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Panera Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

This copycat Panera chicken noodle soup recipe is super comforting and hearty! It’s packed with tender rotisserie chicken and veggies, and best of all, it’s ready in 30 minutes! Not to mention, this Panera soup recipe is just as good as the restaurant’s!

top shot of a bowl of Panera Bread chicken noodle soup.

Copycat Panera chicken noodle soup

I don’t know about you, but the Panera chicken noodle soup hits the spot when I want something warm and comforting.

But instead of driving to Panera – which can take a long time since it’s always busy – I created this Panera chicken noodle soup copycat recipe. And honestly, I think I like this even better than the original!

It’s super simple to put together. You can cook a meal for 8 people in as quick as 30 minutes! It’s made with simple ingredients and only takes about 10 minutes of active prep time.

Once you’ve tried this copycat soup recipe, I’m sure it’ll become a part of your regular soup rotation.

For the full Panera experience, make these Panera cranberry orange muffins to go with the soup, and then these Panera chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

Panera chicken noodle ingredients.

Panera soup ingredients

My copycat Panera Bread chicken noodles soup uses essentially the same ingredients that you’d find in a classic chicken noodle soup recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact measurements.

  • Rotisserie chicken: Using a store-bought rotisserie chicken is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to go. It’s already cooked and will save you some time. You can also use leftover cooked chicken.
  • Noodles: Panera uses curly egg noodles for the soup, but the great thing is that any short pasta will work (such as farfalle, elbow macaroni, rotini, and penne pasta).
  • Chicken broth: Use high-quality chicken broth from the carton or homemade chicken stock. I recommend using a low-sodium broth to control the soup’s overall saltiness.
  • Onion adds excellent flavor to the base of the soup. Yellow and white onions will work here.
  • Carrots add aromatic sweetness. Peel and slice the carrots.
  • Celery adds great texture to the soup.
  • Unsalted butter helps sauté and caramelize the vegetables and gives the broth richness.
  • Fresh thyme brings a warm, woodsy note to the soup.
  • Dried bay leaves introduce subtle flavors of pine and black pepper.
  • Salt + black pepper impart delicious flavor to the soup.
  • Better-Than-Bouillon: Adding a little chicken-flavored Better-Than-Bouillon enhances the chicken flavor to absolute perfection.

How to make Panera chicken noodle soup

My Panera chicken soup recipe comes together quickly and effortlessly with a few steps. And in less than 30 minutes, you will have a wholesome dinner on the table!

step 1 sauté vegetables.

1: Sauté the vegetables

  • Add butter, diced onion, carrots, and celery to a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  • Sauté for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
step 2 add chicken broth.

2: Add the chicken broth

  • Pour the broth into the pot. Season with salt (definitely taste the broth before adding more salt), pepper, bay leaves, and thyme.
  • You can also add a small spoonful of “better than bullion” chicken to bring out the chicken aroma.
  • Put the lid on and bring the broth to a rolling boil.
step 3 cook noodles.

3: Cook the noodles

  • Once boiling, add noodles and cook just until noodles are al dente.
  • Be careful not to overcook the pasta – you don’t want it mushy! Remove the pot from heat as soon as the noodles are just barely tender – they will continue to cook off the stove.
step 3 stir in chicken.

4: Stir in the chicken & serve

  • Add the chicken meat from the rotisserie chicken. Taste the soup again and add more seasonings as needed.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of herbs. Serve the soup hot and hand roasted bread or dinner rolls if desired. Enjoy!
step 5 serve chicken chicken soup.

Tips

With these simple-to-use tips, you will have one fantastic Panera chicken noodle soup recipe!

  • Use a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven because it distributes the heat more evenly and creates a better soup.
  • Additional seasonings: There are a lot of herbs and spices that you can add to this soup, so feel free to get creative. I love adding rosemary, oregano, parsley, lemon slices, or garlic for extra flavor.
  • Sautéing the veggies is important to develop flavor, so don’t hurry this step: The onion and carrots soften and caramelize as they cook, releasing their fragrant aromas and building the flavorful backdrop of the soup.
  • Deglaze the veggies: Pouring the chicken broth into the pot lifts the caramelized, brown bits off the bottom. This is called deglazing and amplifies the incredible taste of your Panera chicken soup.
  • Avoid overcooking the noodles: If you want to prepare this soup ahead of time, the only thing you need to worry about is the egg noodles. They will soak up the liquid over time and become soggy. The soup cooks really fast, so I would add the noodles when you’re ready to serve it and are warming it up.

Serving suggestions

I like serving this copycat chicken noodle soup with bread or rolls to dunk into that rich, golden broth. Homemade garlic bread, cornbread, and crunchy crackers are also delicious dunkers!

  • Garnish: Sprinkle your soup with fresh parsley and thyme leaves right before serving. I also like to top the soup with grated parmesan cheese for a cheesy twist.
  • Serving tip: As the soup sits, the noodles will continue to absorb broth. Simply add more broth to adjust the texture.
pot of Panera chicken soup.

Store & reheat

Store Panera chicken noodle soup

Panera Bread chicken soup is just as delicious the next day. You can make this in advance and have a delicious dinner ready on busy nights.

  • Store: Once the soup has cooled down to room temperature, put the leftovers in an airtight container with a secure lid to store in the refrigerator.
  • How long does it last? It will keep for 3 to 4 days, depending on the freshness of the chicken used.
  • Tip: When homemade chicken soup cools, a layer of fat can form on the top. You can either skim the fat off or reheat the soup and it will melt right back into the broth.

Reheat chicken noodle soup

  • Stove: Reheat the soup in a pot or saucepan with a lid on the stove on medium heat for 5 minutes or until it reaches your desired temperature.
  • Microwave: You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed through.

Freeze Panera chicken noodle soup

This Panera bread soup recipe is great for making ahead or cooking a double batch and freezing.

  • Freeze: Let the soup cool completely. Then store it in a freezer-friendly container for 2 to 3 months.
  • Defrost: When you’re ready to eat, thaw the soup overnight in the fridge, or over medium heat on the stove.
  • Tip: If you plan to freeze the soup ahead of time, I recommend undercooking the noodles before freezing the soup to avoid the pasta getting soggy when reheating.
side shot of copycat Panera chicken noodle soup.

FAQ

How do you shred a rotisserie chicken?

It is easier to shred the chicken while it’s warm to the touch (obviously not sizzling hot). Shredding a cold-from-the-fridge chicken is a little messier. Either way, this is what you’ll want to do:

1. Break the chicken into parts and begin to separate the good meat from the skin and bones. Discard the bones.
2. Peel off most of the skin but leave any excess fat – that fat will make the soup extra nourishing.
3. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart and shred the chicken.
4. Some shops sell pre-shredded rotisserie chicken, but it costs more than buying a whole chicken and shredding it yourself.

Can I use raw chicken to make the soup?

Yes! You can use raw chicken breast, thighs, or tenders to make Panera soup at home. Add them right at step 3 when you bring the broth to a boil. Then cook for about 5 to 8 minutes before adding the noodles.

The cooking time will vary depending on the type of chicken you use. Tenders are ready after 4 to 5 minutes, chicken breast needs 5 to 6 minutes, and chicken thighs require 7 to 8 minutes.

Is Panera chicken noodle soup healthy?

Yes! Panera bread chicken noodle soup is made with chicken, carrots, and celery, which are all loaded with vitamins and nutrients making it pretty healthy.

However, homemade Panera Bread chicken soup is even healthier since you’re using all fresh ingredients.

More soup recipes

Homemade soup makes a tasty starter or main course any time of the year. It’s flavorful and nutritious. Here are a few of our favorite soup recipes we can’t live without.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

Panera chicken noodle soup recipe.

Panera Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This copycat Panera chicken noodle soup recipe is super comforting and hearty! It's packed with tender rotisserie chicken and veggies, and best of all, it's ready in 30 minutes! Not to mention, this Panera soup recipe is just as good as the restaurant's!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped (white or yellow)
  • 6 cups / 1.4 l / 48 fl oz chicken broth (or chicken stock)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Better-Than-Bouillon (chicken flavor)
  • 6 cups / 300 g / 10.5 oz curly egg noodles
  • 3 cups / 420 g / 15 oz rotisserie chicken, shredded

Instructions

  1. Sauté vegetables. Add butter, diced onion, carrots, and celery to a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken broth. Pour the broth into the pot. Season with salt (definitely taste the broth before adding more salt), pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. You can also add a small spoonful of "better than bullion" chicken to bring out the chicken aroma.
  3. Bring to a boil. Put the lid on and bring the broth to a rolling boil.
  4. Add noodles. Once boiling, add noodles and cook just until noodles are al dente. Be careful not to overcook the pasta – you don't want it mushy! Remove the pot from heat as soon as the noodles are just barely tender - they will continue to cook off the stove.
  5. Stir in chicken. Add the chicken meat from the rotisserie chicken. Taste the soup again and add more seasonings as needed.
  6. Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of herbs. Serve the soup hot and hand roasted bread or dinner rolls if desired. Enjoy!
  7. Store. Store leftover chicken noodle soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, depending on the freshness of the chicken you used.

Notes

Chicken

Using a store-bought rotisserie chicken is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to go. It's already cooked and will save you some time. You can also use leftover cooked chicken.

You can also use raw chicken breast, thighs, or tenders to make Panera soup at home. Add them right at step 3 when you bring the broth to a boil. Then cook for about 5 to 8 minutes before adding the noodles.

The cooking time will vary depending on the type of chicken you use. Tenders are ready after 4 to 5 minutes, chicken breast needs 5 to 6 minutes, and chicken thighs require 7 to 8 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1272mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g

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