This creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is like a hug in a bowl. It’s filled with tender chicken, veggies, wild rice, fresh herbs, and flavorful creamy broth to pull it all together. The best part? Everything is made in one pot and simmers for just under an hour until perfect. It’s an easy recipe with minimal hands on cooking that yields perfect results every single time. 

The Best Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you! When my husband was in the hospital, all I could stomach for some strange reason was Panera’s creamy chicken and wild rice soup. I had no clue what ingredients were in it, nor did I care to look at that time. All I knew was that it tasted delicious when nothing else really did, it was comforting, and because there was a Panera in the hospital it was an easy choice.

Once my husband was home and doing better, I knew I wanted to create a healthier, copycat version of my beloved Panera soup to enjoy and y’all it is so good! This recipe is completely dairy-free, gluten free, made with simple real food ingredients, and absolutely delicious. It’s and easy one-pot recipe and I’ve also an included a rough idea of slow cooker instructions for you as well.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! I’m sure it will be a staple in my kitchen for many years to come.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

soup ingredients

Soup Ingredients

Boneless, Skinless Chicken: for this recipe, you’ll need around a pound of chicken. I like to use a combination of both boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts for ultimate flavor. You could of course use just chicken breasts or thighs.

Veggies: this soup uses the classic combo of diced carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic to create a flavorful base for the soup.

Mushrooms: these are optional of course but they are absolutely delicious and bring such a great flavor to the soup. My favorite mushrooms are baby Bella (also called crimini) but you could of course use whatever mushroom you love.

Herbs: this soup gets a heavy dose of flavor from fresh thyme. I like to add in a bundles of  six to eight sprigs and let it simmer with the soup as it cooks. At the end, just discard the remaining woody pieces of sprig before eating. Another flavorful addition to this soup  are bay leaves. Dried bay leaves give this soup even more delicious flavor.

Wild Rice: the star of this soup is of course the wild rice! Wild rice as a nutty flavor and chewy texture that is absolutely delicious in this soup. I love to use plain wild rice but you could also use a wild rice blend if you prefer.

Low Sodium Chicken Broth: I like to use low-sodium chicken broth in my soup recipes because it allows you to have control over the salt content in the soup.

Full Fat Coconut Milk: to keep this wild rice soup dairy free, it uses full fat coconut milk. If you have never used full fat coconut milk, trust me, it will not make your soup taste like a big bowl of coconut.

Arrowroot Starch: one of my secret ingredients to a creamy dairy  free soup is arrowroot starch. Arrowroot starch is very similar to cornstarch and a grain and gluten free way to thicken soups and stews. In this recipe, the arrowroot works to thicken the soup a bit and give it a creamier texture.

veggies and aromatics in pot

Ingredient Substitutions

Chicken: Swap the boneless skinless chicken for leftover chicken instead. Just add leftover cooked chicken or turkey near the end of the recipe, after the wild rice, but before you add the coconut milk. Because the protein is already cooked, you don’t really want it to simmer for another 45 minutes while the rice is cooking or it could dry out and become tough.

Veggies: Don’t love mushrooms? Leave them out altogether. Or, feel free to add in extra veggies if you like! Baby spinach would be a great addition to this soup.

Coconut Milk: You can swap the coconut milk in this recipe for whole milk or half and half if you prefer. 

Arrowroot Starch: Don’t have arrowroot starch? Swap it for tapioca flour or regular all-purpose flour instead. 

Helpful Kitchen Tools

chicken soup in pot

How to Make Healthy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Step One: First, start by searing the chicken. Searing the chicken helps to develop even more flavor in the soup which is exactly what we want. Once you have liberally seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Next, add in the ghee and then sear the chicken for three to four minutes on each side until browned. 

Step Two: Next, it’s time to develop the flavor base of the soup by cooking the veggies for a few minutes. Add the diced carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic, and sliced mushrooms to the pot. Season the veggies with a little more salt and pepper and then sauté for 3-4 minutes until everything is fragrant and the onions are starting to become translucent and tender. 

Step Three: Now, it’s time to add in the rinsed wild rice and herbs. Stir the wild rice and herbs into the pot and continue to cook for another two to three minutes. Next add the chicken back to the pot and then cover with chicken broth. Give everything a stir until well combined and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Let the soup simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender. 

Step Four: Now it’s time to finish the soup. Once the rice is tender, remove the chicken from the soup and use two forks to shred the meat. Then, stir the shredded chicken back into the soup. This is also a great time to discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. 

Step Five: Next, whisk together a little of the coconut milk (around half a cup) and the arrowroot starch until they are well combined to create a slurry. While stirring the soup, pour the arrowroot starch slurry into the soup and then add the remaining coconut milk. Let the soup continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes until it has thickened. 

Step Six: Lastly, ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot with extra fresh thyme on top.

Can I Make This Soup in the Slow Cooker?

Yes! Here’s how to make this chicken and wild rice soup in the slow cooker:

  • Add the chicken, rinsed wild rice, carrots, c, and herbs, broth, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until the wild rice is tender and the chicken fully cooked through. Add in the mushrooms during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, shred the meat with two forks, and then stir back into the soup. Discard the thyme sprigs and dried bay leaves.
  • Next, add in the arrowroot starch slurry and coconut milk. Let the soup continue to cook for around 10 minutes or so until thickened and then serve!

soup in pot

Tips and Tricks for the Best Soup

  • Be sure to use wild rice and not black rice or your soup will turn purple. You could also use a wild rice blend if you prefer.
  • Depending on how much liquid your wild rice soaks up as it cooks, you may need to add more liquid to achieve that soup like consistency. You can add more chicken broth if needed to thin out the soup.
  • Don’t forget to salt and pepper the soup at different stages of cooking. This is how you develop layers of flavor for a truly delicious soup. It’s important to salt and pepper your chicken before searing as well as when sautéing the veggies. Give the soup a taste at the end and adjust the seasoning before serving.
  • Use even more fresh herbs! Fresh rosemary and sage would be great additions to this soup. Don’t forget to remove any sprigs of herb from the soup before serving.
  • Be sure to use full fat canned coconut milk and not the coconut milk you find in the refrigerated section.

How to Store and Reheat

Freezing Instructions: Let the soup come to a complete cool. Then, transfer it to a freezer safe container. It should keep well for up to three months. 

Reheat: You can reheat this soup in the microwave or on the stove top until heated through. If you are reheating from frozen, be sure to let the soup thaw out completely in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop for the best results. 

More Delicious Soup Recipes

You can get all of the best soups on All the Healthy Things, here!

two bowls of soup

I hope you give this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup a try! It’s absolutely delicious and so easy to make.

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on Instagram. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print
two bowls of soup

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Heat the ghee in a dutch oven or large pot. 
  2. Liberally season the chicken and then add to the pot. Sear both sides of the chicken from 3-4 minutes until browned and then remove from the pan. 
  3. Add the diced carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic, and sliced mushrooms to the pot. Season with a little more salt and pepper and then saute for 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add the wild rice, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot and stir until everything is well combined. Next add the chicken back to the pot and then cover with chicken broth. Give everything a stir until well combined and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. 
  5. Let the soup simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender. 
  6. Once the rice is tender, remove the chicken from the soup and use two forks to shred the meat. Then, stir the shredded chicken back into the soup. This is also a great time to discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. 
  7. Next, whisk together a little of the coconut milk and arrowroot starch until well combined to create a slurry. While stirring the soup, pour the arrowroot starch slurry into the soup and then add the remaining coconut milk. Let the soup continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes until it has thickened. 
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm with extra fresh herbs on top. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Be sure to use wild rice and not black rice or your soup will turn purple. You could also use a wild rice blend if you prefer.
  • Depending on how much liquid your wild rice soaks up as it cooks, you may need to add more liquid to achieve that soup like consistency. You can add more chicken broth if needed to thin out the soup.
  • If you would like to use dairy, you can substitute the full fat coconut milk with whole milk.
  • Be sure to use full fat canned coconut milk and not the coconut milk you find in the refrigerated section.

Keywords:

chicken and wild rice soup, creamy chicken and wild rice soup, gluten free chicken and wild rice soup

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66 Comments

  1. Sue Drury says:

    I try to make one new healthy recipe a week & out of the last 6 weeks this has been the best one yet!!! Thank you so much for delicious soup that I will make again & again. I just found your site recently & can’t wait to try more of your healthy recipies.

  2. Sue Drury says:

    This was an easy 5 Star recipe. Made it exactly as written. Seasons were perfect. Thick, delicious & filling. I keep freezer bags of cooked, seasoned shredded chicken breast on hand & used a bag of that which helps me cut time. I will make it often. Thank you!

  3. Allison Foley says:

    We NEVER eat soup but it sounded so good with the cold weather we’ve been having. This was so delicious – added potatoes (required extra broth), kale, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Your recipes never disappoint!

  4. This is a great soup recipe. I used two cans of coconut milk (because what am I going to do with 1/2 can) and an entire little “box” of fresh thyme and a very large fresh sprig of rosemary. I thought it still needed just a little “something” so I put a little olive oil in at the end and some freshly grated reggiano parmigano cheese, and that was the ticket. AMAZING!! It’s a keeper for life (and I’m a very picky soup critic)!!!

  5. Robin Whiffen says:

    I’m currently in the home stretch of my first pregnancy, and my mom has made this recipe for my husband and I twice in the last week and a half. It is so delicious and far exceeds the Panera Bread soup it is “copying.” Our experience with ATHT recipes has always been extremely positive, and this recipe is no different. Will definitely make many more times in the future!

  6. This recipe was so easy and so good!! I used Lundberg wild rice blend and had no issues. Thank you so much for another great recipe! ❤️

  7. Balanced Healthy Meals says:

    This looks heavenly!

  8. Chelsey Engstrom says:

    This is one of my favorite meals to make early in the week and have for leftover lunch! My 9 month old loves it too!!

  9. I love your recipes! I made this tonight and it was soo yummy. Followed the recipe exact except swapped full-fat milk for the coconut milk and used thighs instead of breasts. A real keeper in my soup file! Thank you! Plan on making your Turkey Lasagna for Christmas dinner😉

  10. This soup is absolutely delicious and very easy to make. I didn’t add the mushrooms as I didn’t have them on hand, and I swapped out the coconut milk for dairy milk, with great results. This recipe is now a part of my “must make again” collection. Thank you!

  11. Cassandra says:

    Delicious! So flavorful and satisfying. I love finding recipes that are this delish and healthy. Thank you!

  12. I love this soup! It’s become a winter staple for me and my husband. It’s hearty and healthy and so cozy on our cold Colorado days. The combination of wild rice and fresh veggies/herbs is perfect. I’ll sometimes add in different veggies like broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus, whatever I have on hand and need to use before it goes bad. Definitely recommended!

  13. The smells while making this soup, Omg so good! Eating for lunch this whole week, warms up and still tastes amazing!