Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup: Easy and Healthy Comfort Food

4.40 from 144 votes
168 Comments

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It’s cold out there, and you’re probably looking for a warm and filling meal to get you through the winter. Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup is an easy, delicious meal that’ll fill your house with the scent of winter and keep you warm all night long.

All of the raw ingredients go in the slow cooker and a delicious soup awaits for dinner. The best part about this recipe is that it’s so flexible, you can serve it with a salad, or with bread, or even over pasta if you’d like!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup in a bowl
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Chicken and Rice Soup
  2. Seasonings for Chicken and Rice Soup
  3. Health Benefits
  4. Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe Tips
  5. Frequently Asked Questions: Chicken and Rice Soup
  6. More Slow Cooker Soups to Try
  7. Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Soup Recipe

This Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice soup is also great for entertaining guests because you can prepare it ahead of time and simply throw everything into your slow cooker when you get home from work! 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 rollsbreadsticks, or my kids’ favorite, cornbread.

Ingredients in Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • Chicken broth
  • Parboiled rice, brown rice, or wild rice (see recipe notes)
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

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.

Chicken, carrots, onions, rice, butter, garlic, celery, and spices in a slow cooker

Health Benefits

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!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup in a bowl

Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe Tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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, or wild rice, prepare 1 cup uncooked rice according to the package directions and stir into the soup just before serving.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reheat the soup either on a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  6. Use rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or any chicken you have on hand for this soup.
  7. Feel free to toss in any extra veggies you have: broccoli, kale, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions: Chicken and Rice Soup

Should you cook rice before adding to soup?

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.

It this chicken and rice soup gluten free?

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!

How do you keep rice from getting soggy in soup?

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.

Read Next:33+ Easy Dinner Ideas

More Slow Cooker Soups to Try

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup in a bowl

Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Soup

4.40 from 144 votes
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup is an easy chicken soup recipe. All of the raw ingredients go in the slow cooker and a delicious soup awaits for dinner.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Video

Equipment

  • Crock Pot Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in order in a slow cooker.
    Chicken, carrots, onions, rice, butter, garlic, celery, and spices in a slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 4 hours. 
    Soup cooking in a slow cooker
  • A few minutes before serving, remove the chicken from slow cooker and shred or cut into cubes.  
    Shredded chicken in a glass bowl
  • Return chicken to the slow cooker, and let it cook for 5-10 more minutes before serving.
    A ladle full of slow cooker chicken and rice soup

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 21gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1993mgPotassium: 688mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 4015IUVitamin C: 23.1mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1.2mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Yes the rice soaks up the liquid but we like it thicker. MY only advice is make sure to use low sodium stock if your using store bought. I forgot to take that into account when adding salt to the soup and mine came out very salty. But I’m just going to add more water which will hopefully help with the salt and thickness from the rice. Love the spices and simplicity of this crockpot recipe. Thank you for sharing. FYI, my crockpot took 4 hrs on high 🙂

  2. So interesting that other had issues with mushy rice. I put the rice in right at the beginning and after 4 hours on high the rice is mostly uncooked. Maybe a rice issue or maybe my crock pot is on the cooler side. I’m going to leave it on high for another 2 hours but will need to find something else for dinner tonight.

  3. In the crockpot as I speak followed the recipe as written gonna add cooked rice at the end of cook time ,will let you know how it turns out.

  4. 5 stars
    Loved your recipe! I too am a BIG fan of the P-S-R-T combo. I used wild rice as that is what We prefer and added it during the last two hours because we like our wild rice in the chewy side. I did start with a couple extra cups of broth because wild rice is so absorbent and we like our soup in the brothy side. Added in a couple twigs of rosemary and thyme from my herb garden an hour before serving. Was expecting leftovers- there weren’t any… Thankyou for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you for your comment Ruthie! Using wild rice is a great idea – and using fresh herbs always adds so much flavor. I love it!

  5. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe out last week for the first time.. so delicious!! Thank you for sharing! I’m making it again tonight, my family loved it! New staple! After reading the comments I made a couple tweaks to the original recipe.

    6 bone in thighs.. first browning the skin on medium high on stove, then adding them into the cockpot then removing them the last half hour and shredding then adding back into soup to cook the last 30 mins..

    4 carrots and 4 celery stocks, chopped.

    Used 1tbsp fresh rosemary and 1tbsp fresh sage, with 1/2 tsp ground thyme.

    Half vegetable and half chicken stock (equaling 9 cups total), not broth.

    Added 1 cup long grain brown rice two hours into cooking.

    And a little bit extra minced garlic 🙂

    Cooked on high for 4 hrs.. I have a newer crockpot..

    Great success.. thank you again!! <3

    1. Thank you, Crystal! I like your adaptations to this recipe, especially using bone in thighs. The meat is more tender and it gives more chicken flavor to the soup. Great idea!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this last night & it turned out wonderfully. Doubled the recipe, but only used 5 large chicken breasts and 16 cups of chicken broth. Had some salted butter, and threw that in a saute pan with the onions and garlic and sweated those down for a bit before adding to the crockpot. Added some fresh springs of thyme, rosemary and sage as well, since I had them in my garden. In addition, I added a ginger root about the size of my pinky (hey, I have a cold). Started out on the Low setting on my crockpot, but a little over 2 hours in it didn’t seem to be coming along at the pace I would have liked (I think my crock pot cooks on the cool side), so bumped it up to the high setting for the last 3 hours. 2 hours prior to serving, I threw the brown rice in. It turned out perfect. One of my friends even said it was the best chicken soup she had ever had! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    I don’t know why there are so many complaints about the rice. I followed the directions exactly. Put the rice in at the beginning and cooked on low for 6 hours. Rice was perfect consistency. Enjoyable recipe!

  8. Trying this tomorrow. I’ll be adding my rice 45 min before that rest is complete. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

  9. I’m confused on the amount of rice to put in – the ingredient list says 1 cup but then it also later says 2-3 cups? If I am putting my rice directly in the crockpot to cook, which amount do I use?

    Please help! I am cooking this as we speak!

    1. Carleigh, if you are cooking the rice with the soup, you add 1 cup uncooked brown rice. If you add the rice already cooked, you will add 2-3 cups depending on how much rice you want in the soup. Please let me know how it turned out for you.

  10. I cooked it on low for 4 hours and the carrots were not at all cooked through… are you sure it shouldn’t be cook on high 4 hours?

    1. Thank you for your question, Terry. I am going to revisit this recipe. I use an older crock pot when I make this soup and it may be cooking on the hot side. I’m going to try it in a newer crock pot to see if I need to make some adjustments.

  11. Recipe says 6 hours cook time but instructions say cook on low 4 hours. Could you clarify, please. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Thank you for catching that! I’ll correct it. You can cook on low for 4-6 hours. The chicken will be cooked after 4 hours, the rice may take longer depending on how you like it cooked. If you want it to be softer, you will want to cook it longer.

        1. I’ve make this often and I have not had this problem. The only thing I can think of is the low setting on your crock pot is not heating up to 200 degrees. Crock pot temperatures do vary. I’m so sorry this did not turn out for you.

  12. 5 stars
    We had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I added the cooked rice near the end and it didn’t get mushy. My kids actually had seconds and said it tasted great!

  13. After reading some of the comments I’ve decided to add the rice maybe during the last 2 hours. Do you think that would work?

  14. 5 stars
    I just made this and it really hit the spot since both me and my husband have a cold. Started it on high at 2, and around 6 added the rice. Another 45 minutes and the rice was done to perfection. I added a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden and it was amazing. Perfect amount of spices.

    1. So glad this worked out for you! Great idea adding the rice later on. We will have to add this to the recipe, thanks!

  15. 5 stars
    This is my recipe and I love it!! The only thing different is I add a couple of potatoes, cubed, if I have on hand and I usually add a can of diced tomatoes, undrained, for color.Perfect soup and thanks for posting, it will be dinner tomorrow night!!!

  16. (I read the reviews and kept them in mind while making).
    Making this for dinner tonight. I used chicken breast tenders so they will cook faster than breasts. Hopefully, it will be done closer to the 4 hr mark and the rice will not be too mushy. I used white rice because it’s what I have on hand. If it is not seasoned enough I will just add more seasoning. Everyone has different tastes but I think this is a wonderful start for the soup. If it’s too thick i will add more water or broth. I feeling good about this! THANK YOU!

  17. Followed the recipe exactly, but found the soup to be far too peppery, or perhaps it was the sage, because of the it was so thick added more broth,was disappointed as this was the first time I have every made chicken soup.

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t like the seasonings in this soup. The broth of this soup does thicken as it cools and adding more was the right thing to do.

  18. Tasted good but rice was mushy and soaked up every ounce of liquid. Probably would been better IMO if I added cooked rice at the end.

    1. The rice does soak up the liquid as it cooks. Every slow cooker cooks differently, next time you can try cooking the rice for less time. I will make a note on the recipe. Thank you for letting me know!

      1. I just made the same mistake. Maybe add “set aside” by the parboiled rice on the ingredient list. Or purchase it last and indicate to prepare ITV in the meantime, while the soup is cooking.

      2. I used a mix of white rice (cooked it first then added to pot) and orzo (also cooked first). It came out pretty good! The only thing is, I did not have sage or thyme in my home; and I thought that my soup was missing something. It still had good flavor though!

    2. 5 stars
      I made this soup twice and always added the rice 30 min before it was done. I agree with you… it soaked up all the broth and had to keep adding more broth. Next time I will cook the rice separate and then add it in!

    1. Shirleen, with ANY soup/stew that calls for rice or pasta, I cook it separately and NEVER had it into the soup/stew. I even store the leftovers separately. I’ll reheat enough of the soup/stew and rice/pasta for that meal. I don’t like the mushy, puffy texture of rice/pasta when it’s been sitting in broth too long. I’m going to try this but I’ll leave out the rice.

    2. 5 stars
      I added the rice the last thirty minutes and it was perfect. Absolutely delicious. Actually the only other change I made was instead of regular butter I used Kerrygold Garlic and herb butter. The soup had a very earthy flavor. Even better the next day. I could have just drank the soup part and been good lol. It was delicious

      1. Just to clarify, you added uncooked rice or cooked rice for the last 30 minutes? I don’t want mush, but I also don’t want to go through the trouble of cooking the rice seperately. Thanks in advance!

        1. I had to cook it for 5 hours on low. I took the chicken out at 4 hours to shred. I put the brown rice on two hours before it was done, then added the chicken back in. I also added extra onion, garlic, carrots & celery. The rice was perfectly cooked and it was very good.