Chicken and rice soup is a one-pot meal that renews and restores from the inside out. Take a walk down the memory lane of chicken soup recipes and reminisce about the wonderful aromas in grandma’s kitchen. Her tender chicken recipes nurtured the mind, body, and soul.
As you reflect on your favorite chicken and rice recipes, no doubt this soup comes to mind. All those nutritious veggies, plump juicy chicken and tender white rice come together to make up one of the most full-flavored comfort foods of all time.
Chicken and rice soup recipe is simple happiness in a bowl.
I absolutely love that this chicken and rice soup recipe is such a simple recipe but that doesn’t negate its effectiveness. Besides the massive flavor profile, this rich tasty soup offers plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that can help you feel your best.
Here are even more reasons to love it.
- Massive flavor profile
- Lots of nutritious veggies
- Really easy recipe
- One-pot wonder
- Great meal, appetizer or side dish
I cook my chicken and rice soup in a Dutch oven because it works really well for stage cooking. A Dutch oven is a type of large cooking pot with a fitted lid that is typically made of a heavier-gauge metal. They have been around since the 17th century and are fantastic for making soups and stews.
As you cook your yummy chicken and rice soup, you’ll notice an oil or grease layer begins to gather on top of the water (usually near the edges of the pot). This is the result of simmering the chicken as the natural fats and oils seep out into the water.
Once you’ve removed your chicken and veggies from the pot, you’ll be able to skim out the grease layer while your chicken is cooling.
Speaking of which, give your chicken at least 10 minutes to rest before chopping or shredding it for your soup. Resting your meat before cutting into it ensures it stays moist and succulent. If you cut into it too soon, then all the tasty juices will flow out onto your cutting board leaving you with a dry chewy product.
If you really want to build massive layers of flavor and coax some awesome aromatics out of this dish, there is something you can do to add some intensity and it only takes a minute or two. Sauté your veggies and herbs together before simmering with the chicken.
Sautéing your veggies before adding them to a recipe reduces bitterness and brings out their sweet mellow flavors. Tossing your herbs in the sauté brings out their deep complex flavors and essential oils for a fragrant robust flavor profile.
This amazing chicken and rice soup recipe call for Better Than Bouillon. If you’re unfamiliar, Better Than Bouillon is a magical flavored paste of sorts that is sold in a jar (it’s really a concentrate). Unlike typical bouillon cubes which are mainly dried bitter salt, Better Than Bouillon is made from meats, veggies, and spices.
It’s a virtual mountain of flavor in a jar. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked. It does some really incredible things to the flavor of foods and I am not exaggerating!
You’ll also want to use an entire chicken, with the skin and bones. Of course, you can change that but simmering the whole chicken and all its yummy components just give your chicken and rice soup so many incredible layers of deep comforting flavor. You’ll think of grandma every time you take a bite!
I also like to cut the chicken into small to medium-sized chunks for this recipe. It really offers a nice balance of flavors and textures with the veggies and the rice in the chicken soup.
Storing your chicken and rice soup recipe is simple. Put in in an airtight container with a secure lid and toss it in the fridge to keep it fresh. This particular dish is one that I typically don’t divvy into single-serve portions simply because some people prefer more of the delicious broth while others zero in on those amazing morsels.
Storing it all in one dish allows everyone to be served according to their personal preference but that’s just what works for me.
Can You Freeze This?
Yeppers!! This soup freezes (and thaws) really well! If I know I’m going to be freezing this soup, then I usually don’t put the rice in until I’m ready to serve. You can technically freeze your completed chicken and rice soup recipe even with the rice in it but the rice can change a bit in texture.
Here’s an easy hack. Prepare your soup and cool for the freezer. Then, take a medium loaf pan and set a large open Ziploc bag into the loaf pan. Pour your soup into the Ziploc, seal and set in the freezer.
Once the soup has frozen you can peel off the loaf pan and use it in another recipe. Your soup ‘brick’ will make it easier to play freezer Tetris until you’re ready to eat it.
According to USDA Basics for Handling Food Safely, soups and stews can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Make Ahead Tips
Prepping is essential to a smooth week, especially when its really busy. If you know you’ll be making your chicken and rice soup recipe this week, you can chop the veggies ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container or sealed baggie to keep them fresh until you’re ready to use them.
You can also freeze your soup as directed above in meal-sized portions. Add the rice as you thaw, and you’ve practically got a ready-made dinner in the freezer. Pair it with a sweet and savory grilled ham and cheese for a quick meal that is out of this world!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
If stored properly, the USDA recommends a maximum of 4 days in the fridge. You should observe the 2-hour serving rule for food safety. It also doesn’t hurt to ensure that it is stored at or below 40-degrees Fahrenheit for maximum freshness.
There are a few different things you can do to change your chicken and rice soup recipe just a bit. Try adding brown rice instead of white rice or better yet, use wild rice. Wild rice is flavor-packed and it’s full of protein, fiber, and amino acids. You will have to simmer it longer to get it tender but it’s well worth it.
You can also serve it with a dollop of sour cream or a small shot of shredded cheese. Sauté some mushrooms, if you like mushrooms, and toss those in. The possibilities are endless!
Can I Make This Into A Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Creamy chicken and wild rice soup is the virtual decadence of the soup world. This dreamy concoction makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you prefer noodles, then make creamy chicken noodle soup instead.
Its almost like having a bowl of really good chicken and dumplings – almost!
Can This Be Made Into A Chicken and Rice Soup Slow Cooker Recipe?
Crockpot chicken soup is amazing, and all those rich complex flavors are infused deep into the ingredients to create one cohesive mouth-watering dish. Those tasty aromas permeate the kitchen and get tummies rumbling quickly.
You can also take things in another direction and make slow cooker chicken tortilla soup with South of the border undertones.
Can This Be Turned Into A Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup?
Mexican chicken soup incorporates some Southern-style spices along with a cheesy cilantro chip topping that will make your taste buds do a Mexican hat dance! Some people even like to add a dash of hot sauce for a little extra spice.
You can also shred your chicken and make a dreamy chicken enchilada soup that will satisfy the masses along with your craving for South of the border fair.
Can I Make This In An Instant Pot?
Sure! Instant pot chicken soup is infused with all the same incredible flavors and its ready in a fraction of the time. That means it’s even doable on a busy weeknight. Prefer noodles? No problem. Make it an instant pot chicken noodle soup instead!
Can I Make This With Tortilla Instead?
Oh si! Serve your chicken and rice soup with some tortilla garnish or just make chicken tortilla soup instead. You can even make it a creamy chicken tortilla soup if you’re craving some of that cream-based decadence that screams Ariba!
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 (4-5 pounds) whole chicken
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4 celery stalks chopped into large pieces
- 4 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 cup long-grain white rice
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven and add 12 Cups of water. Add the next 9 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then 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 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 🙂
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A few subtle changes can give you a whole new world of flavor. Chicken and rice soup isn’t the only flavor-packed variation of chicken soup but it is a good one. I like to keep a few different recipes on hand so I can always satisfy those cravings and feed my family a nutritious meal too. Here are some of my favorite chicken soup dishes. Give them a try and see which ones you like.
- Chicken Noodle Soup – perfect for “under the weather” days
- Chicken Vegetable Soup – a healthy and comforting soup
- Chicken Taco Soup – a very comforting soup
- Chicken Broccoli Soup – make broccoli kid-friendly!
- Buffalo Chicken Soup – you can still enjoy hot wings!
Chicken and rice soup is an incredible concoction of flavors and textures that have been referred to as the Jewish Penicillin. Besides the massive layers of flavor in this dish, it’s got those comforting properties that just seem to make you feel better when you’re under the weather.
It can also warm you up when it’s cold and wet outside. Of course, sometimes you just want a good bowl of chicken and rice soup. That’s okay too!