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Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Easy and gluten-free)

creamy-slow-cooker-chicken-and-wild-rice-soup-(easy-and-gluten-free)

We can’t get enough of this creamy Crockpot Wild Rice Soup made with tender bits of chicken, nutty wild rice, and a creamy broth. And we know you’ll love it too. Everything goes right into the slow cooker so total prep time is less than 15 minutes. The slow cooker does the rest!

Overhead view creamy chicken wild rice soup in a bowl with gold cutlery.

Comfort food for the win

A big bowl of this creamy chicken and wild rice soup with a hunk of crusty bread is the perfect meal when you want a meal that’s hearty and comforting yet low-fuss. We start with the usual soup vegetable suspects, carrot, onions, garlic, and celery, then add whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mushrooms, wild rice, chicken broth, and dried herbs. The magic is not only in the flavor but in the ease of preparation – no satuéeing needed – just toss it all in and let the crockpot do the work.

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Overhead view all ingredients for slow cooker chicken wild rice soup arranged together in small bowls.

Ingredients to Make this creamy Crockpot wild rice soup recipe

  • Chicken breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are also delicious and can be used either in combination with or in place of chicken breasts
  • Chicken brothPackaged chicken broth is convenient and easy to use. However, if you want a richer, more complex broth, try our Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe to make your own healthy, economical version at home.
  • Wild rice – According to The Spruce Eats, wild rice is a semi-aquatic grass with an edible grain that grows naturally in waterways grows all over North America. This native grain can be found in abundance in the Great Lakes region and can be found from supermarkets to roadside stands all over the upper Midwest. It’s long black grains have a chewy texture when cooked and a pleasant, nutty flavor.
  • Mushrooms – White button, cremini or baby bella mushrooms all work well in this creamy crockpot chicken soup with wild rice.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried sage or poultry seasoning
  • Dried Bay leaves
  • Half and half – For a dairy-free option, substitute your favorite plain, unsweetened non-dairy creamer or full-fat coconut milk
  • Cornstarch – This ingredient is optional and used for thickening in when preparing this soup in the Instant Pot (see recipe card for full directions)
  • Fresh parsley – For optional garnish

Ingredients list with exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Nutrition Spotlight: Wild Rice

Wild rice packs an impressive amount of plant-based protein (4 grams per 3 ounce serving) and minerals such as manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Cooked wild rice is pleasantly chewy and has a pleasing, nutty flavor making it a great addition to soups and casseroles.

Set it and forget it – Dinner will be waiting for you

You’ll love that this recipe can be made in either the slow cooker or the Instant Pot to give you options. Slow cookers are great for those days when you have time to prep the ingredients either the morning of or the day before. While the Instant Pot shines on those days you didn’t plan ahead.

When cooked on low, you really can’t overcook this Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, but if you do have a programmable slow cooker that automatically switches the temp to “warm” when the cooking time is up, we’d recommend using that feature.

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Overhead view black crockpot filled with all ingredients for chicken wild rice soup.
Cream being poured into a black crockpot filled with creamy chicken wild rice soup.

Simple Directions for Making creamy Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This wild rice soup recipe is surprisingly simple to prepare and even easier to enjoy!

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the bottom of a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker along with the broth, uncooked wild rice, onions, carrots, mushrooms, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, and bay leaves.
  2. Stir to combine then place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, and the rice and vegetables are tender, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker.
  4. Next, add the half and half to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook an additional 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soup is warmed through. Serve with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.

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Want to make this creamy wild rice soup in the Instant Pot?

No problem! We’ve got directions for that. One of the benefits of using an Instant Pot to make this chicken and wild rice soup is that you can use the ‘Sauté’ function to thicken the soup with a bit of cornstarch. Slow cookers don’t get hot enough to be able to thicken soups with starch or flour but the Instant Pot does so if you prefer a thicker, creamier soup, consider using the Instant Pot for this recipe (either the pressure cooker or slow cooker feature will get the job done!). Full Instant Pot directions can be found in the recipe card below.

A ladle filled with creamy chicken wild rice soup

Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can other types of rice be used in this recipe? While it’s tempting to swap the wild rice for white, brown, a wild rice blend, or even black rice, we do not recommend it. Wild rice is incredibly unique not only in taste but texture. Other types of rice will become too soft and soak up too much liquid making this soup more of a starchy casserole than a soup. For that reason, we only recommend using wild rice in this chicken and wild rice soup recipe.
  • Can this wild rice soup recipe be made dairy-free? Absolutely! Simply substitute the half and half with an equal amount of plain, unsweetened non-dairy creamer or full-fat coconut milk.
    • Will it have a coconutty flavor if I use coconut milk to make this soup dairy-free? It will have a light coconut flavor but it’s still delicious.
  • Can I use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken to make creamy crockpot chicken and wild rice soup? While the recipe calls for raw chicken breast, if you happen to have leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken this soup is a great way to use it. Simply add the cooked chicken to the slow cooker or Instant Pot at the same time you add the half and half.
Two hands holding a bowl filled with creamy chicken wild rice soup, sprinkled with black pepper and fresh herbs.

How To Reheat Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

To reheat on the Stovetop (Recommended method): Remove the container of soup from the freezer the one day (or the night) before and place it in the refrigerator to partially thaw. To reheat, transfer the soup to a pot large enough to fit the desired amount of soup and warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot or soup registers 165℉ on an instant read thermometer.

To reheat in the Instant Pot from frozen: Place the frozen block of soup in the Instant Pot. You may need to let the container sit in warm water to loosen up the frozen block of soup in order to remove it. Set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 5 minutes. Then, release the pressure using the quick-release option.

Close up overhead view creamy chicken wild rice soup in a bowl topped with fresh herbs and black pepper.

More Slow Cooker Soups To Make

All Slow Cooker Recipes

Bowl filled with chicken wild rice soup topped with fresh herbs and black pepper.

Recipe

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

We’ve lightened up the classic creamy chicken and wild rice soup while keeping it full of flavor and even give a dairy-free option so that everyone can enjoy a hearty and satisfying  bowl.

Prep: 15 mins.Cook: 8 hoursTotal: 8 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, raw
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • 78 cups chicken broth (packaged or homemade), use less for thicker soup
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups)
  • 34 carrots, peeled and diced (1 ½ cups) 
  • 23 medium celery stalks, diced (~¾ – 1 cup) 
  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between your fingers
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼½ teaspoon dried sage or poultry seasoning
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 8 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 cups half and half (may use unsweetened plain non-dairy creamer or full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional for thickening in Instant Pot)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the broth (use 7 cups for thicker soup), wild rice, mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, sage, and bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours). 
  4. When the chicken is cooked and shreds easily, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a clean plate and shred using two forks. Add chicken back to the slow cooker and stir.
  5. Stir in the half and half. 
  6. Cover and heat until warmed, an additional 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breast, broth, wild rice, mushroom, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaves and mushrooms in the Instant Pot.
  2. Lock the lid into place. Turn the vent valve to the ‘Sealing’ position.
  3. Select ‘Manual’ or ‘High Pressure’ setting and set cook time to 15 minutes.
  4. When the cook time is up, release the pressure using the quick-release method (i.e. flip the vent valve to the ‘Venting’ position).
  5. When all of the pressure is released and lid unlocks, remove the chicken to a clean plate and shred with two forks. Set aside.
  6. Replace the lid on the Instant Pot and cook an additional 10 minutes, allowing for 5 minutes of natural pressure release. 
  7. Stir in the half and half.
  8. Add the shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot and stir.
  9. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
  10. Optional step for Instant Pot: If you prefer even thicker soup, remove ¼ cup of the liquid in the Instant Pot to a small bowl. Whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the liquid to create a slurry. Set the Instant Pot to the Saute function until the liquid starts to simmer. Stir in the cornstarch slurry into the soup and stir until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: ⅛ of repipe (~1 ½ cups)
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 23 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 6 g)
  • Protein: 24 g

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

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Overhead view creamy chicken wild rice soup in a bowl topped with fresh herbs and black pepper.

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Jessica Beacom

Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and camping out under the stars.

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