Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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My favorite cozy chicken and wild rice soup recipe is made with the most delicious creamy broth, a generous helping of veggies and greens, plus the classic chicken and wild rice that we all love!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup Recipe

For those of you who are also craving some cozy comfort food right about now, I vote we return to a classic today that’s always good for the soul…

…a warm, hearty, oh-so-delicious bowl of chicken and wild rice soup. ♡

My favorite chicken wild rice soup recipe is full of all of the tender chicken and hearty wild rice that we all know and love.  But I especially love this version because it’s also loaded up with lots of veggies and greens too.  Plus it’s also made with the most delicious rich and creamy rosemary broth that’s lightened up a tad by using milk instead of heavy cream.

I typically make this soup on the stovetop, but I’ve included an Instant Pot option below as well.  Plus I’ve also included options for how to make this soup gluten-free (or even vegetarian), different seasonings you can use, other ingredients you can swap in or swap out, plus my favorite ingredient to add to this soup when I’m feeling indulgent (hint hint: it’s bacon).

Alright, let’s make some chicken and wild rice soup, friends!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Ingredients:

A few quick notes about the ingredients you will need to make this chicken and wild rice soup recipe!  (As always, full ingredient amounts and instructions are included in the recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • Mirepoix: We will use the classic mix of carrots, celery and onion as a base for this soup — sautéd in butter or olive oil until softened.
  • Garlic: And lots of it, to add rich garlicky flavor to the broth.
  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour to thicken this soup, but see the alternative options below for gluten-free thickeners you can use instead.  (Or you can omit the thickeners and just enjoy the thinner broth on it’s own, which is equally delicious!)
  • Chicken stock: Or veggie stock, whichever you have on hand.
  • Chicken: I typically just toss two boneless skinless chicken breasts into the soup, which cook along with the wild rice, and then shred them afterwards.  But you also have the option to pre-dice the raw chicken and then add it to the soup.  Or you can just add in precooked diced or shredded chicken that you have on hand instead.
  • Mushrooms: I like to use baby bella mushrooms in this soup — either diced or thinly sliced — but you can omit them if you don’t like mushrooms.
  • Wild rice: As always, be sure to double-check that you are using 100% wild rice and not black rice (which will turn the soup purple!).  Or, you are welcome to use a wild rice blend too.
  • Rosemary: I add a tablespoon (or more, if you’d like!) of finely-chopped fresh rosemary to this soup.  But you could also sub in 1 teaspoon (or more) of dried rosemary, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Bay leaves: Whose flavor really enhances this broth.
  • Milk: I used whole cow’s milk in my soup, but you could also use any other plain plant-based milk that you prefer.
  • Baby spinach: Just to sneak some greens into this soup too!  I like to add chopped baby spinach, but you could also use collard greens or kale.
  • Salt and pepper: As always, for seasoning.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Spinach

How To Make Chicken Wild Rice Soup:

To make this chicken wild rice soup recipe, we will simply:

  1. Sauté the veggies.  Melt butter or oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the flour and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in the next round of ingredients.  Gradually pour in the chicken stock, stirring the soup frequently as you pour so that the clumps of flour can melt into the broth.  Add the chicken breasts, mushrooms, wild rice, rosemary, bay leaves and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer.  Let the soup continue cooking until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until the wild rice is tender — being sure to stir the soup every 5-7 minutes so that the bottom of the pot does not burn.
  4. Shred or dice the chicken.  Use tongs to carefully transfer the chicken breasts to a clean plate.  Then you can either dice or use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and stir it back into the soup.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir in the milk and baby spinach until combined.
  6. Season.  Remove and discard the bay leaves.  Taste and season the soup with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs.
  7. Serve.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Possible Chicken Soup Variations:

There are so many delicious ways that you can customize this soup, so please feel free to get creative and add in whatever favorite ingredients you have on hand!  For example, feel free to…

  • Make it in the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot: See instructions in the recipe box below.
  • Make it gluten-free: Omit the all-purpose flour, and make a cornstarch slurry (with equal parts cornstarch and cold water whisked together) to thicken the soup instead.  Once the rice has cooked, add in 1-2 tablespoons of the slurry to the soup at a time until the broth reaches your desired level of thickness.
  • Make it vegetarian: Feel free to sub in a can of chickpeas in place of the chicken (and veggie stock in place of chicken stock) to make this soup vegetarian.  Or I would also recommend my vegan Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup recipe, which is made with a base of sweet potatoes and coconut milk.
  • Skip the thickener: If you would like a thinner broth, feel free to omit the flour (or cornstarch) altogether.  You can also use an immersion blender to just purée some of the broth (be sure that the chicken has been removed when you do this) to thicken the broth a bit, if you would like.
  • Add bacon: If you really want to amp up the flavor of this soup, I highly recommend frying 6-8 slices of bacon at the beginning of the recipe.  Then remove and crumble the bacon to use as bacon bits to garnish your serving bowls, and use the leftover bacon grease to sauté the veggies (instead of the butter or oil).
  • Use Old Bay: In place of the rosemary, I also love using 1 1/2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning to give this soup more of a Cajun twist.  Trust me, it’s delicious!
  • Use different greens: Collards or kale would also be delicious in place of the spinach.
  • Use different rice or orzo: Feel free to sub different kinds of rice or orzo pasta in for the wild rice, if you would like.  Just note that the cooking time will be different depending upon which type of rice/pasta that you choose.
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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

My favorite cozy chicken and wild rice soup recipe is made with the most delicious creamy broth, a generous helping of veggies and greens, plus the classic chicken and wild rice that we all love!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups plain milk (cow’s milk or plant-based milk)
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Sauté the veggies.  Melt butter or oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the flour and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in the next round of ingredients.  Gradually pour in the chicken stock, stirring the soup frequently as you pour so that the clumps of flour can melt into the broth.  Add the chicken breasts, mushrooms, wild rice, rosemary, bay leaves and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer.  Let the soup continue cooking until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer, cover, and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the wild rice is tender — being sure to stir the soup every 5-7 minutes so that the bottom of the pot does not burn.
  4. Shred or dice the chicken.  Use tongs to carefully transfer the chicken breasts to a clean plate.  Then you can either dice or use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and stir it back into the soup.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir in the milk and baby spinach until combined.
  6. Season.  Remove and discard the bay leaves.  Taste and season the soup with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs.
  7. Serve.  Serve warm and enjoy!


Notes

Chicken: Or feel free to add in 3-4 cups of (precooked) diced or shredded chicken instead of raw chicken.

Instant Pot Option: To make pressure cooker chicken and wild rice soup, simply add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken stock, chicken breasts, wild rice, rosemary and bay leaves to the bowl of your Instant Pot.  Cover, seal and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release, followed by a quick release.  Meanwhile in a separate saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Then whisk in the milk until combined and continue heating until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add the mixture to the soup.  Continue on with steps 4-7.

Crock-Pot Option: To make slow cooker chicken and wild rice soup, simply add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken stock, chicken breasts, wild rice, rosemary and bay leaves to the bowl of a large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the rice is tender.  Meanwhile in a separate saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Then whisk in the milk until combined and continue heating until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add the mixture to the soup.  Continue on with steps 4-7.

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19 comments on “Chicken and Wild Rice Soup”

  1. Love the looks of it! I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I started training with SportMe running app, and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!

  2. I do not see the cooking instructions for using an instant pot or crock pot.

  3. I couldn’t find the Instapot directions. Where are they?

    • Made this to feed the family of 6 while socially distancing ourselves during COVID19 epidemic

  4. Do you think coconut milk would be a good substitute for the milk? I’m severely lactose intolerant.
    Thank you! 😊

    • I did this and it was INCREDIBLE. I didn’t think there were any thickening issues. It probably changed the flavor a little, but I think for the better.

  5. I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! I used coconut milk and I think it gave it a little extra flavor too. Will definitely be making again.

  6. This soup is amazing. I wanted something healthy yet comforting and this soup fills the bill! In these strange times, it’s nice to do some methodical chopping – but not too much. Really delicious. Definitely a new favourite in this house!

  7. This sounds so comforting! Gonna have to try it for these early spring snow showers!

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Husband and kids loved it, too. I made it on the stove-top and followed the recipe exactly. For reference, I used low sodium broth and added about 1.5 tsp salt at the end and I thought that was perfect. I served it with your 1-hour dinner rolls and everyone raved about the meal. Thanks!

  9. Have been using Whole Foods Crab Boil (so worth the trip) to flavor pretty much ALL of your soups—my family enjoy so much—thank you!!!

  10. Another winner! Several of your recipes have become family favorites. So, you’ve been in our kitchen so much I’m starting to feel like we’re friends. (But not in the creepy troll way, LOL.) Thanks for helping keep our bunch happy.

  11. I made this last night and thought it was great! My husband didn’t like it as much as I did and he added sriracha to give it some heat. I omitted the mushrooms as I don’t care for them. Next time I would add more veggies and spinach and some sage.

  12. Looks amazing, Ali! Chicken soup is such a comfor food!

  13. Wow,
    i will go on with this recipe by organic chciken.

  14. think i could add zucchini to amp up the veggies? They would go in at the end with the spinach.

  15. This is an excellent recipe and is very filling; and lots left over. My kids and husband loved it; definitely recommend!

  16. I just made this soup and it is just fantastic. I actually didn’t want to share it with my husband. It’s like potato chips, I just can’t get enough. An absolute do over and over and over.

  17. I am going to give this a go – it looks delicious. Do you think I could freeze any leftover?