Chicken Wild Rice Soup

from 1 votes

Whip up comfort in a bowl with a family favorite recipe for Chicken Wild Rice Soup that’s loaded with veggies and garlic.

Two bowl of chicken wild rice soup topped with grated Parmesan cheese and thyme leaves. Surrounding the bowls are small bowls with cheese and thyme sprigs and a Dutch oven with the remainder of the soup in it.

It doesn’t get much more comforting than a big ol’ bowl of healthy chicken soup. This recipe goes back to the basics for a flavor-packed combination of veggies, garlic, wild rice and tender chicken.

I love topping off this soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It lends subtle saltiness and melts into the hot soup, leading to cheesy rice and veggies in every single bite. Pop in a few springs of fresh thyme and comfort food has never tasted or looked better!

You can also make this soup dairy-free, too. My spin on the classic is broth-based, and you can easily swap the butter used to sauté the veggies with olive oil. There’s no heaviness from cream or milk to weigh down the vibrant freshness of carrots, mushrooms, celery and onions, not to mention the garlicky broth!

Want more healthy soups? Check out my recipes for Quick Cauliflower Soup, Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup and Turkey Taco Soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A great way to make use of leftovers. Both leftover cooked chicken or turkey works wonderfully in this recipe.
  • Freezer-friendly. This soup will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Little prep. After you’ve chopped your veggies, the hardest part about this soup is waiting while it simmers.

Ingredients

A glass measuring cup containing chicken broth along with several glass mixing bowls holding various ingredients (chopped onions, carrots and celery, minced garlic, butter, quartered mushrooms, wild rice and cooked chicken).
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll use butter to cook your veggies in this recipe. However, you could also use olive oil. 
  • Onion, carrots and celery: These three chopped veggies (also known as mirepoix) will add lots of flavor—and veggie goodness. 
  • Minced garlic: I love garlic in soup. You can absolutely use your garlic press to mince the cloves or use frozen cubes of pre-minced garlic. 
  • Mushrooms: Chicken and mushrooms? Yes, please! Cremini mushrooms work particularly well in this recipe.
  • Chicken broth: Low-sodium broth makes sure this healthy chicken wild rice soup doesn’t become too salty. You can also use turkey stock.
  • Wild rice: Wild rice’s nutty flavor and chewier texture stand up well to soups and simmering. 
  • Cooked chicken or turkey: This recipe is the perfect use for your leftover rotisserie bird, Thanksgiving turkey or roast chicken.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Make it turkey. Simply swap in diced or shredded turkey for the chicken. This recipe is a great way to make use of holiday leftovers.
  • Go dairy-free. As I mentioned above, this can absolutely be dairy-free chicken wild rice soup. Simply swap out the butter for olive oil.
  • Instead of mushrooms, use a different vegetable. If you’re feeding someone who isn’t a fan of mushrooms, you could cubed butternut squash or even frozen peas (just add the peas towards the end of cooking so they have time to thaw and warm, but don’t become mushy).

How to Make Chicken Soup with Rice

  1. Cook the vegetables. To a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the butter and chopped onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened, then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for an additional couple of minutes.
A mixture of chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and mushrooms in a blue Dutch oven.
  1. Add the broth. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, then bring to a boil.
  2. Add the rice and simmer. Add the wild rice, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes (until the rice is tender).
  3. Add the chicken or turkey. Stir in the chicken or turkey, season the soup with salt and pepper and serve.
A ladle scooping chicken wild rice soup out of a Dutch oven.

Pro Tip: You’ll want to use a large pot with a lid for this recipe. A Dutch oven is perfect, since its heavy bottom and heat retention ensure the vegetables and rice cook properly. However, you could use a stockpot if that’s all you have on hand.

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

  • Chicken or Turkey: Leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken both work great in this recipe. You can also cook chicken breasts or thighs and then chop them up for use in this soup. 
  • Toppings Galore: While I love to top this soup with grated Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves, you could use any toppings you like (or even set out a toppings bar). Grated cheddar, croutons, chopped parsley, lemon juice or pesto would all be nice.
  • Easily Diced Vegetables: If dicing vegetables intimidates you, you can roughly chop the veggies and then add them to the bowl of a food processor. Then, pulse the food processor until the veggies are evenly diced.

Storage and Freezer Tips

This soup will keep in the fridge (stored in an airtight container) for 3 to 5 days. 

You can also stash it in the freezer. Stored in an airtight container, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator (overnight works!) before reheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you add rice to a soup without getting soggy?

You’ll want to select a heartier, chewier rice to avoid rice getting soggy in a soup. Wild rice is perfect for this. 

Should you rinse rice before adding to soup?

This depends on the rice. My Chicken Wild Rice Soup uses wild rice, which doesn’t have to be rinsed. 

Is chicken soup healthy for a diet? 

Chicken soup is relatively low in calories and can contain healthy protein, carbohydrates, nutrients and fiber (if it has veggies in it!). However, you should always consult a registered dietician, doctor or other nutrition professional if you have specific dietary concerns. 

More Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

Two bowls of chicken wild rice soup topped with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves. Beside the soup are small bowls of grated Parmesan and thyme sprigs and a Dutch oven containing more soup.
Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
Appetizer

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Whip up comfort in a bowl with a family favorite recipe for Chicken Wild Rice Soup that's loaded with garlic and veggies.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 1 vote
Two bowls containing homemade Chicken Wild Rice Soup next to small bowls containing parmesan and fresh herbs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 1 cup quartered mushrooms 
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or turkey stock 
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken (See Kelly’s Note)

Instructions 

  • In a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the butter, onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook an additional 2 minutes. 
  • Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  • Stir in the wild rice, then reduce the soup to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the wild rice is tender, about 40 minutes. 
  • Stir in the chopped turkey then taste and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Kelly’s Notes

  • Leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken both work great in this recipe. You can also cook chicken breasts or thighs and then chop them up for use in this soup. 
  • While I love to top this soup with grated Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves, you could use any toppings you like (or even set out a toppings bar). Grated cheddar, croutons, chopped parsley, lemon juice or pesto would all be nice.
  • If dicing vegetables intimidates you, you can roughly chop the veggies and then add them to the bowl of a food processor. Then, pulse the food processor until the veggies are evenly diced.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 139mg, Potassium: 635mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2832IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 2mg

Shoutout

Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

This post may contain affiliate links.


Feeling social?

Share this recipe!

Categories

Related Recipes

Check out more crave-worthy favorites

Kelly Senyei holding a copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

love the recipes on just a taste?

Check out my cookbook!

Order your copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook featuring 125 brand-new family-friendly recipes with surprisingly tasty twists!

This post may contain affiliate links.

5 from 1 vote

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Excellent soup! I doubled the broth, meat and rice amounts and cooked it in my Instant Pot. I used the Sauté feature to cook the veggies. Then I cooked the rest of the soup for 30 minutes on High Pressure. Came out so tasty!