Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
This hearty Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with healthy ingredients like vegetables, rice, and chicken in a flavorful Chicken Stock. It will be on your regular rotation in no time.
We love homemade chicken soups from classic Chicken Noodle Soup to Chicken Tortilla Soup. If you enjoy comforting chicken soups, this Chicken and Rice Soup recipe checks every box.
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What is Chicken and Rice Soup?
Chicken and rice soup is a healthy soup made with an aromatic vegetable base of onion, carrot, and celery. It’s very similar to chicken noodle soup but uses rice instead of pasta. The chicken breast is added to the broth and cooked until the chicken is tender and easy to shred (see the pro-tip below to ensure juicy chicken in your soup every time). This soup is ready in under an hour with 15 minutes of prep and just over 30 minutes of cook time.
As with most of our recipes, this chicken rice soup uses simple ingredients that are usually in your pantry and refrigerator. There’s no need to run to the store for an extra special ingredient with this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need (scroll down for exact measurements in the print-friendly recipe card below).
- Veggies – Onion, carrot, and celery are the trifecta base ingredients in a good soup. Add any of your favorite vegetables to the soup, making sure to cut them into evenly sized pieces first.
- Oil – Olive oil (or avocado oil) is used to saute the aromatics.
- Chicken – Bone-in or boneless chicken breast or thighs work wonderfully in this recipe. Chicken thighs are actually often said to have more flavor.
- Chicken broth – Use homemade chicken stock for best results, but store-bought chicken broth will work in a pinch. A good broth can make all the difference, so get a good quality one if using store-bought.
- Rice – No need to cook the rice before adding it to the soup. Instead, use uncooked rice. Use brown rice for a more nutritious version, but be aware that brown rice does take longer to cook compared to white rice.
- Spices – Add a few bay leaves, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Herbs – Garnish with fresh dill, parsley, or any of your favorite soup herbs.
Pro Tip: Use up any leftover Roast Chicken or rotisserie chicken in this soup. Simply add the cooked shredded chicken to the broth after the rice is fully cooked.
How to Make Chicken Rice Soup
Chicken rice soup is one of the easiest soups to make because it’s a one-pot meal. Follow these steps, adding the ingredients in the correct order for the best soup.
- Saute the vegetables: Preheat a large soup pot with olive oil and add vegetables. Stir and saute over medium heat until lightly golden.
- Add remaining ingredients: Add chicken breast (or chicken thighs), rice, spices, and chicken broth. Boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Shred the chicken: Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and shred. Return back to the pot after fully shredded.
- Season to taste: Add herbs and further season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Pro Tip: The soup cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breast. Cook until chicken is just cooked through (165˚F for chicken breast meat or chicken thigh meat). You can check this with an instant-read thermometer.
Tips for the Best Chicken Rice Soup
What is a recipe without a few good hacks from the kitchen? Follow these tips for a consistently tasty bowl of soup each time.
- Add more broth as needed: Rice tends to absorb liquid as it sits, so add broth when needed.
- Season with your favorite spices: Personalize this soup by adding any of your favorite herbs and spices. Bay leaves are a must for a good soup, but thyme, fresh parsley, and dill are also our favorites! Squeezing in a garlic clove at the end is also a great way to flavor soup as we do in our Borscht Recipe.
- Chop veggies evenly: To ensure veggies are evenly cooked and have a great texture, chop them all into equal-sized pieces.
- Use uncooked rice: By using uncooked rice, you allow the rice to absorb the delicious flavors of the broth. Cooked rice can be used instead and added after the chicken is cooked, but it won’t be nearly as tasty.
Chicken rice soup is great on its own, but it’s perfect when served with warm Soft Dinner Rolls or for a twist, try Soft Cloverleaf Rolls. If you like crispy and soft bread, serve it with the Best Foccacia Bread.
Alternatively, make your meal a soup-and-salad combo by adding a side of Chickpea Salad or Caesar Salad. Fresh salad and a warm, filling soup? That sounds like the perfect lunch!
Any type of rice you have is great to use for soup. White rice is the most common, but brown rice is more nutritious. Wild rice, basmati, and jasmine rice are all great options. Keep in mind that brown rice can take longer to cook than white rice.
We have tested this with more rice and it gets very thick and mealy. Rice tends to absorb a lot of liquid so if you add more rice, you will have a thicker soup that won’t reheat as nicely.
Once the soup has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that the rice does tend to absorb the broth the longer it sits.
This soup is freezer friendly. Transfer cooled soup to freezer-safe containers or freeze flat in zip bags. Freeze for up to 3 months then thaw and reheat.
The best way to reheat chicken rice is slowly on the stovetop, mixing well to ensure even heating. When fully heated through, add more chicken broth if you prefer to have a thinner broth. Water can be used as well, although it may dilute the flavor of the soup.
More Tasty Soup Recipes
Homemade soups are such an efficient way to meal prep. We know when the soup pot comes out that we’ll be enjoying the same meal for the next few days, but when this Chicken and Rice soup is being served, no one complains. Here are some more top-rated soup recipes:
- Tomato Soup
- Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
- Easy Vegetable Soup
- Creamy Spinach Tortellini Soup
- Beef Barley Soup
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
This Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with tender chicken, rice, and veggies in a flavorful broth. You'll make Chicken Rice Soup on repeat.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 lb chicken breast (3 small), or chicken thighs
- 1/3 cup long grain rice, (uncooked) such as basmati or jasmine
- 8 cups chicken broth, or stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, adjust to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs, dill, or parsley, or a combination
Preheat a dutch oven or soup pot with oil over medium heat, add in onion, carrots, and celery, and saute until lightly softened and golden, about 6-7 minutes.
Add chicken, rice, bay leaves, chicken broth, water, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered at a light boil for 25-30 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.*
Remove chicken from the soup, shred it into small pieces and add it back to the soup then remove from heat.
Add herbs, season to taste if needed, and serve.
*Cook time can depend on the thickness of your chicken breast. Cook until chicken is just cooked through and reaches 165˚F on an instant-read thermometer).
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Hi Natasha! I might have overlooked it but what kind of onion did you use?
Hi Becca! Yellow onions work best for soup. 🙂
Everybody loves this! Requests for more and omg so simple to prepare and flavorful!
That’s wonderful, Mary! I’m glad it is enjoyed! 🙂
This was so good! I used veg stock bc I don’t eat chicken, so my husband added the cooked chicken after the fact to his own bowl. It was so delicious. Will definitely be making routinely. Thank you!
Great to hear that it worked so well! Thanks a lot for sharing that with us.
This soup is delicious! I used chicken thighs and next time I’d add more celery and carrots. Family loved it! I will definitely be making this again.
That’s great, Robin! I’m so glad it was a hit.
Hi Natasha….do you have a slow cooker recipe for this soup? I would love to make in the slow cooker.
Hi Marcia! No, I do not have a recipe for that method. I haven’t tested this in the slow cooker.
Delicious and so easy to make. I boiled the chicken breast in another pan,pulled it apart and added it to the soup. Will make this again for sure!!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Tony!
Hi Natasha. Can I use fresh bay leaves instead of dried in the soup?
Hi Rene, I would not recommend substituting fresh bay leaves for dry bay leaves in soup. The flavor and fragrance will be pretty overpowering. If you prefer that, you can try it, but I wouldn’t use much of it.
This was delicious, I’m making it again this evening, I also used boneless chicken thighs, I couldn’t have gotten a better soup at a fine restaurant. Thank you Natasha.
Hi Lyle! That’s wonderful to hear. Thank you for sharing.
This was so delicious! I used chicken thighs…..I will absolutely be making this again!
We’re so glad that you enjoyed it!
How about barley in place of the rice in this chicken soup recipe? Always looking for good recipes that include barley, e.g. stews, soups, casseroles, etc. Thank you in advance.
Hi Ed, I haven’t tested using barley yet to advise. If you do an experiment, we’d love to know how it goes!
Amazing! I made this for dinner tonight because I had all of the ingredients on hand. It was so easy to make and perfect for a cold winter’s evening. The only problem is that I should have doubled the recipe so we had more left over for tomorrow!
So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Wendy!
This is what was for dinner tonight, and it was the bomb! Thank you, Natasha!
You’re so welcome! Glad to know that you enjoyed this soup for dinner!
Made this soup yesterday with turkey and it was delicious, thank you.
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Loretta!
I’m make this Chicken and Rice Soup tomorrow. But, I have one concern, or question. You are saying that 155F is hot enough for chicken breast. But, everything I’ve read and even the thermometer says 165F for chicken to be sure it fully cooked and safe. Am I mistaken and how are you sure about that temperature . Thank you….I’ve made a lot of your recipes and they are great! Sincerely,
Hi Larry, you are correct that should be 165˚F. I have updated the note. Thank you for pointing that out!
Made this tonight exactly as written and it really was outstanding! Thank you so very much for the great recipe
You’re very welcome, Chris! I’m glad you loved it.
This was really good! And quick to make, will make again for sure.
Glad to hear that, Mary! 🙂
We enjoyed this tasty and hearty soup. I added garlic and kale to up the nutrition and a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavor. Thanks, Natasha, again for a great recipe!
You’re very welcome, Connie! Thank you for your feedback.
Talk about the ultimate comfort food! This is a winner. I did used Old Bay spice instead of salt and was in a noodle mood, therefore, used noodles instead of rice. Delicious!
The best kind of comfort food! I’m so happy you loved that, Ann!
Thank you for helping me. I will soon be 83 but I still love to cook, but sometime the technology is overwhelming. Love your recipes and the kind way you present everything. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Lynn! I’m so glad you find my recipes helpful.
This soup has become one of my most favorite dinner recipes and I cannot thank you enough for sharing this recipe
Aww, that’s the best, Jess! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles!
This was the best chicken and rice soup I’ve ever had! I left out the celery because I don’t like it but it still turned out great.
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Abby!