Chicken and rice soup is delicious, warm, cozy, and comforting feel-good meal. It’s what “chicken soup for the soul” is all about. Tender chicken is simmered in a rich broth with onions, carrots, and rice, and fresh herbs. It is perfect for cooler days in the fall or winter, as an immune booster when you have a cold, or whenever you are craving something warm and healthy. Plus, it’s easy to cook up a big pot of chicken soup and difficult to do it wrong—so it’s great for novice cooks and experts alike.
Why You’ll Love Chicken and Rice Soup
- It’s so easy to make. This chicken and rice soup is nearly a one-pot meal. It creates minimal cleanup, and it’s a recipe that’s easy enough that even newbies in the kitchen can confidently make it. Choose this low-stress, low-energy recipe for a healthy, high-energy meal.
- Bone-in chicken thighs. By using bone in chicken thighs or legs, you are adding so much more flavor to the broth than compared to chicken breast. Thanks to the bones and the extra delectable fats, you are adding more intense richness. Plus, they’re nearly impossible to overcook and way cheaper (about ⅓ the price) of chicken breasts. Sounds like a win-win-win.
- Chicken soup is comfort in a bowl. Seriously. This chicken and rice soup is scientifically proven to have feel-good benefits. Chicken is high in tryptophan, an amino acid your body needs to produce serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for mood regulation and your sense of well-being.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this cozy chicken and rice soup, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- onions + garlic - these are staples in soup to add delicious flavor.
- long grain white rice - any long grain white rice will work, such as basmati rice or jasmine rice.
- chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- chicken thighs or legs - you could substitute with 1 cup of rotisserie chicken instead and cook for just 10 minutes instead of 45 minutes before adding in the cilantro and following the recipe as written.
How to Make the Best Chicken and Rice Soup
- Add ingredients. In a large stockpot or 4 quart Dutch oven, add onion, garlic, rice, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and simmer. Add chicken and carrots. Bring to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add cilantro. Stir in cilantro and cover. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred it using 2 forks. Discard the bones and return the shredded chicken back into the pot.
- Serve. Serve immediately with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add ½ cup of water at a time to thin it out. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper, if desired.
- How to store: Allow chicken and rice soup to cool to room temperature, then store in the same pot with the lid or transfer to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- How to freeze: Maximize the shelf life of your homemade chicken and rice soup by freezing it after it’s cooled down. Keep in a sturdy airtight container (but leave some room for the broth to expand). Eat within 3 months.
- How to reheat: Reheat this chicken soup on the stovetop over medium heat, occasionally stirring until it is heated all the way through. If the soup is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight first. You can also reheat soup in the microwave in 20-30 second increments. If frozen, break up ice chunks with a spoon as best you can as you reheat.
More Soup Recipes
- 60 Best Soup Recipes
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Split Pea Soup
- Beef Cabbage Barley Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage
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