Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

$7.25 recipe / $0.91 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 18 votes
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Believe it or not, in the 2.5 year history of this blog, I have never made a basic chicken noodle soup. Well, I almost made it this weekend until I went perusing through my pantry to see what left over ingredients I had that needed to be used. I found a half bag of wild rice mix that I had left over from this holiday rice dressing last year. It’s a really delicious mix of all sorts of wild rices and since I had kept it tightly sealed, I thought it was definitely worth using.

You don’t have to use wild rice for this recipe, although it gives a really nice texture. White or brown will certainly work in a pinch. See the step by step photos for cooking adjustments for white or brown rice.

If you don’t like creamy soups (this one isn’t super creamy), you can skip the milk mixture at the end of the recipe and use chicken broth instead. Then you’ll have yourself a delicious, clear broth chicken and rice soup. You’ve got options!

I also used the carrots and celery that I had left over from this recipe a couple of weeks ago. I just cleaned and sliced the entire bunch then froze half to use later. I was happy not to have to peel and chop today!

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

Top view of a bowl of Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

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Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

5 from 18 votes
This creamy chicken & rice soup is chock full of fresh vegetables, hearty rice, and a light but creamy broth.
Servings 8
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.11)
  • 1 medium yellow onion ($0.56)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced ($0.39)
  • 1/2 bunch celery, sliced ($0.79)
  • 1 lb. chicken breast ($1.99)
  • 1 whole bay leaf ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • to taste cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 1-2 tsp to taste salt ($0.05)
  • 1 cup wild rice mix ($1.37)
  • 6 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/3 bunch fresh parsley ($0.26)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.10)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 2 cups whole milk ($1.07)

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, dice the onion (and mince the garlic if using fresh rather than pre-minced). Add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and saute until tender (5 min).
  • If using fresh carrots and celery, clean and slice them while the onions are sauteing. Add them to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  • Add the chicken breast (whole), bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cracked pepper, dry rice, and 6 cups of water to the pot. Do not add salt yet. Bring the pot up to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for one hour.
  • Near the end of the hour, begin to make the creamy milk mixture. In a small pot, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. When it is fully melted, whisk in 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Cook and stir the butter and flour mixture for two minutes. Whisk in the milk and allow it to come up to a simmer, whisking occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Once it reaches a simmer, it will have thickened slightly.
  • Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the soup and shred or dice with a knife and fork. Rinse and chop the parsley. Add the parsley and the thickened milk mixture to the soup. Season with salt to taste. I used about 2 tsp of salt, but start with a little and add more as needed. I also added a touch more pepper at this point. Serve hot!

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 285.85kcalCarbohydrates: 26.31gProtein: 21.05gFat: 11.38gSodium: 932.7mgFiber: 3.65g
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Top view of a bowl of creamy chicken & rice soup

Step By Step Photos

onions and garlic in pot
Start by dicing the onion. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the diced onion and minced garlic over medium heat until softened and transparent.

cooked onion and garlic in pot with wooden mixing spoon
‘Till it looks like this.

frozen carrots and celery in zip lock bags
Most recipes that I use only require half of the smallest bag or bunch of carrots and celery that you can buy at the store. I never let the other half get limp and moldy in my fridge. I just prep the entire bunch and freeze half so that I’ll have some for next time. I added these to the pot straight out of the freezer and just cooked it for about five minutes or until they were fully thawed.

chicken, celery, carrots and herbs addd to pot
Once the carrots and celery are thawed (they don’t have to be tender because they’ll boil for quite a while), add the raw chicken and herbs (bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cracked pepper).

wild rice mix in package
This is the wild rice mix that I had in my pantry. I used one cup. Feel free to use any type of rice. Wild rice has a thicker hull so it can withstand one hour of boiling, but if you’re using a regular rice variety, add it a half hour into the simmer step.

wild rice and water added to pot
Add the dry wild rice mix and 6 cups of water. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for one hour.

cooked rice in pot
After an hour, the rice will be cooked and the chicken will be tender.

whole chicken breasts cooked and removed from pot
Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the pot and cut/shred into bite sized pieces.

shredded chicken breasts
It will be hot, so use a fork and knife. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

chopped parsley
Rinse and chop the parsley. Add it to the pot as well.

add shredded chicken and parsley back to pot
At this point you have a really great chicken, rice, and vegetable soup. You can stop here, season with salt, and enjoy it as is. Or, you can go on to the next step and make the creamy milk base.

roux ingredients in pot
To begin the cream sauce, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Stir and cook this mixture over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

whisk in milk to roux
Whisk in the milk and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally as it heats to prevent the bottom from scorching. Once it reaches a simmer, it will be slightly thickened.

thickened roux added to main pot of soup to thicken
Pour the thickened milk mixture into the soup. Stir to combine.

finished creamy chicken & rice soup in pot
Season the soup with salt to your liking. Start with a 1/2 tsp of salt, stir, taste, and add more as needed. I added close to 2 tsp before it reached a point that I liked. I also added a little more pepper. A little cayenne wouldn’t be too bad either!

close up of a spoonful of creamy chicken & rice soup
This is a really hearty soup that is everything you need in one pot! Protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates!

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Comments

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  1. I was so excited to make this. All the ingredients were on hand, including the exact same rice blend. I had some shredded, rotisserie chicken which I had planned on adding that at the end instead of the chicken breast. Well, it turns out the soup is so delicious, I was halfway through nomnomnomming my bowl of soup before I realized I had forgotten to add it!

  2. I have following your ingredients. That soup is a super delicious; full of vegetables. 

  3. There are just two of us here, and we try to have a soup in the fridge every week. Some goes to work as lunches, some is for at home when we just don’t want to cook. This is a winner every time. I’ve made it with leftover cooked chicken, and sometimes I add some cooked yellow eyed beans and use chicken broth instead of water. I wish I could give it more stars.

  4. This is one of my favorite recipes! I actually sub coconut milk for regular milk and it is DELICIOUS!

  5. Excellent! I use better than bullion mixed with the 6 cups water and coconut milk instead of dairy and it is delicious.

  6. I made this in my instant pot on medium for about 25 minutes and it turned out great!

  7. The vegetables were still hard after cooking for an hour, so I had to throw my first attempt out. It smelled really good though, so I’m going to try again and see if I can figure out where I went wrong.

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that Katie. Could have possibly been cooking too low or veggies chopped too large.

  8. Hi! I’m thinking about making this soup to freeze. Any reason I shouldn’t? Any problem w freezing milk? 

  9. Yum!!! I love your recipes so much 🎉. I made this for the first time tonight and it was delicious!!! I’ve never made a soup like this before. I used my instant pot and threw in the milk after it coked the soup. So so good!!