Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms is a delicious and cozy Autumn soup. Made with easy ingredients, such as wild rice and chicken, this heartwarming dish is gluten-free and packed with vegetables and protein.
Creamy chicken and wild rice soup - Autumn comfort food
This creamy chicken and wild rice soup is one of the best recipes you can make on a cold Fall or Winter night. It's easy to make, creamy, and delicious. My other favorite comfort food soup is creamy sausage tortellini soup with sweet potatoes and spinach.
- The recipe uses basic ingredients found in most pantries. It's a perfect dish to make on a busy weeknight and have leftovers the next day or two.
- There are only 4 main ingredients (wild rice, chicken, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms) and 4 secondary ingredients (olive oil, garlic, broth, and cream). The seasonings include Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. That's it! Simple pantry ingredients are combined in a delicious way. This is a versatile recipe that can be adjusted as you like!
- It's a gluten-free soup - it's creamy without the flour!
Chicken and wild rice soup ingredients
- Wild rice. I used a wild rice blend by the Lundberg brand. The blend includes black, brown, red, and wild rice.
- Chicken. I used skinless boneless chicken breasts. You can also use skinless boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders.
- Sweet Potatoes are cooked in the broth to add flavor and add vegetable components to this dish. I used 1 large potato, peeled and sliced into 1-inch cubes. Use 1 large potato or 2 small ones.
- Mushrooms impart a ton of flavor to the broth as well. I used cremini mushrooms. You can also use portobello mushrooms, white button mushrooms, or shiitake.
- Olive oil is used to sear mushrooms and chicken.
- Garlic is cooked in the broth to create flavor along with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and chicken. I used a generous 5 cloves of freshly minced garlic, but you can easily use even more!
- Broth or water. I use 5 cups of broth in this recipe. You can use water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth - all will work great! Since you are cooking 2 raw chicken breasts in the broth along with veggies (sweet potatoes and mushrooms) and spices, you can easily just use water because you are technically creating a chicken and mushroom broth anyway with all these ingredients.
- Heavy cream. 1 cup of heavy cream is added right at the end to add creaminess to the chicken and wild rice soup. If you make this soup ahead, don't add the cream until you are ready to serve the soup! You can also use half-and-half or whole milk. Make this recipe dairy-free by using unsweetened coconut milk.
- Salt and pepper. I used Morton iodized salt in this recipe and freshly ground black pepper.
- Italian seasoning. 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning is used to sear chicken and to flavor the broth. More seasoning is added when you make the broth. You can increase the amount if you like.
- Paprika adds flavor and color to the broth. You don't need to use much - ½ teaspoon added to the broth is enough.
- Red pepper flakes add a little bit of heat to the soup. Add more or skip this step, if you like!
What kind of wild rice to use?
I used a wild rice blend by the Lundberg brand. The ingredient list on the package lists Long Grain Brown Rice, Sweet Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Red Rice, and Black Rice.
How to cook wild rice
- First, rinse the uncooked rice for about 1 minute under cold water.
- Then, combine 1 part of rice with 2 or 3 parts of water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. For example, combine 1 cup of rice with 2 or 3 cups of water. Even though the package usually instructs you to use 1 cup of wild rice + 2 cups of water, I find that it usually is 3 cups of water per 1 cup of wild rice for me.
- Cover the pan with the lid, reduce hit to simmer (low boil), and cook for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let the rice rest, covered in a pan, off heat, for 15 more minutes.
Can you cook wild rice right in the soup?
Wild rice tends to absorb a lot of water and takes a long time to cook. I find that it's best to pre-cook the wild rice in a separate saucepan as indicated in the recipe. If you prefer to cook the rice right in the broth and it works - please provide your feedback in the comments below.
How many pans do you need to make this recipe?
You will need 2 cooking pans to make creamy wild rice and chicken soup.
- A medium saucepan for cooking wild rice. Wild rice takes a long time to cook (from 45 minutes to 1 hour), and it will take you about the same time to make the soup. Cook wild rice in a separate pan while you make the rest of the soup.
- A large, high-sided stockpot or braiser with a thick metal base that distributes heat evenly is ideal to make the soup. I used my Staub 3.5-Quart Braiser with Glass Lid.
How to make creamy chicken and wild rice soup with mushrooms (step-by-step photos)
1) First, start cooking the wild rice according to the package instructions. Because the wild rice takes a long time to cook, you can proceed with the rest of the recipe while the rice cooks.
2) Cook sliced mushrooms in olive oil in a large, high-sided stockpot (I used Staub braiser). Set aside and remove to a plate. You will use these mushrooms as toppings for individual soup bowls.
3) Season the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
4) Briefly sear the chicken - 1 or 2 minutes per side. No need to cook it through, just sear it. The chicken will continue cooking in the broth.
5) Now, start making the broth. To the same stockpot with seared chicken, add chopped sweet potato.
6) Add the remaining half (6 oz) of uncooked, sliced mushrooms.
7) Add minced garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt. Add 5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth, or water).
8) Simmer for 15 or 20 minutes until the chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
9) Remove the cooked chicken from the stockpot, shred it or slice it finely, and add it back to the stockpot. Add cooked wild rice.
10) Add heavy cream off heat.
11) Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with fresh thyme.
What kind of mushrooms to use?
- Crimini mushrooms are small and young portabello mushrooms - this is what I use in this recipe.
- Portobello mushrooms are mature crimini or cremini. Portobellos have a rich and meaty flavor that will work well in the creamy chicken and wild rice soup.
- White button mushrooms are very common mushrooms that are available at most grocery stores. They are mild in flavor and similar to crimini mushrooms in shape.
- Shiitake mushrooms have a rich flavor, and if you can find them, use them! I also have a recipe for a delicious shiitake mushroom soup that you should try!
What kind of chicken to use?
- Skinless, boneless chicken breast. I used 1 pound of chicken breasts which usually means 2 chicken breasts.
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The dark meat of chicken thighs will go really well with the creamy soup.
- Chicken tenderloins or tenders. Chicken tenders are small and tender and will work great in this recipe.
- Leftover cooked chicken. Don't waste the leftover chicken meat - throw it in this recipe!
- Rotisserie chicken is also great to use here. If using rotisserie chicken, use salted chicken broth instead of water, and add rotisserie chicken right at the end to avoid overcooking it.
Tips on making it ahead
- Heavy cream. Prepare everything, except adding the heavy cream in the last step. Refrigerate the soup and add heavy cream only when ready to serve, when the soup is warmed up or hot, and removed from heat (to prevent the cream from separating).
How to store and reheat chicken wild rice and mushroom soup
- Refrigerate. Store the leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat. Reheat the chicken wild rice soup gently on the stovetop in the large enough pan over medium heat, stirring halfway through. Add extra milk or heavy cream to add creaminess.
- What if the cream separates? You will notice that as the soup cools off, the cream separates and looks grainy. This is normal. Once you reheat the soup, the soup will regain the proper texture.
- Do not freeze the soup with cream. Because this soup uses cream, I do not recommend freezing it as that will compromise the texture. You can, however, freeze this soup without adding the cream.
How to freeze soup
- Do not add cream. If you would like to freeze chicken and wild rice soup, do not add any cream. Heavy cream tends to separate and become grainy if frozen. Freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Freeze the soup in usable portions. Divide it into 4 or 6 containers. Don't freeze it in a single large container.
- Leave space in the container. When freezing the liquid recipes, like soups, leave the space in the container (about 2 inches) as the soup will expand as it freezes.
- Defrost the soup by placing it in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- How to reheat. Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop in the large enough pan over medium heat, stirring halfway through. Add extra milk or heavy cream.
- Pre-cook wild rice separately. Wild rice takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook, so cook it in a separate pan, while you prepare the soup.
- Cream. You can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.
- Make the creamy soup dairy-free. Use unsweetened coconut milk instead of heavy cream to make this chicken wild rice soup dairy-free.
- Broth. This recipe uses 5 cups of broth - you can use water, chicken stock, or vegetable broth.
- Mushrooms. I list mushrooms in two places on the recipe card. You will sear half the mushrooms and add them at the very end on top of the soup, for presentation purposes. You will cook the remaining half of the mushrooms in the soup broth to impart flavor.
- Use a large stockpot big enough to fit all the ingredients. I used a heavy-bottom, high-sided 3.5-Quart Staub Braiser.
- Presentation tips. When the soup is ready, pour the soup into individual bowls and top the bowls with reserved cooked mushrooms and fresh thyme to make your food look beautiful and presentable.
What to serve with chicken and wild rice mushroom soup
- Simple salad. Serve this creamy soup with a simple garden salad or basic spinach or arugula salad. Toss together spinach, or arugula, or mixed salad greens with a small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Include some of these toppings: shredded Parmesan cheese, toasted nuts (pine nuts, pecans, or toasted slivered almonds), and some dried fruit (cranberries, figs, or cherries).
- Bread. Serve this with a slice of garlic bread or olive bread loaf. Warm up the bread in the toaster or in the oven.
- Cornbread or biscuits. Make the chicken and wild rice soup the star of the show! Serve cornbread and biscuits on the side.
- Roasted veggies. Serve grilled or roasted asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, spaghetti squash, or other types of squash.
Other comforting soup recipes
- Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
- Chicken and Spinach Soup with Vegetables and Beans
- Creamy Shiitake Mushroom Soup
- Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup
- Creamy Carrot and Lentil Soup
If you've made this recipe or have your own version of the creamy chicken and wild rice soup, please provide your feedback and describe what you did differently in the comments section below.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms
- 1 cup wild rice I used wild rice blend (Lundberg brand)
- 3 cups water
Vegetables and broth
Cook wild rice
- Rinse the wild rice really well under cold water for about 1 minute.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Add wild rice and cook according to package instructions.
- That usually means cooking 1 cup of wild rice blend in 2 or 3 cups of water for 45 minutes or 1 hour.
- In the meantime, proceed with the recipe. Note: In the ingredients list, I have mushrooms listed twice. Once - under the Mushrooms section, the second time under - Vegetables and Broth. A total of 12 oz of mushrooms are used in this recipe. In this section, you are cooking half of the mushrooms - 6 oz.
- In a large, high-sided stockpot (I used Staub braiser), heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 6 oz of sliced mushrooms. Season generously with salt.
- Allow the mushrooms to cook for about 3 or 5 minutes, without moving them. At this point, the mushrooms will release juices, give them one more stir for 1 minute on low-medium heat. Remove to a plate.
- To the same, now empty, stockpot, add another 1 tablespoon olive oil over high-medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Briefly sear the chicken - 1 or 2 minutes per side. No need to cook it through, just sear it. The chicken will continue cooking in the broth.
- To the same stockpot with seared chicken (it's still uncooked in the middle), add chopped sweet potato, the remaining half (6 oz) of uncooked, sliced mushrooms, and minced garlic.
- Add Italian seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Add 5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth, or water). Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer (visible boiling on low or low medium heat).
- Simmer for 15 or 20 minutes until the chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the stockpot, and shred it or slice it finely. Add sliced or shredded chicken back to the stockpot.
- Add cooked wild rice. Season with more salt and red pepper flakes, if desired. Reheat on low heat.
- Remove from heat. Add heavy cream off heat.
- Pour the soup into individual bowls.
- Top the bowls with reserved cooked mushrooms and fresh thyme.
- Salt. I use Morton table salt.
- What if the cream separated? You will notice that as the soup cools off, the cream separates and looks grainy. This is normal. Once you reheat the soup, the soup will regain its proper texture.
- Want to make this ahead? Do not add cream. Add cream only when you are ready to serve. See more tips on how to store and reheat this soup above the recipe card.
- Do not freeze this soup with cream in it. Cream tends to separate if frozen. If you would like to freeze this soup, freeze it without the cream and add the cream when ready to serve. I have many helpful tips above the recipe card about how to freeze this soup.
- How to make soup dairy-free. Make this soup dairy-free by using unsweetened coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.