Minnesota Wild Rice Soup Recipe (Nutty And Chewy)

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Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of the North Star State with our Minnesota Wild Rice Soup Recipe, a hearty embrace of local flavors and comforting warmth. Navigate the rustic dance of wild rice, tender vegetables, and savory broth, each step weaving a tapestry of taste unique to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Rich, creamy, and brimming with tradition, this soup is a love letter to Minnesota’s culinary heritage. Dive in, savor the wholesome goodness, and discover the soul of the Midwest in every bite!

Experience the heart of the Midwest with a bowl of minnesota wild rice soup recipe, steeped in tradition and bursting with flavors. This culinary marvel, brimming with native wild rice, creates an aroma that lures the senses into a delightful trance. 

minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Its creamy consistency, subtly punctuated by a selection of local vegetables, whispers tales of Minnesota’s rich cultural heritage. A spoonful explores texture and taste, a testament to the region’s bounty. Savor each bite as you immerse yourself in the warmth of Minnesota’s most beloved dish. This isn’t just soup; it’s a journey you’ll want to embark on time and again.

What Is Minnesota Wild Rice Soup?

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup is a traditional dish from the Midwestern United States, particularly from Minnesota. The plate is centered around wild rice, native to the region’s lakes and waterways and known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture.

The soup typically begins with a base of sautéed onions, carrots, and celery, to which chicken or vegetable broth is added, along with cooked wild rice. The dish often includes chunks of chicken or turkey, but vegetarian versions are also common.

The soup is usually finished with cream or milk, making it rich and hearty. Seasonings can include bay leaves, thyme, and parsley, and a splash of sherry or white wine is sometimes added for depth of flavor.

minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Protein Variations: If you prefer something other than chicken or turkey, try using ham, smoked sausage, or even seafood like shrimp. You could use lentils or mushrooms for a vegetarian version, which will still provide a vital element to the soup.
  • Vegetable Additions: Add other vegetables for more color, texture, and nutrition. For instance, diced bell peppers, peas, or corn would be tasty additions.
  • Grains: While wild rice is traditional, you can experiment with other grains like brown rice, barley, or farro. Each will lend a slightly different texture and flavor.
  • Dairy Alternatives: If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, you can substitute the cream with unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free alternatives. To get a creamy texture without Dairy, you can also puree some cooked cauliflower or white beans and add it to the soup.
  • Spices: Play around with the spices for different flavor profiles. For instance, adding a pinch of smoked paprika can give the soup a subtly smoky flavor.
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add the minced onion, diced celery, and garlic to the pot—Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
  • Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir well to coat them. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Gradually pour in the vegetable broth while stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the soup thickens slightly.
  • Add the cooked wild rice, grated carrot, sliced almonds, and red pepper flakes (if desired) to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Optional step: If you prefer a creamier soup, pour in the half-and-half and stir until it is fully incorporated into the mixture.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper according to your taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Simmer the soup for 10-15 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the wild rice soup hot, and enjoy!
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings


  • Vegan: Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and omit the meat. Use coconut milk or a plant-based cream alternative to achieve a creamy texture.
  • Seafood: Replace the chicken or turkey with seafood like shrimp or crab for a coastal twist on this Midwestern dish.
  • Harvest Vegetable: Add seasonal vegetables such as butternut squash or sweet potatoes for a hearty, autumn-inspired version.
  • Mushroom: Add wild mushrooms with or in place of the meat for an earthy, rich flavor.


  • Smoked Ham: Add diced smoked ham for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Green Chilies: For a bit of heat, add some chopped green chilies to the soup.
  • Beans: White beans or chickpeas can be added for extra protein, especially in vegetarian versions.
  • Grains: Mix some cooked quinoa or farro for additional texture and nutrients.


  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, dill, or chives can be sprinkled on top for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Toasted Nuts: For added crunch, sprinkle some toasted almonds or pecans.
  • Cheese: A bit of grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar can add a lovely flavor.
  • Crispy Bacon: Crumbled crispy bacon on top adds a salty, smoky element that’s hard to resist.
  • Bread Croutons: Homemade croutons can add a delightful crunch to each bite.
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • Sauté your onions, celery, and carrots in a skillet until softened before adding them to the slow cooker to intensify their flavor.
  • Add the wild rice, diced chicken or turkey (if using), and seasonings.
  • Pour in your chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • In the last half-hour of cooking, stir in the cream or milk to make it creamy.
  • Garnish as desired before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté function, cook your onions, celery, and carrots until softened.
  • Add the wild rice, diced chicken or turkey (if using), seasonings, and broth.
  • Close the lid and seal the vent. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 30 minutes. Once the cooking time is over, let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes before quickly releasing any remaining tension.
  • Stir in the cream or milk, then use the sauté function again to heat the soup until it’s hot and slightly thickened.
  • Garnish as desired before serving.
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

  • Store-Bought Broth: This is a convenient option, especially when you’re short on time. It’s readily available in various forms, such as liquid, cubes, or powder. When selecting a store-bought broth, aim for a low-sodium version. This allows you to control the salt content of your soup. Also, ensure it doesn’t contain any ingredients you may be trying to avoid, such as MSG or certain preservatives.
  • Homemade Broth: Making your broth can be more time-consuming, but it gives you complete control over the ingredients and flavor. Homemade broths often have a depth of flavor that’s hard to match with store-bought versions. You can make a large batch and freeze it in portions for future use.
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

How To Serve ?

  • Temperature: This soup is best served hot, allowing all the flavors to emerge fully. Warm your bowls before serving to keep the soup hot longer.
  • Garnishes: Garnishes not only add to the flavor but also the visual appeal of the soup. A sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs such as parsley or chives can provide color contrast and added flavor. A swirl of cream or a few drops of good-quality olive oil can create an appealing presentation and enhance the taste. A sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds can add a nice crunch and accentuate the nutty flavor of the wild rice.
  • Accompanying Dishes: A slice of crusty bread, a side salad, or a sandwich accompanies this soup. Choose something that complements the flavors in the soup without overshadowing them.
  • Presentation: Serve your soup in a clean, wide-rimmed bowl that allows the colorful ingredients to be visible. If you’re serving for a special occasion, consider using soup plates and doing the soup at the table for a touch of elegance.
  • Portion Size: The soup’s richness can make it quite filling, so be mindful not to overdo the portions, especially if you’re serving it as a starter or part of a multi-course meal.
minnesota wild rice soup recipe

Perfect Side Dishes  

  • Crusty Bread or Rolls: These can be used to scoop up every last bit of the delicious soup. A loaf of sourdough or a French baguette would be perfect.
  • Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can provide a fresh, crisp contrast to the rich, creamy soup.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Pair your soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for a classic comfort food combination.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Root vegetables roasted with herbs can add a nice earthy contrast to the soup.
  • Fruit Salad: A light fruit salad can serve as a refreshing palate cleanser, particularly if you do the soup as a starter for a larger meal.
soup recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store leftover Minnesota Wild Rice Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
  • Make Ahead: To make this soup ahead of time, prepare the soup as directed but do not add the cream. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop, then stir in the cream and heat until warmed through. Adjust seasoning as needed before serving.
 soup recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Reheat and Eat: The simplest way to use leftovers is to reheat the soup for a quick and easy meal. The flavors will continue to meld and deepen, making the soup even more delicious the next day.
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole: Shred some cooked chicken and mix it into your leftover soup. Place this mixture in a baking dish, top with some shredded cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake until golden and bubbly for a quick and hearty casserole.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Use your leftover soup as a stuffing for bell peppers. Top with cheese and bake until the peppers are tender, and the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
  • Rice Cakes: If your soup is particularly thick with rice and vegetables, form it into patties (possibly adding a bit of flour or breadcrumbs to help bind) and pan-fry them to create crispy rice cakes.
  • Stir it into a Sauce: You can also use your leftover soup as a base for a creamy sauce. Puree the soup, heat it, and stir in some extra seasonings if needed. This can be served over pasta, chicken, or vegetables.


  • Enhance Flavor: Toast wild rice before cooking to deepen its nutty flavor.
  • Creaminess without Dairy: Blend a portion of the soup to create a creamy texture without adding cream.
  • Add Smokiness: Incorporate smoked sausage or smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness.
  • Herbaceous Touch: Add fresh herbs like thyme or parsley at the end for a burst of freshness.
  • Crunchy Texture: Top each serving with crispy fried shallots or crumbled bacon for a delightful crunch.
  • Umami Boost: Incorporate a splash of soy sauce or miso paste for a savory umami kick.
  • Nutty Garnish: Sprinkle toasted almonds or pecans on top for added texture and flavor.
Minnesota Wild Rice Soup Recipe (Nutty And Chewy)

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup Recipe (Nutty And Chewy)

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Course: Soup Recipes


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This wild rice soup is a hearty, comforting dish with a flavorful base of sautéed onions, celery, and garlic. It’s thickened with flour and simmered in vegetable broth, then combined with cooked wild rice, grated carrot, and sliced almonds for texture. Creamy and satisfying, it’s perfect for a cozy meal.


  • 1/3 Cup 1/3 Olive Oil

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Minced Onion

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Diced Celery

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Minced Garlic

  • 1 Cup 1 All-purpose Flour

  • 6 Cups 6 Vegetable Broth

  • 4 Cups 4 Cooked Wild Rice

  • 1 Cup 1 Grated Carrot

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Sliced Almonds

  • 1/16 teaspoon 1/16 Red Pepper Flakes

  • 2 Cups 2 Half-And-Half (optional)

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather your ingredients: vegetable oil, garlic, onion, celery, flour, vegetable broth, wild rice, carrot, almonds, red pepper flakes, half and half, salt, and pepper.
    Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash and dice the celery and carrot.
    Rinse the wild rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Cooking Steps
    Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
    Stir in the garlic, onion, and celery. Cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
    Stir in the flour, and continue to cook for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
    Pour in the vegetable broth, then raise the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil.
    Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Stir in the wild rice, carrot, almonds, and red pepper flakes. Return the soup to a simmer, and cook until the carrots and rice are tender, about 5 minutes.
    Stir in half and half, and let the soup cook until warm.alf and half, and let the soup cook until warm.
  • Final Touches
    Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
    Serving Suggestions:
    Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot.
    For an extra touch, garnish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, chives, or a swirl of cream.
  • A Large Pot Or Dutch
  • Cutting Board And Knife
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons
  • Stirring Utensil
  • Grater
  • Toasting Pan Or Skillet


  • If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can substitute it with chicken or water, although the flavor may vary slightly.
  • For added nutritional value and flavor, feel free to add other vegetables like diced bell peppers or chopped spinach.
  • To enhance the soup’s richness, substitute some or all of the vegetable broth with chicken or add a tablespoon of butter.
  • Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes based on your spice preference. Add more for a spicier kick, or omit it for a milder taste.
  • If you’re making the soup beforehand, note that it may thicken upon refrigeration. Add a little extra broth or water when reheating to adjust the consistency.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

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