Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

This creamy chicken and rice soup is not only perfect for a rainy day, it’s also great for using up pantry staples—five to be exact!

If you’ve read my Kitchen Tips post on creating an “Emergency Food Pantry,” you’ll know why having a fully stocked pantry is important.

It’s also important to know how to use up some of your pantry staples especially if they’re coming close to their expirations.

Well, this is the perfect recipe to help clean out your pantry.

Normally when I make chicken soup I use my baked chicken breast and fresh or frozen vegetables. However, this recipe uses canned chicken and canned mixed vegetables, as well as dried herbs.

It was so easy, I didn’t even dice an onion or mince garlic. The only fresh ingredient I added was parsley, stirred in at the end.

Of course, if you have fresh onions, garlic, carrots, and/or celery and want to sauté them before adding the rest of the ingredients, go right ahead. But if you don’t want to, the soup won’t miss it.

My one tip on using can goods is to try purchasing ones with minimal or no added salt and sugar.

If your canned vegetables or meat contain salt and sugar and you are concerned about sodium or added sugar intake, rinse them in a mesh strainer under cool water for 15-30 seconds.

Trust me, this soup tastes like it was made from scratch! My family and I were surprised at how good it was. Even my soup-averse 8 year-old liked it! 

It is creamy, savory, and full of flavor.

Joby's Test Kitchen bowl of creamy chicken and rice soup with vegetables.

How to Make chicken and rice soup

In a saucepan or pot, heat a few teaspoons of oil and add 2 tablespoons of flour. This will make a roux and it needs to be whisked for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the flour.

In the meantime, heat up 1/2-2/3 cup evaporated milk and 1/2-1 cup broth together in the microwave or on the stove.

Then whisk the hot liquid into the flour paste slowly so there are no lumps. Add an additional 1-2 cups hot water and bring the soup to a simmer.

Once the broth comes to a simmer, add 1/2-3/4 cup dry rice and seasonings. Add more water if needed to cover the rice. Cook the rice on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or follow instructions for the rice you’re using. Keep checking the rice to make sure it doesn’t become mushy.

If the rice is fully cooked but the broth is still watery, use a slotted spoon to remove the rice to a bowl. Then boil the broth on high until it has reduced down and is thickened and creamy.

Next add in 1-2 cans chicken, 1-2 cans mixed vegetables, a few dashes of garlic and onion powders if desired or an all-purpose seasoning.

I used Trader Joe’s “Everything But The Leftovers Seasoning Blend” which contains dehydrated onions, turmeric, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Any dry or fresh herbs or a favorite seasoning blend will work.

Simmer for 2-5 minutes or until the ingredients are heated through.

Take off heat and stir the rice back in. Add salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning as needed. Let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

Chicken Soup Variations

  • Substitute evaporated milk with cream of chicken, corn, or mushroom soup.
  • Or try a condensed chicken or mushroom soup.
  • For a dairy-free version, leave out milk or substitute with canned coconut milk.
  • For a cheesy soup, add 1/2-1 cup grated cheddar off the heat, stirring until completely melted.

The measurements I provided are in ranges because you can customize the soup to your liking.

This is one of those recipes where you can switch out ingredients, adjust amounts, try different spices, and it will come out delicious every time!

 

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “It has a salty taste and is full of flavor.”
8 year-old: “It is creamy, salty, warm, and delicious.”

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Joby's Test Kitchen bowl of creamy chicken and rice soup.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A rich and savory soup made with pantry staples like rice, canned vegetables, canned chicken, and evaporated milk.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 tsps oil
  • 2 tbsps (16g) flour
  • ½-1 cup (120-240ml) chicken broth
  • ½-¾ cup dry rice, any kind
  • ½-⅔ cup (120-160ml) canned evaporated milk
  • 1-2 cans chicken breast
  • 1-2 cans mixed veggies, rinsed (e.g. peas, carrots, corn, etc.)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder, optional
  • few dashes all-purpose seasoning, optional
  • few dashes dried herbs (e.g. thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, etc.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley, optional

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan or pot, heat oil and add the flour. Whisk for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the flour. In the meantime, heat up milk and broth together in the microwave or on the stove.
  • Whisk the hot liquid into the flour paste slowly so there are no lumps. Then add 1-2 cups hot water. Bring the water to a simmer.
  • Once the broth comes to a simmer, add the rice and seasonings. Add more water if needed to cover the rice. Cook the rice on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or follow instructions for the rice you’re using. Keep checking the rice to make sure it doesn’t become mushy.
  • If the rice is fully cooked but the broth is still watery, use a slotted spoon to remove the rice to a bowl. Then boil the broth on high until it has reduced down and is thickened and creamy.
  • Add in the canned chicken, canned vegetables, and parsley. Simmer for 2-5 minutes or until the ingredients are heated through.
  • Take off heat and stir the rice back in. Add salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning as needed. Let soup cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

Notes

Canned Foods: If possible, purchase canned vegetables and meat with minimal or no added salt and sugar. If your canned vegetables contain salt and sugar, and you are concerned about sodium or added sugar intake, rinse the canned vegetables in a mesh strainer. I run it under cool water for 15-30 seconds. The chicken I used was also in a sodium solution, so I rinsed that as well.
Variations:
  • Instead of using evaporated milk, use cream of chicken, corn, or mushroom soup.
  • Or try a condensed chicken or mushroom soup.
  • For a dairy-free version, leave out the milk or substitute canned coconut milk.
  • For a cheesy soup, add 1/2-1 cup grated cheddar off the heat, stirring until completely melted.
Keyword canned chicken, carrots, chickpeas, evaporated milk, rice, soup

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