You can count on this simple recipe on a busy weeknight and whenever you need a warm and inviting meal.
Homemade chicken soup is nourishing for the mind and body. Maybe it’s in the seasoned broth or combination of tender chicken, vegetables, and hearty rice. I’m a fan.
The most important part is how easy this delicious soup comes together with basic everyday ingredients, and I save you tons of time by using the Instant Pot (pressure cooker).
Chicken and Rice Soup Ingredients
One look at the ingredient list, and you know this chicken and rice soup is going to be a wholesome meal.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:
- olive oil: to sauté the chicken and veggies.
- aromatics: minced garlic, and chopped onion, carrots, and celery make this soup taste incredible!
- dried thyme: or poultry seasoning instead.
- bay leaf: more flavor!
- salt & black pepper: we can’t omit these two.
- chicken broth: store-bought or this delicious homemade chicken broth.
- water: with the broth, it’s the liquid needed for this soup.
- white rice: brown rice also work, you just need to cook it longer.
- chicken: in this recipe, I used raw chicken. You can save time and use shredded rotisserie chicken, just keep in mind that cooking time will vary. More on this below.
You’ll find the measurements in the recipe card below.
A rotisserie chicken is a great meal starter and it saves me the time of roasting the chicken myself. Plus, the bones and skin (from storebought or homemade) can be turned into homemade broth for this soup or future recipes.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Soup in the Instant Pot
Have those ingredients ready? Good, grab that Instant Pot or your pressure cooker, and let’s make soup!
Here’s how to prep this soup:
- Sauté the meat
Set the Instant Pot to sauté, add the oil, and brown your diced chicken breasts, for about 2 minutes.
- Soften the veggies
Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in the pot and stir while cooking, until softened and golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the seasonings and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the liquid and rice
Pour in the broth, water, and rice. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, seal, and close the release valve. Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
- Let it sit
Once the cycle is finished, do a NATURAL RELEASE for 5 minutes (wait 5 minutes). Then, release the pressure by opening the pressure valve and release the steam away from you.
- Soups on!
Ladle the soup into bowls -grab a warmed roll while you’re at it and dish up.
How Long Does it Take to Make Instant Pot Soup?
Cooking time for soups in the Instant Pot varies by recipe and ingredients, especially if uncooked meat is included and or grains. This recipe, start to finish, is about 20 minutes -shorter if you use cooked chicken and longer if you use brown rice.
Here’s the breakdown of time spent on each cooking mode:
- sauté: 4-6 minutes
- high pressure: 5 minutes
- natural release: 5 minutes
*note: it will take about 6 to 7 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and begin cooking*
Which Release? Quick vs. Natural
Most pressure cookers come with a natural and quick release option, so what’s the difference, and which one should we use?
Quick-release is when once the recipe is done cooking, you turn the pressure knob to release the pressure from the pot, and steam will come out of it.
Natural release allows the pressure inside the instant pot (pressure cooker) to return to normal naturally. This also continues to cook the ingredients inside of the pot until you manually release the pressure (steam). This method creates a “wait time” in recipes.
All you do for natural release is wait the time shown in the recipe, then release the pressure (if any), and open the lid.
For soups and stews, I prefer the natural release since they need time to simmer. That said, when using grains, it’s important to follow the recipe so they don’t overcook.
When cooking proteins like chicken breasts and vegetables, which can easily overcook, do best on the quick release to stop the cooking time immediately.
Can I use Brown Rice?
Using brown rice or wild rice in this recipe will require a longer cooking time, 12 minutes on HIGH. I’ve added the modified directions in the recipe card notes for you.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?
Yes, you can use rotisserie chicken in this recipe and you’ll have an instant pot chicken and rice soup in under 10 minutes! I’ve added the modified directions in the recipe card notes for you.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken in this Recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken. If using frozen chicken, skip browning it, dice it, and use brown rice. Using white rice with frozen chicken will overcook.
Variations on this Soup Recipe
You can make this turkey and rice soup with shredded roasted turkey from Thanksgiving leftovers and any long-grain rice such as brown rice, wild rice, and Jasmine rice. Additional veggies are welcome and add extra volume and nutrition.
Great ideas would be:
- cubed butternut squash – sauté with the onions, celery, and carrots.
- frozen green peas – add along with the shredded chicken.
- frozen corn – add along with the shredded chicken.
- chopped spinach – add along with the shredded chicken.
Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced*
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ¾ poultry seasoning or dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf, optional
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white rice*
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté and heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces and brown them, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook for 4 minutes or until the veggies have softened.
- Add the seasoning, bay leaf (if using), and stir to combine, while sauteeing for one more minute.
- Pour in the broth, water, and rice. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, seal, and close the release valve. Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once the cycle is finished, do a NATURAL RELEASE for 5 minutes (wait 5 minutes). Then, release the pressure by opening the pressure valve and release the steam away from you.
- Remove the lid, and serve.