Perfectly creamy and loaded with hearty rice, chicken, and lots of fresh lemon, this chicken lemon rice soup comes together in one pot in less than an hour!
When soup season rolls around, this is just one of those soups you’re always going to want up your sleeve!
We’ve got tender chicken, veggies, and rice ticking all the hearty boxes, yet the fresh lemon makes it taste super light.
The best part is that this is one of those soups you can utilize leftover chicken in and it tastes like the best revamped comfort food.
This soup comes together fully in one pot and it could NOT be more weeknight friendly! The recipe also makes a big batch which is perfect because leftovers store great and you can even freeze it.
This Chicken Rice Soup features…
- Tender rice and soft sautéed vegetables
- Fall-apart-tender chicken and lots of fresh lemon
- Ready in under an hour in one pot
Making the Chicken Rice Soup
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Unsalted butter
- Sweet onion
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth
- Cooked chicken
- Heavy cream
Choosing Your Chicken
This recipe is a great way to use leftover cooked chicken you have lying around in the fridge. You can use diced or shredded chicken, either works great.
If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, we would recommend cooking up 2 medium chicken breasts or thighs by either roasting or poaching.
Tips for Perfect Chicken Rice Soup
- Cut vegetables into uniform size – do your best to get all the vegetables the same size so they cook evenly.
- Cook rice directly in soup – no need to pre-cook the rice, it will only take a few minutes to fully cook while the soup simmers.
- Add lemon juice and zest at end of cooking – this will keep the lemon flavor fresh and flavorful.
- Add heavy cream after lemon juice – make sure the lemon juice is fully stirred into the soup before adding the heavy cream. This will prevent the heavy cream from separating from the acidity.
- Thin soup with additional chicken broth – if you find the rice thickened the soup too much, add a few extra splashes of chicken broth as needed to thin soup.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this soup.
- Use a different kind of rice – brown, jasmine, or a regular white rice will all work in this recipe.
- Skip the meat – you can easily leave the chicken out of this recipe and replace with more veggies.
- Try different veggies – try adding sweet pepper, zucchini, corn, sweet potato, or butternut squash.
Storing and Freezing Soup
This soup stores well in refrigerator up to 6 days. You can reheat individual servings 2-3 minutes in the microwave or heat larger quantities in a pot on the stovetop until soup registers 165F.
To freeze soup, allow to cool completely then transfer in a freezer-safe container and freeze up to 2 months. Allow soup to thaw in refrigerator, then reheat on stovetop or in microwave.
This is a bowl of absolute comfort food! The lemon flavor really shines through and compliments the tender chicken, vegetables, and rice so well. We love serving this soup with hearty bread slices for dipping into all that creamy broth.
Meet your new soup season staple!
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More cozy soups to try out next!
Creamy Chicken Lemon Rice Soup
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- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-in cubes
- 2 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/4-in cubes
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken broth, plus additional if needed to thin soup
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup uncooked white or brown rice
- 1 medium lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and saute several minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Add garlic, thyme, and flour to vegetables and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring well to incorporate into the flour. Add shredded chicken and rice.
- Bring soup to a low simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until rice and vegetables are tender.
- Add lemon juice and zest to soup and stir well to combine. Pour in heavy cream and fold until evenly incorporated into soup.
- Thin soup if needed with a few splashes of extra chicken broth. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. Enjoy!