★★★★★

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup – Make this classic soup in your Instant Pot or on the stove. With tender chicken and rice cooked to perfection, this soup is just what you need for a cozy meal!

If you love my Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, this Chicken and Rice Soup needs to be in your rotation too.

Soup bowl with chicken and rice soup with spinach.

Why this Recipe Works

Nothing hits the spot on a chilly evening like a great bowl of chicken soup. I love a great chicken enchilada soup or chicken fajita soup, but sometimes you want something a little less spicy.

This Chicken Soup Recipe is just that. Simple, straightforward but still bursting with flavor. With garlic and a pinch of thyme, the brothy soup gets a mouthwatering aroma as it cooks.

The hardest part of making a great chicken and rice soup is often getting the rice the right texture. Cook it too long and it gets mushy. Don’t cook it long enough and you end up with unappetizing hard grains.

With this recipe, the long grain brown rice comes out perfectly every time. Tender with enough structure to keep it dissolving into the broth.

When you need a comforting homemade meal, this Chicken and Rice Soup is quick and easy without sacrificing taste.

Best of all you can make it on the stove OR in the Instant Pot!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for instant pot chicken and rice soup.

Chicken breast. Chicken thighs can be used instead, but be sure they are boneless and skinless.

Long Grain Brown rice. Do not substitute white rice in this recipe or even jasmine rice.

Carrots. The ones cut into matchsticks work best. You can buy them already cut and ready to eat at the grocery store. Or shred your own and that will work too.

Seasoning. Hearty, earthy flavors you would expect, including thyme, garlic, and a bay leaf (remember to remove this before eating)!

Spinach. Fresh spinach is best in this recipe. Frozen spinach leaves CAN be used, but will take a little longer to cook. Do not use the frozen spinach that is in a block shape.

Instant Pot Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make instant pot chicken and rice soup.

STEP 1. Saute the vegetables

Set your Instant Pot to SAUTE and add oil, onion, carrot and celery. Cook until the carrots are soften and the onion is translucent.

Stir in the garlic and time and cook another minute.

STEP 2. Pressure Cook

Add chicken, broth, water, rice and a bay lead to the Instant Pot. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.

Lock the lid and set the valve to SEALING. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 11 minutes.

STEP 3. Shred Chicken

When the cook time ends, do a quick release of the pressure. Remove the bay leaf and the chicken. Shred or cut the chicken on a cutting board.

Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot and stir in the spinach. Ladle chicken and rice soup into bowls and serve!

Chicken and rice soup with spinach being ladled out of the pressure cooker.

Stove Top Instructions

If you haven’t gotten on board with the Instant Pot craze, you can still make this recipe the old fashioned way.

STEP 1. Saute the vegetables

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute until the onions are translucent and the other veggies soften.

Add the garlic and thyme. Saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).

STEP 2. Simmer

Add the remaining ingredients (except spinach) to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and let the soup cook for 30 minutes.

Stir the Chicken and Rice Soup every so often as it cooks. When the chicken is tender and fully cooked, transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces OR shred.

Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Stir the chicken back into the pot, along with the baby spinach. Serve and enjoy.

Tips and Tricks

  • For the Instant Pot method, make sure to allow time for the pot to come to pressure.
  • Do not let the Instant Pot naturally release. This may result in overcooked rice. We use the quick release for this recipe.
  • Before cooking, be sure your brown rice is labeled “long grain.” Smaller grains will get overcooked.
Chicken and rice soup in a serving bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Why is my rice overcooked?

Your rice may be overcooked because you used a different variety than specified in this recipe. We tested this recipe with numerous varieties, and long grain brown rice worked best. If using the stove top method, rice can get mushy if the heat is too high. You want the soup to cook at a gentle simmer (not a rolling boil).

What can I serve with Chicken and Rice Soup?

Every soup goes well with a loaf of fresh baked Homemade Bread or Dinner Rolls. Oyster crackers or biscuits would also be delicious with this soup.

Can you freeze chicken and rice soup?

No, this is not a soup I would recommend freezing. The starch in the rice doesn’t hold up well to thawing and reheating. Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge and is best enjoyed within 2 days. If your family loves soup as much as mine, there will hardly be a drop leftover!

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

PS. If you try this recipe, please leave a STAR rating in the recipe card below. I love your feedback! Connect with me on social media by following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes

Chicken and Rice Soup - Make this classic soup in your Instant Pot or on the stove. With tender chicken and rice cooked to perfection, this soup is just what you need for a cozy meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped yellow or sweet onion (about ½ of a medium onion)
  • 1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ¾ cup long grain brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2.5 cups baby spinach (about half of a 5 oz. bag)

Instructions

    Instant Pot Recipe

    1. Select the SAUTE function on the Instant Pot. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery to the pot. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the carrots and celery start to soften.
    2. Add the garlic and thyme and saute for an additional minute.
    3. Add the chicken, salt, pepper, rice, chicken broth, water and bay leaf to the Instant Pot.
    4. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is set to SEALING. Select the HIGH PRESSURE setting and cook for 11 minutes.
    5. After the cooking time is complete, do a quick release of pressure.  
    6. Open the lid and remove the bay leaf. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces or shred with 2 forks. 
    7. Add the spinach to the pot and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine. Serve topped with parsley if desired.

    Stove Top Recipe

    1. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery to a large pot or dutch oven. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the carrots and celery start to soften.
    2. Add the garlic and thyme and saute for an additional minute.
    3. Add the chicken, salt, pepper, rice, chicken broth, water and bay leaf to the pot.
    4. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring periodically, until rice and vegetables are tender. 
    5. Remove the bay leaf. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces or shred with 2 forks. 
    6. Add the spinach to the pot and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine. Serve topped with parsley if desired.

Notes

  • Recipe tested in 6qt Instant Pot.
  • Doing a natural release of pressure for ten minutes may result in overcooked rice. Be sure to choose LONG GRAIN BROWN rice for this recipe.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 702mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Whether you make it on the stove top or the Instant Pot, this Chicken and Rice Soup is ready to eat in less than 45 minutes. Old fashioned comfort food at its best!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Get My Free Email Course
Become a Better Baker—no more box mixes! Discovery your new “signature” desserts!

Categories:


Posted on February 15, 2021

Comments & Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *