This simple and healthy chicken soup recipe is filling, easy to make, and only involves a small handful of ingredients! It's a spin on classic chicken noodle soup, and is especially perfect for warming up in the cooler months.
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I'm going to go ahead and call this my absolute favorite soup ever! Quite bold of me to say because I love all things soup.
But this recipe is a classic soup for me. Every time I was feeling down as a kid, I would ask my mom to make me a batch of this soup. (So basically not much has changed!)
This chicken soup is actually quite filling thanks to the chicken and rice combo, and it makes a great appetizer or stand alone dinner! And I could go on and on about how simple the ingredients are and how easy this soup is to make. But it's probably just easier for all of us if I let the recipe speak for itself.
Chicken and rice soup ingredients:
• bone-in skinless chicken breasts: the bone adds amazing flavor! But you can also use boneless chicken breast. Just make sure it's skinless. The skin will do absolutely nothing for the soup
• olive oil & butter: I use both to add flavor, but you can use just olive oil or butter if you prefer. Butter does tend to burn on it's own though, so I do suggest adding at least a hint of oil with it to raise its smoking point
• yellow onion & carrots: classic chicken soup vegetables. You can also add celery, but I actually like the soup better without it. Personal preference though
• cinnamon stick: ½ a stick is more than enough to give a subtle hint of fall flavor!
• low sodium chicken stock or water: chicken stock adds more flavor, but this soup tastes amazing even with just water. If I do only use water, I like to take a minute to caramelize my onion slightly to add extra flavor and color to the soup!
• short-grain rice: Short grain works best in this recipe, but long grain will work in a pinch
• fresh parsley: adds a nice pop of freshness at the end!
How to make chicken and rice soup:
Season your chicken breasts on both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with olive oil and butter. Place over medium heat to melt the butter and heat the oil. Add your chicken to the pot and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on both sides. It's fine if the chicken isn't fully cooked at this point!
Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside. If you find your chicken absorbed all of your butter and oil, add another tablespoon or so of oil. Add the onions to the pot, along with another healthy pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the onion turns translucent.
Add in almost all of the remaining ingredients to the pot (carrots, cinnamon stick, chicken stock/water, and rice). Return the chicken to the pot as well. Raise the heat to high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Your soup is ready once the chicken and rice have cooked through and the carrots have softened.
Take the chicken out and shred it. Discard the bones, and return the chicken to the pot. Remove the cinnamon stick to avoid having too much cinnamon flavor. Mix in the parsley before serving.
Chicken and rice soup storage:
Just because the rice does tend to soak up the liquid in the soup as it sits, I'd suggest trying to eat this soup within 2 days. Max! But fresh is always best with chicken soup.
You absolutely CAN make this chicken soup ahead of time! When it comes to the rice, you should either cook it in the soup right before you plan on serving it, or cook it in a separate pot and store it in a separate container until ready to eat.
But this doesn't extend the soup's shelf life too too much. Cooked chicken keeps in the fridge for no more than 4 days either way. So the soup will keep for around 4 days with this method.
If you liked this chicken soup recipe, you may like some of these other soup recipes:
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- ½ pound bone-in skinless chicken breasts (about 3 medium sized breasts)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, (about 1 cup) diced
- ½ of a cinnamon stick
- 7 cups low sodium chicken stock or water * see notes
- ½ cup short-grain rice, rinsed well and drained ** see notes
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Season your chicken breasts with a pinch of salt on both sides, and set aside.
- In a large pot, combine olive oil and butter. Place the pot over medium heat to melt the butter and heat the oil. Once heated, add your chicken to the pot. Sear the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked at this point.
- Transfer your chicken to a plate, and set aside. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil to your pot. Add your diced onion, along with the remaining salt. Still on medium heat, cook the onion until it turns translucent (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (excluding the parsley) along with the cooked chicken. Turn your heat up to high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer your soup for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked, and your carrots have softened.
- Take your chicken out and shred it, discarding the bones. Return the shredded chicken to the soup, along with the parsley. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick, and serve! *** (see notes)