Classic and simple, this creamy chicken and wild rice soup is hearty and delicious, and is one of my favorite soups during the fall and winter!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

It’s finally cooling down around here, and my family is ecstatic that the soup I’ve been serving for the last month can finally be eaten without cranking up the A/C and downing five popsicles afterward.

Mmm, I love soup season, even if I do tend to jump the gun a bit.

This creamy chicken and wild rice soup is the perfect, comforting soup for the cooler temperatures. Dotted with colorful veggies, the simple flavors make this a definite crowd/family pleaser.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

My friend, Machele, brought this soup to a lunch gathering at my house a few weeks ago. Dunking in bits of this Rustic Crusty Bread (that I had made into an Asiago cheese version, be still my heart), and I was in soup heaven. Speaking of heaven, heaven knows, I didn’t need to be adding carb dunks to a soup already laden with rice, but I couldn’t be stopped. It was too delicious.

Of course, it’s glorious and hearty just by itself. You’ve got to love meals where all the goodness is trapped in one bowl.

Easy enough for a hectic weeknight, my family all agrees (yes, a rare thing), that this creamy wild rice soup is a favorite, and it should go on repeat (and perhaps replace the not-so-well received sausage and bean soup I made last week).

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

As a sidenote, I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately in the What to Serve department. Usually I include two or three links of great side dish ideas when I post a main dish (right down there above the recipe).

I’ve totally forgotten this important detail on the last few main dish recipes I’ve posted. Sorry about that. Can I blame it on something? Too much chocolate? Hmmm. Too little chocolate? Yeah, probably that.

Considering no one has let me know, I’m not sure those ideas are really being used, but hey, the fact that I remembered what I had forgotten feels like a huge success right now. And I like including them for my own benefit (you know, waning brainpower around dinnertime and all that).

This creamy chicken and wild rice soup is delicious without a lot of extra side dishes, but you could throw some fresh fruit or sliced cheese on the table (and additional carbs if you can’t resist, like me) and call it good.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

What To ServeFresh fruit
Sliced cheese
Rustic Crusty Bread (or other bread, like these easy breadsticks or a dinner roll)

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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Keep in mind the soup calls for cooked rice and chicken. I almost always have rotisserie chicken meat in my freezer, otherwise this simple skillet method works great for quick, cooked chicken. You could also use raw chicken, cut it into small bite-size pieces, and cook it at the beginning in a tablespoon of oil or butter. Remove it to a plate before proceeding with the recipe instructions.

Wild rice or a wild rice blend works great in this soup. If you salt the water for the rice (or if it has additional seasonings), make sure to compensate when using salt in the soup.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 3 to 4 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice or wild rice blend
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great here, see note above for other easy solutions)
  • 1 cup half-and-half, evaporated milk or milk (preferably 2% or higher for creaminess)
  • Chopped chives for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are mostly tender, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and stir to combine, cooking another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring or whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cooked rice.
  4. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to make sure it's not sticking on the bottom.
  5. Add the chicken. Stir in the half-and-half or milk. Simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve, garnishing with fresh chives (optional).

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my friend, Machele

51 Responses to Simple Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Louise M says:

    Actually I love and really use your suggestions for sides. Keep up the great work! 😀

  2. Shannon says:

    I agree. I love the serving suggestions. So keep them coming!

    Also, is this very different from your crock pot version of this soup? I love that version.

  3. Valerie says:

    I use your side suggestions all the time! Please keep doing them! How else will I decide what to eat with it? Haha Thanks for all the great recipes!

  4. Nancy Lynn Kenny Monahan says:

    Hey Mel….this recipe looks delicious so you can count on me to give it a try! Here in Canada, I love our rotisserie chickens that are available to us and at a great price (win-win). They also come in a variety of seasonings and when compared to the price of an uncooked chicken, you can’t beat it!

    Oh, and with respect to your side suggestions for the recipes you post, I too love the options!

    Thanks Mel for the best foodie blog on the internet!

    Until next time….

  5. katie says:

    I use your “What to serve with this…” suggestion bar a lot, too. Would regular long grain rice be ok in this? I’m not a fan of wild rice

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Katie! Yes, you could definitely sub in a lot of different types of rice here. I’d probably cut it down to 2 1/2 cups if it is long grain rice.

  6. Stacy says:

    Oh I cannot wait to try this. I’ve been looking for a wild rice soup to introduce to my kids!!! This looks like the perfect one to try. Thank you for all you share. It really is a blessing in my (and my family’s) life.

  7. Stacy says:

    Another question: You mentioned you usually have rotisserie chicken in your freezer. Do you simply cut off all the meat and place in a freezer container? This sounds like such a time saver for crazy hectic night!!

    • Mel says:

      Yep, everytime I go to Costco, I grab one or two rotisseries, take the meat off and put them in freezer ziploc bags or repurposed quart sour cream containers and freeze. Makes dinnertime so easy!

  8. Heather bell says:

    I’m super excited about this. I’m having a soup get together next week and this is the one. Also love all your posting! Woo hoo for daily recipe motivation.

  9. Jen T says:

    I make a soup very similar to this, but I put it all in the crock pot–frozen chicken even–then cook all day, take out the chicken, shred, add in the half and half and you are done. Love crock pot meals. It is a favorite of my family. Very little prep needed. Love soup in the fall, and keep up your side suggestions. They are appreciated. All your recipes are appreciate at our house! Thanks Mel!

  10. Shannon says:

    I love your suggestions for what to serve with meals! That’s one thing I’m terrible at and trying to get better at is serving something besides a main dish. Also, your garlic peas recipe in your easy weekday dinner cookbook: what kind of garlic do you use (real, powder?) and how much? My husband was finishing dinner last night while I was at work and he noticed the simple microwave garlic peas don’t have any garlic. I’m sure I could just throw in some and figure it out, but somehow I know it’ll be better if I follow your suggestion! Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shannon – I use a clove of garlic for the peas recipe (minced or pressed through a garlic press). I actually updated that recipe after I caught the missing garlic (the first day I released the book – ack!). If you go to your download email when you received the book and download the book again, it will have the corrected recipe.

  11. Tamela says:

    Can this be done in an Instant Pot? I just got one and am looking for some recipes to try it out with!

    • Mel says:

      You could certainly try – I cook my rice for this dish usually in the Instant Pot but I haven’t made the whole thing there start to finish.

      • Amanda says:

        How long do you cook a wild rice/brown rice blend in the Instant Pot and with what water ratio? I tried it once without success.:/

        • Mel says:

          It totally depends on the type of rice so unfortunately I can’t give a hard, fast rule. For blends that take about the same time as long grain rice on the stovetop (16-ish minutes), I do high pressure for 3-4 minutes. For brown rice or other longer cooking rices, I do about 18-22 minutes on high pressure. In the Instant Pot I always use 1 1/4 cups water for every cup of rice (no matter the kind).

  12. Maria D. says:

    This looks simple an delicious – especially if I use a rotiserie chicken…thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Kimwithaktoo says:

    Yummy! This looks delish! I enjoy reading your blog and find the sides helpful. I also like being linked to the recipes you suggest as sides. ☺

  14. Jodie says:

    What is wild rice blend and would that be with the rest of the rice at the grocery store?

    • Mel says:

      Good question, Jodie! Usually straight or 100% wild rice is harder to find and sometimes quite expensive, but most grocery stores carry rice blends made up of wild rice and other rices. Some I’ve seen lately are wild rice and brown rice together or wild rice, quinoa and a few other grains. Hope that helps! Usually they are by the other varieties of rice.

  15. Sherry says:

    Your rustic crunchy bread is great, how do you turn it into an asiago version? I would also like to see you continue with the side suggestions. Thanks for helping me prepare tasty meals for my family. I can always count on you!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sherry – I just fold in cubed cheese to the dough after the first 2 hour rise. It’s a little messy and sticky, but I just grease my hands and get the cheese cubes kneaded in. Then I just shape and bake like normal.

  16. Lindsay says:

    I actually noticed your side suggestions have been missing lately, becasue I always use them! Thanks for including them, I know that’s another extra thing for you to have to do!

  17. Sarah says:

    I love the side dish suggestions! Thank you for including them.

  18. Lauren says:

    I love using what to serve w this suggestions. If ever I can’t find any listed I go to the side dish planner at the start of your menu section to get an idea. I almost always just pick one side to make w the entree (fancy!) to keep things simple. Thx, Mel, for all u do to help families across the country & around the planet. What an inspiration! Who would have thought one person could help so many?!?

  19. Jenny says:

    I’m chiming in to let you know that I too love your side dish suggestions! Some main dish recipes just don’t seem to have an “obvious” side dish. so I always appreciate and defer to your suggestions. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing blog with us!

  20. Renee says:

    Hi Mel,
    I need to cut out the flour for gluten-free soup. Have you ever used cornstarch for this version instead of flour?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t…do you think a gluten-free flour would work? Or you could dissolve the cornstarch in broth and add it to the soup as it simmers.

  21. Heather says:

    Which one is better this or your Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from 2008? I have made that a few times and LOVE IT! Is there really a huge difference between the two?

    • Mel says:

      I love both; the one from 2008 has more complex flavors and this one is a bit simpler. I can see a pretty big difference between the two but my husband says he can’t. So there you go. 🙂

  22. Gail says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this soup…but I wanted to let you know, Mel that I REALLY appreciate your suggestions for side dishes. In fact, I downright love them! Please don’t stop adding them if it’s not too much trouble.

  23. Tara says:

    I definitely use your suggested sides! That’s one of my favorite things on your site! I much prefer you doing all the brainwork–mine seems to be functioning on basic survival methods (4 tiny kids!). Thanks for being the amazing contributing person that you are.

  24. Amy H. says:

    Hi Mel – I’ve never commented before, but have followed you for several years. My family loves many of your dishes! I have a daughter with celiac disease. What are your thoughts on substituting corn starch for the flour? Or any other ideas for making this GF? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amy – would a gluten-free flour work? I think you could definitely use cornstarch – I’d just dissolve it in cold water or broth (maybe a couple tablespoons cornstarch with enough liquid to make a slurry) and add it that way, letting it come to a simmer.

  25. Kelly Finger says:

    I’ve made a lot of different chicken and wild rice soup recipes and this one is a keeper. Thank you!!

  26. Ruth says:

    This is absolutely delicious – flavorful and warming to the soul! Thanks again for another great recipe…I was thinking that I may throw some basil on top for fun next time. Not that it needs the flavor, but I LOVE basil and thought it may work. 🙂

  27. Melanie B says:

    Simple and delicious! Double win! And a new soup to add to the dinner rotation and good enough to serve to guests. Thanks for another winner!

  28. Jill DC says:

    My family really liked this soup. I added a little garlic with the onions, etc. I also added a little thyme. At the end I stirred in fresh parsley and frozen peas b/c I really like those things. Thanks, this is a keeper!

  29. Tracy Glasgow says:

    Made this tonight for my family. It was easy to put together and turned out very tasty. It’s a keeper in our rotation. Thanks Mel!

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