Easy Chicken and Rice Soup filled with tender vegetables, juicy chicken, and white (or brown) rice. A simple, comforting soup recipe the whole family will love.
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 healthy soup recipe with different veggies like cauliflower, kale, and leeks, fun garnishes (like cheese!), or by adding whatever leftover scraps wasting away in your refrigerator.
If your family loves chicken noodle soup, they will devour this delicious chicken and rice soup recipe, guaranteed.
Ingredients + Frequently Asked Questions
- Olive oil
- Mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots)
- Garlic cloves
- Dried parsley
- Dried thyme
- Salt + Pepper
- Bay leaves
- Fresh lemon juice
What is the best chicken for soup?
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.
If preferred, you may also use store-bought, low-sodium chicken broth with leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken.
To learn more about making homemade chicken stock and poaching chicken:
Can I make the broth ahead of time?
Yes. You may make the broth up to 3 days in advance. Keep the shredded chicken and the broth stored separately in air-tight containers in the refrigerator.
How long does it take for raw chicken to cook in soup?
It takes approximately 25-35 minutes for raw chicken pieces to fully cook (or poach) in a pot of simmering broth.
What is the best rice to use in this recipe?
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 more for the brown rice to soften fully.
Can I make this soup with leftover cooked rice?
Yes. Simply add the leftover rice 5-10 minutes before serving. Since the rice is already cooked, it just needs to be reheated.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
- Make the broth. Simmer the chicken in water for approximately 30-45 minutes. Do not overcook, 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, pepper, and bay leaves.
- Strain the broth into the soup pot. Remove the chicken pieces first and set aside to cool. Carefully strain the broth into the same pot as the vegetables and bring to a low boil.
- Shred the chicken.
- Add the rice. Once boiling, add the rice. Return to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 30 minutes before adding the shredded chicken to the soup. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Season and serve.
RELATED: Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe
Can you Freeze Chicken and Rice Soup?
Always make sure your soup cools to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator or freezer.
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. Remove most of the air, leaving just a small amount of space to allow the liquid to expand as it freezes.
- To reheat, allow the soup to thaw in the fridge overnight, or place in a large bowl filled with room temperature water until no longer solid. Transfer to a pot and cook until heated through.
- Keep frozen for up to 4-6 months.
But what about if you don’t plan to freeze the leftovers? Enjoy within 5 days, thoroughly reheating each time.
More Chicken Soup Recipes,
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.
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Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 chicken breasts
- 12-16 cups cold water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion - diced
- 5 ribs celery - chopped
- 5 large carrots - chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt - plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper - plus more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- Juice from one lemon
- 1.5 cups 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 broth. After the broth has finished simmering, remove from heat. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot using kitchen tongs and set 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 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 parsley, 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.)