Chicken Rice Soup (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings

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This Chicken Rice Soup is a hearty, healthy soup recipe that’s perfect for fall! Loaded with vegetables, lean chicken and brown rice it can be made stove top or slow cooker.

scoop of chicken rice soup coming out of pot.

Soup season continues here on The Recipe Rebel and I’m back with this easy Chicken Rice Soup! It’s hearty, healthy, and creamy so it ticks pretty much all of my boxes 😉

Soup is pretty much my favorite way to get loaded up an all kinds of healthy stuff, and this one is no exception (this Chicken Pot Pie Soup and this Cabbage Soup are more favorites!).

I’ve used onions, garlic, carrots and celery but you could add all kinds of vegetables here. Mushrooms would be great (if you’re into that sort of thing), peppers, spinach, kale, or even frozen peas stirred in at the end. I often do this to cool down the soup for my kids and it works like a charm (plus, extra veggies!).

I know that a lot of Chicken Rice Soup recipes use wild rice, but with the long cook time I just didn’t think I wanted to go that route. You can, if you like, but keep in mind that it requires an even longer cook time that brown rice.

We use brown rice because it packs more fiber and protein, but still cooks in a reasonable amount of time. And we always have a giant bag around!

overhead image of two bowls of chicken rice soup with spoons on the side.

If you like this one, you might also enjoy this Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup, this Chicken Wild Rice Soup or this {Quick} Chicken Bacon Rice Soup!

How to make Chicken Rice Soup:

Here’s a quick overview with some step by step photos! See the full recipe down in the recipe card.

  • Saute carrots, onion and celery before adding garlic and spices to toast.
  • Add the broth and deglaze the pot if necessary (scraping any stuck on bits off the bottom)
  • Add uncooked chicken and uncooked, rinsed rice to the soup pot — both will cook directly in the broth!
  • When the chicken is cooked, shred it and add it back into the pot.
  • Stir in the evaporated milk if using — you can omit for a dairy free soup. Additionally, you can whisk in some corn starch before adding to the soup if you prefer a thicker soup!
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Variations of this Chicken Rice Soup:

  • As mentioned above, feel free to swap out the vegetables or add more in! You do need to keep cook time in mind though and may want to add them at the end if they are quick cooking (like broccoli for example, unless you like it very tender).
  • I use brown rice, but you could also use wild rice (a much longer cook time) or white rice (a lesser cook time). Again, keep in mind for the swaps you make you may need to adjust the liquid and cook time.
  • If you really want this to be quick, you can use instant rice, but you may want to leave it out of the soup until the carrots are cooked because they can take a while to become tender and you don’t want mushy rice!
  • This soup is naturally gluten-free, but double check all of your packages to be sure.
  • This soup can easily be made dairy-free, by omitting the milk or cream.

How to make ahead Chicken and Rice Soup ahead:

This soup is great refrigerated and reheated, so feel free to make a large batch on the weekend for quick, easy meals during the week.

How to freeze soup:

Low fat milk does not freeze well and will separate. If you know you plan to freeze, I recommend using whole milk or even cream as the higher fat content does better when frozen and thawed.

Cool to room temperature, then place in a large freezer bag, seal completely, and lay flat to freeze in a thin layer. This will help the soup to thaw quickly when you need it for dinner!

To thaw, you can submerge the bag in lukewarm water until thawed, then reheat to desired temperature in the microwave or on the stovetop.

close up image of scoop of chicken and rice soup.

To make Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Soup:

You will follow many of the same steps, but the cook time will be considerably longer:

  • Add the veggies, broth, chicken and rice to the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-6 hours or until the rice is tender — brown rice will cook considerably longer than white rice.
  • Remove chicken and shred. Add back to the slow cooker with the evaporated milk.
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Chicken Rice Soup

4.90 from 89 votes
This Chicken Rice Soup is a hearty, healthy soup recipe that’s perfect for fall! Loaded with vegetables, lean chicken and brown rice it can be made stove top or slow cooker.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Soup
Servings 6 servings
Calories 332cal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts raw
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (more or less as you prefer)

Instructions

  • In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to turn golden.
  • Add garlic, parsley and thyme and cook 1 minute.
  • Rinse rice under cold water. Add broth, chicken, rice, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low (a simmer), cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables and rice are tender.
  • Remove chicken from pot and shred. Add back to the pot with evaporated milk. Serve.

Notes

*NOTE: carrots will be very tender by the time the rice is cooked. If you prefer your carrots with more bite to them, add them after the first 10 minutes when stirring the soup.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 332cal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 803mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5250IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Keywords chicken and rice soup, chicken soup, slow cooker soup

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Norma says

    I’m with Lisa I got complete mush. Made just like the recipe called for liquid and time. Tasted great but far too thick.

  2. Heather Chesnick says

    Can no longer have dairy and miss the creaminess in soups and other dishes. Dairy free creamers etc just aren’t the same and often separate when heated. Any suggestions for an alternative to add that creamy texture to soups? Thank you!

  3. Brian W says

    Taste’s just like mom’s…my mom’s soup had
    A orange broth any idea how she made the broth orange? Maybe she added tomato sauce?

    • Jackie says

      Some people blend up some of their veggies with the broth then add it back to the soup! The puréed carrots make it orange.

  4. Brian W says

    Taste’s just like my mother’s homemade chicken & rice soup but my mother’s soup had a orange colored liquid do you have any idea what she used to make the broth orange?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Brian! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! I have no idea what would make it orange.

    • Nicole says

      She probably added Tomato Paste . It adds flavor and brings out the sweetness of the veggies and also turns the broth orange 😊

  5. Aiman says

    I would like to use orzo instead of rice in this recipe. I know orzo absorbs a lot of liquid so how would you recommend using orzo? Can I add it into the soup just as you did the rice? Thanks!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Aiman! I haven’t tested it with orzo but you probably could make it with it. The cook time will vary based on how long the orzo needs to cook. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  6. Rola says

    I used this recipe, and adjusted flavors based on recommendations from others and a few other similar recipes. It turned out really well! I personally dont like celery in soups, so I omitted that in favor of mushrooms which was incredibly tasty and complimented the other flavors well. I would suggest that if youre using mushrooms, to slice them first and then sauté the mushrooms with the onions in the beginning until browned, then add the carrots, garlic and follow the rest of the recipe. I also found (like others) it needed more flavors/spices, so I skipped the dried herbs for fresh thyme (which I added in at the garlic stage), as well as a few fresh sage leaves, and an oregano stalk for a more herbaceous soup. It was truly delicious and will add to my go-to recipes!

  7. Tia says

    This looks amazing. Do you need the milk or can it be left out? I can’t have any milk products. So will it turn out the same without it?

    • Rola says

      I tasted it at the end before I added milk and it was sublime! I would have had it just like that but I was curious about the milk/creaminess it would create, and sure enough, its just as delicious with the milk. But definitely able to omit the milk and still have a great soup!!

  8. Judy says

    I want to copy this recipe to add to my recipe book. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how without printing 20 pages. Can you help? I am diabetic and this recipe looks like a good choice.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Judy! If you click the print button on the recipe card it will bring up only 1 page of the entire recipe. Hope this helps!

  9. Barbara Lochmondy says

    Can I cook everything according to your directions, omitting the rice, freeze the soup, thaw it, and then add rice (cooked separately, perhaps in chicken broth instead of water)? I want to make this now for someone having surgery in a few weeks, and I don’t want the rice to absorb too much liquid.

  10. Lisa says

    Mine is complete mush. I used white rice and cooked it for 20 minutes. I have no liquid. Can’t imagine what I could have done differently.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Lisa, which version did you use stove top or slow cooker? Was it boiling? As I stated in the blog post: I use brown rice, but you could also use wild rice (a much longer cook time) or white rice (a lesser cook time). Again, keep in mind for the swaps you make you may need to adjust the liquid and cook time.

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