This golden, delicious soup takes about 30 minutes to make, fast enough for any night of the week. Try my easy Instant Pot chicken rice soup recipe. Add a green salad (and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich) and dinner's ready. With chicken soup this easy, you can skip anything boxed or canned.
The solution to making great chicken rice soup fast is using delicious homemade broth and the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker). By adapting my standard chicken soup recipe, this soup tastes like it simmered all day. Good chicken soup is all about the broth, so let's start there. No homemade broth? Find options below.
A 6-8 quart Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker or multi-cooker. If you have a stovetop (not electric) pressure cooker, this recipe still works. I originally developed it with a Fagor.
I developed this recipe with bone-in chicken breast, but you can use boneless skinless chicken breast (or thighs). See the recipe card for measurements.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Carrots (peeled and chopped small)
- Onion (chopped small)
- Celery (chopped small)
- Garlic cloves (chopped fine)
- Uncooked brown rice
- Chicken broth
- A raw chicken breast (bone-in or boneless skinless chicken)
- Bay leaf
- Fresh thyme sprigs (
- Ground black pepper
- Optional garnishes: chopped dill, lemon wedges, fresh parsley
Choose the sauté mode on the Instant Pot and set the cook time for 5 minutes. When it's hot, add the olive oil, then the carrot, onion, and celery. At the end of the saute cycle, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Next, add the broth, rice, chicken breast (skin and fat removed, cut whole chicken breast in half crosswise), thyme, bay leaf and salt. Lock on the lid, turn the valve to sealing position (closed, to the right), and bring to high pressure. To change from standard low pressure to high pressure, press the pressure button.
Set cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure and allow a 15 minute natural release. Quick release any remaining pressure by turning the steam release valve to the left (open). Remove the lid, being careful of the hot steam.
If you prefer dark meat to light meat, substitute chicken thighs. Buy 1 pound of boneless skinless thighs and trim any extra fat.
Other kinds of rice would be good, but I have not tested the timing for other types of rice such as white rice or a wild rice blend (I will next time I make this). White rice should not take any longer, but the wild rice blend could take a couple of minutes longer. Try it at 10 minutes and taste the rice when it's cool enough. If it is too chewy, bring back to high pressure and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
If you can't get fresh herbs, or substitute dried thyme or Italian seasoning. For garlic powder versus raw garlic, use ⅛ teaspoon when sautéing the vegetables.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the chicken, shred the meat and discard the bones, and add the shredded chicken back into the soup. Ladle into shallow wide soup bowls and enjoy a tummy-warming, soul-satisfying homemade chicken rice soup anyone’s busy schedule can handle.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, or fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon juice to add brightness.
The key to the best flavor and nutrition with this soup is using good homemade chicken broth. I make batches and freeze it for soups, stews, sauces and risotto. No boxed or canned broth compares. And with home made, you control the sodium and other ingredients to insure a healthy, nutritious broth.
Here are recipe links to my two chicken broth recipes. One, made in about 2 hours, Instant Pot chicken broth, and the other, a long simmered chicken bone broth. This soup is also delicious with rich homemade roasted turkey broth. If you've never made homemade broth, I encourage you to try!
If you don't have time to make broth, read ingredients labels like a hawk. Many store brands are full of unhealthy ingredients and crazy high sodium, but there are some decent ones out there. Also, check out the freezer section for good broths.
Instant Pot chicken rice soup freezes well in an airtight container and last 3 months in the freezer. Here's a handy chart on how long food safely stores and freezes.
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Rice Soup
- 6 quart Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker or stove top pressure cookers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped small
- 1 medium onion chopped small
- 2 ribs celery chopped small
- 2 garlic cloves chopped fine
- ⅓ cup uncooked brown rice
- 6 cups chicken broth preferably homemade
- 1 large bone-in chicken breast cut in half crosswise, skin and fat discarded
- 2-3 fresh thyme springs or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf optional
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish
- Lemon wedges optional
- Turn the Instant Pot on to the saute function. Set the timer for 5 minutes. When it's hot, add the oil, then the carrots, onions and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally so it does not stick on the bottom. Towards the end of the saute cycle, add the garlic and stir.
- Add the rice, broth, chicken breast, thyme, bay leaf and salt to the pot. Lock lid on and bring to high pressure by pressing the pressure button (it's set for low pressure automatically). Set timer for 10 minutes.
- When timer beeps, unlock the lid tilting away from you, careful of the hot steam, and remove the chicken breast. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat finely and add back to the pot. Discard the bones. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with parsley or dill and lemon wedges if desired.