Old fashioned chicken and rice soup is an easy dinner and a great meal for busy days that the whole family will love! Each bite is filled with hearty chicken and vegetables in a rich broth. This simple recipe is ready in less than 1 hour and the best part is that it’s made in one pot, so hardly any cleanup!
This is a favorite soup recipe around our house because it’s so easy, uses simple ingredients, is made in one pot, and is a nice twist on homemade chicken noodle soup. While the store-bought stock is convenient, homemade chicken stock is a game-changer!
You can also make chicken soup in the Instant Pot that is ready in just over 30 minutes. If you are looking for more easy soups, try my 15 bean soup, this easy chili recipe, or creamy chicken stew. Dutch oven bread or a slice of sourdough goes great with all of these.
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- olive oil – avocado oil can also be used.
- fresh vegetables: yellow onion, celery, carrots – makes for a flavorful broth and adds more nutrition.
- salt and black pepper – season just to taste.
- bone-in, skin-on chicken – drumsticks and/or chicken thighs will add the most flavor, but white meat (boneless skinless chicken breasts) can also be used.
- fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, and parsley
- chicken broth – you’ll need 6 cups and you can use half water, but all broth makes for rich flavors.
- white rice – we used basmati
Large pot or Dutch oven – this soup has a lot of liquid, so you want to make sure your pot is large enough.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Homemade chicken broth – if you would rather use homemade stock, that will work the same.
- Leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken – for more convenience, use cooked chicken. However, the flavor will not be as rich and the cooking time may need to be reduced.
- Gluten-Free – be sure to use gluten-free chicken stock. Sometimes this can be a hidden ingredient.
- Leftover rice – if you have leftovers, this is a great way to use them.
- Use another kind of rice – wild rice, brown rice, and jasmine rice can be used. Time will need to be adjusted to cook longer for brown rice. For instant rice, you will want to add it towards the end, because it does not need to cook as long.
PREP: Chop the veggies and rinse the chicken off. Pat dry with paper towels.
Step 1: In a large soup pot, saute the onion and celery over medium heat in the oil. Sprinkle a teaspoon over the fresh veggies and stir. Cook until the onions are soft.
Step 2: Add the carrots, chicken, herbs, and chicken.
Step 3: Pour the chicken broth in and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer the chicken for at least 30 minutes. This gives the flavors time to marry together and adds richness to the soup broth.
Step 4: Remove the chicken. If needed, use a slotted spoon to take out the bones and skin. Add the uncooked rice and simmer for 10 minutes longer until it’s soft and cooked all the way through.
Pro Tip: If you are using leftover rice or rice that has already been cooked, it will not need to simmer as long.
Step 5: While the rice is cooking, separate the chicken meat from the bones and skin, then discard. Chop or shred the chicken and place it back in the pot. Simmer until the rice finishes cooking.
Step 6: Stir the soup and season with salt and pepper.
Step 7: Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy!
- The longer the veggies and chicken simmer, the more flavorful it will be.
- Be careful to not overcook the vegetables or they will become mushy. Simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- If you want to simmer the soup longer some of the liquid will evaporate. Add more stock or water if you want more liquid. The amount of rice can also be reduced if needed.
- When reducing the amount of broth or using water, season with more salt. If using all chicken broth, most likely you will not need more salt.
Did you know that when stored properly white rice can last anywhere between 10 and 30 years?
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
We prefer to use white, basmati, jasmine, or sushi rice. Wild rice and brown can be used as well, but they take longer to cook, which is sometimes longer than the simmering time for the soup.
Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups diced yellow onion
- 1 ½ cups sliced celery
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups of sliced carrot
- 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken – (drumsticks and/or thighs will have the most flavor, but white meat can also be used)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Small bunch of parsley reserve some for garnish
- 6 cups chicken broth or half chicken broth/half water
- 1 cup white rice we used basmati
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, saute onion and celery in the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the vegetables and stir while cooking. Cook until onions are soft and translucent and some caramelization begins to show on the vegetables.
- Add carrots, chicken pieces, pepper, and herbs.
- Cover the contents in the pot with chicken broth/water. Bring to a boil over high heat; then, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Simmer the chicken for at least 30 minutes, which will give the flavors enough time to blend and add richness and depth to the soup broth.
- Remove chicken (bones and skin included) from the pot and set aside.
- Add the rice to the soup mixture and continue simmering, lid on, for about 10 minutes longer, until the rice has softened and is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, separate the chicken meat from the bones and skin. Discard bones and skin. Shred or chop the chicken and return it to the pot to continue simmering for the remainder of the time it takes for the rice to cook.
- Stir the soup, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.