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Our Chicken and Rice Soup is an easy, delicious meal that’ll fill your house with a comforting aroma. Imagine coming home to tender chicken and fresh herbs that have been simmering for hours. Now that’s chicken soup for the soul!
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This Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice soup is also great for entertaining guests because you can prepare it ahead of time. It’s perfect for those busy days when you need to make something for dinner but don’t have a lot of time to spend on prep work or cooking meals from scratch. It’s truly a fix it and forget it meal that everyone in the family loves. I serve it with some crusty rolls, breadsticks, or my kids’ favorite, cornbread.
Ingredients in Chicken and Rice Soup
- Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- Chicken broth
- Parboiled rice, long grain rice, brown rice, or make it a chicken wild rice soup by using wild rice (see recipe notes)
- Yellow onion
- Medium carrots
- Celery ribs
- Bay leaf
Seasonings for Chicken and Rice Soup
Isn’t it nostalgic to use fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme all in one recipe? These seasonings complement each other so well. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a big Simon and Garfunkel fan. My parents listened to their music when I was growing up and I still listen to it today. I love the song Scarborough Fair/Canticle. It was released on their album, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme”. Scarborough is a town in England and in Medieval times, there was a Fair there that lasted for 45 days! Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme represented virtues that are important to the lyrics of the song. Parsley represented comfort, sage represented strength, rosemary represented love, and thyme represented courage. You can read more about it on songfacts.com.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Chicken and Rice Soup are so good for the body and soul, especially when you are feeling under the weather. Studies show that Chicken Soup has properties that soothe cold symptoms like coughs, sore throats, and runny noses. The other veggies in the soup — carrots, celery, onions — also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Dr. Oz posted an interesting article that gives more details about this called “You Wanted to Know: Chicken Soup.”
After learning this, I feel even better knowing the benefits of this meal! It’s a great source of fiber, protein, and calcium. And if you use low sodium broth, you can keep the cholesterol and saturated fat down without sacrificing flavor. So many good things come from the chicken broth itself. And who doesn’t need comfort, strength, love, and courage? I hope all of this comes to you and more when you enjoy this delicious soup!
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe Tips
- Use fresh seasonings, as mentioned above. Feel free to add more or less depending on your taste. I tend to use a little more because I love the taste of the seasonings in the soup — especially the sage and rosemary. If I have a seasoning that is losing its flavor, I grind it a little between my fingers before adding it to the soup. This will bring out more of the taste and smell.
- If you want the rice to cook at the same rate as the raw chicken breasts, be sure to use parboiled rice (also called converted rice). This is the best rice and cooks beautifully in the Crockpot. If you prefer basmati, brown, white rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, or even quinoa, prepare 1 cup uncooked rice according to the package directions and stir into the soup just before serving.
- If you are watching fat content, you can totally skip the butter. The butter gives a little more richness to the broth, but it is not necessary. The soup will taste just as good without it.
- Keep the Crockpot lid on while soup is cooking. I know it’s tempting, but each time the lid is removed heat escapes and it add to the cooking time.
- This soup thickens when it cools. I love leftovers of this soup because the flavors really come out after it sits for a day or two, but it will be a thicker soup than when you eat it straight from the Slow Cooker. If you prefer a thinner soup, just add some water to it when re-heating to give it the consistency you desire.
- Reheat the soup either on a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Use rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or any chicken you have on hand for this soup.
- Feel free to toss in any extra veggies you have: broccoli, kale, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on what kind of rice you want to use in the soup. Parboiled rice, also called converted rice, cooks beautifully along with the other ingredients in the soup in the slow cooker. If you prefer using brown, white, or wild rice, prepare the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top and add to the slow cooker just before serving.
Yes! This is Chicken and Rice Soup can easily be made gluten free! Use a gluten free chicken broth, like Swanson’s Chicken Broth, and you are good to go!
Cook the rice separately and add it to the soup just before serving. If you use parboiled, or converted rice, it won’t get soggy.
This does make a big batch of soup, so you may have leftovers. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, or close to it. Pour the soup into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Rice doesn’t freeze well, so we don’t recommend storing it in the freezer.
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How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)
- 3 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut in half
- 1 cup parboiled rice* (also called converted rice)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 teaspoons salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter optional
- 9 cups chicken broth
- Place all ingredients in order in a slow cooker. See recipe notes if using brown rice or wild rice.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
- A few minutes before serving, remove the chicken from slow cooker and shred or cut into cubes.
- Return chicken to the slow cooker, and let it cook for 5-10 more minutes before serving.
- Remove bay leaf and serve soup in individual bowls.
Alternate method for brown or wild rice:
- If you prefer brown rice or wild rice, leave the parboiled rice out of the slow cooker when adding the other ingredients.
- While the soup is cooking in the slow cooker, prepare 1 cup uncooked brown or wild rice according to package directions. Once cooked, this will yield approximately 3 cups of rice.
- Stir the cooked rice into the soup just before serving.
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