What’s better than a hearty and flavorful Chicken and Rice Soup on a cold day or when you’re not feeling well? I tend to cook this soup in the pressure cooker, but I’ll give you quick instructions for slow cooker and Dutch Oven in the tips section below.
I love chicken soups and I cook them anytime we are not feeling well and on the rare occasions when temperature drops here in Florida.
My favorite soups are this Chicken, Rice Soup in Creamy Lemon /Egg Broth or this Lemon, Chicken and Pastina Soup. Usually after Thanksgiving, I always make this Shredded Turkey Soup with Orzo but this one can be made with rotisserie chicken too.
Why do you prefer pressure cooker for this soup?
I like to use a pressure cooker to cook this chicken soup because I don’t have to worry about it or check it often, I know it comes out perfectly every time. I brown the chicken, then saute the veggies, add back diced chicken, veggies, broth and seasonings. Pressurize and let cook for 15 minutes. Let depressurize naturally (aka natural release), and voila, soup is ready.
It really is a fool proof method!!
There are several pressure cookers in the market, most famously Instant Pot but other brands have pressure cookers too. Please read the instructions on pressurizing the device properly and letting loose pressure naturally.
Ingredients for Chicken and Rice Soup
Growing up in the Mediterranean, I learned to pretty much use carrots, celery, onions and garlic in most recipes. I love adding fresh lemon juice to soup to balance the flavors and add a hint of brightness.
One of my special ingredients in this soup is Fennel Seeds. It adds such a warming flavor to chicken and brings together the flavor from the vegetables. Fennel seeds will release a stronger flavor the longer they cook, so be careful not only with the quantity but also when do you add them to your soup.
Step by Step Process
This is a very simple soup to make and once you get the hang of it, you can even switch some of the steps around or even change the quantities a bit.
Preparing the Chicken
I start by seasoning the chicken with sea salt, paprika and black pepper. Then I saute the chicken in the pressure cooker basket (saute setting) for about 3 minutes on each side until it’s golden brown. Remove chicken from pressure cooker and let it cool a bit on a platter while you start sauteing the veggies.
Preparing the Veggies
If you can prepare veggies fast, then I suggest you chop them as the chicken is browning. But if you think that you might burn the chicken or get too stressed out. then no need to overlap. Just prepare the veggies ahead of time.
Peel and chop the carrots, onion and dice the celery. Do the same with the bell pepper. You’ll saute the veggies and cook them until soft after you have browned the chicken.
Once the veggies are softened, you can add back the diced chicken, seasonings, rice, water and stock. Mix it all well and then pressurize the Instant Pot or pressure cooker you’re using. Let cook for 15 minutes and afterwards use the natural release.
Tip – Keep in mind that the pressure cooker might take a full 10 minutes to pressurize, so the 15 minutes cooking starts after the pressurizing is complete.
Sonila’s Tips and Variations
Here are some of my tips and variations for this soup:
- For a thinner soup, more brothy, use less rice (lower from 1 cup to ¾ or even ½ cup of rice) depending on how thin you like the soup.
- Dutch Oven – follow the steps below exactly the same way for cooking over the stove top with a Dutch Oven. When it is time to pressurize, you just put the lid over the Dutch Oven and lower the heat to medium low in the stove top. Let cook for about 25 minutes. Check for consistency and flavor! You want to make sure rice is fully cooked.
- Slow Cooker – follow the step of the recipe card exactly the same until it’s time to pressurize the pressure cooker. Set the slow cooker to cook for 5.5 hours on low or about 3 hours on high. Check that chicken and rice are cooked properly.
- While the soup recipe is forgiving on some of the measurements, keep in mind that the pressure cooker has a limited space so if you’re adding too many carrots or onion it too big, then you might have to add less rice or increase broth quantity.
- Store leftovers in a soup container for few days in the refrigerator. You can warm up in the microwave or stovetop. However, keep in mind that storing the soup will thicken it up even more so if that happens, feel free to add some water as you are warming it up.
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 Pressure Cooker
- 3 carrots
- 1 yellow onion you can replace with white too
- 2 celery ribs
- 0.5 red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1.2 lbs chicken breasts recipe would work with anything from 1 lb to 1.5 lbs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 0.5 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 lemon
- Peel and chop carrots and onion. Dice red bell pepper and celery. Mince garlic and set all these aside.
- Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, black pepper and paprika.
- Use the saute function in the pressure cooker. Add olive oil and start browning the chicken, about 3-4 minutes each side. Once browned on both sides, remove chicken breasts from pressure cooker and place on a platter.
- Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and bell pepper to pressure cooker. Saute for about 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. You can add fennel seeds here at this point as well so they can release more flavor.
- While the veggies are sauteing, dice the chicken in bite size pieces.
- Add the chicken back to the pot, add chicken stock, water, rice, Italian seasoning, fresh parsley and check for salt. Squeeze half a lemon and add the juice in too.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Set on High poultry setting for 15 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to pressurize, then the countdown starts to the 15 minutes.
- Once soup has finished cooking, let the pot depressurize naturally. Then you can remove the lid and check for flavor, adjust salt/pepper to your taste.
- Serve and garnish with more parsley, lemon slices or your favorite soup garnishes!! Add crusty baguettes or dinner rolls to serve the soup with:). Enjoy!
- For a richer flavor, use homemade chicken stock or chicken broth.
- Stovetop : it will take about 30 minutes to cook.
- Slow – Cooker : this soup will take about 5.5 hours to cook.
I am not a doctor so I don’t know if it helps health wise. However, I will share with you what I do for my kids when they get a stomach bug at school. I prepare this same exact soup but with half the rice quantity shown in the recipe card. Then I strain part of the soup for my kids, so they basically eat a broth like soup.
If you want to add previously cooked rice to the soup, please note that you can not add before you pressurize the pressure cooker. In that case, cook everything else together and add the cooked rice after you depressurize and open the lid of the cooker. Once you add the rice, then keep it in the warm setting for few minutes until you are ready to serve the soup. This will allow you to use the leftovers but soup will not be as tasty as rice didn’t have enough time to incorporate with chicken and flavors.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest so you can easily retrieve it later. Please let me know in comments if you have any questions. I would really appreciate a 5 star ⭐️ rating if you made the recipe!! Thank you so much for reading my blog:).
I love cooking soups and have a lot more recipes for you to check out in my SOUPS section, here are some of them for you to check out.
- Lentils and Ham Soup
- Black Eyed Peas Soup with Pancetta
- Bolivian Peanut Soup
- Red Kidney Beans Soup
- Albanian Fasule Soup