Copy-Cat Panera Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

"I literally CRAVE this amazing, hearty soup from Panera when the weather begins to chill.... this is the closest recipe I have found to theirs. The best part is, it's ready in less than an hour!! I've found that the reviews are right and have lessened the amount of flour; originally 1 cup; just use 1/2 or a bit more depending on how thick you like your soup (Panera's is VERY thick)."
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Ready In:
1 pot of soup


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breast halves (cooked, boneless and cubed)
  • 1 (6 ounce) package long grain and wild rice blend, quick cooking version (You will use the seasoning packet. I used Uncle Bens roasted chicken flavor)
  • 12 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 cup all-purpose flour
  • 34 cup butter (12 tbsp. or a stick and a half)
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups light cream (can lighten by substituting part or all of the cream with fat-free evaporated milk, or half-and-half)


  • Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine pepper and flour. Set aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet, and continue cooking vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add seasoned flour gradually while constantly stirring, to form a roux. Saute roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
  • Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  • Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through and rice is done,15-20 minutes.
  • Alternatively, for those who cannot get the quick-cooking version of the rice, I have put the broth on to boil and cooked the 25-minute version of long grain and wild rice blend according to the directions, while sauteeing the veggies in the butter. I tend to cook the veggies longer this way, and I like them quite soft. I then follow the rest of the directions above, adding the rice/broth to the cream mixture. I've also used fat-free half and half with no appreciable difference in flavor. Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

  1. So happy that y'all still love this recipe after so many years! It's honestly one of my favorites and I'll be making it today :)
  2. What can be used instead of the Uncle Ben's flavor packet? The Uncle Ben's rice in the recipe is no longer available.
  3. Can you use chicken stock instead of broth?
  4. I have wild rice on hand but no Uncle Bens. To use slow cooking wild rice, should I cook it in broth and add it fully cooked to the rest of the ingredients?
  5. Can this soup be frozen. I know that Schwan’s sells a soup like this and it comes frozen.


  1. Oh my, my, my!!! This soup is delicious!!! I had to make a few adjustments since I had the long-cooking Uncle Ben's Rice. I'm assuming this recipe is for the quick-cooking version since it said to pour in the rice and remove from heat. My adjustments were to use 7 cups of broth (to make up for the long-cooking rice soaking up more liquid), 1/2 cup of butter, scant 1/2 cup of flour and 2 cups of heavy cream. I changed the amount of flour because I was afraid of it turning too thick. I knew I could add more later if I needed to. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I have never had Panera's version of this soup......but I can't imagine it tasting any better!!! This was sooooooo yummy!! Thanks so much for posting!!
  2. Panera's rice soup is my absolute favorite! I've been looking for this recipe for about 3 years! I used all ingredients as called for. Soup was just the right texture and thickness. The only thing I will change for next time is the seasoning mix in the rice. I will cut that by at least 1/2. The flavors of the spices were way too intense! Panera's has a subtle flavor and I didn't feel like there was anything subtle about this. Had company for dinner & they all enjoyed it, just too intense for me. Can't wait to try it again, as I can certainly see the potential for this to become my favorite soup at home! I live a long way from Panera's and I crave this soup all winter long! Yum! Yum! It's October so I'm ready to master this! Thanks SOOOOOOO MUCH for the recipe!
  3. Yum! This is the soup I love at Panera, so I was glad to find a recipe at all. And this one was excellent. I was glad I read the reviews, though, and used half the flour; it would have been like cement if I had any more! I also used a wild rice instead of the Uncle Ben's because I had it and we're trying to avoid the high-sodium mixes (and I had about 1 1/2 cups already cooked). I used an additional 1/3 cup uncooked rice boiled in 4 cups of broth with finely chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. I also used half & half because that's what I had.<br/><br/>Thanks for posting this recipe, Raquel! I can't wait for something like having the girls over for lunch to make it again!
  4. This was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! I used 1 stick of butter and fat free hand and half so that cut down quite a bit on calories. I also added about a half of a cup of diced shiitake mushrooms.. OMG, talk about heaven!!! It was amazing! Thank you for the recipe!!!!!!!!
  5. I made this for company tonight, and it was loved by all! We served it with garlic toast and salad. I doubled the recipe and decided to adjust a couple of things based in part on other reviews and in part on trying to lower the calorie count. So for a DOUBLE batch, I used 1 cup butter total. And I also therefore cut the flour for the roux to 2/3 cup. I used 3 of the rice-a-roni long grain & wild rice mix (the 4oz. box size), but only 2 of the seasoning packets, and it was perfect. And then I used part evaporated milk and part half n' half for the cream. It really turned out wonderful & we will definitely be making again! Thanks for sharing a great recipe!


  1. This is way better than Panera Breads version. I've made this soup so many times I lost count. This is comfort food for the soul. I made a few tweaks that made this soup a favorite with my family but this recipe is wonderful as is. I have a big family plus you well want leftovers so i double the recipe. I add white button mushrooms sliced thick or how ever you want them and saute them with the rest of the veggies. I also add one carton of chicken stock and one of chicken broth. Lastly I use half and half and whipping or heavy cream if you need to make it thinner just use milk. This is a wonderful recipe both ways. Thank you for sharing it.??
  2. I made it as is and it was sooo good but not healthy enough for us to have often. I made it this weekend and used 6 T coconut oil instead of butter, 1/4 C almond flour instead of regular flour and 3 C half and half. It was every bit as good. Wasn't quite as yellow in color but that was the only difference we could detect. Also, it's just my husband and I so both times I've frozen half the batch. It thaws great. This is a regular for us. We both LOVE it!
  3. I made my own broth with some chicken backs (and water and salt of course). I used the meat off of the backs instead of chicken breasts. I used only 1/4 cup of butter and only 16oz of heavy whipping cream. I made the broth in my instant pot (15 minutes for the back, then took the meat off and tossed the bones back in for another hour). Strained the broth and added the sautéed thickened cream and veggies and the rice mixture back in the instant pot. Cooked it for 3 minutes and let it cool on it's own., then tossed the cooked chicken in. I've made this many times with another copy cat recipe and everyone agreed that this was the best I've ever made.
  4. I use Swanson canned chicken
  5. Soo good!! I used half and half, plant based butter and added "better than bullion" roasted chicken to the diced chicken and broth. I also didn't used flour. It came out AMAZING!!


I am a married cruise-only travel agent with two stepsons, aged 20 and 25. It took a while to get the boys used to my cooking, as they were raised on fast food and pre-packaged foods (i.e. mac-n-cheese from the blue box, frozen dinners, Chef Boyardee, McDonalds, etc.). My mother is from Spain and I lived there as well as Germany, England and Italy growing up, which influenced both my career and my cuisine!</p> 8726943"
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