This slow cooker chicken wild rice soup is creamy and comforting, but still nourishing with lots of veggies, shredded chicken and wild rice. Added bonus: it’s so easy to whip up, gluten-free + dairy-free.
Spring is almost here, but I’m still craving comfort food and easy slow cooker meals. This chicken wild rice soup fits the bill and it’s so delicious.
Plus, lately the weather here in Richmond has been so sporadic. One day it’s warm and sunny and the next it’s cold and rainy. Luckily this soup is the perfect rainy-day dinner!
A few weeks ago, one of the EBF team members, Emily came to town. She typically manages social media, but came to help me out in the kitchen for a week of recipe testing and creating! It was so great to meet her in person and crank out a bunch of recipes together. This recipe is inspired by her and her love for wild rice soup. Thanks, Emily!
Here’s What You Need:
dry (uncooked) wild rice
olive oil, butter, ghee or vegan butter – be sure to use olive oil or vegan butter for dairy-free
vegetables – yellow onion, celery, carrots and garlic
seasonings and spices – dried thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, sea salt and pepper
chicken broth – I prefer to buy the low sodium version so I can control the amount of salt
unsweetened oat or almond milk – I like oat milk because it makes the soup a bit more creamy
Chicken Wild Rice Soup in Your Slow Cooker
A lot of people think that all slow cooker recipes are simple, but that’s not true! I’ve made plenty of slow cooker recipes that take a ton of prep before the ingredients go in the pot. Not this one!
After rinsing the rice, you’ll place the rice, chicken, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, broth, water and seasoning blend in the slow cooker. Seriously, dump alllll the ingredients in your slow cooker, set it and forget it. In the last half hour of cooking, remove the chicken to shred it. Once shredded, you just add it back into the soup.
The only other thing you have to do is make a roux to thicken the soup. In a saucepan, melt the butter or oil. Add in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk the mixture while slowly adding the non-dairy milk. That’s your roux! Add the roux to the slow cooker and stir to combine. If the end result is too thick you can add in additional water or milk.
Ingredient Substitutions and Variations
Make it dairy-free – use a dairy-free milk and vegan butter to keep this soup dairy-free. If you’re a dairy lover, feel free to use traditional cow’s milk and butter.
Make it gluten-free – use all-purpose gluten-free flour to make this soup gluten-free. Again, if you can tolerate gluten, traditional all-purpose flour works fine as a substitute. You could also use oat flour.
Make it vegan – this is a little tricker, but to make this soup vegan simply use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth, use vegan butter and omit the chicken breast. You may want to add more vegetables or even chickpeas or whites beans to make this a heartier soup with more protein!
What to Serve with Chicken Wild Rice Soup
This meal is truly a complete meal on it’s own – protein, veggies, healthy fats… it’s balanced! If you’re like me though, you want to serve it with a little something on the side! I love it with a hearty, seedy bread and a side salad. If you want to make your own, this honey whole wheat bread would be delicious with this roasted sweet potato salad or a more traditional side salad with this lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Rinse the rice under running water. Place the uncooked rice, chicken breast, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, thyme, rosemary, salt, bay leaves, chicken broth and water into your slow cooker.
Cover and cook on the high setting for 3-4 hours or on the low setting for 7-8 hours. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking, remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Allow to cool slightly and then use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces.
When the rice is done cooking, remove the bay leaves and add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker. Melt the butter or oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture slowly while adding in the milk. Continue to whisk until all lumps have dissolved. Allow the mixture to thicken and become creamy.
Add the creamy mixture into the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add additional water or milk to your preference if the consistency is too thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.