Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

November 20, 2020  ·  Published February 24, 2014

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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is such a rich, hearty and satisfying soup! It’s like a chicken noodle soup but it uses a variety of flavorful rice instead of noodles, and it’s made creamy with a milk and heavy cream based béchamel sauce. Everyone will love it!

Serving of chicken and wild rice soup shown in a white bowl over a wooden plate on a black surface.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Not only will you enjoy the velvety creamy goodness of this soup but also the textural contrast and it’s unique flavor. It’s one of those recipes you’ll crave.

My family loves this soup and chances are your family will love it too, just check out the reviews!

The wild rice blend offers something that pasta doesn’t in traditional chicken noodle soup. It has a light natural sweetness to it then I’ve included lemon zest to balance that with a faint little tang. And all the herbs just nicely compliment and balance it all.

It may call for a few pots which seems like a hassle but I’m telling you it’s worth it!

Chicken and wild rice soup in a pot with ladle full being scooped out.

Image of ingredients used to make chicken and wild rice soup. Includes wild rice, chicken breasts, herbs, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, butter, milk, cream, lemon, flour, salt, pepper and chicken broth.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Ingredients

  • Wild rice blend: I like to use Lundberg’s blend.
  • Onion, carrots and celery: These are used to make the mirepoix which really flavor the soup.
  • Butter: This makes the soup deliciously rich.
  • Garlic: You can add more if preferred.
  • Chicken broth: I like to use low-sodium. Regular will work fine just add less salt to the soup.
  • Thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary: You can use dried or fresh herbs.
  • Salt and pepper: Season to taste.
  • Chicken breasts: Thighs will work too just cook a little longer as needed.
  • Flour: This helps thicken the soup don’t omit. If needed you could try a gluten-free option below.
  • Milk: I recommend using anything but skim milk.
  • Cream: Half and half could be substituted.

Collage of six images showing steps to preparing chicken and wild rice soup. Shows cooking wild rice separately, cooking chicken broth and herbs, then making bechemel sauce in a saucepan.

How to Make Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
  2. Halfway through the rice cooking, in a separate large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
  3. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, add chicken and bring mixture to a simmer.
  4. Cover pot with lid, reduce to medium-low heat and allow mixture to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 12 – 16 minutes (rotating chicken to opposite side once during cooking for thicker chicken breasts – if they don’t fully immerse in broth).
  5. Remove chicken and set aside on cutting board to cool 5 minutes then shred into small bite size pieces. Leave soup covered over warm heat.
  6. Meanwhile in a separate medium saucepan, melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  7. Then while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture. Whisk in heavy cream. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  8. Add milk mixture to soup mixture in pot along with shredded chicken, cooked rice, and lemon zest. Stir well and remove from heat.
  9. Let soup cool slightly and serve.

Collage of four images continued of making chicken wild rice soup. Shows finished white sauce, shredding chicken, adding final ingredients to soup and finished soup.

Make this chicken and wild rice soup gluten free!

If you are looking to make this soup gluten free, it could probably be done by swapping out the flour for 1/3 the amount of cornstarch and blending it well with some of the milk instead (of course you wouldn’t be making a roux anymore but I’d still add in some of the butter for flavor and richness). Then check labels to ensure they are gluten free.

Can I freeze this soup?

Dairy doesn’t freeze well because it can split and curdle so I wouldn’t advise freezing it. You can however store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I use leftover chicken or turkey?

Yes. You can use leftover cooked chicken or turkey if you have some to use up. If doing so wait until the end to add it so it doesn’t get overcooked (tough and dry).

Overhead image of ladle full of chicken and wild rice soup.Two servings of chicken and wild rice soup in serving bowls.

More Delicious Soup Recipes You’ll Enjoy

5 from 107 votes

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is such a hearty and satisfying soup. It will quickly become a new favorite to add into your rotation. It's like a chicken noodle soup made creamy with rice in place of noodles.
Servings: 5 Servings
Prep15 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend*
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 cup diced carrots (2 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (3 ribs)
  • 7 Tbsp butter, diced, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary (or 1 tsp fresh, minced of any)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts halves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions

  • Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
  • Halfway through the rice cooking, in a separate large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
  • Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, add chicken and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Cover pot with lid, reduce to medium-low heat and allow mixture to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 12 - 16 minutes (rotating chicken to opposite side once during cooking for thicker chicken breasts - if they don't fully immerse in broth).
  • Remove chicken and set aside on cutting board to cool 5 minutes then shred into small bite size pieces. Leave soup covered over warm heat.
  • Meanwhile in a separate medium saucepan, melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Then while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture. Whisk in heavy cream. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  • Add milk mixture to soup mixture in pot along with shredded chicken, cooked rice, and lemon zest. Stir well and remove from heat.
  • Let soup cool slightly and serve.

Notes

*I recommend using Lundberg Wild Blend Rice if you can find it.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 540 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 787mg34%
Potassium 932mg27%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 5314IU106%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 152mg15%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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442 Comments

  • Ornia

    Really great recipe. I used thighs and added about 3 tablespoons of slivered almonds.

  • Stephanie

    This looks amazing and can’t wait to try it! I do have a question about the rice. I was only able to find wild rice in the bulk section at our store. Do you have a recommendation on how to cook it? I have never made wild rice. I see some sites that say 1 cup of rice to 4 cups of water and others that call for a lot less water? Unsure what recipe to follow. Thank you so much in advance!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I would go with 4 cups water (1 cup rice) because if there’s extra liquid you can just drain it off at the end. Hope you love this soup Stephanie!

      • Stephanie

        Thank you so much Jaclyn! I used the measurements you recommended and it turned out perfect, thank you! We made the soup last night and it was amazing! It’s definitely one we will be making again! Such a great recipe!

        • Jaclyn

          Jaclyn Bell

          I’m glad it turned out well and love to know you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for replying back how it turned out.

  • Laura Schley

    This is the best creamy chicken and wild rice soup I have found. This is the meal I am known for doing well and I thought I’d experiment. THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING. My husband and I were blown away. One of those meals that you spend the whole time pretty much moaning while you eat it. I did not have marjoram, sage and rosemary, so I left that out and threw in a little Italian seasoning instead. So good.