A healthy and easy chicken and rice soup! Made in one pot and ready in 40 minutes, this homemade chicken rice soup is infused with chickeny goodness, fresh veggies and the vibrant flavors of dill and lemon.

shallow white bowls and a white pot set on a table filled with chicken and rice soup

Why I Love This Easy Chicken Rice Soup Recipe

I love that this easy chicken and rice soup packs loads of chicken flavor into a 40-minute soup. Most of the time, in order to achieve the adequate chicken flavor you’ve got to slow-simmer a whole chicken for hours and make homemade stock. Not this recipe.

Instead of a slow-simmer, I rely on bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs to do most of the heavy lifting. (I use this trick in my Mexican Chicken Soup). 

To start, I render the flavorful fat from chicken skin into the pot then briefly cook the rice in the fat so it can soak up all the flavor. 

The skin is then removed from the chicken, and the bone-in thighs finish cooking in the soup, which infuses the broth with even more flavor. 

If you don’t want to fuss with cooking chicken, check out this Healthy Aromatic Chicken Rice Soup which uses rotisserie chicken (or leftover cooked chicken) as a weeknight shortcut.

dry rice, a lemon, mirepoix, raw chicken thighs, broth, and fresh dill measured out and set on a counter

Ingredients for this Recipe 

Olive oil

Grapeseed oil or avocado oil will also work here.

Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

It’s important to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. 4 chicken thighs generally equals 1 ½ pounds. I do not recommend using chicken breast as it easily over-cooks and does not impart much chicken flavor into the dish.

Long grain brown rice

I prefer brown jasmine rice, but feel free to use any long-grain brown rice.

Carrots

No need to peel the carrot, just give it a good scrub before dicing. You’ll need one large or two small carrots.

Celery 

Celery not only adds texture, but it also adds a quintessential flavor to the chicken soup!

Onion

Feel free to use diced yellow or white onion. I do not recommend red onion.

Garlic

Fresh garlic is important! To keep the prep simple and not too time-consuming, I have you chop it instead of mince it. If you’ve got a garlic press, feel free to use that.

Low-sodium chicken broth

You might wonder why I call for low-sodium chicken broth and then tell you to add kosher salt. Using low-sodium chicken broth allows you to season as you go and season as you taste, aka it allows you to control the outcome. If you have regular chicken broth, decrease the salt measurements by at least half, then season to taste at the end.

Fresh dill 

Dill amps up the flavor a lot in this soup. I do not recommend swapping out the fresh for dried. Though if you do, consider adding it to the cooked vegetables right before stirring in the broth. If you don’t like lemon, chopped fresh parsley or cilantro are great substitutions. 

Lemon

Fresh lemon juice brightens up the savory soup like nothing else can. If you don’t have lemon on hand, use a splash of white wine vinegar. 

Step-By-Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

  1. Brown the chicken thighs.
  2. Add the rice to the dripping and cook briefly.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until starting to soften.
  4. Add the broth and chicken and simmer.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred the meat.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, dill and lemon juice.

FAQs & Expert Tips

Can Chicken and Rice Soup Be Made Ahead?

As the soup rests (or is stored in the refrigerator), the rice will continue to absorb the broth. Keep some extra chicken broth on hand for thinning out the soup or make due with water. If you use water, be sure to season with additional salt to taste. 

What other vegetables are good in chicken soup?

Because this chicken rice soup recipe is so simple, I encourage you to play around with the veggies you use. Try parsnips instead of carrots some time. Or toss in some green peas or chopped kale at the end. You can keep it simple or amp it up as much as you want!

chicken and rice soup with vegetables in a pot on a table with two bowls of soup set around it

Check out these other soup recipes…

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review.

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chicken and rice soup with vegetables in a pot on a table with two bowls of soup set around it

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Author: Lauren Grant-Vose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cups (4 servings) 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This easy chicken and rice soup is loaded with chicken flavor, tender brown rice, and lots of fresh dill. Dig in, this only takes 40 minutes to make!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice (such as brown jasmine), rinsed
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season thighs with kosher salt and black pepper. Once oil is shimmering, add thighs, skin side down in pot, and cook, without moving, until skin is deeply golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Flip and cook 2 more minutes; transfer thicken to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and stir in rice, cook 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic; season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard chicken skin.
  3. Add broth and chicken (and any accumulated juices) to pot, bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl and continue to simmer soup until rice is tender, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and shred meat into small pieces using two forks; discard bones.
  5. Add shredded chicken, dill and lemon juice to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

You can get this on the table, start to finish, in 40 minutes. To do this, starch browning the chicken thighs before prepping anything else. While those are browning, prep the veggies and rinse the rice—no wasted time!


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 327
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 24 g