Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup is SO delicious and comforting, you’ll want to curl up with a big bowl all Winter long! Loaded with tender chicken, tons of veggies, and plenty of rice, this soup is total comfort food. To make this recipe extra quick and easy, skip roasting the chicken and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead!
Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
Somewhere between NYE and our mini NYC vacation, I caught a cold. But not just any cold!!! It’s one of those nasty colds that just won’t quit. So I’m taking my moms advice and dealing with it the old-fashioned way: plenty of sleep and plenty of soup! Thankfully, soup and sleep are two of my love languages. So the cure is actually quite pleasant!
I typically make chicken noodle soup when I’m under the weather, but we are out of noodles and I’m in no shape to run to the grocery! So I decided to make a lemony chicken and rice soup instead. I used white rice, but I think brown rice or even wild rice would work fine!
What you need to make Chicken and Rice Soup
- Olive Oil: I prefer using a mild olive oil, so the flavor isn’t too overpowering.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Just a dash adds a nice peppery flavor without making this soup “spicy”. May be omitted!
- Onion: Yellow or White will work!
- Carrots: 3 large ones!
- Celery: You’ll need to stalks for this soup!
- Garlic: 5 cloves make this soup nice and flavorful.
- Salt and Pepper: To season!
- Chicken Stock: For an added health boost, use chicken bone broth! We used half chicken bone broth and half regular chicken broth the last time we made this. So you can definitely mess around here.
- Bay Leaves: Add flavor while the soup simmers. Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving and storing the soup.
- Chicken Breasts: Or chicken thighs! Or, you can use a store-bought chicken. If you’re roasting the chicken, you’ll want to let it slightly cool, then shred it with two forks (or your fingers).
- Garlic Powder: To season the chicken breasts! Adds a nice garlicky flavor.
- Lemon Juice: You’ll need about 3 to 4 nice and heavy lemons! You’ll use the juice for the chicken breasts and the chicken soup.
- Rice: COOKED RICE!!!! Sorry to scream. But you must cook your rice before adding it to the broth. If you add rice into the broth and cook it in the soup, it will soak up all of your precious broth and you’ll be left with chicken and rice mush.
- Dill: My favorite ingredient! It adds such a bright flavor the soup. And pairs delightfully with the lemon!
- Parmesan Cheese: My SECOND favorite ingredient. Stirring this into the soup makes it super flavorful and just slightly creamy. But with no cream! Don’t skip this!
How to make Chicken and Rice Soup
- In a large pot over medium heat, saute olive oil with pepper flakes, onion, carrots, and celery. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in the chicken broth. Add bay leaves.
- Increase to medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, roast the chicken and prepare your cooked rice.
- Stir the shredded chicken and cooked rice into the broth. Stir in the fresh dill and lemon juice. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and serve warm! Preferably with crusty bread for dipping!
More Comforting Soup Recipes:
- Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Blackened Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup
- Italian Minestrone Soup
- Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup
If you try this recipe for Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day.
Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup
For the Lemon Chicken:
- 1 and 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Rice:
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Water (check your package instructions to see how much water is called for)
For the Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 cups chicken stock (or chicken bone broth)
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
For the Lemon Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees(F). In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper; whisk well to combine.
- Place chicken breast in a small baking dish and drizzle with marinade, toss well to ensure both sides are well coated.
- Place in the oven and bake for 28 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, flipping at the halfway point.
- Cool slightly, then - using two forks or your hands - shred the chicken into small chunks. Set aside.
For the Rice:
- Cook rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff and remove from heat. Set aside until needed.
For the Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup:
- Heat oil in a large soup pot over a medium-heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant. Add in salt and pepper and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and water. Then toss in the bay leaves.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Stir in cooked chicken and rice and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, dill, and Parmesan cheese. Taste soup and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Remove from heat and serve at once! Soup will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days! If it becomes too thick, add a little chicken broth or water.
Maria Fernandez says
It would be really nice if we could the pressure cooker version of this recipe. It would be 100x easier, perhaps you may consider incorporating optional cooking methods in your recipes for us pressure cooker fans 😉
I was thinking the same thing!
Jordan G says
I made this soup tonight and it was great! I had to add about 24 oz more (low sodium) chicken broth after I added the rice and chicken since mine was too thick, but it turned out delicious! Thank you for the great recipe, I will definitely make it again. 🙂
I’m not a fan of dill but this soup tastes so fresh and delicious; it’s keeper.
Ginny Flowers says
The lemon and dill give an interesting twist to an all-time standard. I made this today and really really enjoyed it. I did find it a little thick and like one other person added a little extra chicken broth. But other than that it was spot on. I will definitely be making this again.
Jane L. says
I made this for the first time yesterday, and it is awesomely delicious! It smelled so wonderful while cooking that my family was circling the kitchen waiting for it to be ready to eat…LOL. Hence, I forgot to take a picture. I will try next time, because there will definitely be a next time!
Wonderful recipe……love the dill and lemon combination with the chicken and vegetable. My family loved it! I used a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken which was convenient and added a great flavor as well!
So yummy! It has the best bright flavor isn’t the lemon and dill. Will be making again for sure.
So glad you enjoyed it, Lindsey!
One of the best soups I have ever made! Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
One of the best soups i drank.
This soup is delicious! It’s very labor intensive in my opinion, but I’m a single woman so this set me up with lunch and dinner for the next 4-5 days.
Like other commenters, I also added more broth. I used two quarts of chicken bone broth and 1.5 cups of water. The lemon and dill are fantastic flavors. This is a million times better than what you can find in a store.
How many calories are in this soup?
Just made it tonight but with a rotisserie chicken. Absolutely amazing soup!!!
Hi Molly, the recipe, as written above, is about 350 cals per serving.
I made this soup today and it turned out delicious! I loved the lemony taste! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!
Christine K. says
My husband really dislikes chicken soup. I told him someone commented its the best chicken soup they’ve had. He was incredibly skeptical but tried a bowl anyways. One bowl led to two, then three, and ultimately four! He said whoever said this is the best chicken soup was right! I think the lemon and dill add a punch of flavor and I’d definitely make this again.
Very delicious! I had to improvise a bit as I didn’t have celery or dill and didn’t have time to run to the grocery store. I did have dried dill however, but will try fresh dill next time as it sounds like it will definitely enhance the flavor. I added the marinade from the chicken to the soup since it tasted so good. I will definitely make this again!
I made the chicken & noodle and loved it…especially the lemon….filling & fresh. I plan to make this soup but I’d like to know….how well does it freeze ? Thanks, L x
Pamela Nickerson says
This has become a family favorite! It is really good with cauliflower rice or quinoa too! Thank you for sharing!
Laura B says
This soup is amazing! I thought we would have leftovers but my family ate it all up. I did not find this labor intensive but I also had cooked chicken on hand. Thank you for the recipe!
I always shy away from rice in soup although it’s my favourite. How do you keep it from absorbing all the broth? Could I add rice per bowl?
Betty Struble says
I have made this soup two or three times now very delicious! The lemon just gives it such a good flavor! Definitely a keeper if my husband and kids will eat it! Thanks so much!
One question, can this soup be put in freezer? Would like to keep it as it doesn’t all get eaten in time.
Ashley Manila says
Hi Betty! If you’re going to freeze, I would suggest doing it without the rice, then cooking rice and adding when ready to serve!
Holy shiiiiii this was amazing! It yields so much, its so easy and completely forgiving. Yum!!! This is now a staple. Well done!!!!!
This recipe is truly AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for sharing this. I followed every direction for each step and it turned out perfectly. I added brown rice (did not have long grain rice) and I added fresh spinach leaves at the end. Cant wait for leftovers!
Stewart Coote says
I am wondering if this could be done in a crock pot? Would you need to make any alterations?
Second time I’ve made this soup and it’s so delicious! Easy to make too.
Love this recipe. I’ve made it twice this month. I followed the recipe but used rotisserie chicken both times out of laziness. I highly recommend it.
Can’t wait to try this! If we use a store bought chicken do I still season it with the marinade?
Sarah Grace says
This recipe has become a staple of mine! It is always a hit with my family and boyfriend. The dill is truly the star of the show. I use a blend of brown and wild rice instead of white and it’s delicious! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
Loved it. Used 32 ozs of beef stock. It’s what I had chicken thighs. Same amount of veggies . Added 1 can of green beans and more rice. We like it thicker!! Will definitely make again.♥️ Also did not use dill. I’m not a fan of dill.
Angela Stone says
This was heavenly! So simple and was exactly what I was craving. Healthy and nourishing, and plenty leftover for lunch the next day. Will be making this all season long!
Ashley Manila says
Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed this recipe 🙂
Delicious and comforting! The touch of lemon was amazing.
Made this tonight and it was absolutely amazing! It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted in a healing chicken soup!!
This soup is always a hit, to simplify it I will purchase a rotisserie chicken, use bone broth from the freezer and my meal prep pre-cooked rice. Comes together so quick, on occasion if I plan ahead I will purchase the chopped veggie mix(carrot’s, celery and onions) at Trader Joes and it comes together quickly and simmer long enough for the flavors to marinate with each other.
Paul M says
Excellent. I used 2 tbsp of dried dill, which to me was just about right.
Maribeth Giery Ulf says
If I am roasting a whole chicken and shredding it, can I just add splash of lemon juice into soup while im putting it all together?