Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup is the ultimate comfort food – creamy, simple, and easy to make with only a few ingredients. Using rotisserie chicken is an easy shortcut that guarantees flavorful chicken (and you don’t have to fuss with raw chicken!). Enriched rice, which has less starch in it than other kinds, helps guarantee the creamy chicken rice soup leftovers will be great without the rice getting mushy. You’ll love this easy comforting soup recipe!
This creamy chicken and rice soup recipe is roughly based on my Chicken and Dumplings recipe, which is one of Bowl of Delicious’s most popular recipes. That recipe adds fresh thyme to the dumplings, and this chicken and rice soup uses fresh thyme in the soup itself. But no fussing with dumplings here! You get a lot of the same flavor with less work.
And because we’re using enriched rice here (also known as converted or parboiled rice), the leftovers hold up really well. This kind of rice is less starchy than others, which prevents it from getting too mushy in the soup. This means you can make a big pot of this soup and enjoy it all week, or freeze some for later!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shredded cooked chicken – any will do, I like to use rotisserie chicken.
- Rice – I recommend converted/enriched/parboiled rice, such as Ben’s Original. It holds up the best in soups due to its low starch content. Other kinds of rice can be used – more on that below.
- Flour – for thickening the soup (you can use cornstarch if you like – more on that below).
- Onions, carrots, and celery – feel free to add garlic, leeks, or other aromatic veggies if you want.
- Fresh thyme – or dried, or other seasonings and spices (oregano, Italian seasoning, or even Cajun or other seasoning mixes would work well here – make it your own!).
- Chicken broth – I always like to use homemade broth when I can, but any kind will do. I’m a fan of Better than Bouillon Low Sodium if I don’t have any homemade chicken broth handy.
- Half and Half – this is for creaminess. You can use whole milk if you prefer. Heavy cream may be a little too much here – I’d stick with half the amount if you use it. For a dairy free option, try full-fat canned coconut milk.
- Butter, salt, and pepper
How to make creamy chicken and rice soup
Onions, carrots, celery, and thyme are sautéed in butter, then flour added (to thicken the soup). Then, chicken broth and rice are added, and once the rice is cooked, shredded rotisserie (or other cooked) chicken is added, along with half and half for creaminess and salt and pepper to taste. It couldn’t be easier to make!
What kinds of rice can I use for chicken rice soup?
I almost always prefer using an enriched rice (also labeled as parboiled or converted rice) for soups. Ben’s Original is the most common well known brand. It has a low starch content, which means it holds up well in soups – even in leftovers – and doesn’t get mushy like other rices.
That said, feel free to use another kind of rice in creamy chicken rice soup! You’ll need to pay attention to cooking times and liquid requirements if you use a different kind.
For example, white basmati will be the fastest to cook (it only takes 10-15 minutes) and will absorb less liquid (so you may want to add a little more rice to the soup). Short grain brown and wild rices often take longer to cook and require more liquid. So just adjust accordingly – but don’t worry too much about it. Soups are forgiving, and this one is no exception.
You can also cook the rice separately and add portions to each bowl when serving, ensuring it does not turn mushy. In this case, reduce the chicken broth by half in the soup.
How to thicken chicken rice soup
Flour is a common thickener for soups, and it’s what I used in this chicken rice soup recipe. Add flour to the veggies after sautéing, then stir to coat the veggies and cooked for a minute or so to get rid of the “raw” flour flavor, then chicken broth added. Once it’s heated up, the soup should be thick.
There are other alternatives for thickening soups. You can use cornstarch (a great gluten-free option). Make a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) and add it to the soup at the end. Then, heat it up until it’s thickened.
Other creamy soup recipes
Did you know commenting and rating recipes is one of the best ways you can support your favorite food bloggers? If you made this recipe or have a question, please click the stars below to comment and Rate this Recipe and/or share photos on social media using the hashtag #bowlofdelicious or tagging @bowlofdelicious!
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (see notes for thickening alternatives)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (store-bought or homemade)
- ¾ cup enriched / converted rice (such as Ben's Original, see notes for using other kinds of rice)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (more or less depending on preferences)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup half and half (or whole milk or heavy cream)
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (such as rotisserie)
- extra fresh thyme leaves and fresh cracked black pepper for serving (optional)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the diced 1 medium onion, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 2 medium carrots, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme. Sauté until softened, 5-10 minutes.
- Add the ⅓ cup all-purpose flour and stir to coat the veggies, cooking while stirring for about 1 minute. Pour in the 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the ¾ cup enriched / converted rice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Turn down to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 20 minutes, see notes).
- Once the rice has fully cooked, pour in the 1 cup half and half and stir in the 2 cups cooked shredded chicken. Cook for a few more minutes until everything has warmed up. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve the soup topped with extra fresh thyme leaves and fresh cracked black pepper, if desired.
- Enriched rice is my favorite to use in soups because it tends to hold its shape well in leftovers without getting mushy or disintegrating into the soup.
- If using another kind of rice, be aware that leftovers may not hold up as well, and also that cooking time and liquid requirements may vary. For example, white basmati rice cooks very quickly and absorbs less liquid (so you may want to use 1 cup instead of ¾ cup). Wild or brown rice may take longer to cook and absorb more liquid.
- Other spices and herbs may be used – I used fresh thyme because it’s what I had and I love this recipe simple in flavor, but Italian seasoning, oregano, some crushed red pepper for spice, or other favorite spice blends can be used instead or in addition to. Make it your own!
- For a gluten-free option / alternative to flour thickener, skip adding the flour at all in the recipe. Once the soup is completely done, make a cornstarch slurry using 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into soup and continue heating until thickened. You can add more if you want to make it thicker.
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: