Crock Pot Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (with freezer bag option)

We all have days that don’t go as planned. Computers crash, kids get sick, or the car doesn’t start, but we still have to eat. An easy recipe is especially welcome during these times. Fittingly, everything needed for this comforting soup can be tossed into a slow cooker for a few hours, allowing you to focus on more pressing tasks.

Thinking the ingredients could easily be prepped in bulk and serve as useful freezer meals, I recently made a double batch and froze one, minus the broth, in a zip-top bag for one month. Once thawed, I cooked the soup as directed. The handy meal was a small gift on a busy day and offers an easy option for those wishing to share a batch of healthy comfort food with a friend or neighbor in need.

Crock Pot Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (with freezer bag option)
To bolster your veggie intake, feel free to add 1-2 cups of chopped spinach during the last few minutes of cooking time.

Yield: 4-6 servings
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Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
  2. 1 level cup wild rice
  3. 2 carrots, diced
  4. 2 celery stalks, sliced (include any leaves)
  5. 1/2 a small yellow onion, minced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  7. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  8. 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 6 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours** or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Check at 3-1/2 hours, and if the chicken is cooked through but the rice needs a little more time, you may remove the chicken to a plate and chop or shred it. Set aside until the rice has finished cooking, and then stir it back into the slow cooker. (Optionally, it won’t hurt to leave the chicken in until the rice is tender and shred it then.) Adjust for seasoning—you may wish to add an extra sprinkle of salt depending on the type of broth used--and serve.
  2. The soup will thicken as it cools. You may thin any leftovers with additional broth or simply enjoy as is.
Notes
  1. *I like to use chicken thighs in this soup as they offer a little extra richness in what is an otherwise very lean soup. If preferred, you may substitute chicken breasts. Cut larger breasts in half before shredding to avoid long, stringy pieces.
  2. ** Smaller or older slow cookers may require additional cooking time. Newer, larger models tend to cook much faster and ingredients like rice will become overcooked when left to cook all day. Many newer models switch to a “warm” feature once the set cooking time has been reached. Note that food will continue to cook on this feature, albeit it at a slower rate.
  3. For the freezer bag option: Place all of the ingredients, except the broth, in a large zip-top freezer bag and place in the freezer. (Hint: Sprinkle the spices over the chicken pieces and then put everything else on top to prevent the spices from sticking to the sides of the bag.) Thaw before cooking, and then transfer the contents to slow cooker, pour the broth overtop, and cook as directed.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
The freezer bag option offers a convenient, ready-to-grab dinner that tastes just as good as when cooked right away.

 

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Comments

  1. Joan Post author

    I always thought my chicken soup was really good, but yours is definitely a winner! The chicken thighs are the difference. Makes it easy to dump everything in the crock pot and forget it. The only thing different I used was the 90 second pack of wild rice and white rice (that I did not put in the microwave) – did not have to worry whether or not the wild rice was done. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  2. Rila

    Ann — as I was anticipating the snowstorm, I made sure that I had all the ingredients to make this soup…. and I’m glad that I did. Souper delicious! Chicken thighs make for a much more flavorful soup. And I added probably four cups of fresh baby spinach. This soup is both light and hearty — definitely healthy comfort food for a cold and snowy day. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so happy you like this as much as we do, Rila. It’s one of Jack’s top picks–and definitely a good choice during a snowstorm. Thank you for your wonderful feedback!

      Reply