Grandma's chicken and rice soup recipe is a soup that has been burned into my tastebud memories with its simple yet comfort food flavors. This old fashioned chicken and rice soup recipe has a whole chicken, onions, celery, and rice with seasonings, butter, and Better than Bouillon in it for spoonfuls of comfort. Memories of eating this soup came flooding back to me at the first bite.
This chicken soup recipe was one that was pieced together from memory and from the help of my aunt. As I search for chicken and rice recipes they all seemed to have carrots or peppers, yet none of the memories of this soup involved either of these ingredients. Once again, the simpler the recipe, the better. This recipe for chicken and rice soup was as close to my Grandma's recipe as I have had.
Grandma's Chicken and Rice Soup Ingredients
The thing about most recipes is more ingredients seem to make the flavors richer and more complex. However, with this old fashioned chicken and rice soup, the simple ingredients give this soup taste just like comfort food should.
Ingredients to make the best chicken and rice soup:
- Shredded chicken - See how I cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. Rotesserie chicken is also a great option for chicken in this recipe.
- Butter - The real butter. In a pinch, use oil as a substitute.
- Onions - White or yellow onions will work best in this recipe. Sweet onions work too.
- Celery - A few stalks of celery with the leaves will give this soup a ton of flavor.
- White Rice - The simple white rice, not minute rice, is what I make this recipe with. Most white rice packages say 20-25 minutes to cook.
- Chicken broth or Better than Bouillon and Water - I don't really buy chicken broth any more but rather roasted chicken Better than Bouillon combined with water.
- Kinders Buttery Garlic and Herbs - This buttery garlic and herbs seasoning marries well with the ingredients in this chicken and rice soup. I buy this spice at Sam's club or on Amazon.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make the Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Soup
To make my grandma's chicken and rice soup, whole canned chickens are the best. But since we no longer raise and butcher chickens that we can, I have had to master another way to get the rich flavors from a canned whole chicken. The quickest and fastest way to make the chicken is in the Instant Pot. It shreds easily and is hot and ready for the soup. Leftover rotisserie chicken or baked chicken also great for this chicken soup recipe.
After the chicken is cooked in the Instant Pot, remove it from the IP and remove it from the bone and chop into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the juices in the bottom of the Instant Pot for the soup as well. Then start sauteing the onions and celery in a Dutch oven in butter.
When the onions begin to soften, add the rice to the pot and continue to saute for another minute or two. If you are using Better Than Bouillon and water instead of broth, add it to the rice and vegetables. Stir to coat the rice and vegetables. Pour the reserved juices from the Instant Pot into the Dutch oven. Stir into the rice and add an additional 4-5 cups of water.
Finally, simmer the soup to finish cooking the rice. I like it when it starts to look like it is exploding. By no means do you have to cook until this point, but cook until the rice is softened. Add more water to make it is soupy or stew-like as you wish.
Season with salt and pepper to your flavor preference as well. Be sure to stir on occasion to be sure rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot or in the edges.
Serve the soup with oyster crackers or crushed up saltines. Enjoy every last bite of my grandma's chicken and rice soup and enjoy it like you are sitting around the table in my grandparent's farmhouse.
Saving Leftover Chicken and Rice Soup
This old fashioned chicken and rice soup is fantastic as leftovers you can refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.
- Refrigerating leftover chicken and rice soup - Keep the chicken and rice soup in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave in the 30 second incraments, stirring until heated through. Add more water as needed to have the consistency you desire.
- Freezing leftover rice and chicken soup - Pour the soup in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat the same way you would the refrigerator kept leftover soup.
The Best Soup Recipes
I love a good soup. It doesn't matter if it is a crock pot soup recipe or a quick stovetop soup recipe. Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes.
Whether it is leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or you just like turkey better than chicken, turkey can absolutely be substituted for chicken in this recipe.
Technically any rice can be used in this recipe. Cook times may vary for other types of rice. Adjust according to package directions.
Canned chicken will absolutely work in this recipe. Drain and add to the recipe in place of the whole chicken.
Grandma's Chicken and Rice Soup
- 4 cups cooked, shredded whole chicken Follow How to Cook Chicken in Instant Pot Recipe
- 1 onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cup long grain rice
- 3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken If this is not available add 2 more tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon parsley plus 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken
- 5 cups water
- Salt and Pepper to flavor
- Prepare the chicken in the Instant Pot and then remove the chicken from the bone. Reserve the juices from cooking the chicken.
- Dice the celery and onion up and begin sauteing in butter.
- When the onion begins to soften, pour the rice into the pot. Stir and let saute for one minute. Stire the Better than Bouillon into the rice
- Pour the reserved juices from the Instant Pot into the rice. If you don't have the juices, add more butter, garlic powder, and parsley. Then continue to add the remaining water.
- Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add more water to have the consistency you would like with the soup. Also, continue to stir to keep the rice from sticking to the pan.
- Serve with oyster crackers.