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Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

This slow cooker chicken and rice soup is a delightful and comforting dish perfect for those cold winter nights. It's packed with tender chicken, wholesome brown rice, and a medley of vegetables, all slowly simmered to perfection in a flavorful broth. The combination of dried thyme and tarragon gives it a unique, savory flavor that's sure to please.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
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Photos of Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples that you likely already have at home. One ingredient that may not be as common is the Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract. This extract adds a subtle zesty flavor that brightens up the soup and complements the savory elements. You can find this at most supermarkets, specifically in the baking aisle.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken breasts: Lean and easily shredded, they add protein to the soup and absorb the flavors of the broth.

Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract: Added to enhance the flavor of the soup.

Brown rice: A healthy grain that adds a robust, nutty flavor.

Yellow onion: Gives the soup a sweet and tangy flavor.

Carrots: Adds color, texture, and a touch of sweetness.

Celery: Provides a savory crunch and bright flavor.

Garlic: Elevates the taste of the soup with its aromatic flavor.

Kosher salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.

Black pepper: Adds a bit of heat and depth to the soup.

Dried thyme: Infuses the soup with a subtle, earthy flavor.

Dried tarragon: An aromatic herb that adds a slight anise flavor.

Bay leaf: Brings a floral and slightly bitter taste.

Chicken broth: Forms the flavorful base of the soup.

Parsley: Used as a garnish, adds a pop of color and freshness.

One reader, Lavinia Dietrich says:

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This slow cooker chicken and rice soup recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the chicken turns out tender and juicy. It's so convenient to prepare and the aroma is heavenly. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a heartwarming meal.

Lavinia Dietrich

Techniques Required for Making Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

How to cook the chicken: The chicken breasts should be cooked until they are no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. This can be done by boiling, grilling, or baking the chicken breasts.

How to chop the vegetables: The onion, carrots, celery, and garlic should be chopped into small, uniform pieces to ensure even cooking and distribution of flavors in the soup.

How to adjust seasoning: Taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. This step ensures that the flavors are well-balanced and the soup is seasoned to perfection.

How to check rice doneness: If adding the rice after 1 hour of cooking, check the rice for doneness by tasting it. The rice should be tender but still slightly firm to the bite. If it's not done, continue cooking until the desired texture is achieved.

How to shred the chicken: Use two forks to shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pull the forks in opposite directions to create shredded chicken. Alternatively, the chicken can be cut into small pieces with a knife.

How to garnish with parsley: Before serving, finely chop fresh parsley and sprinkle it over the soup as a garnish. This adds a pop of color and a fresh, herbaceous flavor to the dish.

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Made with chicken breasts, brown rice, veggies, and lemon extract, this slow cooker chicken and rice soup is hearty and light with no extra added fat.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 3chicken breasts,boneless, skinless
  • 1tspNielsen-Massey pure lemon extract
  • 1cupbrown rice,uncooked
  • ½yellow onion,chopped
  • 5carrots,chopped
  • 4stalkscelery,chopped
  • 6clovesgarlic,minced
  • 2tspkosher salt
  • ½tspblack pepper
  • 1tspdried thyme
  • 1tspdried tarragon
  • 1bay leaf
  • 10cupschicken broth
  • parsley,for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on Low for 4 hours, or for 3 hours to avoid mushy rice, or add the rice after 1 hour of cooking.

  2. With a fork and knife, shred or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put it back in the soup.

  3. Garnish with parsley.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 334.36kcal
  • Fat: 10.48g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.87g
  • Trans Fat: 0.07g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.50g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.99g
  • Fiber: 2.65g
  • Sugar: 7.23g
  • Protein: 23.85g
  • Cholesterol: 50.76mg
  • Sodium: 987.11mg
  • Calcium: 61.03mg
  • Potassium: 746.76mg
  • Iron: 2.25mg
  • Vitamin A: 361.27µg
  • Vitamin C: 11.25mg

Helpful Technique for Enhancing Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

To ensure your chicken remains tender and juicy in your slow cooker soup, avoid overcooking it. Overcooked chicken can become tough and lose its flavor. Keep an eye on your slow cooker and check the chicken at the minimum cooking time to see if it's done. If not, continue cooking, but check frequently. Remember, slow cookers can vary in temperature and cooking speed.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-cooked chicken: Utilize leftover rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken to cut down on cooking time.

Quick release pressure: If using a pressure cooker, quick release the pressure to reduce the cooking time.

Instant rice: Substitute instant rice for brown rice to significantly reduce the cooking time.

High-pressure cooking: If using a pressure cooker, cook the soup on high pressure to expedite the process.

Pre-cut vegetables: Purchase pre-cut vegetables to minimize prep time and effort.

Multi-task: While the soup is cooking, use the time to prepare other dishes or complete other tasks in the kitchen.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop the vegetables instead of doing it by hand.

Pre-made chicken broth: Use pre-made chicken broth instead of making it from scratch to save time and effort.

One-pot meal: Consider using a single pot for both cooking and serving to minimize cleanup time.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

  • chicken breasts - Substitute with boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are more flavorful and tender when slow-cooked, adding a richer taste and texture to the soup.

  • brown rice - Substitute with wild rice: Wild rice has a nuttier flavor and a chewier texture, which can add a different dimension to the soup.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with white onion: White onions have a slightly milder flavor compared to yellow onions, but they can still provide a good base flavor for the soup.

  • carrots - Substitute with parsnips: Parsnips have a similar texture and sweetness to carrots, making them a suitable alternative in the soup.

  • celery - Substitute with fennel: Fennel has a similar crunchy texture and a hint of licorice flavor, which can add a unique twist to the soup.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder, sweeter flavor compared to garlic, and they can provide a more delicate aroma to the soup.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a vegetarian alternative and still provide a flavorful base for the soup.

  • parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can add a fresh and bright flavor to the soup, complementing the other ingredients.

Presentation Tips for Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the slow cooker chicken and rice soup, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use a wide-rimmed bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish.

  2. Garnish with finesse: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the soup in a deliberate and artistic manner. The vibrant green color will provide a beautiful contrast against the rich, golden broth and add a touch of freshness to the dish.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider serving the soup with a side of artisanal bread or crispy croutons to add a delightful crunch and elevate the overall dining experience.

  4. Emphasize balance: Ensure that the portion sizes are balanced, with just the right amount of chicken, rice, and vegetables in each serving. This attention to detail will impress even the most discerning culinary professionals.

  5. Highlight the aroma: As you present the dish, allow the aromatic steam to waft gently towards the judges, tantalizing their senses and creating an enticing dining experience.

  6. Use high-quality serveware: Opt for elegant, minimalist serveware that complements the rustic charm of the slow cooker chicken and rice soup, allowing the dish to take center stage.

  7. Consider the dining experience: Think about the overall dining experience and how the presentation of the soup will contribute to the judges' enjoyment. Every element, from the plating to the aroma, should enhance the culinary journey.

Essential Tools for Making Chicken and Rice Soup in a Slow Cooker

  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker is an electric countertop cooking appliance that allows for long, slow cooking at low temperatures. It's perfect for simmering soups, stews, and other dishes without needing constant attention.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for cutting and chopping ingredients, such as chicken, vegetables, and herbs, with precision.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing ingredients, protecting your countertops and ensuring safety.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are essential for accurately measuring ingredients like rice, broth, and spices to ensure the perfect balance of flavors in the soup.
  • Slow cooker liner: While optional, a slow cooker liner can make cleanup easier by preventing food from sticking to the slow cooker insert.
  • Fork and knife: These utensils are used for shredding or cutting the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces before adding it back to the soup.
  • Soup ladle: A soup ladle is useful for serving the chicken and rice soup, allowing you to portion it out easily and neatly.
  • Garnishing tool: This can be a simple pair of kitchen shears or a garnishing tool specifically designed for adding a finishing touch, such as parsley, to the soup.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Allow the chicken and rice soup to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag.
  • If using a container, leave about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze the soup, place the container or bag in the freezer and store for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy the frozen soup, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat the soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • If the soup appears too thick after reheating, add a little chicken broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed before serving.

How To Reheat Leftover Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Reheat the chicken and rice soup in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure even reheating without overcooking the rice or chicken.

  • If the soup has thickened in the refrigerator, add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out while reheating. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, as flavors may have intensified during storage.

  • For individual portions, reheat the soup in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to prevent splatters and help retain moisture. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.

  • If you have stored the rice separately from the soup, reheat them separately to avoid overcooking the rice. Reheat the soup until hot, then add the reheated rice to individual serving bowls before ladling the soup over it.

  • For a quick and easy lunch, pack individual portions of the soup in microwave-safe containers. When ready to eat, simply reheat the soup in the microwave at work or school, following the instructions mentioned above.

Interesting Fact About Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and rice soup is a comforting and nutritious dish that can be easily customized with different vegetables and seasonings.

Is Making Chicken and Rice Soup in a Slow Cooker Cost-Effective?

This slow cooker chicken and rice soup recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as chicken breasts, brown rice, vegetables, and herbs, are affordable and readily available. The recipe yields a large batch, making it suitable for multiple meals, and the use of a slow cooker reduces energy costs. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it a budget-friendly option. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Chicken and Rice Soup Healthy?

This slow cooker chicken and rice soup recipe is a nutritious and wholesome meal that offers several health benefits. The combination of lean chicken breast, brown rice, and an abundance of vegetables provides a balanced mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. The use of herbs and spices like thyme, tarragon, and garlic adds depth of flavor without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy additives.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to maximize its nutritional value:

  • Consider using skinless chicken breasts to reduce the overall fat content of the dish
  • Opt for low-sodium chicken broth to control the amount of salt in the recipe
  • Increase the variety of vegetables by adding nutrient-dense options like spinach, kale, or mushrooms
  • Experiment with different whole grains, such as quinoa or wild rice, to boost the fiber content and provide a wider range of nutrients
  • Incorporate fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro not only for garnish but also for their unique health properties and vibrant flavors

By making these simple adjustments, you can elevate the nutritional profile of this already healthy slow cooker chicken and rice soup. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility – you can easily adapt it to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs while still enjoying a comforting and satisfying meal that nourishes both body and soul.

Editor's Opinion on This Slow Cooker Soup Recipe

This slow cooker chicken and rice soup recipe is a comforting and hearty dish. The combination of chicken, rice, and aromatic herbs creates a flavorful and satisfying soup. The use of lemon extract adds a refreshing citrus note, balancing the richness of the broth. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a delicious and nourishing meal. However, I would recommend adding the rice after an hour of cooking to prevent it from becoming mushy. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful option for a cozy and wholesome meal.

Enhance Your Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful medley of roasted vegetables, including carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini, seasoned with herbs and olive oil.
Garlic Bread: Warm and crispy garlic bread, brushed with garlic-infused butter and sprinkled with parsley for a pop of color.

Similar Recipes to Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy texture will warm your soul.
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli: This garlic parmesan roasted broccoli is a delicious and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course. The crispy texture and savory flavor will have you coming back for more.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This mango coconut chia pudding is a refreshing and nutritious dessert option. The sweet mango, creamy coconut, and chewy chia seeds create a delightful treat for any time of day.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Chicken and Rice Soup

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delectable appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a savory mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Whip up a batch of crispy zucchini fritters for a light and flavorful appetizer. Serve with a side of tangy dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This decadent dessert is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender baked apples and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful treat.

Why trust this Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a hearty and flavorful meal with chicken breasts and brown rice, providing a wholesome and satisfying dish. The use of Nielsen-Massey pure lemon extract adds a zesty and refreshing flavor, enhancing the overall taste. The combination of carrots, celery, and onion infuses the soup with a rich and aromatic base. Additionally, the slow cooking process allows the thyme and tarragon to fully develop their flavors, resulting in a comforting and nourishing chicken and rice soup. Trust in this recipe for a delightful and fulfilling dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make it even better!
FAQ:
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Yes, you can absolutely use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Thighs will add a richer flavor to the soup, but be sure to remove the skin to keep the soup lean.
Can I use white rice instead of brown rice?
Yes, you can use white rice instead of brown rice. Just keep in mind that white rice cooks faster than brown rice, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I add other vegetables to the soup?
Of course! Feel free to add other vegetables like peas, spinach, or bell peppers to customize the soup to your liking.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers. Just make sure to cool the soup completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs?
Absolutely! Using fresh herbs will add a vibrant flavor to the soup. Just keep in mind that the ratio of fresh to dried herbs is typically 3:1, so adjust accordingly.

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