This Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is a Panera Copycat recipe! Haven’t tried Panera yet? Well, you don’t need to after you cook up this soup! There are no pre-packed rice mixes in my version, it’s all fresh, simple and seriously delicious – and my version is gluten-free!
This is going into the permanent soup rotation for this winter. We ate it with a delicious crusty loaf of French bread ( not gluten-free haha!) for dinner and it was a hit with the entire family.
So, Panera is a big thing in the States. People love their food; their soups, their mac n’ cheese, you name it and people are gaga over it! I had never tried it before, Panera’s don’t seem to be in the areas that we regularly travel. One of the things that I absolutely love the most about traveling to the United States is trying out all the new restaurants out there.
My Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in the Crockpot came from my absolute LOVE of Cracker Barrel. We adore that restaurant. Some of their dishes are my favourite things to eat in the States.
Yes, we love checking out chain restaurants in the States, what can I say. And Panera? Well, they just happen to be in Seattle, where we took off on our Alaskan Cruise.
While I have seen a lot of Facebook videos on their Mac n’ Cheese, I am a soup girl, all the way through. I will take a good soup any day of the week over mac n’ cheese. And cream of chicken and wild rice soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I think it’s because I honestly don’t like wild rice any other way than in soup.
Is it just me? Wild rice can be so…. pokey. Tough. Chewy. Mr Magpie won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
Oh, but you throw it in a soup to simmer all day long?
It’s perfection in a soup bowl.
Both of us will eat wild rice in soup – and the kids as well. The entire family loved this cream of chicken and wild rice soup.
So I get to travel and you guys get to try all these new inspired recipes. Sounds like a good deal to me!
While you may find some of the spice ingredients odd, I went and researched them from their ingredient list for the soup. Turmeric is what gives their soup a nice creamy yellow colour – it is basically almost negligent for flavour. IF you exclude it, your soup won’t be creamy yellow. I use turmeric to color my Ukrainian Babka as well, FYI! When I don’t have saffron, it’s turmeric for colour. So when I was reading their list of ingredients, I had that lightbulb moment of why they used it.
So, who else is now a Panera convert? I can’t wait until the next time I can go try them out – and explore the menu some more! Don’t worry, I have some more secrets up my sleeve – we didn’t just eat one thing (as if!)
To make it gluten-free, I used cornstarch ( my preferred thickened as I can always “taste” flour in a soup) and make sure the broth etc is gluten-free!
Happy cooking babes! Make sure to add this cream of chicken and wild rice soup to your rotation list!
PIN this to your SUPPER, SLOW COOKER or SOUPS boards!
This crockpot or Instant Pot cream of chicken and wild rice soup is the closest you will get to the beloved Panera soup! This recipe has no pre-packaged rice mix ingredients and is also gluten-free!
First Step Soup Ingredients
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups of chopped, cooked chicken breast
- 2/3 cup of brown & wild rice mix
- 1 cup cubed carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tsp thyme
Step 2 Cream Ingredients
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup light cream
- 2 cups milk
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Combine all of the step 1 ingredients in your slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the rice has softened.
- Whisk together the second step cream ingredients in a large, microwave safe glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping every minute to whisk it smooth again, until the mixture has thickened.
- Whisk the thickened mixture into the soup. Let it cook another 5-10 minutes, then serve!
Instant Pot Instructions
- Combine the step one ingredients in your Instant Pot.
- Choose one of two options: 1) slow cook all day in your Instant Pot OR press the “soup” button and cook for 20 minutes high pressure. If you are cooking high pressure, manually release the pressure when the 20 minutes are done, the rice will be perfect then.
- When the soup is done, whisk together the second step cream ingredients in a large, microwave safe glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping every minute to whisk it smooth again, until the mixture has thickened.
- Whisk the thickened mixture into the soup. Let the soup sit on the “warm” setting for another 5 minutes to let everything meld, then serve!