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Mom’s Chicken and Rice Soup is healthy, hearty, flavorful, and a family favorite comfort food for cold days. Recipe includes instructions for white rice, wild rice, and brown rice.

A sauce pan filled with chicken and rice soup.

“In January it’s so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice, to sip hot chicken soup with rice.” Maurice Sendak was really onto something with chicken and rice soup, and who are we to disagree? Chicken and rice soup is one of our favorite winter dinners. While it may be cold and snowy outside, our bellies are warm and filled with a delicious, hearty soup. 

Chicken and rice soup is filled with delicious shredded chicken, hearty veggies and rice, and the most delicious broth. It is so comforting when sick, but you don’t need to wait for your next sniffly nose to enjoy this soup! Whip this up anytime the craving hits! We especially love to serve this up with crusty, artisan or garlic bread on the side. We know you’ll love this enough to “sip it once, sip it twice, and sip hot chicken soup with rice!”

  • White Rice Substitutes and Cooking Times:

    You really could use any rice you prefer in this soup, however whole grain rices will take longer to cook than white rices. If you intend to use a whole grain rice, make sure you test your rice before calling it done. With the longer cooking times, if the rice absorbs too much liquid for your liking, just add more chicken broth.

    • Brown Rice will need to cook for approximately 50-60 minutes.

    • Wild Rice will need to cook for approximately  40-45 minutes.

  • Chicken Options:

    This recipe is written for boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but they do require a longer cooking time. Chicken thighs need to be simmered for 30 to 40 minutes. You will need to adjust the recipe by changing when you add in your rice to account for the increased cooking time. This also makes chicken thighs preferable for using brown rice or wild rice, which also have longer cooking times. 

    For a convenient option, you can also use leftover diced chicken or rotisserie chicken. Simply skip the first step and start by sauteeing the vegetables. During the last 5 minutes of simmering, add in your chicken and continue to simmer until vegetables are softened and the rice is cooked through.
  • Leftover, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions:

    LEFTOVERS: The rice in this soup continues to absorb liquid, therefore this recipe is best served fresh. If you anticipate that you will have leftovers, we highly recommend using brown rice or wild rice. While the rice will continue to absorb liquid,  wild rice or brown rice will be less mushy than white rice. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.

    FREEZE: Allow your soup to cool before storing in freezer-safe storage bags. You can freeze in quart size bags for single portions, or for the whole family in gallon size bags. Simply fill your desired size bag, seal, and lay flat in the freezer for easier thawing and stacking. 

    REHEATING: Reheat in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add more chicken broth as needed. 

Chicken and rice soup.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious soup recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Mom's Chicken and Rice Soup

6 servings

A sauce pan filled with chicken and rice soup.
Mom's Chicken and Rice Soup is healthy, hearty, flavorful, and a family favorite comfort food for cold days. Recipe includes instructions for white rice, wild rice, and brown rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 medium white onion , diced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sear chicken breasts in olive oil for 2 minutes per side until golden brown, but not cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
  • Add in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Add in onion, carrots, and celery and saute 4-5 minutes. Add in rice, ginger, and garlic and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  • Return chicken to pot. Pour in chicken broth and season with thyme and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Use tongs to remove chicken from pot. Shred and return to pot. Pour in heavy cream (if using). Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until rice and vegetables are soft.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken Thighs will need to simmer for approximately 30 to 40 minutes and are preferred when using brown or wild rice due to the longer cook times. 
Brown Rice will need to cook for approximately 50-60 minutes.
Wild Rice will need to cook for approximately  40-45 minutes.
*If the rice absorbs too much liquid for your liking, add more chicken broth to taste. 
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken and Rice Soup
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Chris Ruby
January 3, 2021 6:14 pm

5 stars
I have always made the soup separately from the rice. The rice became mushy when I made the rice in the soup.
I have not read or made your recipe…do you experience mushy rice?

Martha Douds
January 13, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  Chris Ruby

I’ve not made this either but when I’ve added rice to soup to cook it’s been ok the first time but kind of mushy in leftovers. I prefer brown or wild rice, possibly one of those rice mixes (not converted). Tex something or other.

I’m debating too about cooking rice separately but I like the convenience of a one pot soup.

Betty W
January 9, 2021 1:44 pm

5 stars
Love this soup…so easy once all the chopping was done…
Needed to add more salt and pepper at the end like the recipe says. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will be making it again and more often..

January 8, 2021 9:04 pm

Hi Rachel, I know you must be busy and what with your health and all, but it is getting quite frustrating when hardly any of the comments we leave here on your website are answered. It seems you do most of your answering on youtube, but to be fair, there is not nearly the kind of response you give to comments, or at the very least, questions, on your webpages. It would be helpful to check in once in a while, at least to answer proper questions. Or hire extra help to do that for you. Some of us do… Read more »

January 14, 2021 2:23 pm

This was a winner. Made with chicken leg meat and wild rice. Brought to boil, covered, lowered temp, and cooked chicken for 35 min. Uncovered about 10 minutes while I roughly shredded chicken. Returned chicken to pot and cooked about 5 more minutes, covered, only because the rice needed a bit more. Husband and toddler approved ☺️

Mrs Dumas
January 12, 2021 5:39 pm

5 stars
My mom made this for us today and it was so good I could have cried! Delicious and fresh! Just what I needed.

January 12, 2021 7:40 am

5 stars
Loved this will try wild rice next time got up very early and saw this can’t wait to see what my husband thinks I know he will love it to thanks for sharing

Christine Belsan
January 7, 2021 12:25 am

I made this meal and I was a success at cooking it!Thanks to the simplicity of ingredients and detailed, well explained directions. Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes and I’m not a fan of cooking. You’ve inspired me.

Jennifer Nebeker
January 6, 2021 8:47 pm

Thanks for sharing the recipe. My family loved the soup. ❤️ Delicious!

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