This Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe is a cozy “comfort food” that is healthy, wholesome, and ladened with chunks of onions, celery, and carrots. Both wild and brown rice add amazing texture for a truly satisfying bowl of warmth during cold wintry evenings. A soup recipe that is both quick and super easy with only a little bit of effort required.
There are plenty of “brothy” soups out in the recipe world with lots of flavors. But if I’m gonna devour a bowl of soup, I want it to be loaded with depth and texture which this recipe provides in abundance. This chicken rice soup recipe employs large chunks of carrots, celery, and onions. When you dip your soup spoon in, you’re coming out with hunks of these veggies.
Speaking of “loaded” soups, my Homemade Chicken Noodle Recipe is filled to the brim with chunks of tender white chicken breasts. And check out this Chicken Tortilla Soup that has tons of flavor and texture as well.
- Wild Rice – this adds a nutty flavor along with a chewy texture
- Long Grain Brown Rice – because brown rice is higher in fiber, magnesium and other nutrients, it is a healthier choice than white rice. Although, you can sub for white if you prefer.
- Kosher Salt
- Yellow Onion – these onions are perfect for soups as they don’t break down as quickly as say a sweet onion. They have a more pungent flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Carrots – chopped into large chunks
- Celery Stalks – chopped into large chunks
- Garlic Cloves – with chopped or minced
- Organic Chicken Stock – I always grab chicken stock over broth. It is richer with more depth of flavor.
- Chicken breasts, Boneless and Skinless
- Petite Dice Tomatoes, Fire Roasted (I prefer Muir Glen)
- Fresh Thyme – this adds a nice fresh finish to the dish with a pop of color
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- Cook the Wild and Brown Rice together. Before you start the soup recipe, begin making the wild rice mixture using one cup each of wild rice and long-grain brown rice according to stove-top directions or in an instant pot. (see notes in recipe card for instructions.)
- Cook the Vegetables until Tender – Cook the onions, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat with one or two tablespoons of olive oil until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds to one minute. If the garlic is overcooked, it will leave an unpleasant bitter taste.
- Add Chicken Stock – Add four cups of chicken stock to the same pan which is enough to cover the vegetables and the chicken breasts that are added in the next step.
- Add Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – Make sure the chicken is covered with the stock. If not, add a little bit more to the pot. Slowly bring it back to a low boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, where you see tiny bubbles popping up.
- Cube the Chicken into Large Chunks – Remove the chicken breast and let them sit until they’re cool enough to handle. Just like my vegetables, I like large chunks of tender white meat. Some people like to shred the meat at this stage. Either works for this Chicken Wild Rice Soup.
- Add Canned Petite Diced Tomatoes – The “fire-roasted” choice is a really nice addition because it brings a savory smoky flavor to the chicken soup.
- Add the Rice Blend, Cubed Chicken, and Thyme – One of the final touches of this Wild Rice Chicken soup that increases its overall complexity and depth of texture is the cooked wild and brown rice added at the end. The final touch is the cubed cooked chicken that goes back into the stock along with two tablespoons of chopped thyme.
What is Best? Canned or fresh tomatoes
Because canned tomatoes are harvested at the peak of tomato season, these ripe tomatoes are available off-season. So when tomatoes are not in season, reach for the can on the shelf because it really is a healthy choice.
Can you use Leftover or Rotisserie Chicken?
Yes! Just make sure and add it last when you add the rice, otherwise, it can become tough and dry.
Can You Make this Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe Ahead of Time?
Soup in general is ideal to make in advance. It seems to always taste better on the second day.
- To store in the Refrigerator. Make sure the soup is completely cooled to room temperature and then you can place the entire pot in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.
- To store in the Freezer. This soup freezes wonderfully. Again, let it cool completely then ladle it into a larger airtight container or freezer bags that lay flat in the freezer. It can be stored there for up to three months.
Chicken Rice Soup Variations
- Use Different Grains Instead of the wild rice blend, substitute 3 cups of cooked orzo (this is pasta that looks like a grain) instead. If you wanted to make it even heartier you can use cooked barley or farro with the same measurements.
- Make it Creamy. Make a roux for thickening the soup. Melt one-half cup of butter in a saucepan. Whisk in one-half cup of all-purpose flour and stir until smooth and let it bubble for one minute. Slowly whisk in one and a half cups of whole milk, and cook until it becomes thick and creamy. Add this to the broth before the rice and chicken.
What to Serve with this recipe
- Bread is always a great choice. My Homemade Dinner Rolls are soft and pillowy and would be perfect alongside this soup. Or for convenience’s sake, grab a loaf of french bread or whole-grain bread at the grocery store. Heat, slice and serve.
- A side salad – Simple is the idea here. There’s a lot going on in this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe, so a light Cesear salad would be perfect.
Is This Chicken Wild Rice Soup Good for You?
- Both types of rice, wild and brown, provide a superb source of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. So not only does it add the texture and flavor that we love, but the health benefits are amazing and well worth the extra work.
- The veggies included in this recipe have so many health benefits. Not only do they provide bold flavors and great aroma, but they are also a wonderful source of many vitamins and antioxidants. The vegetables in this recipe are heart-healthy ones and help boost your immune system while fighting inflammation.
And there you have it – a rewarding, soul-gratifying soup that will add some warmth to your life during these long cold evenings. Right here is a pan of cozy comfort that is soooooo simple and promises to hit that hunger spot in your belly. Give it a try! I guarantee this Chicken Soup with Rice Recipe will be in your meal rotation this winter.
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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe
A cozy “comfort food” soup that is both healthy, wholesome and ladened with chunks of onions, celery, and carrots. Both wild and brown rice add amazing texture for a truly satisfying bowl of warmth during these wintry evenings that are upon us.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 cups 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Wild Rice Mixture
- 1 cup Wild Rice, rinsed
- 1 cup Long Grain Brown Rice, rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 large Sweet Onion, chopped in large chunks
- 5 large Carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 5 Celery Stalks, sliced in large chunks
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Group Pepper, to taste
- 6 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 4 cups of Organic Chicken Stock (1 quart)
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless, Chicken Breasts
- 2 – 14 ounce cans Petite Dice Tomatoes, Fire Roasted (I prefer Muir Glen)
- Cooked Wild Rice from Instant Pot (see above)
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Thyme, chopped
Wild Rice Blend
- Add 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup long grain brown rice, 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to an instant pot.
- Securely lock the lid and use the [-] button to set 35 minutes of pressure cooking time. Make sure the valve is set to the sealing position.
- When the time is up, use the 10-minute natural pressure release.
Wild Rice Chicken Soup
- Heat a Dutch Oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the oil and swirl around the pan.
- Add 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion, 5 large carrots (large chunks), and 5 stalks of celery (large chunks).
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook the veggies until almost tender and the onion is somewhat translucent for approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Stir for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Add 4 cups of organic chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Season again (to taste) with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
- Add 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the stock and veggies. Make sure the liquid covers the chicken. Bring to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160°F.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the stock with tongs.
- Cube the chicken into large chunks when cool enough to handle. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Continue to simmer the vegetables until they are fully tender (5-10 minutes).
- Add two 14 ounces cans of petite diced tomatoes (fire roasted), the wild and brown rice from the instant pot (approx. 4-5 cups), cubed chicken, and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme.
- Taste and see if the soup needs more seasoning. Salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- Stir everything together and heat to desired serving temperature.
- How to cook the rice. Using the Stove Top Method, combine one cup each of wild and brown rice, three and a half cups of water, and one teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on (no peeking) for 45 minutes. If the rice is not tender, continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Chicken stock is made from the bony parts of the chicken and is richer and fuller in flavor because of gelatin that is released into the stock from a long-simmering of the bones. You can make your own by using a leftover chicken carcass and adding a variety of veggies in your fridge that need to be used up.
- You could use bone-in and skin-on, which could contribute to more flavor in the end, but it adds more cooking time.
- You want to gently cook the chicken, not too high, not too fast and not too long. Overcooked chicken is rubbery and tough. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F.
- Many times when simmering chicken, it can release on top of the stock a white foam and “scum” which is not scum at all. It is actually denatured protein (like that of egg whites). It can be visually unappealing at this stage but is harmless and flavorless. A good portion can be skimmed from the top with a small wire sieve. By the time the soup is finished though, it’s not even visible.
- Because canned tomatoes are harvested at the peak of tomato season, you get the ripest tomatoes available off-season. Where I live, it’s pretty much impossible to get a locally vine-riped tomato beyond October. Picked green and shipped long distances to my grocery store’s produce section, those tomatoes have now become a flavorless imposter of the real deal. So go for the can on the shelf because it really is healthier.
- You can use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken as a substitute. Add it after the cooked wild rice has been added to the pot.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 357
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 1061 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 49 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 31 g
- Cholesterol: 65 mg
Keywords: chicken and wild rice soup, chicken wild rice soup, chicken soup with rice, chicken rice soup recipe
This is so pretty I could just keep looking at the photos! I love that you included wild rice along with brown rice. Both healthy, and have such great texture! Happy 2020!
Kristy Murray says
Awwww! Happy 2020 to you as well!! Thanks for your kind comments. I am desperately needing some “healthiness” in my life right now.
I love combining brown and wild rice! I make a brown/wild rice salad every Christmas, mixed with some chopped spring onion, craisins and orange juice – it’s marvellous. This reminds me of it and looks so delicious. I am bookmarking to make it when the weather cools down a little here. Thanks so much for sharing!
Kristy Murray says
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment Katerina. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the soup if you end up making it. Also, your “Christmas” salad sounds divine with craisins and orange juice. Yuuu-uuum!
Kristy, you are speaking my language! This is soooo my kind of meal! Your recipe looks so healthy, hearty, and delicious. This is a great one for making a huge pot of, freezing some for that mid-week week dinner jam and having for dinner or lunch with the family during the busy week!
Kristy Murray says
Awwww! Your so sweet Carrie. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I do love the idea of freezing this for a mid-week dinner.
Jeff the Chef says
Wow, this soup is gorgeous! And I love all its wonderful ingredients.
Kristy Murray says
Oh! Thanks Jeff. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. This Wild Rice Soup is a favorite of my soup recipes.
Chunks of chicken and loaded with vegetables along with wild rice make this soup a definite keeper. Thanks for sharing.
Wow! This is SO packed full of vegetables and I love that you’re using wild rice! Healthy comfort food at its very best!
David @ Spiced says
We were literally just talking about chicken and wild rice soup earlier this week. It was chilly one night at Robbie’s soccer practice, and I said I could go for a bowl of soup. This is definitely going on the menu here soon!!
I am so pleased to have found this site and especially this recipe! My husband always says that soups don’t have enough “stuff” to chew on, so when we finally get a chilly spell here I am planning to make this our first meal. Thank you!
Kristy Murray says
Nikki, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so happy that you found my site and especially this Chicken Wild Rice Soup. I’m so with your husband on the soup opinion. Happy Fall!