One-Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

Skip the salt if using salted stock or broth. Taste the soup at the end and add more salt if needed.

This recipe calls for a classic mirepoix of carrots, onions, and celery for the vegetable base, but you can make this recipe your own by adding different vegetables, like fennel or cubes of butternut squash.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings (makes about 3 quarts)


  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, like basmati
  • 2 celery ribs, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste (see Recipe Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts unsalted or low-sodium chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving


1 Assemble the soup and bring to a simmer: Combine the chicken, white rice, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to keep the soup at a gentle simmer.

Raw Ingredients of Chicken and Rice Soup in Cooking Pot

2 Simmer for about 25 minutes: As the soup simmers, skim off any foam that collects on the surface with a spoon. Continue to simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the soup from heat.

3 Shred the chicken and make the garlic paste: Remove the chicken and garlic cloves using a slotted spoon or tongs. Transfer the chicken breasts to a bowl and shred with two forks. Discard the bones. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.

Smash the garlic cloves into a paste against a cutting board using a fork or the flat of your knife. Stir the paste back into the soup.

Shredded Chicken in Glass Bowl With Forks Next to Garlic Paste Covered Knife

4 Season and serve: Stir the lemon juice into to the soup, and taste. The soup should taste rich, barely salty, and with just a hint of lemon. Add more salt or lemon juice as needed until it tastes good to you.

Divide among bowls and sprinkle with some parsley for serving.

Leftovers will keep for about a week refrigerated, or up to 3 months frozen.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Steven

    Can you substitute chicken thighs for the breasts?

  • Debra

    Great flavor and easy to make.


  • Tracy

    Delicious! I used brown rice as that’s what I had and it tends to hold up better when sitting for periods of time in liquid. And it did hold up well. I also added some fried chorizo but not because it needs it, rather I had to use it and soup is good like that! My soups tend to be bland but this was a real winner!


  • Nancy

    Outstanding! Full, rich flavor without cooking all day. The only change I made was using chicken thighs, as that is what I had on hand. The whole garlic, smoothed to a paste near the end, is brilliant. Thank you!


  • Ann

    Maybe using jasmine rice was a bad idea, but this turned out more like congee. The flavor was okay, just not what I was expecting!

  • Lori

    We’ve been sick around here, first the flu, now colds. I was longing for chicken soup but just couldn’t face making my standby, which is a fine soup when you are making it for someone else–but it takes too danged long and is too much work when you want to make it for sicky you. But this soup is excellent! You just throw everything in the pot, simmer it for 25 minutes, remove the chicken pieces to cool (I used 3 bone-in, skin-on thighs, which was perfect), chop up the chicken to add back into the pot. It was pretty thick, so I added 2 cups of water with a bouillon cube. The addition of the lemon juice was inspired! Thank you, Dr. Hutch. This medicinal delight was just what we needed! And it turns out that rice is more comforting than noodles, at least in my opinion.


  • Paige

    I’m very excited to try this recipe! I love your idea about adding in butternut squash, how exactly would you do that? Assuming you just throw it in with the other vegetables but I also don’t trust any assumptions I make when it comes to cooking. ;) I’m definitely a novice! Thank you for the help. :)

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi Paige! Yes, try adding some cubes of squash at the beginning of cooking and let the soup simmer until the squash is cooked through. Enjoy!

  • Marie Sorensen

    Hi, I
    made the soup and it had great flavor but after leaving it in the fridge over night it
    turned into a chic-rice casserole— the rice absorbed all of the broth. We ate it anyway but was wondering why that happened. Maybe need more broth or less rice?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Marie! Rice absorbs a lot of liquid, so that’s probably what happened here. I think stirring some extra broth into the soup when you reheat it is a good solution!

  • peggy

    If you make this in a slow cooker for four hours do you put it on low or high?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Peggy! My gut instinct is to try it on low. I’d also wait to add the rice until about 30 minutes before the end of cooking, or cook the rice separately and stir it in at the end. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Teri smyth

    Sounds perfect for this time of year. I like to sauté vegies w bacon fat first to add more flavor. Yours is a healthier version.

  • Bebe

    I’m wondering why, if you’re going for rich taste, the skin is removed from the chicken. Does it not add richness to the broth?

    • Aaron Hutcherson

      Yes, you certainly can leave the skin on the chicken. It’s almost always left on when you are making chicken broth/stock from scratch. In this instance since we are already using fully flavored chicken stock, I prefer to remove it because leaving it on tends to add more fat that you might want to skim off later.

  • Lynn

    I’ve made this recipe before – but with wild rice and I throw in some herbs – bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and sage to give it more flavor. You can also do it in a slow cooker for 4 hours and no need to take out the chicken to shred as it will fall apart on its own. Either way, it couldn’t be easier and it’s delicious and healthy!

  • Anita

    This is a must try, I’m not a big fun of soups but this looks delicious. I must give it a go this weekend.

  • Maureen Irvine

    I am using chicken pieces more often now for soups and casseroles as they are so convenient. This is a lovely recipe which I will certainly use.

  • Rose Mary

    Looks delicious and tasty!

  • Joyce Stern

    Love your recipes!! Easy