This is the EASIEST Chicken Wild Rice Soup – it comes together in one pot with a wild rice blend, celery, carrots, mushrooms and sage. It's hearty comfort food at its best!
Ingredients in chicken wild rice soup
Besides seasonings and spices from your pantry, you will need to make sure you have the following:
- Chicken breasts – Chicken breasts are the leaner option so they are recommended but you can sub in chicken thighs
- Garlic – Fresh garlic or jarred minced garlic will work well in this recipe.
- Wild rice blend
- Fresh sage (optional)
How to make chicken wild rice soup
While this soup takes about an hour to make, little of the time is hands on. You will need to let it all simmer for 40 minutes for the rice to absorb the liquid. Here are the steps to making chicken and wild rice soup:
- Cook the vegetables in olive oil.
- Add the diced chicken breast and saute.
- Add the broth, seasonings and rice and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Wild rice takes quite a while to cook completely. But do not overcook it or the rice will get soggy. It will continue to absorb the broth the longer it stills, even at room temperature.
- Add the sage and lemon juice – they really bring a pop of flavour at the end!
Making it in the slow cooker
If you want to make this recipe even easier, try using the slow cooker. Simply dump everything into the pot in the morning and come home to an amazing dinner that evening. You can even put the raw chicken breast in and allow it to cook in the crock pot.
Cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours then stir in the sage and lemon juice at the end like the original version of this recipe. This way, the soup is completely hands off!
Making it in the Instant Pot
If you need dinner quickly, you can also use your Instant Pot for this chicken wild rice soup. Here's how to cook this soup in your pressure cooker:
- Add olive oil and vegetables to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken, seasonings, rice and broth in that order.
- Set the Instant Pot to cook for 15 minutes. Wild rice takes longer to cook than other varieties of rice.
- Let the Instant Pot naturally release for at least five minutes to prevent liquid from coming out of the vent and all over your kitchen, then you can do a quick release for the rest.
- Stir in the sage and lemon juice at the end.
There are several ways you can change up this recipe.
- Omit the chicken for a vegetarian soup
- Use other varieties of rice. Wild rice blend has a great texture for this soup. However, you can use other varieties. Almost any kind of rice works well with soup. Just pick what you prefer. Some varieties you won’t need to cook as long.
- Make it creamier by adding heavy cream
- A splash of white wine with the broth will add another layer of flavor.
- This would also be a great way to use up some already cooked chicken.
- You could also use turkey (leftover turkey from the holidays would work too!)
Making the soup thicker
This soup usually does not require thickening. The softer grains of rice in the wild rice blend will do a great job thickening the soup.
However, if you want, you can add some flour to the soup – I would recommend no more than 1 tbsp. Add it after sauteing the vegetables and before adding the broth for the best results.
You could also make a cornstarch and water mixture and add it at the end if you decide you want it to be thicker. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of water and then add it to the soup. Let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
Making creamy chicken wild rice soup
If you are OK with using dairy in the soup, you can make this chicken wild rice soup creamy. Just add 2 tbsp heavy cream at the end, or stir in 1/2 cup milk. Cook just long enough to warm whatever you choose to use.
Personally, I prefer this soup without any dairy and the starch from the wild rice does have a way of making the soup creamy and thicker than your average soup, but many recipes advocate for using dairy to make a creamy soup so I wanted you to know this is an option if you'd like!
Storing and reheating this recipe
Chicken wild rice soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It’s even better as leftovers since all the flavors have a chance to soak into the rice.
This means you can meal prep this soup as well. Cook the whole thing and reheat it the day you want to eat it. Or divide it into smaller portions and use it as a comforting and healthy lunch – no sides are even needed because you have your protein, starch and vegetables all in one dish!
To reheat, you can warm it on the stove top or in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Freezing chicken wild rice soup
This is a great recipe to freeze. Let it cool almost to room temperature then place it in a freezer safe container for up to three months.
You can sit it in the refrigerator overnight before you want to cook it or you can heat it on the stove from frozen. If you have stored the store in individual glass containers with lids, then you can reheat the individual soup from frozen in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Be aware that while rice is fine to freeze, rice that is frozen in a soup will not retain the exact same texture. It will continue to absorb the liquid and will be a little soggier after being reheated. The taste will still be the same though!
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this soup into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- This is the wild rice blend I use
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
More hearty soup recipes
If you're loving this chicken wild rice soup, you're going to love these other fave soup recipes of mine! They're so perfect for cozying up indoors – all you need is a loaf of crusty bread!
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium-sized chicken breasts, diced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning or herbes de province
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 1 tbsp fresh finely chopped sage (or 1 tsp dried - optional)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add mushrooms, cooking for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms release juices. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots, cooking another 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Add chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, chicken broth and rice, stirring and bringing to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, then cover pot with lid and cook for 40 minutes until rice is cooked through.
- Stir in fresh (or dried) sage if using, along with lemon juice. Serve and enjoy! Soup will last in the fridge up to 5 days, or you can freeze in glass bowls with lids up to 3 months.