Chicken and rice soup. I just love it so much! There are countless versions — most are good, some are okay, and a few are out-of-this-world fabulous. This recipe is in the fabulous category, and it’s so easy. Grab a rotisserie chicken, and dinner is ready in a snap.
While a lot of people like chicken and noodle soup, I stay away from gluten for the most part, and I find noodles to be kind of messy in soup (I know ramen fans just rolled their eyes!). This soup is my equivalent to a delicious chicken and noodle soup, but instead, it’s chicken and rice. I’m prepared to make other converts with this recipe.
There are three key things that make this soup so good:
- Brown basmati rice
- A teeny bit of flour for thickening (This little thing makes a big difference in soup. I use gluten-free.)
- The addition of lemon juice right at the end
This soup is super easy to make at home when you’ve had a long day. It’s easy to find all of the ingredients when you’re on vacation if you have a house or a kitchen in your hotel. It’s great to make when you want to drop off some dinner for friends or family. This is one to pin to your Pinterest board or save when we post on Instagram (I even have an IG Reel about this soup), or email it to yourself and put it into a folder. Truth be told, once you’ve made it, you can probably make it again from memory — it’s that easy peasy.
Last Tip: This recipe is made with boxed chicken stock and a rotisserie chicken. If you have your own homemade stock and cooked chicken, yes, it’s even better. But I also know that just that one extra step will prevent people who don’t love to cook from making this soup. I always feel like my job, when putting a recipe out, is to make it as approachable as possible knowing that more serious cooks know how to adapt it to bring some more oomph.
Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup
Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups chopped yellow onion (or one medium-sized onion)
- 2/3 cup chopped celery (or two long stalks)
- 1/3 cup chopped carrots (tip: use shredded carrots and chop from there for added ease)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1-2 tbsp flour (you can use gluten-free)
- Salt to taste
- Juice from one lemon (or two if you want!)
- *see note for Better Than Bouillon - Chicken
- Chop up all vegetables and sauté with olive oil until soft and onion is translucent.
- While vegetables are sautéing, start heating up chicken stock in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reserve 1/2 cup of stock in a small bowl to the side.
- When vegetables are ready, transfer to stock pot.
- Add one cup rice to the boiling chicken broth and stir. Then add one tablespoon butter. Cover and reduce to simmer, and cook for 25 minutes.
- To the 1/2 cup of stock in the small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until smooth.
- After 25 minutes, remove lid and stir. Taste the brown rice and make sure it's either completely cooked or almost there. Only then, add all the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook for 5 more minutes and add salt to taste. (Salt needs vary drastically depending on your chicken stock and personal preference.)
- Taste the soup and make sure your brown rice is cooked through. (Different brown rice varieties have different cook times. I use brown basmati as it cooks faster and I like the taste. Some brown rice varieties take up to 50 minutes to cook. Check your rice package for cooking instructions and adjust cooking times here to meet your brown rice needs.)
- Optional: Serve with thinly sliced lemon rounds across the top to elevate the presentation if you'd like.
- Lots of boxed chicken broth or stock is not super flavorful. A hack to get around this to add about 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon, chicken flavor, to this soup. It's a great staple to have on hand and can really add depth to your soup.
If you are looking for even more soup recipes, check out this page on StyleBlueprint dedicated solely to SOUPS!