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Chicken Wild Rice Soup is the cure for the cold weather blues. A wholesome and satisfying meal, it’s a breeze to make in one pot using a cozy blend of shredded chicken, wild rice, and vegetables. Bonus: Every slurp is packed with protein and nutrients!
Does it even count as a sick day if you don’t slurp on a big ‘ol bowl of chicken noodle soup? I don’t think so unless you opt for this equally comforting and creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe instead. It’s just as healthy, wholesome, and delicious!
A blend of tender chicken, nourishing vegetables, wild rice, and a creamy herb-infused broth is sure to get you back on your feet when you’re under the weather. Not only is this soup loaded with comforting flavors and protein, but it’s also easy to make in one pot to keep prep and cleanup to a minimum.
Want to make it in the Instant Pot or slow cooker instead? Go for it! I’ve included the instructions for you below.
- It’s a protein-packed and deeply nourishing soup made with shredded chicken, hearty wild rice, and fresh vegetables.
- It’s easy to make from scratch in one pot in just 1 hour.
- As the ultimate sick day meal (or filling lunch and cozy dinner), it warms you up from the inside out.
Mirepoix - AKA diced onions, carrots, and celery. The soup wouldn’t be as aromatic and savory without this classic medley.
Seasonings - The mirepoix mix and garlic add a ton of flavor, so I kept the seasonings simple with salt, ground black pepper, dried rosemary, and a bay leaf.
All-purpose flour - The flour helps thicken the soup and gives the broth a smooth, velvety texture. Feel free to use gluten-free all-purpose flour if you’re gluten-free.
Chicken broth - I like using homemade chicken stock when I have it on hand but a good quality store-bought broth works really well, too.
Wild rice - Did you know that wild rice isn’t technically rice? It’s actually a type of semi-aquatic grass! Luckily, it cooks just like white and brown rice but has a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor to make this soup extra comforting.
Chicken - I used pre-cooked pulled chicken (made from boneless skinless chicken breasts) to keep this recipe quick and easy, but leftovers from a store-bought rotisserie chicken or roasted whole chicken will also work.
Milk and heavy cream - Together, they make the broth luxurious and creamy. You can swap the milk for soy milk or almond milk and the cream for cashew cream to keep this recipe dairy-free (omit the parmesan, too).
Step 1: Sauté the aromatics. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until soft.
Step 2: Season and make the roux. Next, add the salt, pepper, and rosemary to the pot before adding the flour. Stir until the flour is slightly golden.
Step 3: Cook the rice. Pour the broth, uncooked wild rice, and bay leaf into the pot and heat to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer. At this point, you can cook the shredded chicken if you haven’t done so already.
Step 4: Finish with the chicken and cream. Now that the rice is almost cooked, you can stir in the chicken, milk, and cream. Continue simmering for a few more minutes. To finish, remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve in bowls with a sprinkle of grated parmesan on top. Enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Consider adding more vegetables, like mushrooms, kale, or spinach.
- Experiment with extra spices, such as paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder, or onion powder, to elevate the broth.
- Feeling fancy? Garnish each bowl of wild rice chicken soup with fresh herbs (chopped chives or dill), lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of parmesan, or crispy bacon crumbles.
- Try leftover turkey instead of chicken. The turkey’s rich flavors pair well with the other ingredients. Simply shred or chop the leftover turkey and add it to the recipe instead of the chicken.
Don’t pour in the broth all at once! Do it slowly while stirring continuously to avoid lumps and create a smooth, flavorful base.
Do you pre-cook rice before adding it to the soup?
Cooking wild rice before adding it to soup is generally recommended in other wild rice soup recipes but it isn’t necessary here. That said, if you have pre-cooked wild rice on hand, you can cut the simmering time down to 20 minutes and stir it into the soup with the chicken!
Do you need to rinse rice for soup?
It helps, yes. When you rinse wild rice under running water, you remove the excess starch from the grains, which prevents the soup from becoming overly thick.
Will the rice in the soup get soggy?
Not wild rice! It has a heartier, chewier texture that holds up well in soup over time (unlike other varieties). If you’re using a different type of rice, consider cooking it separately and adding it to the soup at the end.
Can I make this soup in an Instant Pot?
Yes! You can add shredded chicken to this Instant Pot wild rice soup or make Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup from scratch:
Use Sauté mode to cook the aromatics in melted butter. Turn off Sauté mode and add in the wild rice, chicken broth, and seasonings, then pressure cook on High for 25 to 30 minutes. Release the pressure and stir in the milk, cream, and chicken.
Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
Sure! For a slow cooker soup, combine the sautéed mirepoix vegetables, garlic, wild rice, chicken broth, and seasonings in the slow cooker and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or until the rice is cooked. Stir in the milk, cream, and shredded chicken in the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, then serve.
What should you serve with wild rice soup?
There’s nothing better than a hunk of crusty bread or slices of garlic bread on the side to sop up every drop of the creamy broth. As for side dishes, you can pair every bowl with a light salad, like this winter kale salad or this baby kale salad with honey-mint vinaigrette, for a bright and fresh element.
Refrigerator: Transfer the cooled chicken and rice soup to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: If you plan on freezing creamy chicken wild rice soup, it’s best to do so before adding the milk and cream. Freeze the portions in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Allow the leftovers to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating with the milk and cream.
Reheating: Warm the leftover soup in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring every so often. If the consistency is thicker than you like, stir in a splash of broth.
More cozy chicken soup recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup wild rice rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb chicken cooked and shredded (about 3 cups) (pulled chicken)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- grated parmesan for garnish optional
- Heat butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Next, add the salt, rosemary and pepper and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the flour and stir continuously for 1 minute until the flour is slightly golden with a nutty aroma.
- Pour in the broth, rice and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to cook the chicken (pulled chicken).
- Add in the chicken, milk and cream and continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste, along with a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Enjoy!