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Chicken and Rice Soup

Fresh dill and lots of lemon juice bring brightness and vibrancy to this classic, easy, healthy chicken and rice soup recipe.


Chicken and rice soup with carrots, spinach, dill and lemon

Is It Spring Yet?

No? OK, then. Time to make chicken and rice soup! When the endless Pacific Northwest rain gets us down, we fight back with this cozy, healthy chicken and rice soup. In a rather genius move (if we may so say) we simmer the chicken breasts whole in the chicken soup base, making your prep work super-minimal. Get this chicken rice soup simmering on the stove and sit back while your windows steam up and your whole house fills with the soothing scent of homemade chicken soup. And if you want more chicken soup inspo, check out our easy Chicken Noodle Soup.

ingredients laid out for chicken and rice soup. Lemon, dill, carrots, celery, spinach and onion.

Our Secret Chicken Rice Soup Ingredient? A Lot of Lemon!

People who watch their salt intake, take note! Did you know that adding lemon juice—or anything with high acidity, like lime juice or even vinegar—acts as an overall flavor enhancer, similar to salt? Not that you have to forgo salt to enjoy the flavor-boosting power of a little lemon juice. Or, in this case, a full ¼ cup lemon juice, which probably qualifies as a lot of lemon juice! Especially when paired with fresh dill—the other ingredient that gives this chicken rice soup a little bit of a bright zing—lemon juice brings this simple soup to life.

garlic and onion sautéed in a pot
two raw chicken breast and rice added to a pot of chicken stock with onion and garlic.
shredded chicken, carrots, dill, celery in a pot of chicken and rice soup.
spinach being added to a soup pot with chicken and rice soup

Chicken and Rice Soup—Healthy, Easy, Fast.

We bet you either have all of these ingredients at home already, or can grab it all in a quick run to your favorite grocery store. Nothing too fancy here—just a bunch of easy, tasty, familiar chicken soup fixings. In addition to salt, pepper and oil, you’ll need:

  • Garlic & onion
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken breast
  • Long-grain white rice.
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fresh dill.
  • Fresh spinach.
  • Lemons.
Chicken and rice soup with carrots, spinach, dill and lemon

How To Make Chicken Soup With Rice.

Yeah, you could open a can and have chicken soup in five minutes. But if you have a few extra minutes to spare at the stove, you could have homemade chicken rice soup, which isn’t just healthier (by a long shot) but is also, always, way more delicious. Here’s how to make chicken rice soup from scratch:

  1. Sauté the onion. When it's fragrant and translucent, toss in the fresh garlic.
  2. Add the chicken breasts (yep, add them whole!) and rice, then pour the chicken broth and water over all of it and bring it to a rolling boil!
  3. When the chicken breasts are cooked through, pull them out—this is a good job for kitchen tongs—and use two forks to shred the chicken into pieces. (Use forks because the chicken will be hot!). You can just let the rest of the soup continue to simmer while you do this.
  4. Add the chicken pieces, along with carrots, celery, salt, pepper and dill and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the fresh spinach and lemon juice. When the spinach has wilted, the soup is done!
Chicken and rice soup with carrots, spinach, dill and lemon in a bowl

Tools You’ll Need

4 More Easy, Healthy Chicken Soup Recipes

Ditch the canned stuff for good. Who needs all of those unpronounceables, anyway, when homemade chicken soup is so easy and quick? These four soup recipes are just as fast and delicious as this chicken and rice version:

Chicken and rice soup with carrots, spinach, dill and lemon

Happy Once, Happy Twice, Happy Chicken Soup With Rice

There’s a reason that Maurice Sendack wrote an entire book about chicken soup with rice—there’s just nothing quite as purely comforting as a big bowl of homemade soup. Let us know how yours turns out! Snap a photo of your chicken soup and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 356


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced, about 2 cups
  • 4 celery ribs, diced about 2 cups
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup lemon juice


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about three minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, and sauté for two minutes longer.
  4. Add the broth, water, raw chicken breasts and rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken, shred it with 2 forks and place it back in the pot along with carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and fresh dill.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for 3 more minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories356
  • Protein39 g
  • Carbohydrates36 g
  • Total Fat10 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol97 mg
  • sodium430 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Chicken and Rice Soup

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Jess

    If I use cauliflower rice instead, how would the calories per serve be affected?

    I'm not sure exactly. You'll have to run the recipe through nutrition calculator.

  • Stacey

    Can we use precooked chicken roasters instead of chicken breasts?

    Sure! Just go ahead and add it in step 5 with the veggies since the chicken won't need to be cooked. Hope you enjoy!

  • Laura

    Should I leave the lid on while the chicken and rice are simmering?

    No need to cover. Hope you enjoy Laura!

  • Jane

    Does this recipe work well if you use brown rice? It almost looks creamy from the rice. I love the Lundberg short grain brown rice. It takes longer to cook so I thought I could pre-cook it and add it add it at the end or let it simmer longer after removing the chicken to shred.

    We haven't tried it, but I think your idea would work nicely.

  • SF

    Delicious! I used beet greens instead of spinach, and 1/2 cup of long grain brown rice, which took a few minutes longer to cook. This can be tailored to your liking with other herbs as well.
    A definite keeper!

    Thanks, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Rebecca

    Great soup! We prefer thin noodles to rice and make that substitution. The lemon juice adds a nice bite to the soup. Perfect with some fresh bread or rolls!

    Thanks Rebecca, glad you loved it!

  • Melissa

    Thanks for this recipe! It’s a good one for meal prep.

    Thanks Melissa! Glad you love it!

  • Ashley

    Weekly staple! Alterations I prefer: 8 cups of broth and 2 cups of water (2 boxes of stock = 8 cups), 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/8 cup of lemon juice

    Thanks Ashley, we are so happy to hear it's a staple! YAY!

  • Dina

    This soup is good if you are sick. I just made it a few weeks ago and it was perfect for the snowy weather too. I added a little too much rice. Next time I’ll only use a 1/2 cup.

    Thanks Dina! We are so happy you enjoyed it!