Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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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 will be here before we know it, 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 bowl of slow cooker chicken and wild rice soup.

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!

Ingredients measured out to make Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup: wild rice, water, carrots, chicken broth, chicken, non-dairy milk, gluten-free flour, salt, bay leaves, thyme, celery, onion, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and pepper.

Ingredients Needed

  • dry (uncooked) wild rice blend – I really like the Lundberg wild rice blend.
  • chicken breast – you’ll cook the chicken right in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients!
  • 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.
  • olive oil – for making the roux. Butter, ghee or vegan butter will all work.
  • flour – we’re whisking this with the oil and milk to create a creamy roux that helps to thicken the soup! Gluten-free all-purpose flour, regular all-purpose flour or oat flour will all work.
  • milk – to help make the roux extra creamy! I like using unsweetened almond milk or oat milk.
  • fresh thyme for serving. This is optional, but I love adding fresh herbs to my dishes to really elevate the flavors!
Collage of 8 photos showing the steps to make Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup.

How to Make

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 into 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.

A spoonful of soup over a bowl.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Make it dairy-free – use 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 trickier, 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 white beans to make this a heartier soup with more protein!
A bowl of chicken and wild rice soup.

How to Make on The Stovetop

The great thing about this chicken wild rice soup recipe is that it can easily be made on the stovetop instead of in the slower cooker! Here’s how to make it on the stovetop:

Cook rice: Cook rice according to the instructions on packaging.

Sauté vegetables: While rice is cooking, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil, butter or ghee over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large pot. Once hot add onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add thyme, rosemary, salt and bay leaves and mix until veggies are coated.

Simmer: Add chicken broth, water and chicken into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pot and shred using two forks.

Combine: Add shredded chicken and cooked rice into pot.

Make roux: In a separate saucepan melt ¼ cup oil, butter or ghee. 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 pot. Stir to combine. Add additional water or milk to your preference if the consistency is too thick.

Serve: Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.

A bowl of chicken and wild rice soup with bread.

How to Serve

This meal is truly a complete meal on its 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 hearty, seedy bread and a side salad. Here are some ideas:

Two bowls of soup with spoons and bread.

How to Store Leftovers

This soup is perfect for meal prep! I love making a batch on the weekend so I have lunch or dinner ready to go for the week.

For storing, allow the soup to cool completely and then carefully transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You could also freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.

For reheating, heat the soup over medium low heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning. As the soup sits it’ll thicken so you might need to add a splash of water or broth when reheating to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can reheat the soup in the microwave.

More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try

More Delicious Soup Recipes

Be sure to check out all of the chicken recipes as well as the full collection of soup recipes here on EBF.

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4.24 from 548 votes

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup celery, chopped
  • ¾ cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water, or additional chicken broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil, butter, ghee or vegan butter
  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, or regular all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, or oat milk
  • pepper, to taste
  • fresh thyme, for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • 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. 
    Ingredients in a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on the high setting for 3-4 hours or on the low setting for 7-8 hours.
    Soup simmering in slow cooker.
  • 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.
    Shredding chicken in a bowl.
  • When the rice is done cooking, remove the bay leaves and add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker.
    Shredded chicken added back to 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.
    Butter mixture in sauce pan.
  • 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. 
    Butter mixture added to slow cooker.

Stovetop

  • Cook rice according to instructions on package.
  • While rice is cooking, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil, butter or ghee in a Dutch oven or large pot. Once hot add onion, carrots and celery and saute for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer.
  • Add thyme, rosemary, salt and bay leaves and mix until veggies are coated.
  • Add chicken broth, water and chicken into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pot and shred using two forks.
  • Add shredded chicken and cooked rice into pot.
  • In a separate saucepan melt ¼ cup oil, butter or ghee. 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 pot. 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. 

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 1305mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken wild rice soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




258 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Such a delicious chicken and wild rice soup!! We repurposed leftovers of this using a little cornstarch to thicken and adding peas and turned it into a delicious chicken pot pie with a biscuit topping. Thank you for this recipe! It is our go to for one of my favorite soups!

    1. Ah I love this, Laurel. I am so glad this recipe is a hit. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review & star rating, it means so much to me!

  2. 3 stars
    Very good tasting however 7 hours on low is far too long! After 6 hours all of the liquid had been absorbed and I had to add about 2 more cup of liquid.

  3. 5 stars
    WOW!!! This was AMAZING!!!!! I doubled the recipe and made it on the stove top; cooked the rice separately on the IP. I didn’t add onions or garlic. Everyone loved it, got seconds and wanted more. Thank you for an amazing recipe!!

    1. Yum! I am so glad that you are loving this recipe, Edie! Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Jennie – I have not tested this recipe with any other types of rice. I am not sure how regular rice would work since this recipe is specifically made for wild rice, it might get a little soggy. If you do give it a try with regular rice, I’d love to know how it works out for you. Enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    This soup has become one of my favorites!! I did the slow cooker version on high and it came out really good. It has the same concept of being heavy and filling as other soups, but without the overfilling ingredients to do that, like heavy cream, which makes it even better. I would add more carrots, but it’s a personal preference.

    Thank you so much for a simple recipe for an amateur cook like me to understand and enjoy such good food!

    1. It is my pleasure, I am so excited to hear that you are loving this recipe, Lidia! Thank you so much for your review & star rating, it truly means so much to me!

  5. 5 stars
    This soup is so yummy!! I need to double the recipe because I’ve eaten half of it. Love the healthier comfort foods. So good!

    1. WOO! I am pumped to hear that you are loving this recipe, Amy. The best healthier comfort food. Thanks for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  6. I’ve made several of your other soups and look forward to trying this one!! If I wanted to add more vegetables like mushrooms, would you recommend adding them at the beginning with everything else or throwing them in later?? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Heather – You can add them with everything else in the slow cooker or if you are cooking on the stovetop, you can sauté with other veggies. Enjoy!

  7. 3 stars
    My family enjoyed- it reminded me of a chicken pot pie filling but much healthier and not as thick. Looking forward to left overs this week!

    1. Yay! I am excited to hear that you and your family are enjoying this recipe, Gina. Thanks so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. YUM! Sounds delicious, Beth. I am so glad that this recipe is a hit! Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I appreciate it!

    1. YUM! I am so glad this recipe is a hit, Katie. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, it means so much to me!