This thick and hearty chicken and rice soup is perfect for a weeknight dinner or Sunday supper. Goes together in less than an hour. Delicious served with hot crusty bread!
Like most soup recipes, chicken and rice soup has definitely been done before! There are all sorts of variations to be found online, and in cookbooks. This version is very basic, and doesn’t contain any odd or hard-to-find ingredients. It’s also made from fresh ingredients, and you can taste that freshness in every bite.
Tips for Superb Chicken and Rice Soup
- It’s a good idea to have two 32 oz. boxes of chicken broth on hand. Almost always, I add more chicken broth after the rice is fully cooked. If you love a thick, almost stew-like soup, no extra chicken broth is needed.
- You can use whatever kind of chicken your family prefers. If you use fresh chicken breasts or tenders, cook them in your dutch oven before you start the soup. Begin with a little olive oil in the pot. Add your chicken, then salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the outside is nicely browned, and the inside is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest. Cut it into thin slices or chunks before it’s added back to the soup. Rotisserie chicken also works very well, and is super convenient if you are short on time.
- The amounts and choices for the vegetables and garlic are simply guidelines. Feel free to use more or less…and add additional vegetables according to your family’s tastes. Suggestions are green beans, mushrooms, corn, or peas.
- The roux takes a few extra minutes, but it’s delicious! Good substitutes are a can of cream of chicken soup, or a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk.
- For a richer-tasting soup, substitute chicken stock for the chicken broth…or use half chicken stock and half chicken broth.
- To make gluten-free chicken and rice soup: substitute cornstarch for the flour in the roux. Also, pay attention to the chicken broth. Some organic broths contain gluten.
- Long grain white rice works the best in this soup, and it cooks in a reasonable amount of time. If you use brown or wild rice, the cooking time at the end will need to be increased.
- Adding fresh herbs to this chicken and rice soup is also very good. A few sprigs of fresh thyme, or one sprig of rosemary, can be placed in the soup while it simmers at the very end. Make sure to remove the herbs before serving.
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice Soup
When I serve soup for supper, I usually include some sort of bread. The honest truth is that my husband would be completely satisfied with soup and some saltine crackers! A hearty crusty bread, either homemade or from the grocery, is a good choice. A savory bread, like beer bread or rosemary buttermilk bread, is delicious as well.
How to Store Chicken and Rice Soup
Cool the soup completely. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, portion it out into individual bowls. Heat each bowl in the microwave for 30 second increments until the soup is hot and ready to eat. (If the soup has thickened, just add a little chicken broth while reheating.)
Make Ahead + Freezing Tip
If you want to make this chicken and rice soup in advance, the best thing to do is make the soup with all the ingredients, except the rice. Store the rice-less soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop, and add the cup of rice when the soup comes to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Follow these same instructions if you want to meal prep and freeze. Place the rice-less soup in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve, just thaw and follow the directions above.
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup carrots (chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 1/2 large sweet onion (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups chicken (cubed)
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
For the Roux
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- fresh minced cilantro or parsley
- Chop the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic.
- In a 5-6 quart stock pot, over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.
- Add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 6 cups chicken broth and 2 cups chicken. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- While the soup mixture is preparing to boil, make the roux.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter.
- Add 3 tablespoons flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until it bubbles.
- Still stirring, slowly add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, followed by the 1/2 cup of milk.
- Bring to a boil and stir until it slightly thickens.
- Pour roux into soup pot and stir well to combine.
- Add 1 cup uncooked rice.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.
- Add Lawry's seasoned salt and stir into the soup.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley before serving.
If you make this soup, and love it, please consider coming back to leave a 5-star review. I would really appreciate it, and it would help me so much. Thank you!
Tools for Soup Making
- cast iron dutch oven in navy and in ivory
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
- measuring cups
- navy kitchen utensils
- plaid kitchen towels
- soup bowls are vintage Liberty Blue Staffordshire
Making soup is, at least for me, one of life’s simple pleasures. The act of chopping the vegetables, that keeps your hands busy for a little while, is very therapeutic. The smell that fills your kitchen when a pot of soup is cooking on your stove is comforting and reassuring. Serving wholesome and delicious bowls of soup to your family will put a smile on your face every time!