Do you love easy dishes that hardly take any time to make at all? This delicious instant pot chicken and rice soup will be your recipe! It’s easy to make and feels like a warm hug on a cold day.
Anyone can make this dish; the ingredients are already around your kitchen. If you love comforting food, this will become your go-to dish when the weather turns. Enjoy it with some toast on the side if you like it, too!
For more detailed steps, make sure that you take a look at our step-by-step instructions. We will review everything you need about this delicious recipe in the section below.
What Is Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup?
Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup is a hearty, comforting dish made using the Instant Pot, a multi-functional electric cooker. It combines juicy chicken pieces, fluffy rice, and aromatic vegetables in a savory broth.
The pressure-cooking feature ensures rapid cooking while preserving flavors, resulting in a soup that tastes like it simmered for hours. Perfect for chilly days or when you need a quick, nutritious meal, this soup brings traditional homestyle cooking to the modern table.
History Of Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup
Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup has no distinct historical origin; instead, it’s a modern twist on traditional chicken and rice soup. For centuries, cultures worldwide have enjoyed chicken soups, harnessing available local ingredients.
The introduction of the Instant Pot in the 21st century revolutionized home cooking by significantly reducing cooking times. The dish epitomizes the fusion of tradition with modern convenience combining the age-old comfort of chicken and rice soup with this contemporary gadget.
Interesting Facts About Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup
- Speedy Elegance: The Instant Pot reduces the soup’s cooking time by up to 70% compared to traditional methods.
- Flavor Infusion: Pressure cooking seals in flavors, making the broth richer and more robust.
- Versatility: The recipe can easily adapt to various diets, including gluten-free or keto, by adjusting ingredients.
- Global Touch: Each culture adds its twist; for example, some may include ginger or lemongrass for an Asian flair.
- Nutrient Preserver: Pressure cooking retains more nutrients than boiling or slow cooking.
- Cost-Efficient: Using the Instant Pot saves energy, costing less than simmering soup for hours.
- Consistent Results: Its precision ensures consistently delicious outcomes every time you cook.
What Makes the Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup Special?
There are so many reasons to love this recipe, but we will pick out just a few if you need any more convincing:
- So Easy To Make – You do not need to be skilled in the kitchen to make this dish. Anyone can make it, so you could (and should) get the kids involved so they can learn their way around the kitchen!
- It’s Easily Customizable – You can change the herbs and spices you put in here and even the vegetables you add. Suppose you want to make a vegetarian-friendly alternative. In that case, you can easily add firm tofu or something similar to equally great results.
- Perfect For Those Cold Days – Any soup is delightful on cold days, but there is just something special about this one. Snuggle up with a bowl of this and watch your favorite movie or series!
- It’s A Great Way To Use Leftovers – You can use leftover chicken or turkey in this soup, or even those leftover veggies! It’s a fantastic way to clear out the things you might not know what to do with, and it will still be delicious.
|2 stalks, finely chopped
|1 medium, finely chopped
|2 medium, sliced
|2 pieces (breast or thigh), diced
|3 cloves, minced
|1 teaspoon (dried) or 2 sprigs (fresh)
|1/2 teaspoon (dried) or 1 sprig (fresh)
|1 cup (e.g., Jasmine or Basmati)
|2 tablespoons, finely chopped
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin oil enhances flavor; regular olive oil is better for sautéing at higher temps.
- Celery & Carrots: Opt for fresh and firm veggies; avoid those with blemishes or soft spots.
- Onion: Yellow or white onions offer a sweeter base, while red ones can give a sharper taste.
- Chicken: For juicier results, use thigh meat; breastworks for a leaner option.
- Garlic: Freshly minced provides the best flavor; avoid jarred versions.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs deliver brighter flavors, but dried ones offer convenience.
- Rice: Rinse rice until the water runs clear to reduce starchiness.
- Chicken Broth: Low-sodium broth lets you control the salt content.
- Parsley: Always use fresh parsley; dried lacks the vibrant color and taste for garnishing.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
Certainly! The Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup can be modified to accommodate various dietary needs:
- Keto: Skip the rice. Boost the fats by adding more olive oil or butter. Incorporate low-carb veggies like cauliflower.
- Paleo: Use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. Ensure the chicken broth is paleo-friendly and free from additives.
- Gluten-Free: Most ingredients are naturally gluten-free. Double-check the chicken broth, or make your own.
- Whole30: Stick to compliant chicken broth without additives, sugars, or non-compliant seasonings. Use cauliflower rice.
- Vegetarian: Substitute chicken with tofu or mushrooms. Use vegetable broth.
- Vegan: Replace butter or ghee (if used) with olive oil or vegan butter, along with the vegetarian adjustments.
- Prepare ingredients: chop veggies and dice chicken.
- Set Instant Pot to ‘sauté.’ For the stovetop, heat a pot.
- Add olive oil.
- Sauté celery, carrot, and onion for 2–3 minutes.
- Add chicken; cook for 3–4 minutes to seal.
- Mix in rosemary, thyme, and garlic for a minute.
- Turn off ‘sauté’ if using Instant Pot.
- Rinse rice to reduce starch.
- Add chicken broth and rice; stir.
- For Instant Pot, secure the lid, and set it to ‘sealing.’
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Allow 5 minutes of natural pressure release.
- Turn the valve to ‘venting’; release the remaining pressure.
- Add chopped parsley; mix.
- Adjust seasonings and serve hot.
How Does Long Making Your Own Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup Take?
If you are using an Instant Pot, everything will take maybe 15 minutes – the joys of technology! However, you can expect everything to take twice as long using a stovetop.
However, 30 minutes for such a tasty recipe is nothing to turn your nose up at, so it’s perfectly fine without an instant pot! Many might even prefer the stovetop, so it is entirely up to you.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Asian Flair: Incorporate ginger, lemongrass, and swap rice with jasmine rice.
- Mediterranean Touch: Use orzo instead of rice and add diced tomatoes and olives.
- Proteins: Incorporate beans, lentils, tofu, or shrimp for extra nutrition.
- Veggies: Spinach, kale, peas, or corn can add color and texture.
- Grains: Swap rice for quinoa, barley, or wild rice for a twist.
- Crunch: Top with croutons or toasted sesame seeds.
- Freshness: Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
- Creaminess: Swirl in coconut milk, cream, or a dollop of yogurt.
- Heat: Drizzle with hot sauce or sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
- Herbs: Chopped cilantro, dill, or basil for an aromatic finish.
Scaling The Recipe
- Basic Rule: For most ingredients, multiply or divide quantities based on the desired servings.
- Liquids: Be cautious when scaling broth. Ensure the Instant Pot is within its maximum fill line.
- Cooking Time: When scaling up, cooking time generally remains the same. However, the pot may take longer to come under pressure. Conversely, scaling down usually doesn’t reduce cooking time by a significant margin.
- Aromatics: Adjust garlic, herbs, and spices to taste. Doubling or halving might not always yield optimal flavor.
- Size Restrictions: Ensure your Instant Pot can accommodate the scaled-up version. When scaling down, ensure there’s enough content for even cooking.
- Consistency: If a thicker or thinner consistency is desired, adjust the rice or broth accordingly after initial scaling.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
Garnishes not only elevate the visual appeal of a dish but also enhance its flavor and texture. For this soup:
- Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, or chives add a vibrant touch and aromatic freshness.
- Citrus: A squeeze or zest of lemon or lime can brighten the soup’s flavor.
- Cream: A dollop of sour cream or a swirl of heavy cream for a creamy contrast.
- Heat: Red pepper flakes or a dash of paprika for a hint of warmth.
- Crunch: Toasted sesame seeds, croutons, or crispy fried onions for added texture.
- Cheese: Grated Parmesan or crumbled feta for a savory finish.
Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup In A Slow Cooker?
Certainly! The versatility of the Chicken and Rice Soup recipe allows for adaptation to a slow cooker.
- Technically you could, but it is not necessary. The recipe takes less than half an hour from beginning to end, so it’s not usually worth getting your slow cooker out.
- However, if you would like to use a slow cooker, you absolutely can. You can let the dish cook all day if you like, and it will be delightfully tender and juicy.
- Just be aware that if you leave the vegetables to cook for this long, even on low heat, they could end up a little too soft.
- You will also need time when you add your rice carefully if you use a slow cooker. Overcooked rice is no fun, so be sure to consider everything.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
Both store-bought and homemade broths can be used for Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup, each with its benefits.
- Convenience: Perfect for quick meals without making broth from scratch.
- Variety: Different flavors and dietary options, like low-sodium or organic.
- Consistency: Provides a predictable taste and consistency each time.
- Flavor Control: Allows customization according to personal preferences.
- Nutrition: Typically contains fewer preservatives and additives.
- Cost-effective: It can be made from vegetable scraps or leftover chicken bones.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
Absolutely! The versatility of Chicken and Rice Soup means it’s adaptable to various ingredients:
- Meat: Turkey, pork, or beef chunks can substitute for chicken.
- Fish: Firmer fish like salmon or cod can be added later in the cooking process to prevent overcooking.
- Substitute rice with orzo, macaroni, or egg noodles. Adjust cooking times accordingly, as pasta might cook faster than rice.
- Incorporate leafy greens like spinach or kale.
- Add bell peppers, zucchini, peas, or corn for texture and flavor.
- Mushrooms offer a meaty, umami touch.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
It’s impossible to go wrong with this soup, so we will add a few tips to help level up the dish. These are all super easy to implement and can be a game-changer!
Add In More Vegetables!
- You can do that if you want your soup to be laden with vegetables! Add all our favorite things, from broccoli and mushrooms to peas and sweet potato; it will all work.
- If there are some vegetables you think would work in a dish like this, you can only try them out!
- You might end up with a new soup recipe that’s 100x better than the original because of it.
Use Your Leftovers
- If you have leftover chicken – whether it is rotisserie or anything else, use that for this soup! Turkey will also work nicely with a dish like this, so make sure you make the most of it.
- You could either shred or slice the fowl and add it to the mixture after cooking up the vegetables at the beginning. This is a great way to eliminate leftovers you might have otherwise struggled to use, and the soup will be beyond delicious.
Add Some Cream
- Add some heavy cream into the mix as it simmers, making the soup rich and creamy. This will step it up and turn it into something you cannot get enough of. All you need is about ½ a cup and a spoon to stir it in, and you’re good to go.
Use Homemade Broth
- We have an article dedicated to making your bone broth at home, so why not try it out? Making your bone broth is great as it not only uses the leftover bones you’re stuck with, but you have control over everything in it.
- You can choose how thick or watery it is and what kind of seasoning options get put in there.
- Use homemade broth for dishes like these; you will never be disappointed.
The Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup not only please the palate but also provides an array of essential nutrients. Packed with lean protein from chicken, wholesome carbohydrates from rice, and a medley of vitamins from fresh vegetables, it’s a healthful choice for those seeking both taste and nourishment.
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
Determining the exact calorie count for the Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup requires specifics about each ingredient’s quantity and calorie values. However, there’s a general estimate:
- Chicken: 165 calories per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked breast.
- Rice: 130 calories per 100 grams, cooked.
- Vegetables: Approximately 20-50 calories combined per serving.
- Olive Oil: 120 calories per tablespoon.
Given these approximations, a single serving of the soup might range between 300-500 calories, depending on the amount of each component used.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup
The Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup, in its traditional form, has several dietary considerations:
- Gluten-Free: The basic ingredients—chicken, rice, and vegetables—are naturally gluten-free. Ensure the broth and any added seasonings don’t contain gluten.
- Dairy-Free: The soup doesn’t include dairy unless you choose to add cream or cheese garnishes.
- Nut-Free: It’s inherently nut-free.
- Low-Fat: Opt for chicken breast over thigh for a leaner option.
- Non-Vegetarian: Contains chicken, but can be made vegetarian by substituting with tofu or mushrooms.
- Grains: Contains rice, which might not suit paleo or specific low-carb diets.
Health Benefits Of The Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup
- Immune Boost: Chicken broth is rich in essential minerals and vitamins, often considered helpful for boosting immunity.
- Hydration: The broth helps with hydration, which is especially vital when feeling under the weather.
- Protein: Chicken provides essential proteins necessary for muscle repair and growth.
- Digestion: Rice, a good carbohydrate source, is easy to digest and provides quick energy.
- Nutrient-Rich Veggies: Celery, carrots, and onions supply vitamins, minerals, and fiber, promoting overall health.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Herbs like garlic, rosemary, and thyme possess anti-inflammatory properties.
- Heart Health: Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats beneficial for heart health.
How Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup Lower In Sodium?
Making Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup lower in sodium is quite simple. Here’s how:
- Homemade Broth: Prepare your chicken broth without added salt. This gives you full control over the sodium content.
- Low-Sodium Broth: If using store-bought, opt for a low-sodium or unsalted version.
- Limit Seasonings: Avoid or reduce salt-based seasonings, such as garlic salt or onion salt. Use garlic and onion powder instead.
- Fresh Ingredients: Utilize fresh vegetables rather than canned, as canned veggies often have added salt for preservation.
- Herbs: Enhance the flavor with fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, and parsley, which don’t contribute to sodium.
- Taste: Adjust seasoning at the end, adding just the salt for taste.
How Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup Lower In Sugar?
Making Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup lower in sugar is straightforward, given that the dish isn’t inherently high in sugar, to begin with. Here’s how to ensure minimal sugar content:
- Natural Broth: Opt for homemade or unsweetened store-bought broths. Some commercial broths might have added sugars.
- Avoid Sweet Veggies: While carrots are typical in this soup, limiting them or choosing less sweet varieties can reduce sugar.
- Check Seasonings: Ensure store-bought seasonings or mixes are free from added sugars.
- Fresh Ingredients: Utilize fresh over canned veggies, as some canned versions might contain added sugars.
- Rice Choice: Stick to plain, unflavored rice varieties without added sweeteners.
How To Serve The Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup At Its Best?
Serving the Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup at its finest involves a mix of presentation, temperature, and timing. Here’s how:
- Temperature: Serve the soup hot but not scalding. It should be warm enough to release its fragrant aromas.
- Bowl Selection: Use deep bowls to maintain the soup’s warmth and present a hearty serving.
- Garnish: Sprinkle fresh, chopped parsley, chives, or a grated lemon zest for color and added flavor.
- Accompaniments: Serve with crusty bread, a side salad, or a few slices of lemon for an extra tang.
- Stirring: Give the soup a good stir before serving to ensure an even distribution of ingredients in each bowl.
- Timing: Serve immediately after cooking for the best texture and flavor.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
To enhance the dining experience with Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup, consider these complementary side dishes:
- Crusty Bread: Ideal for dipping and absorbing the rich flavors of the soup.
- Green Salad: A fresh mixed greens salad with a light vinaigrette offers a crisp contrast.
- Grilled Vegetables: Seasonal veggies, grilled to perfection, add both texture and flavor.
- Cheese Platter: Soft cheeses can complement the soup’s warmth, and harder cheeses offer a delightful contrast.
- Steamed Asparagus: Drizzled with a touch of lemon juice, it’s a simple yet elegant side.
- Quinoa Salad: A chilled quinoa salad with herbs offers a refreshing bite.
- Garlic Knots or Breadsticks: For added garlic flavor and a delightful crunch.
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
If you have leftovers, you want to store; you only need to allow the food to cool to room temperature. Transfer the soup to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. There, it should last up to five days.
Try to eat it within the first three days, but it’s fine if you can’t!
To freeze your leftovers, do the same as above, but make sure the container is freezer-safe. It will store for around six months (but be safe indefinitely for as long as it is frozen).
Can I Make The Soup In Advance?
Yes, you can make soup in advance. Here’s how:
- Cooking: Prepare the soup as directed, but consider undercooking rice slightly to prevent mushiness upon reheating.
- Cooling: Once cooked, let it cool to room temperature quickly, ideally within two hours.
- Storing: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Reheating: Warm it on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s hot.
- Serve: Adjust seasonings if needed and garnish afresh.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
Utilizing leftover Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup ensures no waste and offers creative meal variations:
- Chicken Fried Rice: Strain out ingredients, stir-fry with a bit of soy sauce, and scramble in an egg.
- Chicken Salad: Shred the chicken, mix it with veggies, and toss it in a light dressing.
- Chicken Wraps: Use the strained chicken and veggies as a filling, add some cheese or sauce, and roll in a tortilla.
- Chicken Casserole: Layer the soup with mashed potatoes or breadcrumbs, and bake until golden.
- Chicken Quesadillas: Use strained ingredients as a filling between tortillas, grill, and serve with salsa.
- Rice Bowls: Top reheated soup over fresh or leftover rice, garnishing with fresh herbs.
- Soup Remix: Add new veggies or herbs, maybe some noodles, and transform it into a different soup flavor.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
Making Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup requires some specific tools and equipment to streamline the cooking process and enhance the final dish:
- Instant Pot: The star of the show. This multi-cooker combines several kitchen appliances, including a pressure cooker and sauté pot.
- Sharp Knife: Essential for dicing vegetables and cutting the chicken into desired pieces.
- Cutting Board: Preferably two – one for vegetables and another for chicken to avoid cross-contamination.
- Measuring Cups & Spoons: For accurate ingredient portions.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Useful for stirring ingredients while sautéing and ensuring nothing sticks.
- Strainer: Helpful for washing the rice to remove excess starch.
- Ladle: For serving the soup without spillage.
- Airtight Containers: For storing leftovers or making the soup in advance.
This delightful instant pot chicken and rice soup is a real delight and easy to make. The next time you feel like something that will warm your bones, why not try making this dish?
It’s perfect if you only have a little time to prepare and is fantastic for using leftovers. Everyone is going to love this soup!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Adjust The Recipe If I Want To Use Brown Rice Instead Of White Rice?
Brown rice requires a longer cooking time compared to white rice. Therefore, if you’re opting for brown rice, adjust the cooking time in the Instant Pot to 20-25 minutes on high pressure to ensure the rice is thoroughly cooked.
Can Frozen Chicken Be Used Directly In The Instant Pot?
It is feasible to use frozen chicken, but it’s vital to note that the cooking time must be extended. Typically, an additional 5-10 minutes of high pressure will suffice. However, ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving.
What Is The Recommended Rice-To-Liquid Ratio For This Recipe?
In most Instant Pot recipes for chicken and rice soup, a 1:1.5 ratio of rice to liquid is optimal. This ensures the rice cooks fully while maintaining a soup consistency.
Is It Necessary To Use The ‘Sauté’ Function When Beginning The Recipe?
The ‘sauté’ function is advantageous for enhancing the flavors of the vegetables and chicken by browning them slightly before pressure cooking. While it isn’t strictly necessary, it does add depth to the overall taste of the soup.
How Can I Make The Soup Creamier In Texture?
Blend a portion of the cooked soup (avoiding the chicken pieces) and mix it back to achieve a creamier consistency. Alternatively, a small amount of cream or coconut milk can be stirred at the cooking process’s end.
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