This Chicken and Rice Soup is a true one-pot meal, with minimal dishes and no extra steps. It comes together in under an hour to make a dinner that’s hearty and satisfying without being too heavy. This recipe uses just a touch of cream to create a smooth and satisfying broth, but I also include tips to leave out the dairy if desired. Recipe includes a how-to video!
An Easy, Hearty One-Pot Dinner Recipe
I’ve got an easy, one-pot meal for you today, and it’s truly perfect for this time of year: the literal best chicken and rice soup.
Today’s recipe combines veggies, spices, chicken, and rice (plus a little bit of cream!) to make a flavorful soup. It’s thicker and slightly creamier than your average chicken soup, but still light enough that it doesn’t feel too rich. It joins the ranks of some of my favorite cold weather dishes, right alongside my popular potato soup and tomato soup.
All of the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find, if you don’t already have them on hand. Save this one for an especially cold evening, or those inevitable evenings when you or a loved one has a cold–you can thank me later!
What You Need
This is a true one-pot dinner! We’ll cook everything in the same pot; no pre-cooked chicken or pre-cooked rice needed:
- Veggies. A classic mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery) provides a hearty base for our soup. We’ll also throw in some minced garlic for extra flavor.
- Flour. As part of the roux, flour acts as a thickener in this soup. We add just enough to give the soup body, but not enough to make it super thick. If you can’t do flour, you should be fine to substitute cornstarch, but use half the amount called for!
- Spices. I add thyme, parsley, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the flour as it cooks to help bloom the spices and enhance their flavor. The smoked paprika may raise some eyebrows, but trust me! Just a pinch adds a subtle flavor and beautiful depth to the soup (it’s one of the secret spices I use to make my chicken pot pie the literal best, too).
- Chicken broth. I use regular, salted chicken broth. You could use unsalted or low-sodium, but you will probably need to add more salt to the recipe. Always make sure to taste-test your soup before you serve it!
- Chicken. I filmed used chicken breasts in the recipe video, but I also like to use a mix of breasts and boneless chicken thighs, as they add even more flavor to the soup.
- Rice. My preference is wild rice, but white, jasmine, or basmati rice would all work well.
- Cream. You’ll need a very small amount of cream or half and half (anything lower fat may split, so proceed with caution). You can omit this altogether if you want, but I find that it really enhances the flavor and texture of the soup without making it too rich or creamy.
SAM’S TIP: For freshness and added flavor, you can garnish your soup with some fresh parsley or a sprig of thyme.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
- Melt your butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until softened.
- Add your garlic and cook briefly, then add flour and stir this until it’s absorbed. Add the spices and cook for a few more seconds, stirring until well-combined.
- Add chicken broth and bring soup to a boil, then add your chicken and rice. Cover and simmer until the chicken and rice are cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred it, then return it to the pot.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in your cream. Let the soup simmer a few minutes longer before serving.
Note for leftovers: As the rice sits (overnight or longer), it will continue to absorb the broth and will eventually become mushy. You can always add more water or broth the next day, but keep in mind this will dilute the overall flavor and you may need to add more seasoning as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will cook your rice in the soup–do not cook your rice beforehand! Not only does this save you a dish, but it also ensures you don’t lose any flavor and that the soup reaches the proper consistency.
This soup is designed to be hearty, but not too thick. As it cooks the rice and as it cools, it will thicken significantly, but if you want to make it thicker, you could use a bit more flour when making the roux (another Tablespoon) and reduce the chicken broth slightly (how much really depends on your preference).
You should make sure not to overcook your rice and check it as indicated, but also know that the longer the soup sits, the rice will inevitably get softer.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook.
Chicken and Rice Soup (One Pot Dinner Recipe!)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (57g)
- 1 medium yellow onion diced (about 1 cup/140g)
- 3 stalks celery leaves removed and chopped (about 1 cup/105g)
- 2 large carrots chopped (about 1 cup/130g)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic about 3-4 large cloves
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon table salt plus additional to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional to taste
- 5 cups chicken broth (1.2L)
- 1 lb raw boneless skinless chicken breast or a mix of chicken breast and thighs (453g)
- 1 cup wild rice uncooked (180g)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream (80ml) (see note)
- Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until softened (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Sprinkle flour evenly over the pot and stir until flour is absorbed and no lumps remain. Add spices (thyme, parsley, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper) and cook several seconds longer until well-combined.
- Slowly, while stirring, add chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add chicken and rice and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through and rice is fully cooked (about 20 minutes).
- Remove chicken from the pot and cut or shred (I prefer to shred). If the rice is not tender yet, let the chicken rest, covered, beside the stovetop and continue to cook the soup, covered, until the rice is cooked through (that way you don’t overcook it). Once the rice is cooked through, return the chicken to the pot.
- Reduce heat to low then slowly stir in heavy cream until combined.
- Allow to simmer for several minutes before serving warm. Enjoy!
Rice:White rice, wild rice, jasmine, or basmati would work well in this recipe. I like to use wild rice. Pre-cooked rice will work in this recipe but the broth will be thinner as the recipe as-written accounts for the fact that the uncooked rice will absorb some of the broth.
Pre-Cooked ChickenYou can use pre-cooked shredded or diced chicken in this recipe instead, simply stir it in before adding the cream and allow it time to properly warm up.
Cream:You may omit the cream if desired, or substitute half and half. The amount used here does not make for a very rich and creamy soup, but it does add some depth of flavor and a more velvety mouthfeel to the broth.
Storing:This soup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Please note that the rice will become mushy the longer it sits and it will continue to absorb the liquid in the soup. You can always add a splash of water or more chicken broth when reheating but may need to add more salt/pepper as well (taste-test before serving).
FreezingI generally don’t recommend freezing soups that contain cream as the dairy may split, however this recipe uses a small enough amount that you *may* be able to get away with it. I have not frozen this soup myself, but if you try it please leave a comment and let me know how it thaws for you. You may also leave out the cream and freeze the soup for at least 1 month.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.