This creamy chicken and wild rice soup is loaded with shredded chicken, veggies, rice and bacon. The perfect way to warm up on a cold day! This chicken and rice soup is my take on the Panera Bread favorite, with a few twists to make it my own.
Chicken soup is one of those meals that’s just irresistible. It’s easy, flavorful and comes in so many varieties. Nothing is better on a chilly winter night than chicken soup! This chicken and wild rice soup is rich, hearty and the ultimate comfort food. It also happens to be easy to make!
How do you make chicken and wild rice soup?
The first step to making this soup is to cook up some bacon. The bacon gets reserved to sprinkle over the finished soup, and the veggies are cooked in the bacon grease for added flavor. After the vegetables are tender, flour is added as a thickener along with chicken, broth and wild rice. The chicken, rice and veggies all cook together in a creamy broth until all the flavors have blended. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of the reserved bacon and fresh parsley. This chicken soup is hearty enough to serve on its own, or it’s great with a side of bread or green salad.
Tips for chicken and wild rice soup
- I typically roast up a few bone-in, skin on chicken breasts to use in this recipe. You can also use chicken thighs, leftover chicken, or even rotisserie chicken.
- I use a wild rice blend that contains long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, black rice and wild rice. It’s the perfect blend of flavors and textures.
- Chicken and wild rice soup can be made ahead of time. Prepare the recipe as directed, but omit the rice and cream. Refrigerate the soup for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 1 month. Add the rice and cream into the soup after the soup has been reheated.
- I typically use low sodium chicken broth so that the end product isn’t overly salty.
DO YOU COOK RICE BEFORE ADDING IT TO SOUP?
I prefer to cook my wild rice before I add it to this soup because rice is notorious for absorbing a ton of liquid and can easily get overly soft. If you stir already cooked rice into the soup right before serving, the rice will absorb very little liquid and won’t be mushy.
How long does it take to cook wild rice?
It takes up to 45 minutes to cook the wild rice for this soup, so plan accordingly! I often cook a double batch of rice the night before, then use half for that day’s dinner and half for this soup the following night.
I used to order this soup at Panera Bread all the time until I realized how easy it is to make at home! It’s the perfect twist on a classic chicken soup that’s sure to please both the adults and kids in your family.
More soup recipes
- Ham Bone Soup
- Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Tortellini Soup with Sausage
- Mexican Meatball Soup
- Farro Soup with Meatballs
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled, halved and sliced
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cup flour
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon, and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy and browned.
- Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve for later.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery to the bacon fat in the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until just tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour to the vegetables, stirring to coat the vegetables evenly. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the chicken broth to the pot, whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the chicken and rice to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
- Add the cream to the pot and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley.
- Serve the soup immediately, topped with the reserved bacon.
- Any cooked chicken will work here - rotisserie, leftover chicken, whatever you have on hand!
- I used a wild rice blend that had the long black rice, brown rice and red rice in the mix.
This post was originally published on January 3, 2018 and was updated on December 16,2019 with new content.