Herb Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Updated: Nov 30th, 2023 · By Bethany Kramer
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Learn how to make healthy chicken and wild rice soup! This flavorful soup is filled with a rich broth, accents of chopped vegetables, and lots of fresh herbs. It’s gluten-free friendly and perfect for fall/winter!

ceramic bowl with chicken and rice soup in it on dark background with gray napkin next to it.

If you’re looking for a cozy fall soup to make that’s quick and simple, this chicken and wild rice soup is a winner! It contains hearty wild rice, rich broth, and accents of chopped vegetables and tender chicken in every bite.

To elevate the flavors this soup requires fresh herbs instead of dried, and also utilizes both fresh garlic and garlic powder to layer with flavor. It’s simple, delicious, and a recipe everyone is sure to love!

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Ingredients – What You Need

You’ll need a handful of vegetables and pantry ingredients to make this soup happen! See below for the full list.

Ingredients for chicken and rice soup arranged on dark gray background.

Chicken: I recommend using thighs (boneless + skinless) versus chicken breast because the thighs are a lot more tender and release a lot more flavor.
Rice: This recipe uses wild rice, but you can also swap for brown or white rice (cooking times will vary as the recipe notes).
Carrots: for flavor and to add some veggies!
Celery: adds tons of flavor to the broth.
Onion: yellow onion is recommended for the base flavor of the broth.
Garlic: lots of garlic for lots of flavor!
Chicken broth: use organic broth that is low sodium, then adjust salt to taste as needed.
Oil: for sauteing the vegetables.
Herbs: use fresh thyme sprigs to infuse flavor into the soup while it simmers and fresh parsley to season at the end.

Step by Step Recipe Instructions

(1) First, brown chicken in oil on both sides for about 3 minutes. Then remove chicken from the pot.

(2) Add vegetables into the same pot as chicken (do not wipe out the pot) and saute them with a pinch of salt along with chicken bits and oil (It adds flavor!). Saute vegetables for 5 minutes or until soft.

(3) When vegetables are done, add the browned chicken to the pot with the vegetables. Then add thyme sprigs, broth, and rice to the pot.

(4) Then add rice to the pot (depending on what rice you choose will depend on the cooking time).

For wild rice or brown rice, you’ll need to cook the soup for 40 minutes. For white rice, you’ll need to only cook it for 20 minutes.

(5) When the soup is finished, remove the chicken and use forks to shred it into pieces. Then place chicken back into the pot, season soup with salt & black pepper to taste, then season with fresh parsley.

Tips for Success

Why this recipe is “salt to taste” – the reason this recipe (and most on my blog) do not have an exact measurement of salt is that I’m a firm believer in “salting to taste”. Why? Because not all salt is shaped the same – some salt grains are bigger, some are smaller, and so the flavor can be very different even if the measurement is the exact same. To avoid under-seasoning or over-seasoning, I recommend salting in small amounts at a time, tasting, and repeating until the flavor is just right.

Using different types of rice – not all rice is going to cook the same. If you use white rice the cooking time will be about 20 minutes, brown rice and wild rice are both about 45 minutes.

Mix up the herbs – you can also add different herbs to this soup such as oregano, herbs de Provence, or rosemary.

Use fresh herbs – the easiest way to elevate flavor in a recipe is using fresh herbs instead of dried! Dried herbs have a lot less flavor.

chicken breast or thighs – you can use any cut of chicken you like. I used boneless/skinless thighs for this recipe because they are a lot more tender and moist, you can also use chicken breast. Depending on how big the chicken cut is, you may need to adjust the simmering time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do leftovers keep? This soup should keep for about 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can I freeze it? of course! The best method is letting the soup cool completely to room temperature, then store in an airtight container or in a freezer-friendly bag (air pressed out and laid flat), then freeze for 1-2 months.

Are the measurements for dried herbs the same as fresh? Even though I don’t recommend using dried herbs in this soup, the measurements will be different than fresh. Herbs shrink in size when dried, so you’ll need to use half the amount for dried as you would for fresh herbs.

hand holding spoon in bowl of chicken and rice soup on dark background with gray napkin next to it.

What to Pair it With

Complete your meal by pairing this cozy soup with something extra alongside! Try our 10-minute naan pizzas or tortilla pizzas for something easy and delicious. If you love a good side salad, try pairing it with this warm brussels sprout and kale salad or this Tuscan artichoke salad.

More Cozy Soups to Try

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Tuscan Kale & Chickpea Soup
Italian Minestrone Soup
Vegetarian Pasta E Fagioli

Herb Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

5 from 2 votes
Learn how to make healthy chicken and wild rice soup! This flavorful soup is filled with a rich broth that's slowly simmered, accents of chopped vegetables, and lots of fresh herbs. It's gluten-free friendly and perfect for fall/winter!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serves 6 cup
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken and rice soup, chicken and wild rice soup, healthy chicken and rice soup
Freezer Friendly Yes
Author Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 yellow onion medium in size or half a large onion
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2 cup celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup dried wild rice see notes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste see notes

Instructions

  • Brown the chicken: in a large heavy pot, brown the chicken in oil for about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Saute the veggies: remove the brown chicken from the pot and set it aside. Add the diced onions, celery, carrots, and garlic with a pinch of salt to the same pot, saute until soft (about 5 minutes). Tip: do not wipe out the pot after removing the chicken. Cooking the veggies in the oil and with the "bits" of chicken is a simple way to add flavor!
  • Add remaining ingredients: after cooking the vegetables, add the chicken back to the pot, along with chicken broth, thyme sprigs, garlic powder, wild rice, and a generous pinch of salt.
  • Simmer: cover, and let the soup cook at a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Shred chicken: when the rice is cooked, remove the chicken thighs and use two forks to shred the chicken into pieces. Then add the shredded chicken back to the pot of soup.
  • Season: add chopped fresh parsley, taste soup and adjust with additional salt and black pepper until the flavor is just right. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Why this recipe is “salt to taste” – the reason this recipe (and most on my blog) do not have an exact measurement of salt is that I’m a firm believer in “salting to taste”. Why? Because not all salt is shaped the same – some salt grains are bigger, some are smaller, and so the flavor can be very different even if the measurement is the exact same. To avoid under-seasoning or over-seasoning, I recommend salting in small amounts at a time, tasting, and repeating until the flavor is just right.
Using different types of rice – not all rice is going to cook the same. If you use white rice the cooking time will be about 20 minutes, brown rice and wild rice are both about 45 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.9g | Protein: 39.8g | Fat: 10.6g | Cholesterol: 175.4mg | Sodium: 1123.1mg

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4 Comments

  • Risa says:

    5 stars
    This soup was delicious! I had a roasted chicken already available–so I didn’t use the chicken thighs. It was still amazing, and probably would’ve been even more flavorful with the chicken actually cooking in the soup. The fresh thyme is the cherry on top with this recipe!! Don’t skimp on that. Another flavorful and easy recipe from her blog!!

  • Sam says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight with some homemade bread my partner had made. Delightful! We have an allium allergy in the household so to help mitigate that I opted for a dash of onion powder and garlic powder instead of the raw versions. Still delightful!