Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
The definition of comfort food right here! This easy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe is ready in about 30 minutes from start to finish. A family favorite, this rich and creamy masterpiece is light on calories but big on flavor. You’ll be adding this one to the weekly meal plan for sure!
Out of desperation and poor-ness, I taught myself how to cook in order to satisfy my cravings for delicious food without having to go out to a restaurant. I subscribed to Cooking Light which started my lifelong cooking obsession.
The cover recipes were always my favorite and the first to try….and times haven’t changed much because this Easy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup caught my eye a few years back. I don’t remember if it was on the cover but the photograph was bright and beautiful….kind of begging for a ladle to be plunge deep into it to ward off the winter chill. I had to make it and, of course, tweak the recipe ever so slightly.
CREAMY CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SOUP
Chicken and rice soup is a hearty one pot dinner that’s filling and flavor packed. Tender chicken is simmered in a creamy stock that’s swimming with carrots, onions, mushrooms and spinach…..and bacon.
The original Cooking Light recipe calls for a combination of water and stock, I decided to go with all chicken stock because I felt like the water addition made the broth a bit bland. I also replaced the kale called for in their version with baby spinach because….well, I’m not a HUGE fan of kale as much as I want to be.
And to keep the recipe gluten free, I used cornstarch instead of flour as the thickener. All good choices in my opinion but the original recipe is fabulous, too, if you want to try it out.
To make it rich and creamy without a ton of fat, I reached for my usual friend Half and Half….you can also use low-fat milk but I felt that it made the consistency a little too thin and not as creamy.
HOW TO MAKE IT FROM SCRATCH
I love that this Easy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup comes together quickly. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or you can grab a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work to shred up and add to the soup.
It’s even better if you have some of this homemade stock to use but don’t worry if you don’t, store bought is absolutely fine and I use it all the time. Because really, who has time to make stock on a weekly basis?
Cook the bacon in a dutch oven until crisp. Remove and set aside.
Cook the onion, carrot, and celery to drippings in pan until softened.
Stir in the thyme, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the spinach, salt, ground mustard and pepper cooking for 3 minutes.
Stir in the chicken and rice.
Whisk the half-and-half and cornstarch in bowl until smooth.
Stir into the soup and cook 2 minutes or until thickened.
Top with bacon.
HOW TO STORE IT
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup will keep for about a week when stored properly. Transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat.
The soup will thicken up quite a bit when it’s cold but will loosen up again when it’s heated.
I do not recommend freezing chicken and rice soup because the cream will separate and break apart when reheated.
HOW TO REHEAT CREAMY SOUPS
We recommend heating on the serving size you plan to eat because heating it multiple times will cause the cream to break apart.
To reheat on the stovetop:
Add the soup to a saucepan and heat over low until it reaches 165˚F. Do not boil the soup or it will cause the cream to separate.
To reheat in the microwave:
Transfer the soup to a microwave safe container and cover with a paper towel. Heat in the microwave on high heat in 20-30 second increments, stirring between each interval until it reaches your desired temperature or 165˚F.
MORE EASY SOUP RECIPES
This Easy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup reminds me of this popular Chicken and Artichoke Soup I made last year but tastes so completely different. It’s also on our meal rotation as is this Chicken Noodle Soup and this Chicken Tortilla Soup that’s made with turkey when I have it on hand.
Or you should try this easy Cabbage Soup….it’s like a warm hug for your belly when the winter blows into town. And if you’re a pasta lover, try this Chicken Tortellini Soup….it’s creamy, quick and amazing.
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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 5 bacon slices chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 8-oz. package presliced cremini mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 5 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the bacon to the pan and cook 4 minutes or until crisp.
- Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings.
- Add the onion, carrot, and celery to drippings in pan and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the spinach, salt, ground mustard and pepper cooking for 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken and rice.
- Combine half-and-half and cornstarch in bowl, whisking until smooth. Stir into the soup and cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Top with bacon.