Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This Chicken Wild Rice Soup is a hearty creamy soup made with cooked chicken, nutty wild rice, and mushrooms. It is a bowl of comfort any time of the year. | Food to gladden the heart at

Wild rice is the state grain of Minnesota. It is a very nutritious grain and is naturally found in the cold rivers and lakes. This grain is sold throughout the year but their usual harvest time is in August through September. It is no wonder that this Chicken Wild Rice Soup is so popular here. Whether it is in the cold winter or warm summer months, this soup is a bowl of comfort. It is one of my favorite creamy soups and I often go to a very popular chain of deli to get my fix.

There are quite a few versions of this soup out there and some add a can of condensed soup to it for ease of preparation. I prefer to make the soup from scratch with the addition of flour to achieve that thick creamy consistency. This step is not that much more work as the soup is relatively easy to prepare. You really can’t go wrong if you have all the ingredients on hand.

This Chicken Wild Rice Soup is a hearty creamy soup made with cooked chicken, nutty wild rice, and mushrooms. It is a bowl of comfort any time of the year. | Food to gladden the heart at

Wild rice does take a while to cook and so it must be precooked before being added to the soup. It is usually boiled in water until the grains split open. This will take about 45 minutes. The ratio of wild rice to water is 1:4. Once cooked, the split opened grains should be drained of any remaining water. They have a nice nutty flavor and may be added to salads, stuffing, and soups.

The recipe below was based on the Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup found at Panera’s Bread, a favorite of mine. I added some freshly chopped parsley for additional flavor, color, and texture. I must say that I was very happy with the way the soup turned out. It was delicious served with crusty bread.


Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 cup (170g) wild rice
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ cup (115g) all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups (1.9 liters) chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups (300g) cooked chicken, cubed
  • 8 oz (225g) mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 cup (240 ml) half-and-half
  • ½ cup (25g) chopped parsley
  1. Cook wild rice in 4 cups (960ml) of water for 45 minutes or until it fluffs up. Drain any remaining liquid left in the pot. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add vegetable oil. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until soften, about 3 minutes. Add dried thyme and all-purpose flour. Cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add cooked chicken, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add cooked wild rice and pour in half-and-half. Bring soup back up to a boil and allow it to heat through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat. Stir in chopped parsley.

This Chicken Wild Rice Soup is a hearty creamy soup made with cooked chicken, nutty wild rice, and mushrooms. It is a bowl of comfort any time of the year. | Food to gladden the heart at
Update (August 7th, 2014): Many have asked for a slow cooker version. I finally got round to making it. Please click on the picture below to get to the post.

Few things are more comforting than coming home to this deliciously creamy Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup. You'll want to make this over and over again. | Food to gladden the heart at

This Chicken Wild Rice Soup is a hearty creamy soup made with cooked chicken, nutty wild rice, and mushrooms. It is a bowl of comfort any time of the year. | Food to gladden the heart at

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎


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  1. says

    Wow, this soup looks amazingly inviting! I didn’t expect it to be so creamy… but I love it. I would definitely want a second bowl. :)

  2. Max says

    looks amazing! this is the kind of hearty soup for the sick that bring a cheer to their soul 😀 absolutely love to try it, except i don’t think i have wild rice from where i am (is there a substitute?), and what’s (half and half)?

    • Biren says

      Thanks Max! This is one of my favorite creamy soups. It is very warm and comforting especially in the colder months here in Minnesota. Half-and-half is a mix of cream and milk. Please substitute with whole milk or skim milk if you prefer a lighter consistency.

      • Max says

        i see so that’s what half and half is..what about wild rice? is there another alternative rice that i can use? thanks in advanced :)

  3. Chris says

    What a satisfying, delicious soup! I’m tempted to throw in some lovely spring asparagus with the veggies to make it even heartier, but this will be wonderful just as you’ve shared it with us. Thank you, Biren!

    • Biren says

      Thanks Chris! Soups are very versatile and your idea of throwing in some asparagus would work. :)

  4. Andrea says

    This was pretty delicious! I made it for dinner, and the vote was unanimous. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Biren says

      I am so happy your family enjoyed this soup. Thank you for letting me know. We enjoyed it very much too. :)

  5. Jen says

    Easy, healthy and yummy soup. I added some cayenne pepper to make it a bit spicy. Love it, will definitely make again.

    I actually added very little half-and-half and it’s still creamy enough. It’s amazing how you can make a dish that is so healthy and yummy at home, a much better choice than having it in a restaurant.

    • Biren says

      I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the soup. :) Cooking the wild rice is an extra step but other than that, it is a relatively easy soup to prepare. Actually, I wouldn’t mind some cayenne pepper in there myself as I do like spicy foods.

  6. Carol Merritt says

    I tried this recipe two weeks ago. It was awesome. Would like to pump it up though. Spicy? Wine? Got any ideas?

    • Biren says

      I am very happy to hear you enjoyed the soup. Thanks for letting me know. I think a little pepper flakes may work. :)

  7. Karen says

    I made this soup a couple of weeks ago and the entire family loved it. My husband wanted the leftovers to take to work. I didn’t change anything, as it was very flavorful just as written.

    Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful recipe for others to enjoy.

    • Biren says

      So cool to hear that your family enjoyed the soup and that your hubby wanted to pack it for lunch. That made my day! :)

      You are most welcomed, Karen. So good to know others enjoy the recipe as well.

  8. Joanne says

    Hi Biren,

    Can you freeze this soup? I live alone and could never eat all this even in a couple of days.

    • Biren says

      I have never tried freezing creamy soups but I have read that it can be done. However, I would suggest that the milk not be added for the portion to be frozen. You can add milk after reheating the soup.

  9. Melissa says

    I’ve made this with grilled chicken and it gave the soup such an amazing flavor that I really don’t think I want to make it any other way.

  10. Pam says

    This recipe sounds really awsome! I LOVE Minnosota wild rice! Do you know if almond milk can be substituted equally for the half and half for us lactose intolerant folks? I realize it may not be as rich, but have heard that almond milk doesn’t always ‘set’ in some recipies. Thanks!

    • Biren says

      I have not tried using almond milk in soups but it is worth a shot. Not surprise if it will not set but it will at least give the soup some creaminess.

    • Liz says

      Try goat or coconut milk-will give it a richer flavor so use less – goat a rich savory flavor- coconut a rich “slightly sweet” flavor – we love substituting these two even though we do not have a problem with lactose – we just love how they bump up the flavor

  11. Mary Anne says

    Made this fabulous soup last night…WOW…I followed recipe with just a few minor changes (personal preferences)…1) instead of wild rice, used Minute Ready to Serve Multi-grain Medley..(brn rice, quinoa, rye, barley & oats)both containers; 2)chopped two tomatoes(needed to use);3)added 1 Tbl. Sun-dried tom pesto to veggies; during dinner, my hubby said several times…’this is really great!’ I concur…

    • Biren says

      You are welcome, Elza. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the soup. It is one of my favorite creamy soups for the chilly weather ahead. :)

  12. Tiffany C. says

    This soup looks amazing, but my husband can’t have dairy so I was wondering if you could recommend a non-dairy substitute. Normally we use either almond milk or coconut milk, but I wasn’t sure which would be better for this recipe. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

    • Biren says

      I would try the almond milk first as almond milk is relatively neutral. If you feel it is not thick enough, then mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. When the soup is boiling, pour in this cornstarch mixture and allow it to thicken. I hope that helps.

  13. JKS says

    Just got around to trying this recipe which I snagged from Foodgawker. Fabulous! One of the best soups I’ve ever made!

  14. Bethany says

    Wonderful soup! I posted it on my Facebook page and several friends have now tried it as well and loved it. Will be making it often!

  15. debbie l. says

    I LOVE this soup! Myhubby doesn’t like mushrooms so it’s all for ME. I freeze it in individual portions & thaw them out as needed to take it to work for lunches. It’s hearty, delicious &filling. I’m planning to make a batch tomorrow using leftover turrkey. Yummo!!

    • Biren says

      I am glad to hear you enjoyed this soup as much as we did. Yes, this would be delicious cooked with leftover turkey as well.

  16. Katrina says

    Super excited to try this tonight :) We’re going to a birthday party at 3, so I’m going to try to cook it in the slow cooker! I hope it turns out. Will let you know if it is crockpot worthy!

  17. says

    I made this today and it was wonderful. I added 6 cloves of garlic and lentils instead of chicken. Great soup for cold winter nights. Thanks for this recipe!

  18. Kitty says

    Making this for the second time. I liked freezing it to give me an easy and (more or less) healthier Lunch at work, great for cold days when the break room is chilly

    Though I used Shitaki Mushrooms YUMM!!

    • Linda says

      Shiitake mushrooms will probably give the soup a more intense mushroom flavor. So glad to hear you enjoy the soup. :)

  19. Catherine says

    What kind of wild rice do you use? Brand name? Can you post a pic of what it looks like before you cook it? I bought the Hinode brand white and wild rice blend. I was a little intimidated by some of the darker looking rice blends. Thanks in advance!

    • Biren says

      I use long grain Minnesota wild rice. Any brand will do but the current package I have is KC’s Best. It is not a rice blend but you can certainly use rice blend if you prefer. Wild rice is pretty dark in color (almost black) but the inside is slightly whitish when it is cooked and splits open.

  20. Reana says

    How well do you think the soup would do in the crockpot? Looking for simple, healthier meals to do throughout the busy week and would the rice probably cook up good in the crockpot?

    • Linda says

      You can definitely cook this soup in the crockpot with precooked wild rice. Not sure if the wild rice will soften if cooked from raw in the crockpot as I have never tried it.

  21. Linda says

    Made your soup for dinner tonight and my husband declared it’s the best soup I ever made and it is his new favorite! And I agree. This soup is fabulous!! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’m so happy to have it.

    • Linda says

      You are welcome, Linda. I am happy to hear you and your hubby enjoyed the soup. It’s one of our favorites. :)

  22. Kim says

    This turned out so good! I only made a couple of adjustments – I added in a couple of cloves of garlic and added the mushrooms in with the veg & let them all cook together until they were really soft and a little browned before adding the flour, and I also added in a little basil with the thyme. I totally forgot to add in the 1/2 & 1/2 but didn’t miss it at all. My husband dislikes mushrooms but he’s on his second bowl of soup right now!

    • Linda says

      Yes, I used 3/4 cup flour as this soup is for a generous 8 or more portions. You can certainly use less if preferred.

    • Linda says

      Thanks Sadie! Unfortunately, I do not yet have that info on this blog but there are a number of recipe calorie counters on the web that you can use.

  23. Autumn says

    I wanted to let you know that I am a vegetarian and substituted seitan and veg broth for the chicken and broth… It was amazing! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!!

    • Linda says

      Thanks for letting me know, Autumn. I am thrilled to hear that the recipe worked even when you made it vegetarian.


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