Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Why We Love Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken soups are among my favorite comfort food recipes.
There is an infinite number of scrumptious versions, with noodles and tortillas and tortellini and dumplings… SO MANY different varieties to enjoy. Whatever mood you are in, or taste you are craving, there’s a sort of chicken soup for you.
Loaded with a classic combination of onions, celery, and carrots, and including hearty rice, Chicken and Rice Soups are particularly comforting dishes any time of year. They are a complete meal in a bowl, and often incredibly easy to make!
Our take on traditional Chicken Soup with Rice has a wonderfully satisfying texture and robust flavor from the addition of parmesan cheese.
(Healthy) Parmesan Chicken Rice Soup
Many creamy chicken soups call for heavy cream or artificial cream-of-something fillers. But our healthier, and in my opinion, far more delicious version uses simple parmesan cheese and “secret ingredient” cornstarch to get that perfectly rich soup we all love.
This gluten-free recipe manages to achieve that dreamy, savory soup that you crave with an extra kick of nutty flavor from the parmesan.
What Ingredients You Need
You’ll love the classic flavors of our Creamy Parmesan Soup, made lighter but still incredibly rich by swapping traditional heavy cream with parmesan cheese and cornstarch.
Plus, did I mention that all of the ingredients are gluten-free?!
Here’s what you need:
- Butter – preferably unsalted
- Sweet Onion – peeled and chopped
- Carrots – chopped
- Celery – chopped
- Garlic – minced
- Fresh Thyme Leaves – or substitute with 1 tsp dried thyme
- Bay Leaf
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs – or chicken breasts will work as well
- Chicken Broth – or water + 10 tsp chicken bouillon
- Dried Long Grain Rice
- Parmesan Cheese – grated
- Parsley – chopped
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
All of the ingredients for this comforting chicken and rice soup recipe are easily cooked together in just one heavy soup pot. And you don’t even need to cut up the chicken or cook the rice beforehand!
- First, place a large 6-8 quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Then add in the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes to soften.
- Add in the fresh or dried thyme, bay leaf, whole chicken thighs, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and stir in the dried rice.
- Cover and reduce the heat, and simmer for several minutes. Use tongs to move the chicken thighs to a large bowl or cutting board, and using two forks shred the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. Continue to gently simmer the soup, uncovered, while you shred the chicken.
- Next, in a small bowl mix together the grated parmesan cheese with the cornstarch. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue stirring as you add the parmesan and cornstarch mixture into the soup.
- Simmer and stir for another few minutes until the soup is thick and creamy.
- Give the soup a taste and salt and pepper as needed. Lastly, remove the bay leaf and stir in the fresh parsley before serving warm.
Get the Complete (Printable) Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you cook the rice in the soup! This adds flavor and starch to the broth.
- For extra flavor, add a dash of white wine before adding in the broth!
- Don’t overcook the rice! The beauty of this recipe is that it only takes about 30 minutes total, so the rice shouldn’t get overcooked. However, if you need to simmer for longer, than add the rice with just about 20-30 minutes left.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can This Soup Recipe Be Made Ahead? Does It Do Well As A Leftover?
Soups with starchy ingredients (like pasta or rice) do make good leftovers if stored in the fridge and eaten within the next 24-48 hours.
However, the rice will continue to absorb the broth and make the mixture more of a thick stew rather than a creamy soup. You can add additional broth to loosen the soup when rewarming.
Should You Cook The Rice Before Adding It In?
No. Adding in uncooked rice (or dry rice) gives the grains extra flavor as it cooks in the pot, making this healthy chicken rice soup even more delicious!
What To Serve With This Soup?
Want to Make An Even Healthier Version?
If you want a lighter classic soup, just skip the parmesan cheese and cornstarch. It won’t be as creamy, but the soup will still have great texture and flavor thanks to the rice and veggies.
You can even swap the butter with olive oil, for a dairy-free version.
LOOKING FOR MORE SAVORY SOUP RECIPES?
- The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- Healthy Italian Wedding Soup
- Buffalo Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- Sausage and Kale Soup
- Tomato Potato White Bean Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- (Better Than) Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Thai Khao Soi Recipe (Coconut Curry Soup)
- Spicy Vegan Ramen Recipe
- Rustic Ribollita Recipe (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
- Feel Better Chicken Soup Recipe by Feasting at Home
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, or breasts
- 10 cups chicken broth, or water + 10 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 cup dried long-grain rice
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Place a large 6-8 quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted add in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring to soften.
- Add in the thyme, bay leaf, chicken thighs, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the dried rice.
- Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Then use tongs to remove the chicken thighs. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Continue to simmer the soup uncovered, while you shred the chicken.
- Mix the grated parmesan cheese with the cornstarch. Stir the chicken back into the soup. Continue stirring as you add the parmesan mixture into the soup. Simmer another 2-4 minutes to thicken the soup base.
- Taste. Then salt and pepper as needed. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the fresh parsley. Serve warm.