Panera Copycat Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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Panera is one of our favorite places to grab a sandwich or a cup of soup, and it’s no wonder why – their stuff is delicious! However great Panera is though, we can’t justify popping in there all the time to order all their goodies, so we needed to find a way to get our fix without breaking the bank…which led us to making our own version of the classic chicken and wild rice soup!

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If you’re looking for something that’ll warm up the chilly (read: freezing) winter days, then this soup is calling your name. What makes this so yummy and easy is using pre-cooked (homemade or rotisserie) chicken and grabbing a package of long grain and wild rice from the pasta/grain aisle in the grocery store; you get amazing flavor and it’s so easy!

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Along with onion, garlic and marjoram, some heavy cream adds some thickness – without going overboard – which is one of our favorite parts about this dish. Feel free to tweak the spices however you like, but we found this balance to be the most similar to our beloved inspiration recipes. Try it out and see if it’s not even better than the real thing!

Copycat Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

45 minutes to prepare serves 6-8


  • 1 (6 oz.) package long grain and wild rice (including flavor packet)
  • 1 (32 oz.) box low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Melt olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sauté onion and carrot until softened. 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute, then add flour, marjoram and seasoning packet from rice package. Stir together and cook for another 1 minute.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and water, then stir in rice. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
  4. Optional: in a small saucepan over medium heat warm up heavy cream until scalded (just before simmering; small bubbles on the outer edge of cream).
  5. Pour (warmed) cream into soup and stir together. Add chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Cook on low for another 15 minutes so flavors blend together, then ladle into serving bowls and serve hot. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Fake Ginger