Chicken and Rice Soup

bowls of chicken and rice soup

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yields: 12 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
276 Calories
6g Fat
21g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 293mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 549mg 12%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Ingredients

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

  • 6 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 leaf 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 medium onion (chopped)

  • 1 cup chopped celery

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

  • 3/4 cup carrots (peeled, sliced)

  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice (rinsed)

  • Optional:

    1/2 cup frozen peas (steamed as directed)

  • Optional:

    1 tablespoon fresh parsley

  • Optional:

    1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for chicken and rice soup

    The Spruce

  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.

    poach the chicken with chicken broth

    The Spruce

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

    sauté the onions, celery and garlic

    The Spruce

  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.

    simmering the rice, carrots, and other ingredients

    The Spruce

  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.

    dutch oven with chicken soup, added the chicken and peas

    The Spruce

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

    closeup of chicken and rice soup

    The Spruce

What Kind of Rice Is Best for This Soup?

Just about any rice works in our soup, but cooking time may need adjustments. 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 okay 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.

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