This healthy chicken and wild rice soup has no cream or milk, and only a handful of ingredients made in one pot! It’s easy to make, freezer friendly, and great for meal prep. At only 212 calories per serving it’s a low-calorie, comforting soup to make for cold days.
Is there ever a bad occasion for chicken soup? It’s great when you’re sick, when you’re healthy, when you’re cold, when you’re a kid, and when you’re an adult. I don’t think there is another meal as soul-satisfying, easy to make, and simple as chicken soup.
This version of chicken soup with wild rice is simple and tasty. It has all the classic tastes of traditional chicken soup with a bit of an earthy, nutty flavor and deliciously chewy texture from the addition of wild rice.
Most chicken wild rice soups have a thick, creamy base, but this version has no cream. It’s healthier and lighter than other recipes, and easily adaptable to be 100% dairy free.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter – use olive oil or ghee for a dairy-free option.
- Celery, carrots, onion
- Chicken stock – homemade chicken stock is best, but store-bought or boullion-based is fine.
- Wild rice – or a wild rice blend
- Cooked shredded chicken – leftover roast chicken, poached chicken breasts, or slow cooker chicken works well, or store-bought rotisserie chicken.
How to make chicken wild rice soup
- Sauté the veggies in butter in a large pot or Dutch oven.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Stir in wild rice along with some salt and pepper and simmer uncovered until rice is fully cooked.
- Add shredded chicken and continue to heat for few minutes.
Tips and Tricks
- Rinse the wild rice off before adding it to the pot. This is good practice for rice and other grains/seeds like quinoa as it will remove some surface starches and improve the flavor.
- To save time, you can soak the wild rice or use already cooked wild rice. Soak the rice overnight in salted water, drain and rinse, and add to the pot with 2 cups less chicken broth. If using pre-cooked, use 3 cups less chicken broth.
What is wild rice?
Did you know that wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain? And that it contains as much protein as quinoa? And it has a lot of fiber? It’s a great, healthy thing to keep in your pantry, and an awesome gluten-free alternative to noodles in chicken soup. It’s also lower in carbs than other rice.
Wild rice is a dark color. When you buy it, look for a bag with only the really dark wild rice, as pictured above. You can find it at Trader Joe’s or on Amazon.
Some bags of wild rice are actually wild rice mixes, and will include wild rice along with brown rice and other kinds of rice. You can use either kind in this recipe.
Wild rice takes a while to cook– usually around 45 minutes, but it can take an hour or more depending on the age, size, etc. So be sure to allot enough time to cook!
Can I freeze it?
Yes! This soup freezes really well. Since chicken noodle soup doesn’t freeze well (the noodles get mushy), chicken wild rice soup is great to stick in the freezer.
Whenever I make soup, I usually freeze half of it. I just run some warm water over the container I froze it in to dislodge it, then I pop the frozen soup block right into a pot and heat up on the stove. So easy!
Can I make it in my slow cooker / pressure cooker?
To make this soup in your slow cooker, just add everything except the chicken to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Then, stir in the cooked chicken and heat. You can omit the butter if you like, or keep it in for added richness.
To make this soup in your instant pot, sauté the veggies in the butter using the “sauté” setting, then add the stock and rice. Cook on high manual pressure for 30 minutes, then manually release the pressure. When the float valve has depressed, open the pot and str in the chicken, and season to taste.
Other recipes with wild rice
- Creamy mushroom, chicken, and wild rice soup
- Wild rice and mushroom casserole
- Wild rice and black bean veggie burgers
- Mushroom and wild rice pilaf
- Wild rice stuffing
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Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil for dairy free
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 onion diced
- 6 cups chicken stock/broth
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken more or less than 2 cups is fine
- Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in butter (2 tablespoons) in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock (6 cups) and bring to a boil.
- Add the wild rice along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir.
- Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the cooked shredded chicken (2 cups) and continue simmering for 5 minutes until heated. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve.
- Slow cooker instructions: Add all ingredients except for chicken into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Stir in the chicken at the end and heat for 5 minutes.
- Freezer directions: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, run warm water over the outside of the container to dislodge the soup, and heat frozen soup on the stovetop in a pot over medium heat until heated through.
- A note on wild rice: I used 100% wild rice, but often you will see wild rice blends in the store, which are usually a combination of wild rice with brown rice or other rice. You can use any kind you like, but keep in mind the cooking time may vary. In addition, wild rice can take a long time to cook, depending on its age, etc. So if you are unsure, I recommend planning for more cooking time (it can take over an hour sometimes) for the rice to fully cook.
- To save time, you can soak the wild rice overnight in salted water, drain and rinse, and add it as instructed in the recipe. If you do this, I recommend decreasing the chicken stock by 2 cups. Or, you can use pre-cooked wild rice– just add it in along with the chicken to heat up, and reduce the chicken stock by 3 cups.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
This post originally appeared on Bowl of Delicious on September 28 2014. It has been republished with new photos, improved recipe instructions, and more pertinent information.
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