Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
This Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup is comfort food at its best! Hearty, slightly indulgent and so delicious. You will want to keep it in rotation during the colder months!
(This post is sponsored by Carolina® Rice. All opinions are my own.)
Cozy soups and stews are my favorite fall and winter food! From my grandma’s Canja de Galinha (Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup) to an out-of-this-world Zuppa Toscana, my collection is bound to have what you are looking for.
A Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup that will warm your soul!
Every now and then, I’ll make a recipe that will turn out so incredibly amazing that Tim and I will stand by the pot, eating spoonfuls and commenting on its awesomeness.
This soup is one of these recipes!
In fact, the last time I made this, the whole pot of soup was gone in one sitting. Two adults and two toddlers devoured what was supposed to be six servings of a somewhat indulgent dish!
That’s what I call a foodie family. 😉😉😉
One taste of this creamy chicken and rice soup and you will understand the hype! It warms your body and comforts your soul like no other.
In this post you will learn:
- What ingredients you will need.
- Which type of rice should be used for making soup.
- How to make this creamy chicken and rice soup recipe.
- Why you have to cook the rice before adding it to the soup and how to keep it from getting mushy.
- Variations of this recipe.
- Frequently asked questions.
Plus, a printable recipe!
To make this Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, you will need:
CHICKEN – I use chicken breasts, but boneless skinless chicken thighs would work as well!
RICE – My favorite rice for this soup is Carolina® Jasmine Rice with Red & Wild Rice.
VEGGIES – Two large carrots and two celery stalks. You can slice or dice as big or as small as you’d like.
ONION AND GARLIC – A must for the best flavor! They give the soup depth of flavor.
BAY LEAVES – Bay leaves add yet another layer of flavor and help lighten up an otherwise hearty dish.
CHICKEN BROTH – Homemade or store-bought. If buying at the store, I recommend getting the lower sodium kind! That way you can control the amount of salt in your dish.
OIL – Extra-virgin olive oil, for sautéing the aromatics and veggies.
BUTTER – We’ll use unsalted butter to make the roux for the creamy base.
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR – For making the roux. For a gluten-free version, skip the roux and mix some cornstarch with broth to thicken the soup before serving.
MILK – I use whole milk for better flavor, but you can use skim milk if you prefer.
HEAVY CREAM – For extra creaminess!
SALT – This soup can be quite bland if it’s not properly seasoned. Make sure to season as you cook, to help infuse flavor throughout the whole cooking process, so that the final dish is as delicious as it can be!
PEPPER – Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
PARSLEY – A handful of chopped fresh parsley adds some freshness to this creamy soup.
OPTIONAL: WHITE WINE for deglazing the pot.
What type of rice is best for soup?
Honestly, any type of rice can be used in soups! Long grain, medium grain, short grain, white, brown, wild, and even risotto rice.
Panera uses a blend of brown and wild rice in their famous chicken and wild rice soup.
For my version, I like to use Carolina® Rice‘s blend of jasmine, red and wild rice. The complex texture of long grain aromatic rice combined with chewy red and wild rice come together to create the most satisfying, flavorsome blend that truly elevates this soup!
The red and wild rice also add color and character to the soup, making it extra hearty.
Despite its name, wild rice is not rice at all! It is actually the seed of an aquatic grass and grows in shallow water similar to the irrigated paddies of long-grain rice.
How to make Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
This soup is easy to make and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
For best results, I recommend cooking the rice separately and adding it cooked to the soup. Pros: perfect, al dente rice grains. Cons: another pan to wash. Totally worth it though!
Here’s how I make this creamy chicken and rice soup recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Sauté the veggies.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic until softened. (Photo 1)
- Optional: Deglaze the pan with white wine.
Step 2: Cook the soup.
- Add the chicken breast, bay leaves and broth to the pot with the veggies. (Photo 2) Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until the chicken is tender. (Photo 5)
Step 3: Cook the rice.
- Cook the rice separately, according to package instructions. (Photo 3)
Step 4: Make the roux.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook until it starts getting golden, just a minute or so.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly.
- Simmer until thickened.
- Add the heavy cream, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Reserve. (Photo 4)
Step 5: Combine everything!
- Remove the cooked chicken from the broth and shred it. Reserve.
- To the broth, add the reserved roux. Cook over medium-high heat, until the soup thickens.
- Stir in the shredded chicken and cooked rice.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Add the chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately! (Photo 6)
- If you’d like an even thicker soup, remove a ladleful of the liquid and mix with one tablespoon of flour. Return the mixture to the soup and boil until thickened to the desired consistency!
Why do I have to cook the rice before adding to the soup?
This recipe was written using rice that was cooked separately and added cooked to the soup.
I am not a fan of cooking rice straight in the soup, as it soaks up quite a bit of the soup’s liquid to hydrate and plump. It also releases starch and the soup might end a bit gummy!
If you prefer to add uncooked rice, you will have to increase the amount of liquid in the recipe. How much? Well, that would depend on the type of rice you’re using. I’d say at least 2 cups more!
How to prevent rice from getting mushy in soup?
If you add cooked rice too early, it will continue to cook in the soup and might get mushy.
I recommend adding the cooked rice at the end, just before serving, for the best texture!
While I truly believe this is an A-team soup just as it was written, you can definitely customize it to suit your preferences!
Here are some suggestions:
- Add more veggies or greens! Broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, kale, spinach, etc.
- Add bacon!
- Use sausage or beef instead of chicken.
- For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and add mushrooms instead. You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth!
- Add some fresh or dried herbs. A pinch of thyme, rosemary or sage would go great here!
- To save time, you could use a shredded rotisserie chicken and microwavable rice. Carolina Rice has a few options in their Ready to Heat line. You can also use leftover rice!
- For a low carb version, use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
- Squeeze a lemon before serving for a touch of freshness!
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup FAQs:
The problem with making this soup in advance is that the rice will continue to absorb the liquid and could turn mushy when reheated.
To prevent that, you could make the soup in advance but skip adding the rice. Then, when you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and add cooked rice before serving!
This soup keeps well for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Reheat it in a saucepan on the stove, adding more milk or broth to bring it back to a soup consistency. Depending on how much liquid you have to add, you’ll want to taste and re-season it!
Because it contains dairy, this soup does not freeze well.
That being said, you could cook the chicken, veggies and broth, and freeze it. When ready to assemble the soup, defrost and add the roux and cooked rice.
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup uncooked Carolina® Rice Jasmine, Red and Wild Rice Blend
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- In a large Dutch Oven, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, until translucent. Then, add the carrots and celery, sautéing until softened, about 5 minutes. Finally, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Optional: pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom.
- Add the chicken breasts, chicken broth and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
- While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice in a saucepan, according to package instructions. Reserve.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour all at once and whisk vigorously. Cook until it starts to bubble and it turns slightly golden. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add the heavy cream and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve.
- When the chicken breasts are done cooking, remove to a cutting board and shred them. Reserve.
- Add the white sauce to the soup broth. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, cooking until thickened to the desired consistency. Add the shredded chicken, cooked rice and chopped parsley.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately!
What to do if My soup is too thick?
Add a few splashes of milk or heavy cream to thin it out.
What to do if my soup is not thick enough?
Remove a ladleful of liquid from the soup into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour this mixture back into the soup and cook until the soup thickens to the desired consistency. Repeat if necessary!
Can I make this soup ahead?
Yes. But I would wait to add the rice right before serving, or it could become mushy!
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3-4 days. The rice will keep absorbing liquid while it chills, and it will be mushier than when it was freshly cooked.
Reheating this soup
Reheat it in a saucepan, on the stove, over medium-low heat. Add splashes of milk or broth to bring it back to a soup consistency.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 846mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 30g
Nutritional values are approximate, please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.