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Chicken and Rice Soup

Perfect for a comforting homemade meal this easy Chicken Rice Soup Recipe is made with split chicken breasts, classic vegetables, and rice. Simple to make and full of flavor this is a warming meal that everyone in the family will love.

Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup

This chicken soup is the epitome of a comfort food. Perfect for a chilly winters night or when you battling a cold. With just a handful of ingredients you will have this soup simmering away in no time!

This soup is a mashup between my popular Vegetable Rice Soup and my Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup. It combines the best of both, flavorful chicken, mirepoix vegetables, delicious broth, and rice.

This soup in particular gets a lot of flavor using one simple ingredient, split chicken breasts. Split chicken breasts are the chicken breasts you can get at the store that still contain the bones and skin. By using split chicken breasts you take advantage of all of the flavor that is contained in the skin and bones that you would otherwise lose if you used classic chicken breasts.

Now if you aren’t a fan of chicken skin and bones, hang in there with me, the bones and skin remain during cooking to add flavor but aren’t in the final soup. At the end while the rice is cooking you will simply peel off the skin, cut from the bones, and then cut up your chicken meat for the final soup.

Besides using split chicken breasts to flavor this soup this soup also gets a large variety of flavor from the vegetables used, Better Than Bouillon, and dried herbs.

two bowls and a pot full of chicken and rice soup with spoons and crackers

Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

The ingredients for this soup are pretty simple, a few you will need from the grocery and a couple of pantry staples!

From the grocery:

  • split chicken breasts (chicken breasts with the rib cage and skin still attached)
  • yellow onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • minced garlic

From the pantry:

  • olive oil
  • chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon (this stuff is seriously one of my favorite cooking hacks, if you haven’t tried some yet you NEED to)
  • bay leaves
  • white rice (such as jasmine)
  • salt & pepper
all of the ingredients needed to make chicken rice soup from scratch

Some notes about the ingredients:

  • split chicken breasts are chicken breasts with the bones (rib cage) and skin still attached, using split breast is important to the flavor of this soup because a lot of flavor is derived from the skin and bones. If you aren’t able to find these at your store a good substitute would be bone-in skin-on chicken thighs for maximum flavor. Boneless skinless chicken breasts may be used but the flavor may not be as robust.
  • You can use regular chicken broth in place of the Better Than Bouillon and water if you wish. I tested it both ways and found that myself and the family preferred it when made with the Better Than Bouillon.
  • Any white rice will work, I have used both jasmine and basmati rice. Brown rice or wild rice will not work since they are tougher and have higher cooking times.

For this recipe you will want a large dutch oven or pot. (I love my Lodge brand dutch oven).

Now on to the recipe!

To start heat the olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat.

While the oil is heating pat dry the chicken breast. Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Once seasoned add the chicken breasts to the hot oil skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes undisturbed until the chicken has a good brown sear.

Flip the chicken breasts and cook another 4 minutes undisturbed to brown the other side. Once chicken has a good sear transfer the chicken breasts to a plate.

Add the onions to the pot and cook stirring occasionally 3-4 minutes until the onions start to become translucent.

Next add in the celery, carrots, water, Better Than Bouillon, garlic, and bay leaves. Stir together scrapping the bottom of the pot slightly to get any of the brown bits from the chicken released from the bottom to add flavor to the soup. Now add back in the chicken breasts.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.

Stir the rice into the pot. Recover and boil 10 more minutes.

Remove the chicken and transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. Ensure the chicken is fully cooked, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºF and now longer be pink in the inside.

Let soup simmer another 5 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Once rice is fully cooked discard the bay leaves and turn off heat.

Now carefully remove and discard the skin from the chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife cut the breast free from the ribcage and remaining bones. Discard the bones. Carefully dice the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Stir the chicken back to the soup.

Test the soup for flavor, because I add salt and pepper to the chicken at the beginning I don’t find it necessary to add more salt BUT if you forget to salt the chicken or find the soup needs it add in more salt a few pinches at a time before serving. Serve immediately.

large blue dutch oven filled with freshly made chicken rice soup with a ladle

Sides for Chicken Rice Soup:

I like to serve this with a salad like my Simple Spinach Salad or I grab a bagged salad at the store.

This soup is really good with a carb for dipping like crackers, toast, or bread.

Love Soups? You might like these ones?

bowl filled with chicken rice soup showing off chicken, rice, and vegetables
two bowls and a pot full of chicken and rice soup with spoons and crackers

Chicken Rice Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Perfect for a comforting homemade meal this easy Chicken Rice Soup is made with split chicken breasts, classic vegetables, and rice. Simple to make and full of flavor this is a warming meal that everyone in the family will love.

Ingredients

  • 2 split chicken breasts*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 8 cups water**
  • 1 tablespoon chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white rice (such as jasmine)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Pat dry the chicken breast and generously seasons both sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the hot oil skin side down in the pot. Cook for 4-5 minutes (do not move the breasts during this time) until the chicken has a good brown sear. Flip and cook another 4 minutes undisturbed to brown the otherside.
  3. Once chicken has a good sear transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Add the onions to the pot and cook stirring occasionally 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, water, Better Than Bouillon, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir together scrapping the bottom of the pot slightly to get any of the brown bits from the chicken released from the bottom to add flavor to the soup. Add back in the chicken breasts.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir the rice into the pot. Recover and simmer 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken (check for doneness) and transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. Let soup simmer another 5 minutes until rice is fully cooked.
  8. Once rice is fully cooked remove the bay leaves and turn off heat. Carefully remove the skin from the chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife cut the breast free from the ribcage and remaining bones. Carefully dice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Stir the chicken back to the soup. Serve immediately.

Notes

*split chicken breasts are chicken breasts with the bones (rib cage) and skin still attached, using split breast is important to the flavor of this soup

**or use 8 cups chicken broth and omit chicken Better Than Bouillon

Chicken is done when it has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF and pink is no longer visible in the center.

Because I add salt and pepper to the chicken at the beggining I don't find it necessary to add more salt BUT if you forget to salt the chicken or find the soup needs it add in more salt a few pinches at a time before serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 220mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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Lisa

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Flavor was delicious. My rice ended up absorbing all the liquid so it was kind of the consistency of oatmeal? Any ideas ? I made it then left on stove top (cool, not still heating) while I ran kids around- everyone scooped it and microwaved when ready for dinner. Flavor was really really good but wondering how I keep the rice to stay firm?

Lauren Schmidt

Tuesday 11th of February 2020

Hi Lisa, I am so happy you loved the flavor! Unfortunately with rice it will keep absorbing if it is sitting in the liquid. You could cook the rice separately and add it in as each person makes their bowl but the rice won't have the flavor of being cooked in the chicken broth if you do it that way.