Chicken and Rice Soup
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Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup – a delicious, cozy meal for a cold day. This easy soup recipe is loaded with tender chicken, rice and vegetables in a flavorful broth. One of our favorite healthy soup recipes!
When the temperatures outside are frigid, there is nothing better than sitting down to a warm bowl of soup. Especially if that soup is filled with wholesome ingredients like shredded chicken, tender brown rice and veggies.
Everyone needs a classic chicken and rice soup recipe in their back pocket, and this one is made with just a few simple ingredients. This soup recipe is easy to customize based on what you have on hand. I’ll give you some suggestions and tips below.
I cannot sing this chicken and rice soup’s praises enough. The flavors are warm and comforting and it is incredibly easy to make. Your house will smell amazing as the soup simmers on the stove top.
It’s the kind of meal mom or grandma might cook for you to make you feel better when you’re sick. Dare I say I love this chicken and rice soup even more than my favorite chicken noodle soup recipes, Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup and Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup?
My whole family enjoyed this easy chicken soup with rice. This soup recipe is a keeper, friends!
How to make chicken and rice soup
You’ll start by sautéing the aromatic ingredients:
Onion, Celery and Carrots: This trio of aromatic vegetables is often called a mirepoix and is the flavor base for your soup. Sauté the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until they start to soften. This brings out their flavor. They will continue to cook and soften once you add the broth.
Garlic: Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. You want the garlic to be fragrant but not browned.
Next, you will add the remaining soup ingredients:
Dried Thyme: I love the flavor that thyme brings to this chicken rice soup. You can use fresh thyme if you have some on hand. When substituting fresh herbs for dried, use about 3 times as much of the fresh herb. You may use other seasonings, such as Italian seasoning, rosemary or parsley.
Salt and Pepper: Stir in some salt and pepper for flavor. I always err on the side of using less salt in the beginning. When your soup is done, taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Rice: This soup recipe is made with long grain brown rice. You can use white rice or wild rice instead, but you will need to adjust the cook time accordingly. The long grain brown rice takes about 35 minutes to cook in this soup. Wild rice will probably take a little longer, about 45 minutes, to cook until tender. White rice will cook faster and will take about 20 minutes. Check the directions on your package of rice to see how long it takes to cook at a simmer, and adjust the recipe cook time accordingly.
Chicken Broth: I always recommend using a reduced sodium chicken broth so that you can control the amount of salt in your soup.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: You will add the chicken breasts to the soup whole. Nestle them down into the broth. The chicken will gently poach in the broth while the rice cooks.
Simmer the soup until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
Check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached a safe 165 degrees F. Follow my easy steps for how to shred chicken and then stir the shredded chicken back into the soup.
Tips for making chicken rice soup
Can I make this soup with leftover chicken?
To make this chicken rice soup with leftover chicken, stir your cooked, shredded chicken into the soup after the rice is done cooking. Simmer for a few minutes to warm the chicken.
Can I make this soup with leftover rice?
To make this soup with leftover rice, you will stir the cooked rice into the finished soup. Simmer for a few minutes to warm the rice.
Can I add other vegetables to this soup?
Yes! Try peas, zucchini, cubes of butternut squash or chunks of potato. You would want to stir the peas in at the end. Add other veggies that need to cook and soften when you add the broth.
Can I make this soup vegetarian?
For vegetarian rice soup, substitute white beans for the chicken.
How to make chicken and rice soup ahead
You can make this soup ahead and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. The rice will soak up some of the broth and become softer. Before serving, stir in additional broth and warm on the stove.
How to make chicken and rice soup in the slow cooker
I haven’t tried this recipe in my slow cooker yet, but it is similar enough to my slow cooker wild rice vegetable soup that I think it will work well. Combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
More easy soup recipes
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 carrots (cut into ¼-inch pieces)
- 3 ribs celery (cut into ¼-inch pieces)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 cup long grain brown rice (rinsed and drained)
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth*
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- fresh chopped parsley or thyme (for serving, if desired)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the dried thyme, salt, pepper, brown rice and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Place the chicken in the pot and nestle it down into the broth.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low so that the soup is simmering but not boiling vigorously. Cover and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. (Depending on the type and brand of rice you use, the cook time will vary. Check the package directions on your rice for the stove top cook time.)
- Remove the chicken and follow my tips for how to shred chicken to shred it into bite size pieces. Stir the chicken back into the soup. Serve soup with fresh chopped parsley or thyme, if desired.
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