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Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Warm dishes on a cool day bring plenty of comfort, warming you from the inside out. This Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup fits my craving for homemade goodness with herbs, chicken, and hearty grains. The aromatic rosemary and thyme make this dish extra special, and using the IP makes it easy!

I love soup night! It’s so cheery to hold the bowl, warmth seeping through your hands. I like mine on the brothy side, but you can easily make it thicker. It’s fun to have game night with my family after having a warm, healthy meal.

I would venture to say this is better than Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup — you might like these other Panera Copycat recipes; Orange Scones (Panera Copycat), Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup and this Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup!

Creamy Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup square image, with mug of thick, rich, steaming wild rice soup on a plate with saltine crackers.

This recipe uses carrots, celery, and onion to flavor the stock, a magical combination used in famous French dishes. And I adore adding mushrooms, making this meal both hearty and earthy.

After you try this wild rice soup recipe, check out my Easy Chicken Noodle—it’s a classic, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Another family favorite is my Best Bacon Beef Minestrone with its smokey bacon, nutrient rich beans, and seasonal vegetables. 

Mug filled with Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup on a plate with buttered saltines.

I also have side dishes to mix and match with the main dish! These Sweet Brown Bread Rolls are soft and chewy with a touch of molasses, or try this 4 ingredient Beer Bread for a quick bread side. And my Maple Apple Pecan Salad is the perfect addition to Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup for a meal that’s bursting with fall flavors.

Primary Ingredients

The full measurements and instructions are in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Labeled Ingredients for creamy chicken and wild rice soup with instant pot in background.
  • Chicken Breasts | Save time by cooking these in the Instant Pot beforehand, try my friend Nikki’s recipe. Pour out the excess liquid, then start the soup without needing to wash in between! Or use shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Wild Rice | It’s important to use a true wild rice and not one mixed with white grains.
  • Carrots |  I use orange carrots, but yellow and purple ones are beautiful for this Instant Pot chicken and wild rice soup recipe.
  • Butter or Olive Oil |  Either can be used to saute your vegetables.
  • Garlic | A little goes a long way! Fresh cloves have a bolder flavor, but the jarred minced version will work in a pinch. 
  • Mushrooms | Button mushrooms are standardly used, but you can put a twist on this meal by using Shitake or Oyster mushrooms.
  • Chicken Broth | This adds loads of flavor, but vegetable broth is a suitable substitute as well! Especially if making this a vegetarian wild rice soup!
  • Seasonings | A mixture of thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and onion powder adds a unique and scrumptious flavor to this wild rice soup recipe.
Top down shot of mug with steaming chicken and wild rice soup made in the Instant Pot with buttered saltines on side of plate and mushrooms nearby.

Recommended Equipment

  • For Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Instant Pot, you will need an Instant Pot. This is the Instant Pot I use and love, works perfectly for 2-6 people.
  • For a bit more variety, you might want to try this Air Fryer Instant Pot Combination, then you have make some of these delicious Air Fryer Pretzel Bites to go along with your IP Chicken and Wild Rice Soup!
  • Do you have a knife you love? This 5″ Santoku knife is by far my favorite knife that I use for just about everything!
  • A great whisk and a sturdy wooden spoon are the only other tools you really need!

Instructions

Step 1


Set the Instant Pot to Saute, then cook the carrots, celery, and onions in butter or oil until softened. Add in garlic and mushrooms during the last minute or two, then stir around the spices and herbs to bloom.

Step 2

Stir in the wild rice, broth, and chicken (optional, wait until after cooking to add the chicken).Seal the lid and cook for 45 minutes, then do a Quick Release once the timer is up.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make a roux in a saucepan on the stove. Once the flour is dissolved and bubbly, about a minute to get rid of the flour flavor. Then whisk in the milk until the mixture has thickened.

Pour the roux sauce into the soup, mixing until well combined. Season to taste and serve!

Variations

  • Instead of IP chicken, you can substitute a rotisserie bird or leftovers from another meal, or even better, use leftover turkey!
  • For a thicker soup, decrease the amount of broth. If you love it extra thick, double the ingredients for the roux.
  • Like a thinner soup; halve the amount of the roux, omit completely (vegan) or add additional chicken or vegetable broth.
  • If you want a Vegetarian Rice Soup; replace the chicken with crumbled, sautéd tofu or white beans and use a vegetable-based broth, or omit the protein altogether. Substitute the milk and butter with a plant-based option for vegan wild rice soup.
  • Gluten-Free Wild Rice Soup, substitute the flour with an all-purpose GF blend.

TFC Pro Tips

  • Pro Tip 1 | PREP! I am a huge believer in chopping and measuring your ingredients before you get started on the recipe. It’s also helpful to read the entire recipe through. I have missed a step or done something prematurely many times!
  • Pro Tip 2 | For a more complex and rich flavor, add a ¼ cup of white wine to your Instant Pot chicken and wild rice soup.
  • Pro Tip 3 | To make it creamier, replace half of the milk with cream, or half and half.
Speckled Mug filled with Instant Pot chicken and wild rice soup, spoon on the side, buttered saltines on a plate with mushrooms in background.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a roux?

Melt the butter over a medium heat before adding in the flour, then slowly whisk in flour, whisking constantly. For about a minute or so, to cook out the flour flavor, then slowly pour in the milk (whisking constantly) until the mixture is rich and thick.

How do you know when wild rice is cooked?

Wild rice is full of nutrients, antioxidants, and protein, but it takes longer to cook than white or brown varieties. It takes about 30 minutes on High in a pressure cooker, while the stovetop method requires an hour. The individual grains pop open when they’re done.

How do I make soup in my Instant Pot?

Be sure the liquid is below the max fill line. Make the roux separately for the soup and add it last. The milk will curdle and burn on the bottom of the pan if you leave it in the Instant Pot the entire time. You might also enjoy this recipe for Potato Leek Soup also made in the Instant Pot.

Is this like Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup?

Personally, I think this recipe is better than Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Super flavorful, loaded with veggies and mushrooms in a thick, rich, healthy broth. Plus make enough for meal-prep for the cost of one bowl of soup!

Is Wild Rice actually a rice?

In spite of its obvious connection to the rice world, it is actually not a rice. It is truly a grass, but such a healthy, delicious and nutty grass that you will fall in love with this dark, long skinny wild grass, that is commonly called wild rice!

Closeup of mug filled with copycat Panera Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Stovetop Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

While this instant pot rice soup recipe is so quick; you may not have an Instant Pot, I get it.

  1. Add onions, carrots and celery to melted butter or hot oil, sautéing over medium heat until caramelized and softened. Add garlic and mushrooms in the last few minutes.
  2. Add salt, and herbs to the veggies, stir around a few seconds to bloom the spices. Then stir in wild rice, chicken if using and broth, bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook 1-2 hours until rice is softened and split open slightly.
  3. Towards the end of the wild rice cooking time; in a small skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium-heat and then whisk in flour, cooking until golden in color, about 1-2 minutes to remove the flour flavor. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Add roux to the wild rice soup mixture, add chicken if desired. Taste and adjust spices as desired.

Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above through blooming spices. Place chicken breasts (uncooked) into bottom of crockpot and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour veggies into crockpot over chicken, add wild rice and 6 cups of chicken broth. Set crockpot on low and cook, covered for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred then return to slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms in last 30 minutes of cooking. Make roux in the meantime, stirring into wild rice soup along with mushrooms.
  4. If you want to add pre-cooked chicken or leftover chicken or turkey; I suggest waiting and adding when you add the mushrooms, about 30-60 minutes before ready to eat.

More Soup & Stew Recipes

We love soups and stews in our family, they just warm you down to the bones on chilly days, or when you feel under the weather. Here are more of our favorites!

What to Serve with Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Be sure to PIN to your favorite SOUP board on Pinterest!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Square image of rustic mug filled with creamy Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, on a black plate with buttered saltine crackers.
Yield: 6-8 servings

Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup fits my craving for homemade goodness with herbs, chicken, and hearty grains. The aromatic rosemary and thyme make this dish extra special, and using the IP makes it easy!

Ingredients

  • 5 medium carrots, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder* Replace spices with 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning if desired.
  • 2 smaller chicken breasts, shredding after IP cooking*

ROUX (after cooking in IP)

  • 6 tablespoons butter or replace with plant-based butter
  • ½ cup flour (use GF if desired)
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk (may use less or plant based)
  • Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary if desired

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Preheat instant pot on Saute, high, melt butter once display reads “HOT” then saute carrots, celery and onions until soft and slightly translucent, adding the garlic and mushrooms  the last 2-3 minutes. About 7-10 minutes (may also be done on the stovetop if preferred). 
  2. Add uncooked wild rice, broth, kosher salt, thyme, rosemary, garlic and onion powder and chicken. Stir to combine. Place lid and seal steam valve. Cook on high pressure (manual, high pressure) for 45 minutes, do an immediate steam release. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the roux. In a small saucepan, melt butter then whisk in flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes while constantly mixing, this will remove the flour taste. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Mix in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.  Mix the finished roux creamy sauce with the soup in the instant pot, serve.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Add onions, carrots and celery to melted butter or hot oil, in a medium to large saucepan. Saute over medium heat until caramelized and softened. Add garlic and mushrooms in the last few minutes, about 7-10 minutes total.
  2. Add salt, and herbs to the veggies, stir around a few seconds to bloom the spices. Then stir in wild rice, chicken if using and broth, bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook 1-2 hours until rice is softened and split open slightly.
  3. Towards the end of the wild rice cooking time; in a small skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium-heat and then whisk in flour, cooking until golden in color, about 1-2 minutes to remove the flour flavor. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Add roux to the wild rice soup mixture, add chicken if desired. Taste and adjust spices as desired.

Crockpot Instructions

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above through blooming spices. Place chicken breasts (uncooked) into bottom of crockpot and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour veggies into crockpot over chicken, add wild rice, and 6 cups of chicken broth. Set crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred then return to slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms in last 30 minutes of cooking. Make roux in the meantime, stirring into wild rice soup along with mushrooms.
  4. If you want to add pre-cooked chicken, I suggest waiting and adding when you add the mushrooms, about 30-60 minutes before ready to eat.

Notes

Chicken may be added before or after pressure cooking.

  • Instead of IP chicken, you can substitute a rotisserie bird or leftovers from another meal, use leftover turkey!
  • For a thicker soup, decrease the amount of broth. If you love it extra thick, double the ingredients for the roux.
  • Like it thinner soup; halve the amount of the roux, omit completely (vegan) or add additional chicken or vegetable broth.
  • If you want a Vegetarian Rice Soup; replace the chicken with crumbled, sautéd tofu or white beans and use a vegetable-based broth, or omit the protein altogether. Substitute the milk and butter with a plant-based option for vegan.
  • Gluten-Free Wild Rice Soup, substitute the flour with an all-purpose GF blend.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 641mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g

    The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY! PIN on Pinterest and Comment on the blog!

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    Nikki Lee

    Thursday 18th of November 2021

    Yum! Perfect for cold weather.

    Kathleen Pope

    Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

    Yes it is!

    Julie Menghini

    Thursday 18th of November 2021

    I was just drooling when I came across this recipe so had to give it a try. My family just devoured it. It's so thick and creamy and what I was craving with this chilly weather.

    Kathleen Pope

    Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

    Perfect, love hearing that Julie!

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