A creamy, comforting and filling dinner. This chicken and rice soup, finished with lemon and parmesan, is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. A small amount of rice goes a long way!

A spoonful being taken from a bowl of chicken and rice soup. There is a further bowl of soup and some bread slices in the background.
Want to save this recipe to your email?
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Probably the most Wintery-warming soup going. This soup is lovely and thick and leaves you feeling totally satisfied!

It’s also the first recipe video we’ve shot in our new kitchen!
We moved to Devon back at the end of 2020, and immediately sought planning permission to extend the kitchen and knock through a couple of walls.

It took about 18 months to get the permissions and builders in place, and we were finally able to start using the kitchen in December.
I’m so excited and grateful with how it all turned out. Although the builders did the main building work, Chris installed the kitchen, including painting every single cupboard by hand.
There’re still some bits left to do in the kitchen (I haven’t even finished filling up the cupboards and drawers yet), and we still need to make a start on the pantry, but we couldn’t wait to start using it for filming.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do a little kitchen tour once it’s fully completed. We’ll get it up on our YouTube channel soon.

So, back to the soup:

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for chicken and rice soup on a wooden board
  • Cooked, shredded chicken – you can use breast or thigh meat for this (leftover shredded turkey works equally well)
  • Rice – I use long grain rice for this, but basmati or basmati-wild-rice-mix also work well. If you wanted to use brown rice or pure wild rice, this takes longer to cook (usually 15-20 minutes more) and will require an extra cup (240ml) of stock.
  • Stock – Water plus stock cubes is fine, or you could use homemade stock if you have some to hand.
  • Cream and milk – use full fat for the best taste, ESPECIALLY if you’re intending to freeze any leftovers (low fat dairy has a tendency to split when freezing/reheating).

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP This is a thick, hearty soup. If you wanted it a little thinner, add in more stock or milk towards the end of cooking, to get it to the consistency of your liking.

Overhead image of a light grey bowl filled with chicken and rice soup on a light surface. There is a gold spoon in the soup. There is a further bowl of soup and some slices of bread at the top of the frame.

🍽️ What to serve it with

This soup is pretty filling, so it doesn’t really need bread or side dishes, unless you’re extra hungry. If you are…

Look at how lovely and luscious that is 😋

Close up of a spoonful being taken from a bowl of chicken and rice soup. There is a further bowl of soup and some bread slices in the background.

I’ve included some instructions in the notes section of the recipe card for variations to this recipe – including ingredient swaps, reducing or increasing the quantity, making ahead, freezing and making in the slow cooker.

🍲 More fantastic Soup recipes

Stay updated with new recipes!
Subscribe to the newsletter to hear when I post a new recipe. I’m also on YouTube (new videos every week) and Instagram (behind-the-scenes stories & beautiful food photos).

5 from 9 votes

Chicken and Rice Soup

A creamy, comforting and filling dinner. This chicken and rice soup, finished with lemon and parmesan, is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. A small amount of rice goes a long way!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner, Lunch


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery sliced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain all-purpose flour
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk full-fat or semi-skimmed
  • 1.2 litres (5 cups) hot chicken stock water plus 4 stock cubes is fine
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 105 g (1/2 cup) uncooked long grain rice
  • 250 g (2 cups) leftover cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice juice from approx. half a lemon
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
    2 tbsp olive oil
  • Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pan and fry for 4-5 minutes, until just starting to soften.
    1 onion, 2 sticks of celery, 2 medium carrots
  • Add the flour to the pan and stir together using a whisk to coat the vegetables in the flour.
    2 tbsp plain
  • Pour in the milk, slowly, whilst stirring with the whisk, until the milk is completely mixed in.
    120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • Add the stock and dried thyme and stir again.
    1.2 litres (5 cups) hot chicken stock, 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Add the rice, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes – stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.
    105 g (1/2 cup) uncooked long grain rice
  • Add in the chicken, lemon juice, cream, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
    250 g (2 cups) leftover cooked, shredded chicken, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 80 ml (1/3 cup) double (heavy) cream, 50 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Stir together and heat for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
  • Serve topped with fresh parsley.
    2 tbsp fresh parsley



Can I make it ahead?
You can make it ahead, but the soup will thicken as it cools, and the rice will absorb more liquid, so it will become softer.
  • Make the soup, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat in a pan, over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until piping hot throughout.
  • If you wanted to loosen up the soup, add a splash of stock or water while you’re reheating the soup.
Can I freeze it?
Yes (be sure to use full-fat cream and milk in the recipe, as lower fat versions may split upon defrosting/reheating).
  • Make the soup, then cool, cover and freeze in portions. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat as per the reheating instructions above.
Ingredient swaps
  • Swap out the chicken for turkey
  • Swap out the carrots and celery for other vegetables that can take a long ish (25 minute+) cooking time, without going mushy. Mushrooms, butternut squash, broad beans, brussel sprouts and fresh corn are good options.
  • For more tender veg – add them in closer to the end of the cooking time:
    • Smallish pieces of broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, sweet potato chunks – add them in about 10-15 minutes before the end of cooking.
    • Spinach, kale, frozen peas – add them in about 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
How to scale up and scale down this recipe
You can halve or double this recipe, sticking to the same ingredient ratios.
If doubling, it may take a few minutes longer for everything to come to the boil, but simmering time is the same.
Slow Cooker 
I’ve found that the rice becomes too mushy and claggy when making this in the slow cooker. So if I do make it in the slow cooker, I reduce the amount of stock i’m using to approx 950ml/4 cups), and I add in cooked rice at the end, to just heat it through.
So, for the slow cooker:
  • Make the recipe up to (and including) the point you add the stock (using 950ml/4 cups stock instead of the amount stated in the recipe) and thyme.
  • Then add the shredded chicken (OR you can replace the cooked chicken with raw chicken – using either 2 chicken breasts, 3-4 chicken thighs or 4-6 chicken drumsticks).
  • Cook for 4-5 hours on low.
  • If you used raw chicken, then at this point remove the chicken and shred the meat, then add the meat back in (discarding the bones/skin).
  • Add in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, cream and parmesan PLUS 300g/10.50z/1.75 cups of COOKED long grain rice and heat through for another 10 minutes or so, until piping hot.
Nutritional information is approximate, per serving. This recipe serves 4.


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1663mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5844IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 219mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate the recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Todd Haubrich says:

    5 stars
    The soup was absolutely amazing. I did use all half-and-half.

  2. Sara says:

    5 stars
    So good. Perfect cream of chicken with rice. Only think I added was garlic

  3. Jennifer Schillig says:

    I told you once, I told you twice, any time of year is nice for eating chicken soup with rice!

  4. Erin says:

    5 stars
    Delicious way to use up Thanksgiving turkey! Thank you!

  5. Becca L. says:

    5 stars
    Hi Nicky!
    I made this soup tonight and it was FANTASTIC, omg. I’m always on the lookout for different types of chicken soup, and while I’ve tried other variants with a creamy base, this really takes the cake. (If I didn’t think I’d burst, I’d have just kept eating haha) The subtly of the lemon coming through, with the parm and cream, SO good. The whole thing just came together so well. Thanks so much! <3

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Becca 🙂

  6. Stuart Bruce says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe, very tasty.
    I’ve made it as per recipe and also made it with switching sweetcorn for the celery, either way it’s great.

  7. Teresa says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! A meal in itself!

  8. Jim says:

    5 stars
    Hi Nicky, Chicken rice soup absolutely delicious, didn’t change anyrhing, gave it to my sick grandchidren (just colds) and worked a treat; Thank you – Jim. Something about sick kids and chicken soup.

  9. Stuart B. says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Very easy to follow and very tasty.😋

  10. Teresa says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!!