Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup
Comforting Chicken and Rice Soup! Made with tender chicken thighs, nourishing fresh veggies, hearty rice and a savory lightly-lemony broth. A simple soup with so much satisfying flavor!

Serving of chicken and rice soup shown in a grey bowl over a wooden plate and red cloth.

Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Soup
This is such a basic soup made with everyday staple ingredients, yet it packs in so much goodness paired with an enjoyable and welcome flavor.

It’s the; not feeling so well, pick me up kind of soup, a dinner the whole family can agree on soup, or the not much in the fridge what to make for dinner kind of soup.

It checks so many boxes. In other words it’s one of those must try recipes for a rainy day. Literally.

One of the highlights of fall is breaking out all the soup recipes to warm us up and fill our homes with the scent of classic old fashioned dinner. Who can resist a stick-to-the-ribs homestyle recipe like this?

Pot of chicken and rice soup with a wooden ladle. Baguette bread is shown in the background.

Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe Ingredients
1.5 lbs bonless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 large carrots, diced (1 1/4 cups)
1 cup diced celery (2 large)
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp)
7 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 parmesan rind, plus shredded parmesan for serving
1 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Can I Use Chicken Breasts?
Boneless skinless chicken breasts will work too, just monitor them closely as they simmer and be careful not to cook past 165 in center of thickest portion or they start to get dry.

How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
Brown chicken thighs in pot: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Dab chicken thighs dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt.
Add to pot and sear until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.
Saute vegetables: Return pot to medium-high heat (there should be about 1 Tbsp oil in pot now, if needed you can add a little more). Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Mix in broth and seasonings: Pour in 7 cups chicken broth, add thyme, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer then add rice: Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in rice, and return chicken thighs to pot.
Cook chicken through, then chop: Reduce to low heat. Cover pot and let simmer until thighs are cooked through, about 8 minutes (they should be 165 in center).
Transfer thighs to a cutting board (shake rice that sticks back into pot). Let rest 5 minutes then cut chicken into small pieces.
Continue to cook soup: Meanwhile let soup continue to simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 8 to 12 minutes longer.
Stir in remaining ingredients: Remove soup from heat. Remove parmesan rind and bay leaves. Stir in chicken, parsley and lemon juice. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese to taste.
Helpful tip: As soup rests, it will thicken. You can thin with remaining 1 cup chicken broth if desired.

Eight photos together showing steps of making a pot of chicken and rice soup.

Possible Variations
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup
Swap white rice for brown rice or wild rice blend (or add white rice during the last 1.5 hours).
Saute vegetables in a skillet.
Add to slow cooker with rice, chicken, broth and seasonings.
Cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
Make it Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Replace 1 cup broth with 1 cup heavy cream.
Just wait until the end to stir in cream and just warm through.
Add Other Vegetables
Great choices here would be:

Mushrooms
Bell pepper
Peas
Sub a cup or two of minced cauliflower for half of the rice

Close up photo of chicken rice soup.

How to Store
Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Thin with more broth as needed.
Chicken and rice soup can be frozen as well.
What to Serve with It
Kale Salad
Green salad with ranch dressing or creamy pesto dressing
Pear Salad
No Knead Bread

Chicken and Rice Soup

Made with tender chicken thighs, nourishing fresh veggies, hearty rice and a savory lightly lemony broth. A simple soup with so much satisfying flavor! Makes about 10 to 11 cups.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs bonless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess visible fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
3 1/4 cups diced carrots (2 large)
1 cup diced celery (2 large)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
7 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 parmesan rind, plus shredded parmesan for serving
3/4 cup to 1 long grain white rice*
1/4 cup chopped fresh parlsey
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Instructions
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Dab chicken thighs dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt and pepper.
Add to pot and sear until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.
Return pot to medium-high heat (there should be about 1 Tbsp oil in pot now, if needed you can add a little more). Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Pour in 7 cups chicken broth, add thyme, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in rice, and return chicken thighs to pot.
Reduce to low heat. Cover pot and let simmer until thighs are cooked through, about 8 minutes (they should be 165 in center of thickest portion).
Transfer thighs to a cutting board (shake rice that sticks back into pot). Let rest 5 minutes then cut chicken into small pieces.
Meanwhile let soup continue to simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 8 to 12 minutes longer.
Remove soup from heat. Remove parmesan rind and bay leaves. Stir in chicken, parsley and lemon juice.

As soup rests it will thicken you can thin with remaining 1 cup chicken broth if desired. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese to taste.
Notes
*Some reviews have mentioned their soup being thicker than they’d like. Recipe originally listed 1 cup rice but you may want to go with 3/4 cup if you don’t want it quite as thick.