Chicken wild rice soup is a creamy and comforting soup loaded with chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, fresh thyme, and wild rice. This soup is easy to make and is perfect for when you're craving some comfort!
While chicken wild rice soup is different from the chicken soup we grew up eating, our 3 years spent living in Minnesota gave us an appreciation for this hearty soup.
Not actually rice, but rather a species of grass, wild rice is native to Minnesota and grows along the shores of its many lakes.
It's chewy and nutty and lends great flavor and texture to this creamy chicken soup.
Chicken wild rice soup is substantial enough to be a main course, but is wonderful as a side to a caesar salad, and is especially good when served inside a hollowed-out bread bowl!
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Chop 3 medium carrots and 3 celery ribs. Dice 1 medium onion, and mince 3 cloves of garlic.
- To a stock pot, add 10 cups of low-sodium chicken stock, 1 ½ pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 breasts), and 6 sprigs of thyme and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the stock and set it aside. Turn the heat to low on the stock and once the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven to medium heat and add 6 tablespoons of butter and the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute the veggies for 8 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to the pot and cook stirring constantly until the white has disappeared (about 1 minute).
- Add ¾ cup of dry white wine and cook for 1 minute until the alcohol has burnt off all while using a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the warm chicken stock by straining it through a mesh strainer or sieve and mix well to incorporate it with the flour mixture.
- Add 1 cup of rinsed wild rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook until the wild rice is tender, about 45-50 minutes, and make sure to stir frequently as wild rice has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the rice is tender, add the cream to the pot and stir.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pot and continue to simmer until the chicken is warm. Remove and discard the thyme stems and taste-test the soup adjusting salt, pepper, and thyme as needed. Serve in bowls and enjoy!
Top tips for creamy chicken and wild rice soup
- Chicken. We used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but you can just as easily use boneless skinless thighs. If using thighs, feel free to simmer the meat the whole time while cooking the rice since chicken thighs have high connective tissue and taste better and are more tender over 175f internal temp. To make this soup even easier, you can use rotisserie chicken.
- Wild rice. Wild rice does take some time to become tender enough to eat. Also, wild rice tends to stick to the bottom of the pot so be sure to stir frequently to prevent that. You could also make the wild rice separately or ahead of time and just add it to the pot.
- Wine. We used a dry white wine, specifically Sauvignon Blanc. If you can't use alcohol, feel free to omit the wine entirely.
- Thickness. Since wild rice takes some time to cook, the liquid in your soup will reduce. If you find the soup is too thick for your liking, simply add a touch more chicken stock until you reach the desired consistency.
More comforting soup recipes
If you love soup, you've come to the right place. Here are a few more of our favorite soup recipes.
- Baked Potato Soup - a creamy blend of potatoes, sour cream, and cheese.
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup - broccoli, carrots, cheese, and cream.
- Split Pea Soup - smoky ham, carrots, celery, onion, split peas, and garlic croutons.
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- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 10 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 medium carrots chopped
- 3 large celery ribs chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup wild rice rinsed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the low sodium chicken stock, chicken breasts, and thyme to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Once the chicken is fully cooked (about 10-12 minutes) remove it and set aside. Once it's cool enough to handle chop it into bite-size pieces. Turn the heat to low on the chicken stock.
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven to medium heat and add the butter, onions, carrot, and celery. Saute for 8 minutes then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add the flour to the pot and cook stirring constantly until no longer white (about 1 minute). Next, add the wine and with a wooden spoon scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook for 1 minute or until the alcohol smell has burned off.
- Add the warm chicken stock to the pot and mix well to incorporate with the flour. Add the rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook until the wild rice is tender (~45-50 minutes). Make sure to stir the rice frequently as it will have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the rice is tender, add the cream and stir. Then add the chicken to the pot and simmer until the chicken is hot and the rice is perfect.
- Remove and discard the thyme stems. Taste test the soup and season with salt and pepper and extra thyme leaves if desired. Enjoy!
- Rotisserie chicken can be substituted.
- Wild rice takes quite a long time to get tender. Once the germs start breaking open the rice will be tender enough to eat.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
This recipe is delicious. One of your best. Thank you.
Hi Grace, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed it!
This was amazing! The ratio of rice and broth is perfect! It tasted even better the next day! The guiness beef stew is next! Jim, this website is my go to for everything! Thank you!
Hi Tracey, I'm so happy to hear that this is your go-to! Thanks for the comment and hope you enjoy the beef stew as well!