This easy chicken and rice soup is a nourishing meal made with chicken, tender vegetables, rice and a flavorful broth. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner!
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Chicken Rice Soup
This dish has all the same flavors as my chicken and rice, but in soup form! It’s the first soup recipe that I crave whenever I’m sick and on a cold day it’s a comfort food meal like homemade chicken pot pie with amazing flavor.
This homemade chicken and rice soup recipe is a variation of my favorite chicken soup from The I Heart Naptime Cookbook. It’s made in one pot and is so delicious when served with homemade rolls or a warm piece of french bread or garlic bread.
Fresh and flavorful ingredients come together to create a hearty and comforting soup. Plus, this soup is gluten-free and dairy-free!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Chicken: This soup comes together in a flash, thanks to the pre-cooked leftover cooked chicken breast.
- Onion, Carrots, Celery, Garlic: Is it possible to make a chicken soup without these key ingredients? I don’t think I want to find out because they add so much flavor and depth to the broth.
- Lemon juice: Just a little acid to lighten and highlight the other ingredients.
- Thyme: This fresh herb adds such a nice brightness to the soup and helps balance out the veggies.
- Broth: I use chicken broth or stock and a little water as the base of this soup. You can even make it with homemade turkey stock, if you’d like.
- Rice: Long-grain white rice is what I typically use, but you can opt for a different kind (just be aware the cook time will be different). I recommend to use a high quality rice brand to prevent it from getting a mushy texture.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
I love that this recipe can be whipped up in just one large soup pot. I like to cook it in a dutch oven on the stove, but you can cook make slow cooker chicken rice soup as well.
- Saute. Start by sautéing the veggies and garlic in a large pot until fragrant.
- Boil. Then pour in the broth, water, lemon juice and seasonings. I usually start with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and taste at the end. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer. Mix in the rice and then place the lid on the pot. Let the soup simmer until the rice is cooked through (usually about 10 to 20 minutes). Then mix in the chicken and add more seasonings as needed.
Crock Pot Method
A question I am frequently asked is if this chicken rice soup can be made in the crock pot, and yes, it absolutely can be made in your slow cooker!
Just like my chicken noodle soup in the crockpot wait to add the rice the last hour of cooking. You can also pre-cook the rice and then dump it in the soup right before serving. You just don’t want to add it in at the beginning as it will absorb all the liquid and become mushy.
- Type of rice. I like to use long grain rice, however you could also use brown or wild rice. Just make sure to check the rice packaging and adjust the cooking time accordingly (you do not want to overcook it). Long grain rice usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook, whereas brown rice takes about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Leftover rice. You can use leftover cooked rice instead of cooking it in the soup if preferred. Simply mix it in during the last minute of cooking and use 1 cup less broth than the recipe calls for.
- Chicken. I like to use rotisserie chicken for convenience. If you want to cook the chicken in the soup, you can add in raw chicken breast or chicken thighs that are cut into bite sized cubes when you add the rice. Just make sure it’s cooked through completely before serving.
- Flavor boosters: Make this chicken rice soup recipe your own by adding some additional flavor enhancers. In addition to thyme try basil, parsley, oregano and dried mustard powder. A dash of hot sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and some fresh parsley before serving can also add a boost!
This chicken rice soup has onions, carrots, celery, rice, lemon and chicken along with great seasonings.
No! A lot of chicken soup with rice recipes may have you cook the rice separately, but you don’t need to do that. Save yourself some extra dishes and cook the rice in the hot chicken broth right in the soup. It will soak up all the tasty flavors as it cooks and gets soft.
This dish would also taste great using orzo pasta instead of rice, similar to my lemon chicken orzo soup. Orzo cooks a bit faster than rice, which will make this recipe even more quick to make.
Yes, you could add a can of white beans or light kidney beans. You could also try making my crockpot white chicken chili.
When freezing this soup, I’d recommend leaving out the rice. It has a tendency to get mushy in the freezer. When reheating, simply prepare the rice separately and then mix it in right before serving.
The soup will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. After sitting overnight, it will absorb more liquid and thicken up a bit. So feel free to add another can of broth if needed when reheating.
I only recommend freezing the soup if you have not added the rice. Frozen, thawed and then reheated rice doesn’t hold up well in the soup and it will be mushy.
More Soup Recipes
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock , plus more as needed
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme , or 3/4 teaspoon ground thyme (more to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice , more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste
- ¾ cup long grain rice
- 2 ½ cups cooked chicken breast
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté about 3 minutes and stir in the garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the chicken broth, water, thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the rice and cover pot with a lid. Simmer 10 20 minutes, or until the the rice is almost cooked through. Stir in the chicken. Add more lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper, if needed. Cook just until the rice is tender.
- Remove soup from heat. Serve while hot.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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