Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 50 mins

Total: 65 mins

Servings: 8 servings

Yield: 12 cups

Chicken and rice soup is a comforting and filling dish that is easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and is great for freezing so you can have this delicious dish at hand when a last-minute meal is needed. Our flavorful soup is so satisfying that it’s a great lunch or dinner without any side dishes needed. Served with crackers, crusty bread, cornbread, or biscuits, it wouldn’t need anything else. However, if you want to offer a bigger spread, a tossed salad or colorful avocado Caprese salad is a great accompaniment.

This soup is naturally gluten and dairy free, but if cooking for someone following a strict gluten-free diet for health concerns, check the broth label as store-bought tends to have wheat-based ingredients. Always choose organic and low-sodium when buying your broth and stock at the supermarket.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (about 3 chicken breast halves)

  • 6 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or poultry seasoning herb blend)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic (3 cloves, minced)

  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots

  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (steamed as directed), optional

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

  2. Place the chicken in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 6 cups of chicken broth, the bay leaf, thyme (or poultry seasoning), salt, and pepper. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an inner temperature of at least 165 F. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate. Pour the broth into a bowl and set aside.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

  3. Heat the oil in the same pot used to poach the chicken. Add the onion and celery. Sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

  4. Add the broth back to the pot. Stir and add the carrots. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the rice and vegetables are tender.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

  5. Chop or shred the cooked chicken, then add it to the soup along with the steamed peas, if using. If desired, add extra chicken broth for a thinner texture. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then continue to cook until hot.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

  6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the optional chopped parsley or thyme leaves to serve. Enjoy.

    Chicken and Rice Soup

What Kind of Rice Is Best for This Soup?

Just about any rice works in our soup, but the cooking time may need an adjustment. Wild rice and brown rice will take about 20 to 30 minutes longer to cook than long-grain white rice. If using wild or brown rice, add it about 20 minutes before adding the carrots and then continue to cook the soup for about 20 minutes longer, or until the rice is tender.

It's OK to add cooked rice to the soup along with the peas, but uncooked rice absorbs some of the chicken broth, making it more flavorful. If using cooked rice, use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups and decrease the broth by about 1 cup.

Flavorful Additions

You can make easy variations on this recipe to get other beautiful results:

  • For a creamy version, add 1 cup of heavy cream or half-and-half to the soup along with the chopped chicken and peas.
  • For a curried chicken and rice, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder to the soup along with 5 cups of chicken broth. Add a 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk along with the cooked chicken and peas. Stir well and simmer until all is well combined and the soup has thickened in texture.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 330
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 261mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 649mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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