This delicious and easy to make Crockpot Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is the perfect meal for cold winter months. All you need are ingredients that can easily be found at your local grocery store.
The slow cooker does all the work – whew! No worries about cooking time either- just put it in the crockpot and come home to dinner hours later!
This soup is simple to prepare, and it’s loaded with flavor. You’ll love the creamy texture of the wild rice, and the delicious chicken broth. It’s basically like a cozy hug in a bowl, served up right in your own kitchen.
Copycat Panera Chicken and wild rice soup
I don’t know about you, but I’m usually running in five different directions by the time dinner rolls around.
Meetings, working late, kids activities…you know the drill. It’s comforting to know this delicious soup will be ready and waiting for us when we finally land for the night.
Or at least stop in to eat before we’re off to somewhere else. #truestory
Our family frequents Panera a lot. Like, if there was a frequent flier program, we’d quality for sure. It’s definitely a family favorite on our fast food-ish circuit.
Is it fast food? Ours has a drive through…We’ve often debated this.
Taking a family out to eat can get pretty pricy. Even the version of their ready to eat soups at the grocery store – which are delicious – can add up.
I thought, why not make a homemade version of my husband’s favorite soup since he orders it every single time? Basically, every time we go there he gets this soup in a bread bowl. I wish I had Mr. Predictable’s metabolism…..
This version is made super easy in the slow cooker, and I’ve been told this wild rice soup tastes just as good (or better) than the version you’d get at Panera.
You’ll need the following ingredients
- boneless chicken breasts
- chicken broth or chicken stock – homemade or store bought, your choice.
- wild rice – I use a wild rice blend
- vegetables – sliced mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots
- spices – garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
- butter, milk and flour – to make it rich and creamy
- Parmesan cheese
Variations and FAQS for Panera Chicken and Rice Soup
If this were a true panera copycat recipe, it wouldn’t have mushrooms in the soup. But along with the creamy soup, I thought mushrooms were a great fit and in they went to the pot. Of course, you can omit them i f you like.
You can also substitute a 1:1 gluten free flour to keep this recipe gluten free
Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of chicken breast?
Yes, if you want to make the soup without chicken, you can do that. Then, add a pound of cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken during the last 30 minutes of cook time. You could also add a pound of leftover turkey around Thanksgiving time!
Can I make this with white rice or long grain rice?
Yes, but it will have a softer texture after it’s done cooking. The wild rice gives a more al dente texture and I feel like it holds up better in the soup.
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
I hear you! I love to make my soups with dark meat; just make sure it’s boneless and skinless and load up your crock pot1
How do I store it, and how long will the leftovers be good for?
You can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
How do I reheat this soup?
To get it back to the right texture, you will just need to thin it out with a little bit of chicken broth until you get your desired consistency. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Because of the cream, I’d vote for the stovetop if you can swing it.
Can I freeze this soup?
Because this is a creamy soup and has a good amount of dairy, I don’t recommend freezing this soup for the next day. You can always ladle some soup into a wide mouth mason jar and gift it to a friend or neighbor!
What to serve with creamy chicken and rice soup
This hearty soup is filling enough to be considered a main dish.
Ladle into your soup bowl and serve with crusty bread or even better, bread bowls!
Other soup recipes you’ll love
The next time you make this creamy chicken and wild rice soup, leave a recipe review or comment below!
- 1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend
- 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 springs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Place the chicken, broth, rice, mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in the crockpot.
- Set the crockpot to high for three to four hours or low for seven to eight hours.
- About 30 minutes before your soup is done cooking, melt your butter in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste until it gives off a nutty aroma. Whisk the milk and Parmesan into the flour mixture.
- Stir the flour mixture into your soup and allow the soup to finish cooking for the last 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces with two forks. Stir the chicken back into the soup and enjoy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1529mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 34g