When soul-soothing warmth, healthy meals, and dead-easy, hands-off cooking is in order, this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup delivers.
This Crockpot Chicken and Rice Soup is filling and tastes clean and light. It’s exactly the sort of meal I need when the calendar tells me it should be one season (spring, where art thou?) but the scene outside my window (ahem, BRRRR) depicts another.
I made a big pot (er, slow cooker) of this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup last week, on what turned out to be an unseasonably cold and blustery day. Ben and I brought it over to our friends’ for dinner, and the four of us sat cozied around their coffee table, balancing hot bowls of soup and thick slices of buttery bread on our laps.
Simple, unfussy, no tablecloths: an utterly perfect atmosphere to highlight this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup.
Like my other favorite slow cooker chicken and rice recipe—creamy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice, which is more of a casserole—this unassuming soup is made of a few simple ingredients, the flavor profile is super family-friendly, and it’s guaranteed to be a stalwart, steady addition to your repertoire of go-to healthy meals.
The Most Nourishing Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
This Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup is wholesome and filling, but it won’t weigh you down. The ingredients key to this balance are:
- Brown Rice. Higher in fiber, protein, and nutrients than white rice, brown rice adds whole grains and makes this chicken rice soup more satisfying.
Important Note: You do not need to precook the rice for chicken and rice soup! You can add the uncooked rice to the soup directly (be sure to rinse it first). This no-cook method is actually one of my favorite things about the recipe, because you save a step.
- Chicken. I opted for boneless, skinless chicken breasts because we always have a few in our freezer; boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or a mix of the two) work as well.
To make a more express Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup, you can omit the raw chicken entirely and stir in a shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken at the end instead.
The rotisserie crock pot chicken and rice soup method will save a bit of time because you can shred the chicken in advance while the rest of the soup is cooking; that said, since the chicken is done cooking at the same time as the rice, the time savings is not huge, and I think you’d miss out on some of the additional flavor the chicken adds to the soup while it cooks. I’ll leave the choice up to you!
- Chicken Stock. While this is a broth-based chicken and rice soup, it actually uses chicken stock. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but the method to prepare them is different, as are the results. Compared to chicken broth, chicken stock has a richer flavor and creamier mouth feel. (You can find a full explanation of the differences between stock and broth in my Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup).
You can certainly make this chicken and rice soup with chicken broth if that’s what you have on hand, but the way I tested the recipe (and what I recommend) is to use regular chicken stock, either store bought or homemade.
Craving a creamy chicken and rice soup instead? Check out my crock pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup!
- Fresh Vegetables. I added extra carrots and celery. If you’d like even more vegetables, you can stir frozen peas in at the end as well. The warmth of the crock pot will heat them right up!
- Thyme. A handful of fresh herbs does wonders for a soup’s flavor. It’s really worth it to seek out fresh in this recipe. As a bonus, you can use any leftovers for garnish.
And my favorite extra ingredient…
- LEMON JUICE! A squeeze of fresh lemon at the end lightens and brightens the soup’s flavor. It doesn’t taste overtly lemony, but you’ll notice that the soup’s flavor “pops” more once you stir it in.
If you’d like this recipe to be a true Crock Pot Lemon and Rice Soup, you can certainly add more lemon juice to taste.
Lemon lovers can also check out my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup and this Baked Lemon Chicken too.
Can I Add Rice to my Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can definitely add rice to your slow cooker!
- Can you Put Uncooked Rice in Soup? You can put uncooked rice in soup, and it works best for this specific recipe.
- What Kind of Rice is Used in Soup? The kind of rice used in soup will typically depend on the recipe. For this soup recipe, we are using brown rice.
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Chicken and Rice Soup
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. The soup tends to thicken as it sits, so you may want to thin it with additional water or stock as needed. I also find the lemon loses its punch as the soup sits, so feel free to squeeze a little more onto your freshly reheated leftovers too.
- To Freeze. Store cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Even Ben, who typically passes on soup, commented that he’d be happy to eat it again and loved how “meaty” it was.
As the cook in the house, I’m happy to make it again because it is SO EASY and healthy! Every nourishing spoonful feels like a clean eating chicken and rice soup experience, and it leaves you completely satisfied at the end.