This easy chicken rice soup recipe is perfect for chilly days because it makes a healthy soup. Brown rice and vegetables are added, and it is then filled, simmered in chicken stock, and finished with a delicate creaminess. One of our favorite homemade chicken and rice soup recipes, it has amazing flavor, is easy to meal prep, and cooks ahead for a busy week. This Chicken Rice Soup is made without handling a whole chicken because the chicken pieces are cooked in the broth. The result is a beautiful, tasty soup. Skip the rotisserie chicken; this is better!
Chicken and Rice Soup
I’m aware that many quick and simple chicken soup recipes “out there” call for utilizing precooked chicken or briefly poaching chicken breast before adding it to the soup. (And it will still be very mouthwatering.) you can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes if you follow the shortcut procedures I’ve included in Note 1 in the recipe, which you should do if time is of the essence.
However, you can have this Chicken and Rice Soup with an outstanding savory, golden soup broth and flavor that money can’t buy for a little extra effort and 30 minutes of hands-free cook time simmering chicken pieces.
Best Rice for Soup
All kinds of rice are good, including white, brown, wild rice, black rice, sushi rice, basmati, and jasmine. Even paella rice and risotto rice are suitable! Rice of most varieties is excellent in soup.
The cooking time for brown and wild rice is greater than the soup’s simmering duration. Therefore, they must be cooked separately before being added to the soup.
How to Make Chicken Rice Soup?
We prefer to utilize leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken to keep things simple. You may substitute turkey for any leftover from the holidays or a sizable family supper. It functions equally effectively. Brown rice or wild rice can be used; however, they will require a bit more time to cook. Another reason to adore this soup is that it freezes wonderfully.
This chicken and rice soup recipe is a great foundation for your adaptations. While it is already mouthwateringly good, it might use more vegetables, extra herbs, a squeeze of fresh lemon, or other cooked proteins. Here are a few concepts: Fresh lemon zest and juice add a lovely touch of freshness. More vegetables (chopped zucchini, stir in chopped kale or spinach, bell peppers)
substitute another cooked protein (500g/1lb cooked weight) for the chicken. Add two sprigs of dried thyme or 1/2 tsp or a few other dried herbs. For a light soup with a tomato basis, try adding a can or two of crushed tomatoes. Skip the rice for a low-carb diet and eat more vegetables instead. I like to add hearty vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower to them.
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- One tablespoon of butter (or more oil)
- Two minced garlic cloves
- Chopped onion, one
- Three carrots, sliced in half, then into 1 cm/2.5 “slices (quarter if thick)
- Three celery ribs, each 1 cm / 2/5 in thickness “slices
- 2 x vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes, 3 tsp vegetable stock powder, or 2 tsp powder (Note 2)
- 0.5 teaspoon dried parsley
- optional 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Finely ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
- Four cups of low-sodium chicken broth.
- 1 liter (4 cups) of water
- Four × 150g/5 ounce bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, 600 g (1.2 lb) (Note 1)
- 1 cup (180g) of uncooked long grain white rice (Note 3)
- Add salt and taste.
- One tablespoon of finely minced parsley (optional)
- Large pot with oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the onion is transparent, add the garlic and onion.
- Stir for a minute after adding the carrots and celery.
- Add chicken broth, water, pepper, dried parsley, and thyme (if using). Add chicken after stirring.
- For 30 minutes, simmer on medium-low with a lid on. Heat should be adjusted so that it bubbles well, but not too energetically or too slowly.
- Once or twice, skim off the surplus foam accumulation (not critical, it just makes broth clearer).
- Add rice after removing the lid. Stir for 15 minutes, then cover.
- Take the soup off the stove.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl. Discard bones after shredding with two forks, then stir into soup.
- Add salt if necessary after stirring in the first half of the parsley. Add more parsley as a garnish after serving.
Do you Cook Rice Before Adding it to Soup?
The best rice to add to soup is uncooked rice since it enhances the broth’s flavor. It is advisable to add cooked rice toward the end of cooking a soup to prevent the rice from becoming mushy. Just long enough to bring the rice to a full boil. Any cooked rice will work in this soup, but we prefer traditional long-grain white rice. If you want rice with a heartier, nuttier flavor and texture, try brown or wild rice.
We also prefer using cooked rice because you can wait to add it until right before you eat, preventing even the rice in the leftovers from becoming mushy if you intend to save some soup for leftovers. The rice should be washed before cooking to eliminate dirt, chemicals, and bugs, even though the starch dust might help thicken your soup. For basmati and jasmine rice, which are on the starchy side and can become sticky, it helps to manage the precise amount of water you’re adding by pouring already boiling water on top of the rice.
How to Store Leftover Chicken and Rice Soup?
Leaving the rice in the soup will result in a block of jelly-like muck the next morning since the rice will have absorbed all the liquid.
There is no other way to prevent this but to separate the broth from the rice, chicken, and veggies using a strainer or slotted spoon, then chill or freeze them separately.
The best method for preparing the Chicken and Rice Soup to transport somewhere else is described in the recipe notes; it entails cooking the rice separately with some of the broth and water before adding it to the soup when it’s time to serve.
Is Chicken Rice Soup Healthier than Chicken Noodles?
White carbs are all the same, even though chicken and rice soup may sound healthier than traditional chicken noodles. Rice is the best option for lower calorie and carbohydrate content. However, pasta defeats rice if you’re looking for protein and fiber. Though both can contribute to a balanced diet, the choice frequently comes down to personal preference because the nutritional differences are so slight.”Various macro- and micronutrients are abundant, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, and others.
Strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components are also present.” According to research, chicken noodle soup may be especially helpful when unwell. Due to the inclusion of chicken, clear chicken soup is a good source of protein. The sensation of satiety that protein promotes prevents overeating and bingeing on other unhealthy foods, which further aids in accomplishing targeted weight loss goals.
How Long do you Boil Rice?
Rice and water should be added to a medium pot and heated over high heat until boiling. Simmer for 15–25 minutes, or until the rice is soft and the water has been entirely absorbed (will depend on the size and freshness of the rice). Cook with heat-safe plastic wrap until all the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes for 2 cups of rice) before serving, fluff and season. Season the grain as you fluff it with a fork. Include 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt when using only water. Stir it thoroughly once to break up any clumps. Rice should be covered and cooked for 18 minutes with the heat set to the lowest level after bringing the mixture to a boil. After turning off the heat, let the pot sit for five minutes.
Using high heat, bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, stir the rice once, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let the rice simmer for 18 to 20 minutes without opening the lid. Rice should be covered and allowed to rest for 5 to 10 minutes after the pan is taken from the heat. With a fork, fluff rice after removing the lid.
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, rice, and a generous teaspoon of salt. Return the pan to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook the rice for 18 minutes, covered, or until it is cooked and the water has been absorbed. After 5 minutes of covered resting after removal from the heat, fluff with a fork and serve.
Can you Reheat the Chicken and Rice Soup?
Reheating. It would help if you microwaved your soup at 30-second intervals until it was hot. Reheat it in a stovetop pot, regaining a soup-like consistency by adding extra milk or broth. You should taste it and re-season it based on how much liquid you have to add. Reheating in a pot over medium heat on the stovetop is another option. Add more chicken broth or water if the rice has absorbed too much liquid and the soup consistency is too thick. Rice can be reheated, but care must be taken to ensure it is safe to consume.
Because it may contain Bacillus cereus germs that can survive specific cooking techniques, rice poses a bigger threat to public health than other leftover meals. When rice is heated up or cooked, this bacterium frequently causes food poisoning. Reheating chicken soup in the microwave is acceptable. Since chicken soup is a perishable dish, it must be properly heated to a temperature of 74 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit) to be safe to eat.
You prepare this straightforward chicken and rice soup if you or someone else is ill and in need of a warm bowl of comfort. When you want a hearty, home-cooked meal but are tired, this soup is what you make. You cook this soup for your picky kids when they say they won’t eat dinner and gobble up a big bowl of it. It is the soup you make when the weather is chill and you need to stay warm. It is the best soup recipe to have on hand because it is so easy to make, and everyone likes it. For the chicken, I use bone-in thigh for this dish since the flavor is in the fat.
The soup can be too greasy if I don’t remove the skin. In Australia, Woolworths offers packs of skinless, bone-in thighs inexpensively. Use one kg/2 lb of drumsticks that have been alternately cut; no skin removal is required. Skinless, boneless thighs are the second best choice, but they only need to cook for 15 minutes before being taken out, shredded, and put back into the soup.