Of all the chicken soups I make, this chicken and rice soup is my favorite. There’s nothing more comforting after a long, hard day than a bowl of this pipping hot soup. It warms you to your soul! Its alluring aroma will transport you straight to grandma’s kitchen! Take a walk down memory lane and make this soup!
Using a whole chicken to make the base of this soup creates a rich broth with layers of flavor and healthy goodness. The chicken chunks are moist, the veggies are super tender, and the rice completes this soul-satisfying soup! For me, it’s the flavor benchmark by which I measure all other chicken soup.
If your family loves a good chicken soup as much as mine, I hope you try these favorites next!
Let’s make some soup!
Can You Cook the Rice in the Soup?
I prefer to cook the rice directly in the soup. I like that the rice absorbs all the flavors of the incredible homemade broth and that some of the starch from the rice adds just a little thickness to the soup.
How Do You Keep the Rice from Getting Mushy?
I use high-quality long-grain white rice. Quick cooking or converted rice doesn’t hold up as well. That said, even high-quality rice will continue to absorb the broth when stored, but frankly, I think that’s part of the charm and comfort of this soup.
Ingredients For Chicken And Rice Soup Recipe
- Whole Chicken – you’ll want to use an entire chicken with the skin and bones. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but those yummy components impart deep delicious layers of flavor your taste buds will literally bask in.
- Bay Leaves
- Better Than Bouillon – It’s like a magical mountain of flavor in a jar. Unlike salty bouillon cubes, this measurable paste is made from concentrated meats, veggies, and spices that create intense deliciousness.
- White Rice
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? Well, if you hide it (just kidding……kinda’) it’ll stay fresh and yummy for up to 4 days according to the USDA. This chicken and rice soup is one of those amazing recipes that continues to develop intense flavor even as it sits in the fridge.
- For best results, store it in an airtight container and reserve the FDA-recommended 2-hour serving rule.
- Can You Freeze This? Absolutely! Chicken and rice soup freeze really well and it thaws easily. BUT if I know I’m going to be freezing it, I don’t add the rice until I’m ready to serve. Technically I think it’s fine to freeze the entire recipe but sometimes the texture of the rice changes in the frozen abyss.
- Here’s a neat hack to save space. Set a large freezer bag into a medium-sized loaf pan before adding cooled chicken soup. Let it harden in the freezer and then remove the loaf pan. You’ll be left with a chicken and rice ‘soup block’ that makes it easy to store until you’re ready to eat it.
- Make-Ahead Tips: Prepping is essential to a smooth week, especially when you’re really busy. If you plan to serve this soup this week, you can chop the veggies ahead so they’re ready to go. Store them in a sealed baggie or an airtight container to keep them fresh until you’re ready for them.
- To lighten the load, you can always make it a day or two ahead since it keeps well in the fridge. I usually store this recipe all in one dish so everyone can be served according to their personal preferences. Some people fancy more of the scrumptious broth while others zero in on those tender tasty morsels.
- Food Safety: Here’s an article for USDA Food Safety.
What To Serve With Homemade Chicken And Rice Soup
More Chicken Soup Recipes
- Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Lemon Chicken Soup
- Italian Chicken Soup
- Chicken Potato Soup
- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Crack Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 (4-5 pounds) whole chicken
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 6 celery stalks chopped into large pieces
- 6 carrots peeled and halved crosswise
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon - chicken flavor
- 2-3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Place the chicken (1 whole) in a large soup pot and add 14 cups of water. Add the next 9 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove the chicken and carrots from the pot. Use a large slotted spoon and remove the rest of the solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the carrots. Set aside.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer and add the rice (1 1/2 cup) and cook until it's tender about 15-20 minutes. Add the cut chicken and carrots back to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning and stir in parsley. Serve 🙂