This easy Chicken Rice Soup recipe is a healthy soup that’s perfect for chilly days! It’s loaded with vegetables and brown rice, simmered in chicken broth and finished with a touch of creaminess.
This is one of our favorite homemade Chicken and Rice Soup recipes and has unbelievable flavor and is easy to meal prep and make ahead for a busy week!
This Chicken Rice Soup is made by cooking chicken pieces in the broth which yields a beautiful savoury, golden, flavour infused broth without having to man handle a whole chicken. Skip the rotisserie chicken – this is better!
Can You Cook the Rice in the Soup?
A lot of recipes call for cooking the rice right in the soup- but I beg you not to do it. I like to cook it on the side in some chicken broth instead, this way the rice and the soup can be stored separately in the fridge or in the freezer. (Rice loves to absorb broth when it cooks and during storage.) -I’ve seen my friends use a slotted spoon to try to remove rice from the soup pot before storing leftovers. And I know you don’t have time for that.
Can I Freeze Chicken Rice Soup?
Homemade Chicken Rice Soup freezes perfectly if you follow a few important steps.
Low-fat milk does not freeze well and will separate. Regular evaporated milk would fare better over low fat or skim evaporated milk in this creamy chicken rice soup recipe. If you know you plan to freeze, for an even better result, I recommend using whole milk or even cream as the higher fat content does better when frozen and thawed.
Cool to room temperature, then place in a large freezer bag, seal completely, and lay flat to freeze in a thin layer. This will help the soup to thaw quickly when you need it for dinner!
To thaw, you can submerge the bag in lukewarm water until thawed, then reheat to the desired temperature in the microwave or on the stovetop.
How to store Leftover Chicken and Rice Soup?
Leave the rice in the soup, and you’ll be horrified by the block of jelly-like sludge that you’re faced with the next morning, caused by the rice absorbing all the liquid.
To avoid this, there’s no option other than to use a slotted spoon or colander to separate the broth from the rice, chicken and vegetables and to refrigerate or freeze them separately.
Choose the Right Rice!
Half of the battle to keep rice from sticking is having the right kind of rice. Generally, you want long-grain rice over medium and short-grain rice.
According to The Spruce Eats’s article on how to cook different varieties of rice, there are many different varieties of rice out there. They vary in nutritional makeup, but the specific nutrient that determines whether they’re going to be sticky or not is the type of starch they contain.
According to an October 2017 research article published in the International Journal of Research in Medicinal Sciences, rice contains two types of starch: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a long starch molecule without any branches. It won’t gelatinize during the cooking process, which means that rice with amylose separates well and ends up nice and fluffy. Non-sticky rice types have plenty of amylose.
Amylopectin, on the other hand, is a highly branched starch molecule that causes rice to stick together during the cooking process. Long grain rice varieties, which are mostly non-sticky rice types, tend to have more amylose than amylopectin, while short-grain rice varieties have more amylopectin than amylose. The result is that long-grain rice tends to end up fluffy and separate while short-grain rice ends up sticky and clumped. Here is a short breakdown of the different rice types:
- Long Grain White Rice: This rice ends up fluffy and separated.
- Medium Grain Rice: This rice has more amylopectin and a relatively soft outer layer, which makes it creamy after cooking.
- Short Grain Rice: This rice has more amylopectin and ends up sticky and creamy after cooking.
- Brown Rice: Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because of a harder outer layer. It cooks up fluffy due to the lower amylopectin and the hard outer layer.
- Basmati Rice: Basmati rice has long grains and is aromatic. It cooks up separate and fluffy.
- Jasmine Rice: Jasmine rice also has long grains and is aromatic. However, it has more amylopectin than the other long-grain rice varieties, causing it to be slightly creamier.
- Wild Rice: Wild rice isn’t actually rice. It is the seed of a native grass that grows in North America. It takes longer than normal rice to cook, and is chewier, with a nutty flavor. It mostly cooks up separate and fluffy, unless you cook it until it pops, in which case it will be stickier and softer.
- Converted Rice: This is pre-cooked rice. It cooks faster and gives more consistent results than other non-sticky rice types. It cooks up fluffy and separate.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe?
Everyone is going to love this recipe. And here’s why:
Make it in under 30 minutes. Do you know many soups that can be made in under 30 minutes? We can’t name that many, but this is one of them! So, you can easily make it on the fly!
It’s really good for you! There are no strange ingredients here. Every single one of them is a whole food that has many health benefits. Chicken soup is known for its healing properties and this soup is no different.
Chicken And Rice Soup INGREDIENTS:
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2-3 medium-sized carrots, peeled then thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin vegetable oil
- Homemade gluten-free flavorer and pepper
- 2 chicken breasts, dig bite-sized pieces
- 64 oz (8 cups) gluten-free chicken stock
- 1 cup long grain polished rice
- Heat extra virgin vegetable oil during a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrots, season with flavorer and pepper, then stir to mix .
- Cover the pot with a lid then saute until vegetables are very tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic then saute without the lid on for 30 seconds.
- Turn heat up to high then add chicken stock and convey to a boil. Add rice then stir to mix.
- Season chicken with seasoning salt and pepper then increase the broth and stir to mix .
- Turn heat right down to medium then simmer uncovered until rice is tender, 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the warmth then place a lid on top and let sit for five minutes.
- Taste then add more flavorer and/or pepper to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve.
CHICKEN: Fat is where all the flavour is, so I use bone in thigh for this recipe. I remove the skin otherwise the soup is a bit too greasy – just pull it off, it comes off easily. Skinless bone in thighs are sold in packets at Woolies in Australia – they are great value.
Alternative cuts: drumsticks will also work, no need to remove skin, use 1 kg/2lb. Skinless boneless thighs are the next best – but only cook for 15 min then add the rice, cook for further 15 min then take the chicken out, shred then return to soup, serve.
Store bought rotisserie chicken: Follow recipe except reduce water by 1 cup, use 2 1/2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken. Then add the broth and water, bring to simmer, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, then add rice, cook for 15 minutes, then serve.
Breast is so lean, it simply doesn’t infuse the broth with enough flavour so I can’t recommend it BUT in the event of an emergency, it can be used. Simmer 500g/1lb of breast gently for 10 minutes, then add rice and cook both for 15 minutes, remove breast, shred, return to soup, serve.
RICE: Any ordinary white rice is ideal here – long grain, medium, short grain, sushi rice, jasmine and basmati. Quinoa could also be used. Paella and risotto rice are not suitable. Brown and wild rice needs to be added 5 minutes after the chicken is added (it needs 40 minutes to cook).