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This lemony Chicken and Rice Soup is a classic chicken rice soup that is full of flavor. It’s warming, comforting, healing, and quite easy to make! It’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and downright delicious!
Healing Chicken Lemon Rice Soup
I truly love a good soup recipe all year round. Think Turkey Chili or Black Bean Soup… they’re just good all the time! This chicken and rice soup recipe is another go-to in my family. It’s packed with immune boosting veggies and herbs/spices, brightened up with fresh lemon juice, comes together in 30 minutes, and makes a good amount so you’ll have it in the fridge for a few days!
If I want a classic chicken noodle I whip up this chicken soup recipe and add pasta, but I find myself reaching (and my family asking!) for this recipe time and time again.
Scroll down for the full ingredient list for this classic chicken and rice soup recipe!
- Mirepoix: A mix of aromatics aka finely diced onions, carrots, and celery
- Garlic: Fresh and ground are used in this recipe!
- Long Grained White Rice: My preferred rice in this chicken and rice soup recipe, but see below for other options!
- Chicken: You can really use any, but see below for types!
- Herbs & Spices: A blend of dried parsley, dried dill, ground turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper are used to flavor this yummy soup.
- Chicken Broth: I love saving veggie scraps and chicken scraps and making Chicken Broth in the Instant Pot but any will do, of course!
- Lemons: Aside from the bright flavor this adds to the soup, it also adds a punch of nutrients! Lemons have a whopping 31 grams of Vitamin C!
Note: The garlic, turmeric and lemon make this so delicious, healing, and special. I don’t recommend skipping the lemon, but you can omit if you don’t have on hand, or use less!
Spruce Up Your Chicken Lemon Rice Soup Even More!
- Sub shredded rotisserie chicken for an even quicker dinner! See details below.
- More veggies like chopped zucchini, de-stemmed chopped kale, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, you name it!
- Add a cup of diced tomatoes or a small can of green chiles for a different kind of chicken and rice soup recipe!
- Keto or low carb? You can skip the rice and load up on more veggies, but I remember this is intended to be a chicken rice soup! Try my Meatball and Veggie Soup or Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup for a low carb soup option!
The Rundown On What Chicken To Use
My first choice is skinless boneless chicken thighs. The fat really works in favor in soups but this route makes removing and shredding the chicken a bit easier.
Otherwise, really any chicken pieces will also work. Go for a variety even! Bone-in thighs and drumsticks are great. No need to remove the skin, but you’ll have to really make sure to remove all the pieces from the soup before returning!
I’ve also made this soup countless times with chicken breasts. It’s leaner, so can overcook and since there’s no fat, it doesn’t quite get that flavor going, but it works just great and we use them often here.
Once done cooking, take the chicken out, shred it and then return chicken to the soup, taste and adjust spices, and serve.
Can I use Rotisserie Chicken or Precooked Chicken?
Yes! Want a short cut? Cook the soup as directed and when adding the broth, add roughly 3 cups of shredded or diced rotisserie chicken or shredded chicken.
The Best Rice For Chicken Rice Soup
Any ordinary white rice is ideal here. I use long grain white rice (uncooked). You can uses quinoa, short grain rice, sushi rice, jasmine rice, or basmati. Both brown rice and wild rice will require a longer cook time, but can be used, too. Here is a yummy soup with wild rice! FYI: White rice gets a bad rap but it’s actually easier to digest than brown rice.
Note: Paella and risotto rice will not work!
Can I Use Cooked Rice?
I love uncooked rice in this chicken and rice soup recipe because all the flavors come together simultaneously. With that said, if you have cooked rice, you sure can! You would omit the uncooked rice, make the recipe, and at the end when adding the lemon juice, simply stir in your precooked rice and it will be ready to go in no time! Just let it absorb the flavors of the soup for a few minutes.
How to Store Chicken & Rice Soup
Storing: Store in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Always simmer, never boil! Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Chicken and rice soup will absorb broth as it sits, so you may want to add more broth (and subsequently more herbs/spices/salt and pepper) if needed, when reheating!
Can I Freeze Chicken Rice Soup?
The short answer is yes! Let your soup cool completely and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
The longer answer is that the reality is any soup with rice or pasta won’t have the same texture when freezing, thawing, and reheating. The ideal method is to wait to add fresh rice when you reheat the soup.
Remember: Rice will absorb broth as it sits, so you may want to add more broth (and subsequently more herbs/spices/salt and pepper) if needed, when reheating!
Other Healing Soup Recipes To Try:
- Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Ginger and Turmeric
- Classic Chicken Soup (Slow Cooker & Instant Pot)
- Immune-Boosting Feel Good Detox Soup
- Hot and Sour Soup
- Detox Chicken and Kale Soup
Watch The Video:
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil or butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 large carrots diced
- 5 celery stalks diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- 1 pound chicken see note for types
- 1 teaspoon salt more as desired
- 1 teaspoon pepper more as desired
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 cups chicken broth more as needed/desired
- 2 lemons juiced
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and cook and stir for 6-8 minutes, until carrots begin to soften and onions are translucent. Note: You can speed this process up by adding roughly 1 tablespoon of water covering the pot for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the chicken, rice, and spices/herbs (not the lemon yet), and give it a quick mix to combine and toast the spices, roughly 5-10 seconds.
- Add the broth. Stir and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Let cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables and rice are tender.
- Remove chicken from pot and shred. Add back to the pot and squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. Add more broth, salt, and pepper as needed if the rice absorbs liquid!
- My first choice is skinless boneless chicken thighs. The fat really works in favor in soups but this route makes removing and shredding the chicken a bit easier.
- Otherwise, really any chicken pieces will also work. Go for a variety even! Bone-in thighs and drumsticks are great. No need to remove the skin, but you'll have to really make sure to remove all the pieces from the soup before returning!
- I've also made this soup countless times with chicken breasts. It's leaner, so can overcook and since there's no fat, it doesn't quite get that flavor going, but it works just great and we use them often here.
This is one of my favorite recipes. I make whenever my kids are sick. Lately I’ve made it every other week for months. No tweaks. It’s perfect
Very tasty! I enjoyed this soup and it was easy to make. My husband loved it too!
I made this soup last night, and it was the perfect accompaniment to the first snow! My husband and I had both been feeling the changes of the season in our respiratory systems, and this felt so comforting to eat on a cold day. The recipe was very easy to make using our Dutch oven, and the lemon juice was an especially nice touch.
I subbed the celery with mushrooms and switched the dill and turmeric with thyme and paprika due to household preferences and allergies. I didn’t add any extra broth, because we prefer our soup on the thicker side.
This soup is just as Lexi describes, so delicious and healing when feeling under the weather or simply on a cold day. Adding to my soup collection!
This soup was delicious! And so healing- it was enjoyed by all in a house full of cold/flu viruses. They are asking for me to make again.
Hi Lexi! I made this soup last week for our family and it was a hit with everyone who ate it. I am going to make this again this week for us and for a neighbor who recently had surgery. I just wanted to let you know how much it was loved.
This was delicious! Thank you Lexi. My chicken soup never turns out well. This was easy, delicious and flavorful!
I was so hesitant to try this recipe because of the dill, but Lexi’s raving had me so darn curious that I had to try. I made it MULTIPLE times in the weeks that followed my first time making it. I was bringing it to work and giving it to friends to try because I just couldn’t get over how good it is and how UNIQUE it tastes. I needed them to know about it. This will forever be in my recipe box.
This is soup is so DELICIOUS! I have picky eaters so I shredded the carrots and celery in the food processor and they didn’t have a clue they were in there. Will definitely make again!
This was soooo delicious! Made it last night for dinner and it was perfect. The ultimate comfort food for a cold and rainy day. I used skin-on,bone-in chicken thighs was fantastic, just a little more work during shredding. The meat definitely impacted the flavor development of the soup so I recommend going with the thighs as Lexi mentioned above!
This soup was so tasty and just what we needed while sick with a bad cold!
Made this soup for dinner and we were all blown away. The flavors were so delicious and light. I just wished I had made this soup when I first got sick, feel like a million bucks after it! Tried with chicken breasts but took out while brown rice still cooked to avoid overcooking and it worked!