Make the best Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup you’ve ever tasted by using your trusty slow cooker. This easy soup recipe features white meat chicken, wild rice, bacon, and plenty of fresh vegetables in a rich, creamy broth. Simple to prepare and begging to be devoured, this flavorful crockpot chicken soup with wild rice is comfort food that you can feel good about eating!
Featured comment: I’ve tried a myriad of crockpot creamy chicken and wild rice soups and this one is by far the best! I stumbled across it last year and made it twice. Now that soup season is in full bloom, I will definitely be making this a few times this season. Thank you so much for sharing this quality recipe!” – Laura
Update: This post was originally published in January 2019. I made updates to the article below to include more information about making wild rice soup with chicken in the crock pot.
About this recipe for creamy chicken and wild rice soup
If lightened-up (but still rich and creamy) food is your jam, then boy-oh-boy do I have the perfect recipe for you. This thick and cheesy chicken wild rice soup is loaded with lean chicken breast, earthy wild rice, salty bacon, crisp veggies, fresh herbs, pungent garlic, and nutty parmesan for a meal that is out-of-this-world delicious.
Why you’ll love this crock pot soup
If you’re looking for a restaurant-worthy recipe to help keep you warm, look no further than this cream of chicken and wild rice soup in the crockpot. It’s hearty, homey, and unquestionably delectable.
Aside from being a well-rounded, 1-pot meal, this crockpot chicken wild rice soup recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy – Thanks to the innate magical powers of your crock pot, you only need 15 minutes of hands-on prep time to get this creamy chicken rice soup ready. In other words, it’s ideal for hectic weeknights.
- Wholesome & Delicious – This creamy chicken and wild rice soup recipe is the definition of comforting, feel-good food. It has the perfect balance of cheesy broth, tender white meat chicken, a bevy of veggies, and plenty of healthy whole grains to round it out.
- Crowd-Pleasing – Rich, comforting, and lick-the-bowl yummy, this easy chicken and wild rice soup with bacon is one you’ll want to make again and again. Even kiddos like it, which isn’t surprising in the least. It’s basically like a big, warm hug in a bowl!
What is cream of wild rice soup?
Creamy wild rice soup is a comforting bowl of goodness made with wild rice, chopped vegetables (e.g. onions, carrots, and celery), and seasonings (e.g. thyme, sage, and rosemary).
Wild rice soup can be vegetarian or it can include lean meat like chicken, as this crockpot chicken and wild rice soup does.
Ingredients for cream of chicken and wild rice soup
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this cream of chicken wild rice soup in your crock pot. Here’s your grocery list:
For the cream soup base
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but jarred minced garlic is fine in a pinch.
- Substitution: You can also swap in 1 teaspoon of ground garlic powder.
- Parmesan – Don’t make the mistake of buying pre-shredded cheese here. You’ll want both the flavorful rind to flavor your broth, plus actual shredded cheese to add body and rich mouthfeel.
- Mirepoix (i.e. Yellow Onion, Carrots, & Celery) – This trio of veggies is often referred to as the Holy Trinity of French cooking. If you want to cut back on prep work even further, check for pre-diced mirepoix in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle or in the frozen foods section.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in any color of onion (or shallot) that you happen to have on hand. You’re welcome to use any color of carrot (yellow, orange, or purple) or you can swap in parsnips if needed.
- Fresh Thyme Leaves – For earthy, warm, and lemony vibes.
- Substitution: If you only have dried thyme on hand, use ⅓ as much as is called for.
- Dried Sage & Dried Rosemary – These hearty, earthy herbs are wonderful against the strong, nutty flavor of wild rice.
- Substitutions: If you only have fresh herbs on hand, multiply the measurements by 3x.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Stock – In a pinch low-sodium chicken broth works too.
- Dry White Wine – While this is optional, it does add a lovely depth and complexity to the broth. Feel free to omit it if you prefer.
- Cream Cheese – For a touch of tanginess, delicious creaminess, and silky mouthfeel.
- Substitutions: You’re also welcome to use Neufchatel cheese for a slightly lighter soup, or swap in your favorite plant-based alternative.
- Half and Half – Made from a 50/50 blend of whole milk and heavy cream, it’s perfect for toeing the line between rich and healthy.
- Substitutions: You can use heavy cream for a richer mouthfeel or swap in whole milk for a thinner soup.
- Cornstarch – For thickening the broth.
- Substitutions: You’re welcome to use an equal amount of arrowroot powder or potato starch if corn is a no-no. Alternatively, unflavored instant mashed potato flakes are also great for thickening.
Meats and grains
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – I use chicken breasts for most soups because they’re lean and free of fat deposits and tendons.
- Substitution: Feel free to swap in boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken if you prefer, but don’t add it until the last 20 minutes or so of cooking.
- Bacon – Bacon and wild rice are a match made in heaven. The salty, fatty flavors of just a few slices permeate the soup without busting your calorie budget.
- Substitutions: Feel free to use pancetta or turkey bacon instead.
- Uncooked Wild Rice – This wild rice soup recipe calls for real or cultivated wild rice, not a wild rice blend. The texture of wild rice is far superior to any wild rice blends, which are usually very lacking in the wild rice department.
As much as I love this creamy crockpot soup recipe as is, there is always room for you to make any adjustments you might need. Here are a few variations worth considering:
- Pheasant Wild Rice Soup – If you’ve never had pheasant before, it actually tastes surprisingly similar to chicken. Feel free to swap it in if you have fresh game on hand.
- Corn-Free – Other starches can often be used as thickening agents in place of cornstarch. You can make a roux by cooking flour in some butter and thinning it out with half and half before adding it to the slow cooker. Other options include tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, potato starch, or instant potato flakes.
- Dairy-Free – Use plant-based cream cheese, unsweetened vegan creamer (e.g. oat, soy, or coconut-based), and your favorite dairy-free parmesan alternative.
- Pork-Free – Swap in turkey bacon or vegan bacon bits.
How to make chicken wild rice soup in crock pot?
This recipe for cream of wild rice chicken soup is super easy to prepare thanks to the slow cooker or crockpot. Here’s how it’s done:
- Season chicken: Place the chicken breasts on a clean work surface and generously with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bottom of a slow cooker or crock pot.
Add the bacon, wild rice, aromatics, veggies, herbs, stock and wine. Add half of the bacon to the cooker, along with the rice, garlic, parmesan, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, sage, rosemary, stock and wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ – 3 hours or LOW for 4 ½- 5 hours.
- Add cream cheese: Remove the lid and add the cream cheese and grated parmesan to the slow cooker. In a large glass measuring cup, mix the cornstarch with the half and half. Then, pour the mixture into the slow cooker before stirring to combine.
- Cook again on HIGH for 30 minutes – 1 hour, or until the cream cheese is melted, the chicken is cooked and rice is tender.
Stir in the remaining cooked bacon. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, pepper or additional half and half if you prefer a thinner wild rice chicken soup.
- Serve: Divide the soup among bowls, garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!
Tips for the best chicken and wild rice soup
- Wild Rice: When choosing wild rice for soup, make sure to choose real wild rice rather than a blend. I’ve found that most “wild rice blends” are woefully short on actual wild rice and sub in cheaper, less nutritious varieties instead.
- Stock: If you want a thinner soup, you can use 5 1/2 cups of chicken stock. However, I recommend sticking with 5 cups of stock. You can always thin the soup out later with half-and-half or more stock if desired.
- Slow Cooking: The cooking times in this chicken wild rice soup crockpot recipe are approximate. The exact cooking time depends on the strength of your slow cooker.
FAQs: creamy chicken wild rice soup
When adding wild rice in soup, do you cook it first?
It depends on the recipe, but for this one, NOPE! Everything gets cooked together in the slow cooker, meaning you’ll have fewer dishes to clean up afterward. You’re welcome!
What is cultivated wild rice?
While wild rice is true to its name and is grown in the wild, hand-harvested from lakes and rivers, cultivated wild rice is grown under regulated conditions in man-made paddies.
What is wild rice blend?
Wild rice blend is a mixture of different rice, including wild rice. The blends can greatly vary depending on the product, but I’ve found that most wild rice blends actually contain very little wild rice. That’s why I do not recommend using blends in this chicken wild rice soup crock pot recipe.
Is wild rice better than brown rice?
Both wild rice and brown rice are healthier options than white rice! While both varieties of rice are gluten-free and rich in antioxidants, wild rice is a slightly healthier option than brown rice.
Brown rice does have six times more magnesium, however wild rice contains more fiber, potassium and zinc. As well, cooked wild rice has 40% more protein than brown rice as well as roughly 30% fewer calories.
How to make chicken and wild rice soup creamy?
There are a few ways to make wild rice soup creamy depending on the method of cooking. This wild rice soup recipe is made with the convenience of the crockpot and easily made creamy with the addition of cream cheese, half-and-half and cornstarch.
Ways to make wild rice soup more creamy:
- Add cream. Adding cream is the most obvious way to make wild rice soup creamy. Adding a cup or more cream will give your soup a rich taste and silky mouthfeel.
- Add cornstarch or flour. This crockpot creamy chicken wild rice soup recipe uses cornstarch mixed with half and half to give the soup plenty of body and thickness. If making wild rice soup on the stove-top, sprinkle your cooked vegetables with flour before adding the liquid to achieve the same thickening affect.
- Add cream cheese or yogurt. Cream cheese or yogurt work similar to cream, adding a rich, creaminess to wild rice soup.
Serving cream of chicken wild rice soup
This creamy wild rice soup with chicken is definitely hearty enough to serve on its own. However, if you are looking to serve a crowd or make this a more rounded meal, here are some serving options:
- Crusty, toasted bread, fluffy dinner rolls, breadsticks, or cornbread.
- Simple side salad, fresh, garden salad, or warm kale salad.
- Your favorite seasonal veggies – roasted, steamed, or grilled.
Storing soup with wild rice
- Leftover chicken and wild rice soup can be kept in a clean, airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the leftovers, use a saucepan on the stovetop or your microwave.
- Unfortunately, cooked wild rice soup does not freeze well because the half-and-half (or milk/cream) becomes grainy if frozen and the wild rice will turn to mush.
- However, you can work ahead of time and freeze the uncooked wild rice, veggies, spices, and chicken together in a large, freezer-safe, zip-closure bag for up to 6 months. That way, when you are ready to make this comforting soup, all you have to do is pop the contents of the bag into the slow cooker with some chicken stock and a bit of white wine and cook it according to the recipe directions!
Alright, buddies — thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always rice to see you. Until next time, remember that I think you’re soup-er!
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More soups with chicken!
If you love this chicken wild rice soup crock pot recipe, try these yummy soups next:
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Tortellini Chicken Soup
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Black Bean Soup with Chicken
- Chicken Thai Noodle Soup
More chicken and rice recipes!
Here’s what readers are saying about this wild rice chicken soup recipe!
- “This is the best thing I’ve made ever. I was a little wary but I wanted to make something new to get out of our dinner rut. This recipe is a game changer. It makes a lot so being just my fiancé and I, I know I will have leftovers for days and I honestly am so excited. It is very filling but even when I’m full I’m thinking about how great it will be when I’m hungry again and get to eat more soup!!!” – Miranda
- “Just made your soup and it was so good and so very easy to make.” – Diane
The best Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe for the crockpot👇
Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1 Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1 ½’’ cubes
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- 8 ounces Bacon - cooked & crumbled
- 1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice - rinsed (SEE NOTES)
- 4 cloves Garlic – peeled & minced
- 1 Parmesan Rind + ½ cup grated parmesan - plus more for garnish
- 1 small Yellow Onion – peeled & diced
- 2 large Carrots – peeled & diced
- 2 large Stalks Celery – diced
- 1 TBS Fresh Thyme Leaves - plus more for garnish
- ½ tsp EACH: Dried Sage & Dried Rosemary
- 5 -5 ½ Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock - to taste
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine OPTIONAL
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese – at room temperature & cut into small cubes
- 1 ½ Cups Half and Half (SEE NOTES)
- ¼ Cup Cornstarch
- Optional Garnishes: Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Serving Suggestion: Crusty Artisan Bread, Fluffy Dinner Rolls, Breadsticks
- Season Chicken Breasts: Place the chicken breasts on a clean work surface and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to the bowl of a 6 quart slow cooker or crockpot.
- Add Ingredients to Crock Pot: To the crockpot with the chicken, add half of the bacon, all the rice, garlic, parmesan rind, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, sage, rosemary, stock and wine (if using). Season everything with salt and pepper to taste. Then, stir everything to combine.
- Cover and Slow Cook: Cover the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ - 3 hours or LOW for 4 ½- 5 hours. (SEE NOTES) (Tip: The chicken and rice will continue to cook in next steps - do not cook the chicken and rice to completion!!)
- Add Cheeses: Remove the lid of the crockpot. Then, remove and discard parmesan rind (optional - you can leave it if you want). Add the cubes of cream cheese and the grated parmesan cheese to the slow cooker.Add Slurry: In a large 2-4 cup glass measure, combine the half and half with the cornstarch. Use a whisk to stir until well combined. Pour the cornstarch mixture (slurry) into the slow cooker and then stir to combine.
- Cover and Slow Cook: Cover the crockpot again and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream cheese is melted, the chicken is cooked, and rice is tender.
- Add Bacon, Adjust to Taste: When the soup is done slow cooking, stir in the remaining crispy cooked bacon. Taste the soup and adjust for seasoning with salt, pepper or additional half and half if you like a thinner soup.
- Garnish and Serve: Divide the chicken wild rice soup among bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and more grated parmesan cheese if using. Enjoy warm, immediately.
- Wild Rice: This recipe calls for real or cultivated wild rice, not a wild rice blend! The texture of wild rice in this soup is so much better than a wild rice blend!
- Stock: If you want a thinner soup, you can use 5 1/2 cups of chicken stock. However, I recommend sticking with 5 cups of stock. You can always thin the soup out later with half-and-half or more stock if desired.
- Half-and-Half: While I used half-and-half to cut some calories and fat, you can absolutely use heavy cream if you prefer richer mouthfeel.
- Slow Cooking Times: The exact cooking time depends on the strength of your slow cooker or crock pot.
- To make freezer-friendly creamy chicken and wild rice soup: Freeze the uncooked wild rice, veggies, spices and chicken together in a large, freezer-safe, zip-closure bag. When you are ready to make the soup all you have to do is pop the contents of the bag into the slow cooker with some chicken stock, a bit of white wine and cook according to the recipe directions!
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This looks delicious and anxious to make this for a family event. Do you think the creaminess would be affected if the soup was made a day ahead and rewarmed the next day?
Great question! Unfortunately, I don’t recommend making this ahead and rewarming it for a family event (although leftovers are good). Both the rice and the cream make this a dish best enjoyed immediately. Please let me know if you have any other questions as I’m always happy to help! 🙂
Hello! This is in the crockpot now and I know it says 6 servings but how much is a serving? I’m assuming 1-2 cups?
Thanks in advance!
Great question!! I try my best to measure the final amount of each recipe, but unfortunately I don’t always get a chance if my family is hungry and devours it before I get the opportunity. This recipe comfortably serves 6 people. To get the precise amount per serving you would need to divide the total amount of prepared soup by six. Cheers and warm wishes for a wonderful day! 🙂
Eliana Jimenez says
How many servings do you get from this recipe? Thank you!
The recipe serves approximately six people. Cheers! 🙂
I’ve tried a myriad of crockpot creamy chicken and wild rice soups and this one is by far the best! I stumbled across it last year and made it twice. Now that soup season is in full bloom, I will definitely be making this a few times this season. Thank you so much for sharing this quality recipe!
I’m so thrilled you enjoy the recipe!! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review – your kind words made my day! Cheers – to a wonderful weekend! 🙂
just made your soup and it was so good and so very easy to make. There are how ever 2 things that I changed, one is making it on top of the stove in my stock pot and it only took an hour to get it done and on the table. the second thing is that I did not add the bacon, other wise I stuck to the recipe. Took a pic of my finished soup but it did not look as good as the real thing so won’t send it.
I’m so happy to hear you were able to adapt the recipe and make it on the stovetop! And, I’m thrilled you found the recipe easy to make and you enjoyed the soup! I’m sure your photo is absolutely beautiful! If you are on social media, feel free to tag me because I would love to see it! 🙂
Do you have an insta pot conversion for this soup?
Unfortunately, I have only made this soup in the slow cooker (or crockpot). If you try to make it in the instant pot, let me know how it goes! Cheers and thank you so much for stopping by!
This is the best thing I’ve made ever. I was a little wary but I wanted to make something new to get out of our dinner rut. This recipe is a game changer. It makes a lot so being just my fiancé and I, I know I will have leftovers for days and I honestly am so excited. It is very filling but even when I’m full I’m thinking about how great it will be when I’m hungry again and get to eat more soup!!!
Joy Bird says
It’s only August 28th but the leaves are falling and colds and sinus infections have hit my family once again. This will be the perfect soup to make them feel better. Thanks for making this a crock pot soup, it’s so easy.
I hope your family gets well soon and they enjoy this soup!!
Just WOW, Cheyanne! This soup is making my mouth water – I’ve never seen chicken and wild rice soup look THIS good! Definitely going straight onto our menu!
SHASHI AT SAVORYSPIN says
This is so luxurious and comforting! Like a big old soft fleece blanket on a cold day! Love how creamy this is! I’m betting I could tip that bowl over and slurp/gulp all of that bowl – no spoon necessary! Saw what I did there! 🙂 Happy Friday Cheyanne! xoxo
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
You just can’t beat slow cooker soups this time of year! So easy and so nice to just do it early and enjoy it later with no more work needed 🙂 I love wild rice, too, so this one is going on the menu soon!
And I’m going to keep it short today as well because it’s crazy cold to talk a lot (And because I’d rather keep myself busy eating this soup) This chicken rice soup is quintessence of winter comfort food. Love the addition of bacon and cream cheese. And while cream adds some extra calories, we do deserve them because we’re suffering enough with this cold season, right? Delicious!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
This sounds like a hug in a bowl–perfect for chilly January days! It’s warming up a little bit here after a serious cold (for Phoenix) spell but I’m still not thawed out yet and I’m craving soup nonstop. Have a great weekend, Chey!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Such a delicious bowl of comfort Chey! And I love that this is a slow cooker recipe too. We’ve got snow heading our way the next few days, so soup will certainly be on the menu! Can’t wait to add this one. Have a great weekend ahead!
Why did my wild rice soup never look this good? This looks so creamy, saucy and flavourful! I NEED some too, Chey :-))