This mouthwatering chicken and rice soup is filled with lots of warm spices, veggies, cilantro, and even a bit of tang from fresh lime juice. It's the perfect companion on a cold day, or any time you're craving a feel-good meal!
Chicken and Rice Soup, a Whole Lot of Flavor in One Bowl
I find a lot of comfort in a hot, brothy homemade soup that's a bit on the tangy side, has a nice little “kick” to it, and is filled to the brim with vegetables, spices, and fresh herbs. Throw in some tender chicken and some rice, and I've got a full, happy belly.
So chicken and rice soup is one of the most prepared, favorite soups in my personal repertoire, one that I make every few weeks when I circle back to craving some south-of-the-border flair—it's so good!
For me, it has so many of my favorite flavors in one bowl, those wonderfully zesty and rich flavors you find in spices such as cumin, cayenne, coriander, and chili powder. And because I adore the fresh, zippy flavor of fresh lime juice, I like to give my own bowl an extra squeeze from a juicy wedge for an additional burst of tangy freshness! 😉
Filled with shredded chicken, rice, veggies, and then finished with a hearty garnish of tortilla strips and perhaps some diced avocado (and definitely lots of fresh cilantro!), this easy chicken and rice soup recipe offers up some love in a bowl, in a wonderfully flavorful way.
Keeping Chicken and Rice Soup Brothy
If you've been a reader of The Cozy Apron for a while, or have tried a number of my soup recipes, you may have noticed that I like to keep any starches that are a part of the recipe separate from my pot of soup as a whole.
In other words, I don't typically add rice, barley, quinoa, etc. to my entire pot of soup. The reason? Those wonderful starches will suck that delicious broth right up!
So, I like to keep things separate, and add my starches (rice in the case of this particular soup) to individual servings before ladling hot soup over top.
I simply cook my rice separately, keep it in a covered container next to my pot of soup in the fridge, and add as much as I'd like per bowl when I heat some up. It's super easy, and let me tell you, it keeps those scrumptious soup left-overs nice and brothy!
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup
I cannot underscore enough how easy and convenient this soup is to prepare, and this makes it one of my faves.
For starters, it only takes about 20 minutes to simmer up, which means din-din is on the table lickity-split. 😉
The other convenience is that you can do what I like to do, and use a good quality rotisserie chicken. Simply shred or cube the meat, and add it directly into the soup at the very end as to not overcook it—so easy!
Here's my chicken and rice soup recipe at a glance:
- I sweat my veggies in a medium-large soup pot.
- Next, I add in my spices, followed by my garlic.
- Then, I add in my warm chicken broth (or stock), and allow things to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
- At the very end, I stir in some green peas, corn kernels, the cooked, shredded chicken, some lime juice and cilantro.
- To serve, I add warm rice to my bowl, ladle some soup over, and garnish with tortilla strips, extra lime, and extra cilantro!
(The full recipe is below...)
Tips & Tidbits for Chicken and Rice Soup:
- Rotisserie chicken for ease: While you absolutely can cook up your own chicken to use in the soup, I like to take a short cut and use an organic rotisserie chicken which I shred or cube, and add that in at the very end of the cooking process. It's delicious, and super convenient!
- Very veggie-ful: For this recipe, I like to keep things pretty basic by using onion, carrots and celery along with the peas and corn kernels; but you can substitute (or even add in) some diced tomatoes, half of a sweet potato diced small, or even red bell pepper—whatever you'd like!
- Make it spicy according to your taste: For the sake of the recipe, I've kept things fairly mild for all to enjoy; but when I'm preparing this soup for myself, I like to add more cayenne or red pepper flakes for extra heat. Hot sauce is great too, or even sliced jalapeños!
- Cook and keep your rice separate: I like to use either jasmine or basmati rice for this recipe, as it has more flavor. I also cook it up separately (and keep it in a separate container), and then add it to individual bowls of this soup. This keeps the soup nice and brothy, rather than too thick due to starches sucking the liquid up.
- Tasty toppings: Extra cilantro, lime, tortilla strips or chips, diced avocado, and sliced jalapeño are all delicious add-ins or toppings!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Chicken and Rice Soup
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 281 calories (with ½ cup rice)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
• Olive or avocado oil
• 1 onion, diced small
• 4 carrots, peeled and diced small
• 3 celery ribs, diced small
• Black pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon coriander
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 5 cups warm chicken broth (or stock)
• 3 to 3 ½ cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie is great for this)
• ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
• ½ corn kernels
• 1 teaspoon lime zest
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for serving
• 3 cups cooked rice (I like to use jasmine or basmati for the additional flavor)
• Jalapeno slices, tortilla strips, and lime wedges, for garnish
-Place a medium-large soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 4 tablespoons of oil; once the oil gets hot, add in the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for a 1-2 minutes.
-Add in a couple of good pinches of salt and black pepper, plus the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and pinch of cayenne pepper, and saute for a few more minutes until the veggies begin to become tender.
-Stir in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the chicken stock/broth.
-Bring the soup to a rolling simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
-Turn off the heat and finish the soup by stirring in the shredded chicken, peas, corn kernels, lime zest, lime juice, and chopped cilantro; check to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed.
-To serve, add some of the rice (about ½ cup or so) to the bottom of your bowl, and ladle over the hot soup; garnish with additional lime, some sliced jalapenos, or some crispy tortilla strips.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!