Chicken and Rice Soup

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A chicken broth based soup chock-full with good for you vegetables, shredded chicken, rice, and seasonings. A hearty, healthy, and delicious soup. via chelseasmessyapron.com

Hearty, nutritious, and flavor-packed Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with veggies and can be prepared in one pot!

Serve this soup with some dinner rolls and this quick balsamic-dressed chicken spinach salad (just leave the chicken off the salad, since there’s plenty in the soup).

 

Overhead image of Chicken and Rice Soup in a bowl, with a spoon in it.

Chicken and Rice Soup

While I adore a good chicken-noodle soup (this creamy chicken tortellini is a personal favorite), it’s fun to swap out the pasta for rice. Chicken and Rice Soup is thick and hearty, with crisp tender veggies, firm chewy rice, and juicy shredded chicken.

It’s lightly seasoned with dried Italian herbs and flavored with a robust chicken broth. Plus, this soup is quick to make, relatively hands-off, and all prepared in one pot.

There are few things better than dunking a crusty piece of bread in this soup and topping your bowl with some finely grated Parmesan cheese — yum!

Process shots-- Images of the veggies being sautéed; seasonings being added; chicken broth being added; and everything being brought to a simmer.

Chicken and Rice Soup shortcuts

  • Rotisserie chicken saves lots of time. First of all, it is already seasoned, which helps us cut down on the herbs and spices we add to this soup. It’s also (of course) pre-cooked and perfectly tender. To save even more time, you can often purchase shredded rotisserie chicken meat at most grocery stores.
  • To save yourself chopping time, buy some mirepoix (also called soup starter). Lots of stores sell pre-chopped mirepoix (a French term for diced onion, carrot, and celery) in the produce section of the store. If you’re in a hurry, pick up that fresh-chopped mirepoix, or you can even use frozen mirepoix in Chicken and Rice Soup.
  • To save chopping time, use jarred garlic or a garlic press: Instead of mincing your own garlic, you can use jarred to save time. Alternatively, a garlic press gets you fresh minced garlic in a fraction of the time that hand mincing takes.

QUICK TIP

Make sure to cut all the veggies into small, even; this ensures even and quicker cooking.

Variation ideas

  • While cooking the onion, carrot, and celery, add in a diced sweet pepper.
  • Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on individual bowls for some heat.
  • Replace the frozen peas with frozen corn or coarsely chopped frozen broccoli.
  • For a hit of tang and freshness, add in some freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Side dishes to serve alongside this soup

Process shots-- images of the chicken, peas, and parsley being added; and then the soup being served in a bowl and garnished.

Chicken and Rice Soup storage

This chicken and rice soup is best eaten the same day it’s made. When stored, the rice continues to absorb liquid, so it bloats, and becomes overly soft (it also continues to take on the broth making the soup turn into a thick stew). If you aren’t planning on enjoying this soup the same day it’s made, I recommend either cooking the rice separately (more on this below) or halving the recipe. 

Because the rice continues to take on liquid, this soup isn’t a great candidate for freezing or thawing. 

Cooking the rice separately 

To cook the rice separately: reduce the broth to 1 carton of chicken broth and follow the directions below for cooking basmati rice:

  • Measure the rice and rinse it in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
  • Place that rice in a bowl and cover it with water to soak for about 5-10 minutes.
  • While the rice is soaking, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, drain the rice and add it to the pot.
  • Cook without reducing the heat, for 5 minutes (taste and test to make sure it is tender) and then drain and fluff with a fork.

Simply add a few spoonfuls of cooked rice into individual soup bowls.

 

Overhead image of Chicken and Rice Soup in a bowl, ready to be eaten.

QUICK TIP

A good chicken broth adds so much flavor to this chicken and rice soup; homemade is the best, and as far as store-bought goes, I love Swanson’s® broth (not sponsored).

More Soup Recipes

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Chicken and Rice Soup

4.67 from 3 votes
Hearty, nutritious, and flavor-packed Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with veggies and can be prepared in one pot!
Print Recipe

Chicken and Rice Soup

4.67 from 3 votes
Hearty, nutritious, and flavor-packed Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with veggies and can be prepared in one pot!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken and Rice Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 181kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (~140g) EACH: diced yellow onion, diced carrot, diced celery (1 onion, 3 celery stalks, 2-3 large carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (~2-3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt, freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 containers (32 oz.; 907g EACH) chicken stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup (177g) rice (I use basmati rice)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (265g) prepared rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup (130g) frozen peas
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • VEGGIES: In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, 7-9 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender. Veggies shouldn't be browning; reduce the heat if they are.
  • CHICKEN: Meanwhile, pull the chicken from the bones and shred or chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • SEASONINGS: Add the seasonings to the veggies: Italian seasoning, chicken bouillon powder, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, salt and pepper. (Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/4 teaspoon each but adjust depending on saltiness of broth and bouillon powder). Stir seasonings for 30 seconds.
  • RICE: Pour in the two containers of chicken broth and add in the bay leaf. Bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the rice and return to a boil. Cover pan, reduce the heat to low (soup should be simmering), and cook for 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • FINISHING: Once rice is tender, stir in chicken and peas to warm through, 2-3 more minutes. Season to taste with any additional salt and pepper if needed. Top with minced, fresh parsley (I add 3 tablespoons) fresh thyme and Parmesan cheese to individual bowls, if desired.
  • STORAGE: Best enjoyed the same day it is made or the rice tends to bloat. (See Note 1)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This soup is best eaten the same day it’s made. When stored, the rice continues to absorb liquid, so it bloats, and becomes overly soft (it also continues to take on the broth making the soup turn into a thick stew). If you aren’t planning on enjoying this soup the same day it’s made, I recommend either cooking the rice separately or halving the recipe. 
Note 2: To cook the rice separately: reduce the broth to 1 carton of chicken broth and follow the directions below for cooking basmati rice:
  • Measure the rice and rinse it in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
  • Place that rice in a bowl and cover it with water to soak for about 5-10 minutes.
  • While the rice is soaking, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, drain the rice and add it to the pot.
  • Cook without reducing the heat, for 5 minutes (taste and test to make sure it is tender) and then drain and fluff with a fork.
  • Simply add a few spoonfuls of cooked rice into individual soup bowls.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 6servings | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.3g | Protein: 7.1g | Fat: 6.7g | Cholesterol: 10.5mg | Sodium: 311mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 6.3g

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18 Comments

  1. I love the step by step photos for this recipe; it looks delicious! Yes there are a lot of thing I love about winter but I’m going to admit, soup is top on the list!!

  2. This soup looks beautiful, Chelsea! I just love the colors of all those veggies. It looks so cozy! Thankfully, I think winter is done where I am, but I would still totally curl up with some blankets and a bowl of this soup. 🙂

  3. I love soup especially during the cold winter months and this one looks delicious Chelsea! Loving all the bright veggies packed in here and a big hot steaming bowl of this is just perfect for a snowy day like today 🙂 Hope you are all staying warm in this weather:)

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