Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Creamy chicken & wild rice soup: Easy to make in just one pot, and so comforting! Chock-full of chicken, veggies, and hearty wild rice.
Today I’m bringing you yet another full, balanced meal made in just one pot: creamy chicken and wild rice soup!
But best of all it’s really quick and easy to make, and you’ll only dirty up one pot!
When I made this my kids came home from school wanting immediately to know what was for dinner! It made the whole house smell so good they couldn’t wait to eat it.
Table of Contents
- What is chicken wild rice soup?
- What’s great about this recipe
- What does creamy chicken and wild rice soup taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make creamy chicken and wild rice soup
- How to serve it
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- A few more of my favorite soup recipes
What is chicken wild rice soup?
This is a soup made from chicken, vegetables, herbs, and wild rice.
Wild rice is a little different from regular rice in that it’s got a really hearty, chewy texture, and an earthy, nutty taste.
The blend of different grains also has lots of variety of length and color, so it’s really pretty!
This recipe also has a touch of cream to enrich the soup and make it even more of a treat to eat.
What’s great about this recipe
- Tastes wonderful: This soup has a lovely rich chicken-y flavor, with a perfect blend of herbs and spices.
- Wholesome ingredients: It’s made with nutritious ingredients like white meat chicken and fresh vegetables.
- Easy to make: It only takes about 20 minutes of active time to make this dish.
- Hearty: This is real comfort food! It’s got tons going on and it will really stick to your ribs!
What does creamy chicken and wild rice soup taste like?
The predominant flavor in this soup is chicken. It has a wonderfully rich chicken flavor, enhanced with just the right amount of salt, pepper, and garlic.
There are also some nice winter herbs to give another layer of flavor.
The vegetables become sweeter as they cook, adding balance to the savory flavors as well as healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
And the wild rice rounds it all out with its nuttiness.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy chicken wild rice soup.
This ingredient helps brown the chicken as well as preventing it from sticking to the pot as it cooks.
It also works together with the flour to thicken the soup.
I like to use extra-virgin olive oil, but you can use any kind of oil that’s good for cooking.
Chicken tenderloins are a great time-saver because they’re already mostly broken down for you. In other words, you’ll spend a bit less time chopping them up into bite-sized pieces.
If you want a vegetarian or vegan chicken and wild rice soup, sub in your favorite plant-based chicken product.
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Mire poix is just a fancy French word for carrots, celery, and onions.
This mix of veggies is used so frequently it got its own name.
Flour is used to thicken the soup.
If you need a gluten-free chicken and wild rice recipe, I’ve got a perfect substitution outlined in the recipe card below.
Wild rice isn’t actually rice but a type grass with an edible grain.
I used a wild rice blend.
If you’d like to swap in regular rice, you can, but you’ll want to adjust the cook time because wild rice takes much longer to cook.
A combination of fresh thyme and bay leaves adds a nice complexity to this recipe. Toss them in whole but don’t forget to fish the woody bits out before serving!
Cream enriches the soup and helps the flavors to linger on your tongue.
If you don’t want to use cream, you can use another type of dairy (such as half and half or milk), or a plant-based dairy substitute, or just leave it out altogether.
Here are the kitchen tools you’ll need to make this dish.
- Measuring cups and spoons: To measure out the ingredients.
- Pot: To cook everything in. I prefer an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
- Spoon: For stirring. Go for a silicone spoon or a wooden spoon.
How to make creamy chicken and wild rice soup
Let’s walk through the recipe instructions together!
Step 1: Cook the chicken
Cut the chicken tenderloins into bite-sized pieces, then add them to a big pot along with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Cook over medium heat until the chicken is golden brown on the outside.
Then remove it from the pot and set it aside.
Step 2: Saute the veggies
Right back in the same pot go the carrots, celery, and onion.
Sweat these down until they’re becoming tender and the onion looks a little translucent.
Step 3: Make a roux
Now sprinkle the flour all over the veggies, and stir everything together so it all gets coated.
The flour will incorporate with the oil and juices in the pan to create what’s called a “roux.” This paste will thicken the broth for a really hearty texture.
You see how the vegetables become coated with the roux?
Step 4: Add broth
Next, pour in the stock, slowly, stirring as you go so that the roux blends in smoothly.
Now you can add the browned chicken back in, along with the rice and herbs.
Step 5: Simmer
Lower the heat down to a bare simmer, and allow the soup to cook (covered) until the rice is done.
The instructions on my wild rice packaging told me this would take around an hour.
The last ingredient to go in is the cream.
How to serve it
This recipe makes a fully balanced meal in just one pot. You’ve got your protein, starch, and veggies all right there.
It really doesn’t need much else but I do love it with a hunk of buttered bread!
Check out my easy ciabatta bread, focaccia bread, or easy French baguettes if you like something really chewy or crusty, or my brioche bread, soft homemade dinner rolls, or homemade crescent rolls for a softer, more pillow-y option.
Make it ahead: Everything but the wild rice can sit on the stove and bubble away all day! The longer this cooks the more tender it becomes. But if you go this route, the rice will absorb a lot of liquid and the soup could become really thick over time, almost like a chicken and wild rice casserole. If you really want soup, it might be best to cook the rice separately and add it just before serving.
Instant pot chicken and wild rice soup: This can be made in the instant pot too! Cook the chicken and veggies as noted on the saute setting, then add the remaining ingredients and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 30 minutes.
Slow cooker chicken and wild rice soup: Saute everything as noted, then add everything to the slow cooker or crockpot, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Frequently asked questions
What is the serving size?
This is a very hearty, filling soup and when I make it we usually get about 6 servings out of the pot.
The nutritional info in the recipe card below is for 1/6th of the pot.
Can this be made ahead?
It certainly can but you may notice the longer it sits, the more liquid the wild rice absorbs.
After a few hours, this can result in something more akin to a casserole than a soup. Which I find to be equally delicious!
But if you really want to maintain the consistency of a soup, you may want to cook the wild rice separately and then add it into the bowl just before serving.
How to store and keep
This soup can be left over a low flame or at room temperature for an hour or so.
If you have leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and allow them to come to room temperature before stashing in the fridge. This soup should keep in the fridge for around a week.
Or you can freeze it. It’s good in the freezer for a month or two, and can be thawed in the microwave or fridge and warmed until heated through.
A few more of my favorite soup recipes
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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound (453.59 g) chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
- 2 cups (256 g) carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 stalks (80 g) celery, roughly chopped
- 1 (110 g) onion, medium, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour*
- 32 ounces (907.19 g) chicken stock
- 1 cup (160 g) wild rice, (uncooked)
- 1 sprig (1 g) fresh thyme
- 2 (0.2 g) bay leaves
- 1/2 cup (119 g) cream
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken, salt, garlic powder, and pepper, and sear until golden (approx. 5 to 10 minutes).
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
- Saute the carrots, celery, and onion until slightly softened (approx. 3 to 5 minutes).
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir to coat.
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock, while stirring to avoid lumps.
- Add the cooked chicken and its juices back to the pot, along with the wild rice,** thyme, and bay leaves.
- Turn the pot down to a low simmer and allow the soup to cook until the rice is done (approx. 50 to 60 minutes).
- Stir in the cream, fish out the thyme stems and bay leaves, and serve.