Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup {Panera Copycat and Gluten Free}

by Katie on February 12, 2013

Are you a fan of Panera? We enjoy eating there occasionally. My husband always gets their Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup and I always get their Creamy Tomato Soup (because they don’t have too many GF options). I like the Tomato Soup, but I’m always jealous I can’t have his Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup…it always looks so good!

Since the new year, we have CUT eating out drastically. It’s really been kind of nice! I decided that I would try to recreate some of our favorite dishes at home and make them gluten free – {plus we are saving money and calories all at the same time!}.

Seriously, a whole POT of soup costs the same as a BOWL of soup in a bread bowl at Panera. Kinda insane when you think about it.  Okay, really insane.

I found this recipe at For the Love of Cooking. I changed it up a little to suit what we had on hand and we both loved it! It’s packed full of flavor and makes such a warm comforting dinner.

It’s a keeper, for sure!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup {Like Panera's}

Cream Chicken and Rice Soup {Gluten Free}

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, stir, and let cook about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the chicken broth, rice, chicken, basil, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Turn up the heat to boil the soup. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and the evaporated milk. Add the milk mixture to the pot of soup. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. (Soup will begin to thicken)

How do you feel about the cost of eating out rather than making things at home?

Have you found a happy medium between the two?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherie February 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

OK….even tho Chuck is NOT much of a soup guy…..we ARE going to have this…I LOOOVE soups and could eat them EVERY day in the winter time!!!

This looks SOOOO good!!! And to ruin all the wholesome goodness of it…I can just SEE
it with a little pile of shredded cheese on top!!! LOL


Katie February 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

I think that if you are doing the cooking…sometimes there has to be compromise and you need to make something YOU love…even if it’s not the husband’s favorite (assuming that he doesn’t HATE it). Daniel is not a huge fan of mashed potatoes, but every great once in a while I make them and if he doesn’t want them he can load up on veggies and meat.

Now that’s some great marriage advice, huh?LOL!

And yes, cheese would be great on the soup!


Cherie February 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

P.S. That pic of the Nutty Buddy cake on the side is KILLING me!!! I WAAANNNT some!!!!


Katie February 13, 2013 at 10:34 am

I know…I don’t know why I did that ;) Silly me.


Cheryl February 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for this! Looks delicious. I love Panera! My husband – not so much – exactly because of the price point you mentioned. I bought the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand today and I can’t wait to try this. Unfortunately we had soup for dinner last night so I’ll have to wait a few days. My toddler and soup can be a frustrating combination… It’s best to space it out a little. :)


Katie February 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

Hi Cheryl! Yes, Panera is definitely pricey for the amount you get…and for a guy it’s not a lot of food! I hope you guys enjoy the soup when you get to make it :)


Cheryl February 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Thanks again Katie. We had this Cream Chicken and Rice soup last weekend and it was delicious! I just pinned it to share the love.


Katie February 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Cheryl, thanks for pinning and feedback…I appreciate it :)


Cherie February 15, 2013 at 9:38 am

Made it!!!! Chuck really liked it too!!! I made toasted Italian bread to go with it…and YES…..I put CHEEEEEESE on mine!!! DEE-LISH-US!!!!


Katie February 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

Yay! I’m glad you guys like it! I will have to try putting cheese on it next time :)


Katie @ FS&I January 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Made this tonight and it was delicious! We didn’t miss the gluten at all! I used 1 cup of rice, but I should have added a little more broth to make up for what the rice soaked up. It was still yummy, just not very soupy. The kids topped it with cheese and some little oyster crackers, I topped it with a little cheese and hubby ate it as is!

The whole family gave it a thumbs up (which is a rare thing)! Thanks for sharing!

Food, Sweat & Inspiration


Katie January 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Hi Katie! I’m glad you guys enjoyed the soup and that you didn’t miss the gluten :)
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Cynthia July 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

I have a simple question. I do not have a dutch oven can I just cook this on the stove or in the crockpot and would I follow the same directions?


Katie July 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi Cynthia! I would just use a stock pot or a large saucepan…or whatever you would normally use to cook soup! I’m not sure about the crock pot because I haven’t tried that.
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