Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is a comfort food soup recipe, made easily in a slow cooker. Unlike many cream-based soups, this slow cooker chicken soup recipe uses NO “cream of” soups. What makes this one of the best crock pot recipes for homemade soup from scratch is that your slow cooker does all of the work!
When you hear the word home, do you think of just one place? Is it a physical location? A person? A feeling? For me lately, home feels like fluid mix of all of them. If I were to put my definition of home into a recipe, today it would be Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is cozy and easy and familiar. It’s warm, doesn’t mind if you help yourself to whatever is in the refrigerator, and would love nothing more than to hang out with you on the couch all night and watch Netflix. (This Spanish Chicken Stew would also be happy to join you.)
I spent this past weekend in the Twin Cities, a place I called home for four formative years after college. I was incredibly blessed to spend three straight days with cherished friends I made while living there, as well as new friends I’ve met through blogging since moving away. I finally met my website communications manager, Caitlin, in person after more than a year of working together (isn’t the internet strange and awesome?), and I drove by my old apartment—the first place I ever lived on my own and where Ben and I got engaged out front.
Even after five years away, the Twin Cities still feel like home, in some ways even more than Milwaukee.
If you’ve spent time in Minnesota, you might be familiar with one of the state’s best products, wild rice. It’s nutty and complex and wonderful, and I love its bold, dark color too. If you’re new to cooking with it, check out Aysegul’s great post on How to Cook Wild Rice.
In Minnesota, you’ll find wild rice in all sorts of dishes, but it’s hard to imagine one more classic or universally appealing than creamy chicken and wild rice soup.
Come Home to Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
If you’ve ever ordered the chicken wild rice soup at Panera, then you have an idea of what this Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup will taste like, but as with so many recipes, homemade is truly superior.
Fortunately, thanks to the crock pot, this is an EASY creamy chicken and rice soup. There’s a bit of sautéing on the stove to do to make a creamy sauce that you stir in to the slow cooker, but it’s fast, simple, and completely worth the effort. Like all of my other crockpot soups, many other ingredients, including the chicken and rice, cook right in the crock pot. (Another similar favorite: Crockpot Lentil Soup and Crock Pot Chicken and Rice!)
The sauce makes the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup taste like there is heavy cream in the recipe (think Pioneer Woman/Paula Deen), BUT it’s made from flour and low-fat milk.
Southern Living flavor for a Cooking Light calorie count. Two servings for me, please!
In a few weeks, I’ll be headed to yet another home for the holidays, my hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
Although I don’t have a single spot I’d clearly define as “home” 100% of the time, the more I think about it, the less I think I need one. In fact, I’m lucky to have so many places where I can curl up and feel comfortable, known, and loved.
Plus, I can make this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup just about anywhere!
Wherever you call home, this simple but soulful recipe for Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup will give you a warm and homey feeling too.
Recommended Tools to Make Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- This is the slow cooker I have, which I like because it automatically switches to “keep warm” when it’s done cooking so that the food is less likely to overcook, though I don’t recommend letting this one go too far past its time, since both chicken breasts (which are super lean) and wild rice can overcook more easily.
- Any 5-quart or larger slow cooker should do.
- If you are making this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in a smaller crock pot, I recommend halving the recipe.
How to Make This Soup in the Instant Pot
- This is the Instant Pot that I have, and I adore it!
- I have NOT tested this recipe in an Instant Pot yet, but because I know many of you have added an Instant Pot to your kitchen and are eager to use it, the below is my suggestion as to how the recipe can be adapted to an electric pressure cooker. If you do try it in an Instant Pot, I’d love to hear how it goes!
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and cook the carrots, celery, potato, and onion as directed in step 1. Continue with step 2, adding the ingredients as instructed to the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure (manual) for 35 minutes. (If using a whole grain rice blend, cook only for 20 minutes.) Manually release pressure. Make the roux and stir it in as directed in steps 3 and 4.
Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium carrots peeled and 1/4-inch diced (about 2 cups)
- 3 medium celery stalks 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small russet potato peeled and 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus additional to taste
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice or whole grain wild rice blend
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 medium breasts), trimmed of excess fat
- 5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 cup 2% milk plus additional as needed
- Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium high. Add the carrots, celery, potato, and onion, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper and cook 30 additional seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Rinse the wild rice, then add to the slow cooker with the vegetables. Arrange the chicken breasts on top, then pour in 4 cups of the chicken stock. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board and let cool slightly. With two forks or your fingers, shred the chicken, then return to the slow cooker. Place on low to keep warm. If the chicken finishes cooking before the rice, remove it first so that it does not overcook, then re-cover the slow cooker and continue cooking until the rice is tender.
- Once the chicken and rice are cooked, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted, sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk and cook until the flour is golden brown, about 1 minute. Pour in the 2 3/4 cups milk a few splashes at a time, whisking as you go to remove any lumps. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
- Pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker and stir to combine. If you’d like a thinner soup, stir in additional chicken stock until your desired consistency is reached. Taste add additional salt and/or pepper to taste. Serve hot.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight, then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with additional chicken stock, milk, or water to thin the soup as desired.
- To make dairy free: Substitute the butter for vegan butter and the milk for unsweetened soy milk or almond milk. Note that the mixture may not be as creamy or may take longer to thicken.
- To make gluten free: Omit the flour in step 3. With a fork, firmly whisk 1/4 cup of cornstarch into the milk before adding the milk to the melted butter. Stir to combine and let simmer, stirring often, until thickened.
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