Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup filled with tender vegetables, juicy chicken, and flavorful rice in nourishing and delicious chicken broth. Simple and comforting, it makes a great weeknight dinner and is loved by the whole family.
Easy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
Chicken rice soup is a wholesome and cozy comfort food perfect for rainy days, sick days, or anytime you need an easy, healthy, and delicious weeknight dinner for your family.
Filled with onions, carrots, and celery, customize this yummy soup with different veggies like cauliflower, kale, and leeks, fun garnishes (like cheese!), or by adding whatever leftover scraps are wasting away in your refrigerator.
If your family loves chicken noodle soup, they will devour this delicious chicken and rice soup, guaranteed.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
- Add the chicken to a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Do not overcook the chicken, especially if you are using chicken breasts.
- Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots, and add the aromatics. Also known as the mirepoix, it’s best to cook these vegetables over medium to medium-low heat for a longer period of time, at least 10 minutes. Once softened, add the aromatics and seasonings like garlic, dried herbs, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves.
- Remove the chicken pieces and set them aside to cool. Carefully strain the leftover chicken broth into the same pot as the vegetables and bring to a low boil.
- Shred the chicken.
- Once boiling, add the rice. Return to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Cook for approximately 30 minutes before adding the shredded chicken to the pot. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve garnished with fresh herbs or shredded cheese, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may use any cut of chicken to make your homemade chicken broth, and thus, soup. I like using a mix of boneless skinless chicken breasts plus chicken thighs for the best flavor. Chicken breasts are lean but prone to drying out, while chicken thighs (dark meat) are more flavorful and less likely to dry out as they contain more fat. You may also use store-bought, low-sodium chicken broth with leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken. Learn more about making homemade chicken stock and poaching chicken: How to Make Chicken Stock and How to Poach Chicken.
I love using long-grain white rice like basmati or jasmine rice. Brown rice is another great option, keeping in mind that the total cooking time will be 10-15 minutes longer for the brown rice to soften fully.
Yes. You may make the broth up to 3 days in advance. Keep the shredded chicken and the broth stored in separate air-tight containers in the refrigerator.
Raw chicken pieces take approximately 25 minutes to fully cook (or poach) in a pot of simmering broth.
Yes. Simply add the leftover rice 5-10 minutes before serving. Since the rice is already cooked, it just needs to be reheated.
Can you Freeze Chicken and Rice Soup?
Yes. Once cool, transfer the desired portion amounts (I like freezing in 1-2 cup portions) to freezer-friendly containers or double-bag in freezer-friendly zip-lock bags and place in the freezer.
- To reheat, allow the soup to thaw in the fridge overnight, or place it in a large bowl filled with room temperature water until it is no longer solid and it can be easily removed from the bag. Transfer to a pot and cook until heated through.
- Keep frozen for up to 4-6 months.
If you don’t plan to freeze the leftovers, please enjoy them within 5 days, thoroughly reheating each time.
More Chicken Soup Recipes,
- Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe
- Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
- Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe
- Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe (Instant Pot)
- Chicken and Rice Soup with Kale and Artichoke Hearts
- Caldo de Pollo Recipe (Mexican Chicken Soup)
If you try making this Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 chicken breasts
- 12-16 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion - diced
- 5 ribs celery - chopped
- 5 large carrots - chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - plus more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- Juice from one lemon
- 1.5 cups uncooked rice - washed (see notes)
- Fresh parsley or fresh thyme - to garnish
- Prepare the homemade chicken broth. Add the chicken thighs and chicken breasts to a large stockpot. Cover with approximately 12-16 cups (3-4 quarts) of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Cook the aromatics (mirepoix). As the chicken simmers and cooks, chop and prepare the veggies (onions, celery, and carrots). Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrots and celery, mix thoroughly, and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.(Note: if the vegetables start to brown or burn, reduce heat to medium-low).
- In the last minute, stir in the garlic and season with parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the bay leaves to the pot.
- Strain the broth. After the broth has finished simmering, remove it from the heat. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot using kitchen tongs and set it aside on a large cutting board to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer directly into the same pot as the cooking vegetables.
- Shred the chicken. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and set it aside.
- Bring to a boil and add the rice. Bring soup to a low boil over high heat. Add the fresh lemon juice and rice, mix thoroughly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Season and serve. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and garnish with fresh minced pa rsley, if desired.
- Wild rice will take longer to cook (closer to 90 minutes). You can cut this time in half by soaking overnight.
- Short-grain glutinous rice will thicken your soup significantly (check out my congee recipe or Filipino chicken and rice porridge to see what I mean).
- Brown rice will take 10-15 minutes longer than white rice to get nice and tender.
- I used white jasmine rice.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)