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Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

This simple Instant Pot Chicken and Rice soup is a staple recipe. With warming spices and a hint of lemon, you can’t help but feel good after eating it!

If you’re looking for more healthy Instant Pot soups, try my Stuffed Pepper Soup!

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Chicken and Rice Soup in a white bowl next to a blue linen and squeezed lemon half.

This chicken soup is perfect for a cold winter day, or a day when maybe you’re feeling a little under the weather. It’s so easy to put together, with minimal prep work. At our house we call this the “feel good” chicken soup because it warms you right up when you’re feeling a bit blah. The combination of ginger, turmeric and lemon is sure to brighten your day.

Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for all the details!

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion – yellow or sweet, a small/medium size
  • Celery – for flavour and crunch
  • Carrots – cut into coins; slice into half circles if you have really big carrots
  • Chicken breast – two 8-ounce, boneless and skinless
  • Warming spice mix – garlic powder, dried basil, dried thyme leaves, ground ginger and turmeric
  • Bay leaf – for flavour
  • Chicken broth – or use Better Than Bouillon and water (product shown below)
  • Brown rice – we prefer the texture of brown rice in this soup. See tip below for substituting white rice.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste, after cooking
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – to brighten the flavour
Labelled ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup viewed from overhead.

How to make it

First, turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion and celery until softened. Turn off the Sauté function and pour in a bit of broth to deglaze the bottom of the insert using a flat-bottomed turner.

Next, layer in the carrots and place the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle in the spices and drop in the bay leaf. Pour in the remaining broth, then add the rinsed brown rice and make sure it’s submerged in the liquid.

Pressure cook on High for 18 minutes. At the end of cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally (just leave the pot alone) for 5 minutes, then carefully release the remaining pressure.

Remove the bay leaf and transfer the chicken to a plate. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pull apart the chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks, then add the chicken back to the soup and stir to combine. Serve garnished with fresh parsley, if desired.

Adding pieces of cooked chicken back to the soup in the Instant Pot.

Tips for success

Add salt after cooking. Depending on your broth, you may find that the soup is salty enough without adding more. I always suggest seasoning with salt to taste after cooking so you can control the level of saltiness.

Remove the bay leaf. No one wants to find this tough, chewy leaf in their bowl!

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Freshly squeezed will have a nicer flavour than the bottled stuff!

Don’t skip the natural pressure release. It improves the final texture of the chicken and rice and gives more time for the flavours to blend.

Chicken and Rice Soup in an Instant Pot being stirred with a wooden spoon.

How to store and reheat

To refrigerate: Transfer to a storage container, cool the soup completely, then place the lid on the container. Pro tip: transferring the soup into smaller/shallow containers helps it cool faster than leaving it in the pot. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. I love to make single servings for meal prep!

To freeze: Transfer to a storage container, leaving about half an inch at the top to account for expansion (the soup will expand as it freezes). Cool the soup completely, then place the lid on the container. Freeze for up to three months.

To thaw: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

To reheat: for best results, reheat on the stovetop and add extra broth as necessary. Bring the soup to a rolling boil and an internal temperature of 165 °F for proper food safety. You can also reheat it in the microwave, stirring it once halfway for even heating.

Can I make this with white rice?

Yes! Use the same amount of long-grain white rice (generic, jasmine or basmati), but reduce the cook time to 10 minutes. Keep the same 5 minute natural pressure release. White rice itself doesn’t need this long to cook, but 10 minutes will result in chicken that pulls apart nicely.

Chicken and Rice Soup in a white bowl sitting in front of an Instant Pot and a blue linen.

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Chicken and Rice Soup in a white bowl next to a blue linen and squeezed lemon half.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
This simple Instant Pot Chicken and Rice soup is a staple recipe. With warming spices and a hint of lemon, you can't help but feel good after eating it!
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4
Calories 391
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Inactive time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (2 8oz breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or 6 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon + 6 cups water)
  • ¾ cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed (see note 1 for subbing long-grain white rice)
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from half a lemon)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then add the onion and celery. Sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the Sauté function.
  • Pour in a small amount of broth and use a flat-bottomed turner to scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom of the liner (there may not be much). This will help prevent a burn warning.
  • Add the carrots in an even layer and place the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle the garlic powder, dried basil, dried thyme, ground ginger and turmeric onto the chicken. Drop in the bay leaf.
  • Pour in the remaining broth. Add the brown rice and push it into the broth until it's all submerged. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 18 minutes (you may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button, depending on your Instant Pot model).
  • At the end of cooking time, allow for a a 5-minute natural pressure release (NPR), then do a controlled quick release of the remaining pressure (see note 2). I like to use a wooden spoon to open the vent to protect my hand from any splatter.
  • Remove the bay leaf and transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Stir in the lemon juice. Pull apart the chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks, then add it back to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. If you prefer to use long-grain white rice, reduce the pressure cook time to 10 minutes. Keep the same 5-minute NPR. 
  2. A controlled quick release means letting out pressure in short bursts rather than opening the vent all at once. This helps to control splatter. 
  3. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  4. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 

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Equipment

Instant Pot (8 qt)
Wooden Turner
Sieve
Juicer

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 1124mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 10359IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this soup after my household came down with the flu. The warming seasoning mix was soothing and delicious. Can hardly beat the developed taste you get in under an hour with prep and all. Definitely a keeper!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      I’m so glad it brought you some comfort while you were sick! Thanks for leaving a review!

  2. Rickie Bansbach says:

    5 stars
    I’ll give it five stars because it was really good and my husband ate it! I halved the recipe and added 3 tablespoons of corn starch in some reserved chicken stock to thicken it a bit. A thicker broth is easier for some people to eat, especially if they have been ill. I especially liked the herbs and thought the addition of the lemon juice added a nice little tang to it. Very good! This is a keeper!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad to hear you both enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review, Rickie!

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent winter soup. The flavours are amazing. Love the better than Bouillon for the broth base.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      We love using the bouillon for soups! So happy you enjoyed the recipe!