-grain rice, such as Basmati or Jasmine, is ideal for fluffy and separate grains, while short-grain rice, like Arborio or sushi rice, is great for creamy and sticky dishes.
  3. Use the right amount of liquid. The general rule is to use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water, but this can vary depending on the rice variety and desired texture.

By mastering these rice cooking techniques, you’ll have a solid foundation for creating delicious rice dishes.

Now, let’s move on to exploring substitutes for chicken in the Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe.

Substitutes for Chicken

You can begin by adding the alternative protein option to the rest of the ingredients. When it comes to substituting chicken in the Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe, there are several vegetarian options that can provide the same protein-rich goodness. Consider using tofu, tempeh, or seitan as the substitute. These ingredients can be easily found in most grocery stores and can be prepared in various ways to mimic the texture and flavor of chicken. To help you choose the best option for your soup, here is a table comparing the nutritional values of tofu, tempeh, and seitan:

Protein SubstituteProtein Content (per 100g)Calories (per 100g)

With these protein substitutes, you can create a delicious and hearty vegetarian version of the Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Enjoy the freedom to choose your preferred protein option and savor the flavors of this comforting dish.

Serving and Enjoying

To fully experience the flavors of the Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, top it off with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. This creamy and hearty soup deserves a beautiful presentation.

Consider serving it in a rustic bread bowl or a delicate soup tureen. You can also garnish it with additional ingredients like croutons, shredded cheese, or even a drizzle of olive oil.

Pairing the soup with warm crusty bread is a classic choice, allowing you to soak up every last drop of deliciousness. Alternatively, you can serve it alongside a fresh green salad for a light and refreshing contrast.

However you choose to serve it, this soup is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts:-

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 700mg

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian-Friendly?

To make the recipe vegetarian-friendly, you can make some easy substitutions. Replace the chicken with alternative proteins like tofu or tempeh. Add more vegetables for extra flavor and nutrients. Enjoy your delicious and hearty vegetarian version!

Can I Use a Different Type of Rice Instead of Wild Rice?

Yes, you can definitely use a different type of rice instead of wild rice in the recipe. Some options to consider are brown rice, basmati rice, or even jasmine rice. Experiment and find your favorite!

Can I Substitute the Chicken With Another Protein, Like Tofu or Shrimp?

Yes, you can definitely substitute the chicken with other protein options like tofu or shrimp. This will give your soup different flavor variations and cater to your personal preferences.

Can I Freeze the Soup for Later Consumption?

You’re wondering if you can freeze the soup for later. Absolutely! Just make sure to let it cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply thaw and reheat. Easy peasy!

What Are Some Recommended Toppings or Garnishes to Enhance the Flavor of the Soup?

To enhance the flavor of your Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, try adding toppings like crispy bacon bits or shredded Parmesan cheese. For a delicious twist, get creative with garnishes like fresh herbs or a drizzle of truffle oil.

Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe


As you take a sip of this homemade Panera chicken and wild rice soup, the warm and comforting flavors transport you to a cozy corner booth in the beloved bakery-cafe.

The creamy base, tender chicken, and hearty wild rice combine to create a soup that’s both satisfying and delicious.

With this recipe in your hands, you can recreate the magic of Panera in your own kitchen.

So go ahead, indulge in a bowl of this soul-soothing soup and savor the taste of nostalgia.

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