Grab a soup bowl and spoon because this chicken and wild rice soup is a must-make!
It’s quick, creamy, and super satisfying.
If you’re a soup lover, this creamy chicken and wild rice soup is truly something special.
It’s my top choice when I go to Panera. I just love the silky texture, chewy rice, and tasty veggies.
And that kick of protein doesn’t hurt, either!
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe
One bite of this chicken and wild rice Panera Bread copycat is enough to make anyone swoon.
It’s made with juicy chicken, wild rice, and a medley of veggies cooked in a creamy broth. And it’s the perfect combo of flavors and textures.
Plus, it’s good for you!
Chicken is a lean protein powerhouse. And wild rice brings a unique nuttiness you can’t get anywhere else.
Add some herbs and spices for extra flavor, or top it with shredded cheese or croutons. It’s scrummy either way.
Oh, and did I mention it’s easy to make?
Yeah, you won’t believe how fast this one comes together. So it’s ideal for busy weeknights, too.
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make a warm bowl of chicken and wild rice soup:
- Butter – Butter is the key to the creamy, rich broth and incredible depth of flavor. Make sure it’s the real thing – margarine just doesn’t melt the same.
- Vegetables – Like most soups and stews, you’ll need the holy trio of chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Then you’ll add meaty mushrooms for a nice earthy finish.
- All-Purpose Flour – Used to thicken the broth. I prefer all-purpose because it’s cheap and readily available. But feel free to use cornstarch if you need it gluten-free (use half the amount).
- Chicken Broth – The base of the soup. Use homemade or storebought.
- Cooked Wild Rice – Packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, wild rice adds a nutty flavor and chewy texture to the soup. You could use brown or white rice, but it won’t have the same taste or texture.
- Boneless Chicken – Use pre-cooked or leftover rotisserie chicken to make things easy. Of course, you can cook it yourself if you prefer. Just be sure to do so separately, then add it to the soup.
- Spices – A blend of curry powder, mustard powder, dried parsley, and black pepper adds warmth and excitement to the soup.
- Slivered Almonds – For a nutty, crunchy texture.
- Dry Sherry – This wine-based ingredient adds a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor.
- Half-and-Half – To add body to the creamy broth.
How to Make Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
To make this soup, just follow these five simple steps:
- Sauté the veggies. In a large saucepan, melt some butter over medium heat. Then add the veggies and cook and stir for 5 minutes until they’re slightly soft.
- Add the mushrooms. Now it’s time to add the sliced mushrooms. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.
- Make the broth. Stir the flour into the pan, then gradually pour in the chicken broth while continuously stirring. This will thicken the soup.
- Simmer on low. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer.
- Add the chicken, rice, and spices. Finally, add the rice, cubed chicken, salt, spices, almonds, sherry, and half-and-half. Let everything heat through, and you’re ready to serve!
How to Store and Reheat
Before you store chicken wild rice soup, make sure to let it cool down to room temperature.
Storing: Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep it as fresh as possible. It will last up to four days in the fridge.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this soup because it has quite a lot of dairy, which often splits in the freezer. This leads to a grainy texture when thawed.
Reheating: Reheat soup from the fridge on the stove or in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of water as it will thicken as it cools.
Tips and Variations
Since this recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken and rice, it’s important to understand how to reheat rotisserie chicken to keep it juicy.
From there, here are a few other tips and variations you might want to check out:
- Use an Instant Pot or Crock-Pot. It’s convenient and allows hands-off cooking while infusing the soup with rich, slow-cooked flavors. You can even use raw chicken and uncooked rice this way. Just add an extra cup or two of broth.
- Use ready-made mirepoix. That’s the onion, celery, and carrot mix. It’ll save you some prep time.
- Cook the rice separately to keep it from becoming soggy. If you cook the rice in the pot, it will absorb a lot of flavors, but it can also overcook and turn mushy.
- Make it gluten-free with cornstarch. Use half the amount of flour and make a slurry with water so it mixes well (3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2-3 tablespoons of water).
- Make it vegetarian. Swap the chicken with chickpeas and chicken stock with veggie stock.
- Thin out the broth for something less creamy. Skip the flour or add only half the amount.
- Add bacon for more flavor. Fry 6-8 slices of bacon and use it to garnish the soup.
- Add a Cajun twist. For a change in flavor, try adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun seasoning instead of rosemary.
- Add some greens. Throw in some spinach leaves right at the end, and they’ll wilt into the broth.
- Make it vegan. Use dairy-free milk, vegan butter, and veggie stock.
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