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Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

Making restaurant quality Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup is easier than you may think! With the right cut of chicken and a few key ingredients, you’ll be getting ohhhs and ahhhs from your family when they gather for dinner! Psst… it’s also a gluten free soup, too!

A ladle of wild rice and chicken soup transferred to a gray bowl.

You’ll want this Creamy Wild Rice Soup all season

Friends, this soup is goooood. We’re talking restaurant quality soup here! ALL of my kids loved it and so did Steve. It so, so easy, too. And I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to ensure this soup will turn out perfectly every time you make it.

Why you’ll love this Chicken Wild Rice Soup Recipe.

This version is thick and creamy with tender pieces of chicken and chewy wild rice throughout. It’s a cozy soup that’s comforting, easy to make, and packed with flavor. It’s just… *chef’s kiss*  

Yep, this dreamy, creamy soup is also gluten free! I’ll talk more about the details of thickening a soup in a bit, but I wanted you to know that you could make this soup gluten free if you like. (And it’s not difficult!)

This recipe is also super adaptable. You can make it on the stove top, in your Instant Pot, or in a Crock Pot! I included instructions for all three below and in the recipe card.

Bowl of black wild rice.

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this soup!

  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • No-salt seasoning – This is a salt-free seasoning you can use on a lot of things while being able to control the sodium. Think Mrs. Dash, 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joe’s), or the No-salt seasoning at Costco (that’s what I use).
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Dried or fresh thyme
  • Dried dill
  • Chicken thighsThis is important. Because the wild rice needs longer to cook than regular white rice, using chicken thighs will help you to avoid overcooked, dry chicken. Chicken breasts are tasty and versatile, but their very low fat content causes them to dry out faster. Chicken thighs are much more forgiving. Alternately, you could shred a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken breasts and at it at the very end of cooking if you’d rather not use thighs. 
  • Chicken broth — Use any kind you like. I love making my own from stripped roasted chicken bones. Here’s a chicken bone broth recipe if you need one!
  • Wild rice — Wild rice is black. Sometimes “wild rice” is packaged as brown rice and wild rice mixed together. You could use that too if you like since they have the same cook times. 
  • Heavy cream, half and half, or milk (any kind) — This entirely depends on you, friend. Obviously using heavy cream results in a richer, creamier soup, but you can use any type of cream or milk for this recipe. You can easily make it dairy free by using almond milk.
  • Tapioca flour, arrowroot starch, or cornstarch — This one is left up to you, too. All of these options are gluten free. 

How to make Chicken Wild Rice Soup

How to cook wild rice for soup

You’re going to love this — you just throw the rice in with all the other ingredients and let it simmer away to cook! 

If you have some pre-cooked rice handy, you could add it at the end of cooking time. You’ll want to omit the water from the recipe if you do that.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Saute the vegetables using the Saute mode. Add the seasonings.
  2. Add the chicken, broth, water, and rice to the pot.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Let the cooker sit for 5-8 before releasing the steam manually.
  4. Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to a large plate or platter and shred them with a couple of forks. Add them back to the soup.
  5. Mix the cream/milk with the tapioca starch and stir it into the soup. It should thicken quickly — if not, turn the cooker back to the sauce mode to heat the soup up until it thickens. Then turn it off again.
  6. Taste, adjusting seasonings as needed, then serve!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Crock Pot Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a 6 quart Crock Pot slow cooker (except the milk and thickener).
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Turn the slow cooker to high heat.
  3. Remove the chicken (put the lid back on to keep the soup hot). Shred the chicken, then return it to the pot.
  4. Stir together the cream/milk and thickener. Stir into the soup. If the soup is very hot (but not bubbling) it should thicken really quickly.
  5. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup Recipe Variations

  • Use brown rice instead of wild rice.
  • Vegetarian Mushroom Wild Rice Soup: Make a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and chicken broth and using 1.5 pounds of sliced mushrooms and vegetable broth.
  • Sausage & Wild Rice Soup: Omit the chicken. Add sliced, pre-cooked sausage at the end of cooking. Andouille sausage would be particularly good here.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Recipe Tips

  • Make sure you use wild rice or brown rice (or a combination of the two) and not white rice. Because wild rice and brown rice require a much longer cook time using white rice will result in mushy, overcooked rice.
  • If you use homemade chicken broth, you might need to adjust the salt content of this recipe. I don’t salt my broth so I usually need to double the amount of salt in recipes when I use it.
  • If you are making this in an Instant Pot, make sure you let the cooker release the steam naturally (just let it sit, don’t do anything) for 5-10 minutes after the pressure cycle ends so you don’t have hot liquid splattering out of the steam valve.
  • Make sure the soup isn’t bubbling when you add the thickener or it’ll clump. More on that…
Cream and thickener being added to the hot finished soup.

How to Thicken Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Thickening gluten free soups is a little different from regular soups. When you’re using all-purpose flour you’ll create a roux (butter/oil + flour mixture) at the beginning of the recipe and then cook from there.

With gluten free thickeners, often time they’ll lose their ability to thicken if cooked for long periods of time. That’s why I thicken the soup at the end. Here are some things to remember when thickening this chicken wild rice soup as well as other types of creamy gluten free soups:

  • Blend the thickener with some type of liquid. If the soup is creamy, I whisk it into the cream or milk I’ll be using. This helps to prevent any clumping. You can also remove a ladle full of the soup liquid and pour it into a cup or bowl and whisk the thickener into that when it has cooled some.
  • Don’t add the thickening mixture to boiling liquid. If the soup is simmering with visible bubbles, it will make your thickener clump and you’ll get these weird, gummy bits in your soup. Ew. The soup needs to be hot and steamy, but not bubbling when you add the thickener.
  • If your soup isn’t thickening you may need to heat it up. Once the thickening mixture has been stirred into the soup, you can crank the heat up and let the soup simmer. It’ll only take a minute or two for it to thicken. If it still hasn’t thickened, maybe you haven’t used enough starch/powder.
A ladle of the creamy wild rice chicken soup.

What to serve with Wild Rice Soup

I love this soup with a sprinkling of parsley and some crusty bread (it’s easy to find gluten free crusty bread these days! Adding some Parmesan cheese shavings is also delicious here.

If you’re wanting to serve this with a salad, here are some suggestions:

Sweet Kale Salad – A knock off of the sweet kale salad kit I love buying at Costco. Whether you make it from scratch or get a kit, it’ll go well with this soup!

Syrian Salad with Za’atar Dressing – Such a tasty, versatile salad! It has a bold flavor that would pair well with this creamy soup.

Avocado Green Salad – Love this green salad with Parmesan shavings, salty bacon, and creamy avocado dressing.

A bowl of the finished soup with some crusty bread on the side.

How to store Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

After the chicken wild rice soup has cooled, transfer it to a lidded container and store chilled for up to a week.

Freezing Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

If you’d like to freeze this soup, I recommend using these deli containers on Amazon. I have dozens of them and use them all the time for freezing soups, broth, and storing leftovers in the fridge, too.

How to reheat Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Microwave: I don’t love microwaving leftovers, but if I’m heating up one serving, it’s usually the easiest way. Cook on high for 20 second increments, stirring after each one, until the soup is hot.

Stovetop: Transfer the soup to a pot. If the soup has thickened considerably (it does that often after being chilled) then add 1/2 cup of water and stir it up. Because creamy soups tend to scorch easily, warm the soup at medium-low, keeping a close eye on it and stir it often.

A spoon lifting out a bite of the chicken wild rice soup garnished with fresh parsley.

More Creamy Soup Recipes on Perry’s Plate

If you like this Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup, try another one of my creamy soups!

Dairy-Free Clam Chowder – This one is also gluten free and is delicious with bacon sprinkled on top!

Buffalo Chicken Chowder – One of my favorites to make in the winter! It has a touch of heat (as little or as much as you’d like) and a drizzle of creamy ranch. It’s also gluten and dairy free.

Southwest Chicken Soup – A riff of of my favorite chicken soup recipe with southwest inspired spices and a touch of creamine/ss.

Dairy Free Cream of Mushroom Soup – A family favorite — don’t forget the bacon on top!

If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Making restaurant quality Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup is easier than you may think! With the right cut of chicken and a few key ingredients, you’ll be getting ohhhs and ahhhs from your family when they gather for dinner! Psst… it’s also a gluten free soup, too!


  • 4 Tablespoons butter or avocado oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 small)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed or Microplaned
  • 1 Tablespoon no-salt seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of any type
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch


  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the no-salt seasoning, sea salt, dill, thyme, black pepper and bay leaves. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken thighs, broth, water, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. The rice should be cooked through at this point. Transfer the chicken to a large plate or platter, shred, and return to the pot.
  5. Whisk together the milk and tapioca starch. If the soup is still simmering with visibile bubbles, turn off the heat until it cools some. Pour the milk mixture into the hot soup and stir well. If the soup doesn't thicken within a couple of minutes, turn the heat back on to medium and cook until it does -- maybe another 5 minutes or so.
  6. Taste, adding any extra salt if needed. Serve immediately.


  1. You can use any type of milk here. Or a combination of milk and cream. If you use cream, I recommend using 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cream.
  2. Feel free to use a different type of gluten free thickener, like arrowroot powder or cornstarch. They all require the same measurements.

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS: Follow the saute instructions using the Saute mode in your 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. After adding all the ingredients (except for the milk & thickener), close the lid, sealing the steam vent, and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Let it release steam naturally for 5-10 minutes and then release the rest of the steam naturally. Shred the chicken as directed above and whisk together the milk and tapioca, adding it to the pot when there are no visible bubbles in the hot soup. If you need to warm the soup a little more to get the soup to thicken, turn on the saute mode again for a few minutes.

CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS: Add all of the ingredients to a 6-7 quart Crock Pot slow cooker (except the milk and thickener). Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the rice is tender. Shred chicken as directed above, keeping the soup as warm as possible while you do this. Whisk together the milk and tapioca and stir it into the hot soup when there are no visible bubbles. If you need to heat the soup more to encourage it to thicken, turn it on high.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving Calories 303Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 125mgSodium 1507mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 25g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Monday 11th of December 2023

Nutritional info? Vital — thanks

Natalie Perry

Monday 18th of December 2023


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