Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Juicy chicken and tender vegetables cooked in a creamy and flavorful broth, mixed with nutty wild rice and topped with more golden brown mushrooms.

Recipes like my Copycat Zuppa Toscana and Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup are great for when you want an ultra-comforting family meal. We love cooking soups and stews during the Winter, and this is one of my Soup Recipes you’ll definitely want in your recipe rotation!

Bowl of chicken wild rice soup with spoon

CHICKEN WILD RICE SOUP RECIPE

This time of year, soups and stew reign supreme.  The cold weather just makes me crave a steaming bowl of comfort food!

Chicken and wild rice soup is one of my favorites; mainly because I get to have carbs… IN the soup.  Carb-addict here!

This is my version of a classic soup, made easy by using leftover or rotisserie chicken.  No leftovers?  No worries, I’ve details numerous other ways to make this soup down in the post; stovetop with raw chicken, slow cooker, instant pot, and how to make this soup ahead of time!

HOW TO MAKE THIS SOUP

As I mentioned above, I developed this recipe to use up leftover shredded chicken we had, so that’s what the main recipe uses.  If you don’t have leftovers or want to use raw chicken, there will be other versions of this recipe detailed in the recipe card.

  1. Cook rice (according to package directions)
  2. Brown mushrooms in dutch oven, then remove to a plate
  3. Saute vegetables in pot, then stir in seasonings and flour
  4. Stir in shredded chicken and most of the cooked mushrooms
  5. Add in liquids (chicken stock, dairy), stirring well.  Bring to a boil
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  7. Stir in cooked rice and lemon juice
  8. Top bowls with reserved mushrooms

Chicken wild rice soup in dutch oven with ladle

COOKING TIPS FOR WILD RICE SOUP

  • COOK THE RICE SEPARATELY – I know it’s a pain, but most wild rice blends take much longer to cook than we want this soup to simmer.  If you want to cook the rice together with the soup, check out the slow cooker or instant pot versions in the recipe card.
  • USE GREAT CHICKEN – I love to use a homemade Rotisserie Chicken, but leftovers from another chicken meal, store-bought rotisserie, etc work really well.
  • WHICH WILD RICE TO BUY – have you ever looked at how many different varieties of wild rice, and blends, there are?  My personal favorite is Lundberg Wild Blend, which is what this recipe was developed and tested with.

Bowls of chicken wild rice soup

As a side note, notice that bowl on the top left?  My amazingly talented 10 year old daughter made it in a pottery class!  I think I may have to keep her on salary for pottery commissions 🙂 

VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE

  • PROTEIN SWAP – this soup is fabulous with turkey as well, which makes it a great use for leftover holiday turkey!
  • VEGETARIAN – to make this soup vegetarian, omit the chicken and use vegetable stock or broth instead.  Equally delicious!
  • MUSHROOM-FREE – not a mushroom fan?  That’s okay, you can omit them… not all chicken and wild rice soups use mushrooms.  I happen to love them, which is why I went heavy on them in this recipe, but they can be omitted and still have a wonderful soup.

SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT VERSION

  1. Season 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then add to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Add in UNcooked rice, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, all seasonings, chicken broth and bay leaf.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Remove chicken and shred.
  4. In a small pot, 4 Tbsp butter, then add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking often, about 1 minute.  Slowly, a little bit at a time, whisking in between each addition, add in milk and half and half (or cream).  Cook, stirring often, for several minutes, until thickened.
  5. Stir dairy mixture and shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in lemon juice and serve as directed.

Holding a bowl of wild rice soup

PRESSURE COOKER/INSTANT POT VERSION

  1. Add 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, UNcooked rice, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, all seasonings, chicken broth and bay leaf to insert of Instant Pot.
  2. Cover and cook on manual (or high pressure, depending on your model) for 25 minutes.  Perform a natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes, then turn the valve to venting to release any remaining steam and pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken, shred it using two forks, and add it back into the instant pot.
  4. In a small pot, 4 Tbsp butter, then add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking often, about 1 minute.  Slowly, a little bit at a time, whisking in between each addition, add in milk and half and half (or cream).  Cook, stirring often, for several minutes, until thickened.
  5. Stir dairy mixture into the instant pot.  Select “saute” and cook 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in lemon juice and serve as directed.

MAKING CHICKEN WILD RICE SOUP AHEAD OF TIME

As with most soups that have grains in them, as they sit in the refrigerator, the grains absorb more and more liquid, making them mushy.

To avoid that, simply make this soup as directed, except DON’T add the cooked rice to the soup.  Store it separately, and add a bit to your bowl as you reheat the soup.

Crusty bread dipped in bowl of chicken wild rice soup

FREEZING

Dairy can be finicky to freeze, as it can sometimes separate, so if you do decide to freeze it as is, just know it hasn’t been tested.

My advice for freezing is to make this soup, minus the milk and half and half (or cream), and minus the rice.  Cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months.  Cooked rice can also be frozen.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then when reheating the soup, add dairy and heat through, then add rice.

STORAGE

Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 5 days.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Dutch Oven – Enameled cast iron is my favorite vessel to cook soup in!  LeCreuset is my favorite brand, but they’re pricey, so this Lodge is a good alternative!
  • Wild Rice Blend – this is the brand I like to use, and I’ve found it readily available at my grocery stores.
  • Slow Cooker – this slow cooker has been such a workhorse in my kitchen.
  • Instant Pot – in case you don’t have one, this is a great model.

Hearty and ultra comforting, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is full of tender chicken and veggies, a creamy broth, nutty wild rice, and topped with more golden brown mushrooms!  Stovetop, Slow Cooker and Instant Pot directions! #soup #chicken #wildrice #mushrooms #souprecipe #instantpot #slowcooker #crockpot #stovetop #dinner

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Hearty and ultra comforting, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is full of tender chicken and veggies, a creamy broth, nutty wild rice, and topped with more golden brown mushrooms!  Stovetop, Slow Cooker and Instant Pot directions! #soup #chicken #wildrice #mushrooms #souprecipe #instantpot #slowcooker #crockpot #stovetop #dinner

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Hearty soup made with juicy chicken, tender vegetables and nutty wild rice in a creamy broth.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 - 8 servings
Calories 363

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 to 1 cup wild rice blend - (I use Lundberg brand)
  • 4 Tbsp butter - divided
  • 16 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion - diced
  • 2 medium carrots - peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery - diced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram - (optional)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups cooked chicken - shredded or cubed
  • 4 cups chicken stock - reduced sodium is preferred
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • additional salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare wild rice, according to package instructions.
  • Add 2 Tbsp butter to a large heavy bottomed deep pot and heat over MED-HIGH heat. I use my dutch oven for this. When melted, add sliced mushrooms and cook, about 6-8 minutes, until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove to a plate.
  • Add last 2 Tbsp of butter to the pot, along with the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often, until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add in all the seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage and marjoram - if using), and the flour. Stir well and cook about a minute to get rid of that raw flour taste.
  • Return about 2/3 of the cooked mushrooms back to the pot, reserving the last 1/3 for topping the soup with later. Add in shredded or cubed chicken.
  • Pour in the chicken stock, milk, and half and half (or heavy cream), and stir well. Bring to a boil over HIGH heat, then once boiling, reduce heat to LOW and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add in cooked rice and stir to combine. Add lemon juice, stir, and taste. If desired, add additional salt and pepper, to your tastes. Remove bay leave and serve hot, topped with reserved cooked mushrooms.
  • This soup is amazing served with slices of toasted crusty bread!

Notes

 

STOVETOP WITH RAW CHICKEN

  1. Prepare wild rice, according to package instructions.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp butter to a large heavy bottomed deep pot and heat over MED-HIGH heat. I use my dutch oven for this. When melted, add sliced mushrooms and cook, about 6-8 minutes, until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add last 2 Tbsp of butter to the pot, along with the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often, until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in all the seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage and marjoram - if using), and return about 2/3 of the cooked mushrooms back to the pot, reserving the last 1/3 for topping the soup with later.
  5. Add in 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock and bay leaf and stir well. Bring to a boil over HIGH heat, then once boiling, reduce heat to LOW and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaf, then remove chicken and shred.
  8. In another small pot, 4 Tbsp butter, then add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking often, about 1 minute.  Slowly, a little bit at a time, whisking in between each addition, add in milk and half and half (or cream).  Cook, stirring often, for several minutes, until thickened.
  9. Stir dairy mixture and shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and cook on MED heat for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Stir in cooked rice and lemon juice and serve as directed.

 

SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT VERSION

  1. Add 2 Tbsp butter to a large heavy bottomed deep pot and heat over MED-HIGH heat. I use my dutch oven for this. When melted, add sliced mushrooms and cook, about 6-8 minutes, until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove to a plate.
  2. Season 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then add to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  3. Add in UNcooked rice, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, all seasonings, chicken broth and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Remove bay leaf, then remove chicken and shred.
  5. In a small pot, 4 Tbsp butter, then add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking often, about 1 minute.  Slowly, a little bit at a time, whisking in between each addition, add in milk and half and half (or cream).  Cook, stirring often, for several minutes, until thickened.
  6. Add 2/3 of the mushrooms to the slow cooker. Stir dairy mixture and shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in lemon juice and serve as directed.

 

PRESSURE COOKER/INSTANT POT VERSION

  1. Add 2 Tbsp butter to a large heavy bottomed deep pot and heat over MED-HIGH heat. I use my dutch oven for this. When melted, add sliced mushrooms and cook, about 6-8 minutes, until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, UNcooked rice, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, all seasonings, chicken broth and bay leaf to insert of Instant Pot.
  3. Cover and cook on manual (or high pressure, depending on your model) for 25 minutes.  Perform a natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes, then turn the valve to venting to release any remaining steam and pressure.
  4. Remove bay leaf, then remove the chicken, shred, and add it back into the instant pot.
  5. In a small pot, 4 Tbsp butter, then add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to combine.  Cook, whisking often, about 1 minute.  Slowly, a little bit at a time, whisking in between each addition, add in milk and half and half (or cream).  Cook, stirring often, for several minutes, until thickened.
  6. Add 2/3 of the mushrooms to the pot. Stir dairy mixture into the instant pot.  Select "saute" and cook 5-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in lemon juice and serve as directed.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

 

Hearty and ultra comforting, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is full of tender chicken and veggies, a creamy broth, nutty wild rice, and topped with more golden brown mushrooms!  Stovetop, Slow Cooker and Instant Pot directions! #soup #chicken #wildrice #mushrooms #souprecipe #instantpot #slowcooker #crockpot #stovetop #dinner

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10 comments on “Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup”

  1. I can’t find where to add the mushrooms in either the slow cooker or the instant pot versions. Am I missing it?

  2. I have made several of TheChunkyChef recipes and my family has enjoyed all of them but this one has been the all time favorite.  I made it last week and they are asking for it again this week!  So good!

  3. This tasted great! The whole family gobble it up! Easy to make too!

  4. I love how quick and easy your instant pot version is! My favorite comfort food in minutes.

  5. I love soup season for recipes just like this one! Looking forward to warming up with this for dinner tonight!

  6. I really love how comforting this is!! Can’t wait to make it!

  7. Wow.. this soup is SO good. This soup is now on my winter soup rotation!

  8. These Chicken wild rice soup look heavenly!

  9. That looks gorgeous and sounds so delicious, I’m looking forward to trying it!