Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

5 from 4 votes

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Chicken and wild rice soup is the perfect example of Midwestern cooking — a real homestyle meal with local, farm-to-table ingredients. This warm, comforting one-pot soup brings together simple, common ingredients we use every day in one rich, creamy dish!

closeup: a big bowl of chicken and wild rice soup

Wild rice is a criminally underused grain, in my opinion! It has a really pleasant, chewy texture and nutty flavor that pairs just amazingly with a variety of vegetables and almost any protein — even though it has tons of protein on its own.

It’s only natural to combine this versatile grain with our favorite chicken soup in just about the most comforting homestyle stew you can imagine. One ladle of creamy chicken and wild rice soup is more than enough to fill your stomach and load your body with energizing nutrients and carbohydrates.

overhead closeup: a spoonful of wild rice soup with chicken and vegetables

This classic Midwestern soup is hefty and substantial, but we still like to scoop it up with some sourdough or crusty French bread.

overhead: ingredients needed for chicken and wild rice soup

Wild rice soup really reminds me of my beef and barley soup — filling grains, tender protein, and savory broth in an easy one-pot recipe!

Tip From Kevin

What is Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a semi-aquatic grass that grows with abundance in North America’s Great Lakes region and isn’t considered a rice like white and brown rice. Cooked wild rice has about 30% fewer calories than brown rice as well as 40% more protein.

overhead: a ladle full of chicken and wild rice soup

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Uncooked Wild Rice – It isn’t actually rice — it’s an aquatic grain! You can’t go wrong with Ben’s, but any brand will do.
  • Chicken Stock – Feel free to use chicken broth instead (no, broth and stock aren’t the same thing!).
  • Rotisserie Chicken Prepare this soup with any shredded, cooked chicken. Shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken or the chicken breast from last night’s dinner!
  • Celery – Use just the celery ribs, sometimes labeled as celery “hearts.” It’s the most substantial and flavorful part of the vegetable — perfect for soup!
  • Carrots – Slice the carrots into bite-sized, ½-inch pieces.
  • Yellow Onion – Shallots, chives, or green onions are my top alternative onions in chicken and wild rice soup — and really good options for those who like their onions a little less “oniony.”
  • Rosemary & Thyme – These two herbs are unstoppable together! 
  • Flour – Cooking the flour along with the vegetables and butter makes it an effective (and delicious) thickener for the stock.
  • Spinach – I use tender baby spinach, but regular spinach or heftier greens (such as kale) are also great options.
  • Heavy Cream – The fattier the milk, the creamier the wild rice soup! Half and half or whole milk can certainly be substituted for the cream but will result in a runnier broth.
overhead: two bowls of wild rice soup with two spoons and a napkin

How to Make Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Sauté the Vegetables. Drop the butter into the stock pot and melt on medium heat. Once melted, add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the Flour. Add the flour to the pot and stir until it coats all of the vegetables. Cook and stir until the vegetables are lightly browned. 
  3. Pour in the Stock & Boil. Slowly pour the broth into the pot while stirring. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Add Rice & Simmer. Pour the rice into the pot, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every so often, until the vegetables soften.
  5. Add Chicken & Spinach. Add the shredded chicken and spinach to the pot, stir, and let simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is tender. 
  6. Stir in the Cream & Season. Gradually stir the heavy cream into the soup and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve while warm.
  • Stock Pot – Tall stock pots limit the amount of liquid that evaporates while simmering soups. There’s really no better option for making soups and stews at home! 

Storing and Reheating

Allow any leftover chicken and wild rice soup cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. 

Ladle back into a pot and simmer on medium to reheat, stirring frequently until all ingredients are warmed through. You may want to add more chicken stock if some has evaporated while reheating.

closeup: a white bowl of chicken and wild rice soup with a spoon

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should you cook rice before adding it to soup?

You don’t need to cook or soak wild rice before making chicken and wild rice soup. It will simmer in the broth for at least 55 minutes — plenty of time for it to cook!

How do you make chicken soup taste richer?

Taking the time to sauté the vegetables — particularly the onion, carrots, and celery — is the best way to release the savory flavors and aroma trapped in those ingredients. The browned vegetables and butter build the foundation for a very flavorful broth. 

Sprigs of fresh herbs can really elevate chicken and wild rice soup as well, particularly lemony rosemary and sweet thyme that pair so brilliantly with chicken and vegetables.

How do you keep rice from getting mushy in soup?

Luckily, this isn’t something you have to worry about with wild rice soup because it isn’t a “true” rice. This is because the grains themselves can only absorb so much water and won’t continue to soften as they soak.

Regular rice, on the other hand, will keep on soaking and bloating until it basically disintegrates in the bowl, like in Congee, a Chinese breakfast porridge. There is no real way to avoid this, which is one of the reasons why wild rice is preferred in soup.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

5 from 4 votes
Make chicken and wild rice soup easier and tastier than ever with rotisserie chicken and a garden medley of fresh vegetables and herbs.
Servings: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until evenly coated and lightly browned.
  • Gradually stir in the stock, bring to a boil. Add the wild rice then turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, spinach and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wild rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  • Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.01g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 2mg | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 233IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.002mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Soups
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): chicken and wild rice soup


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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