This cheap & tasty Crockpot Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe is quick and easy, budget-friendly, and will warm your body and soul on a cold winter’s day. And the kicker is that there are several ways to make it! For this recipe, your cooking choices are using a slow cooker, pressure cooker, and stovetop. And, naturally, it is freezer friendly as well.
I am astounded at all the meals you can do with chicken, it is so handy! Check out these recipes for some more slow cooker chicken inspiration; Creamy Chicken & Rice, Chicken & Potato Dinner and definitely check out 5-Ingredient Chicken Stroganoff!
This chicken and rice soup slow cooker recipe turns into an excellent freezer meal. And there are lots of ways to approach freezer-friendly recipes.
You have no reason to leap in immediately into making a bunch of make ahead meals. Just a few freezer meals now and then can help save your budget…
Before we go any farther, let's get the legal stuff out of the way…this post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This will NOT increase your cost in any way. But does give you awesome recommendations that have been tested by myself or someone I dearly trust.
Freezer Meal Options
Here are a couple of ideas to start on a freezer meal journey:
- Throw together two batches of one recipe. This chicken & rice soup for the slow cooker, instant pot, or your stovetop...well, it's a great place to start. Now it’s simple. Make one for supper and freezer the other for next week. Do this 2 or 3 times for a couple of weeks. Make a log in a
meal planning journaland don't forget to add a created or "consume by" date. The bulk of uncooked freezer meals will keep for up to 3 months... You will have made multiple freezer meals in just a couple of weeks!
- Select 3 to 5 recipes. Make sure and set the serving options inside the printable recipe for your needs BUT times two. Make a grocery list, go shopping if need be, and mix them up per the freezer meal directions on each recipe. You do 5 recipes like this and double it; you obviously get 10. And now! You've got meals made for at least ten days. Woo hoo!
- Or join our newsletter and to have
a copy of my own make ahead meals prepping sessions. You'll get six recipes, menus, and simple to follow instructions. It's of no cost to you and you'll get notified when new ones are available.
There are so many reasons I love this recipe. And there are so many variations! Not only the varying cooking techniques but the actual ingredients. All it takes is switching out a couple of ingredients to have a new, delicious variation.
The main ingredients for this crockpot chicken and rice soup are:
- Chicken – Boneless chicken of ANY type can be used for this recipe. But you can substitute ANY meat you wish. Just make sure if you go with pork that most of the fat is removed before proceeding. I also recommend pre-cutting beef or pork for soup. Sometimes it isn’t as easy to shred unless you cook it much longer, then your rice isn’t going to be happy.
- Rice – Rice is the second key ingredient we’re using. But you can also use wild rice. This recipe turns into an amazing chicken and wild rice soup. And it’s very simple. BUT you can also use noodles. Do you remember eating chicken and stars as a kid? Barilla makes several delicious pasta noodles specifically for soup. Any of these would be a great asset to stock your pantry.
- Chicken Broth – I use a lot of broth. I make broth. Seldom does a meat or vegetable scrape get tossed from this kitchen. It’s super easy and very good for you. But, there isn’t always time to go the homemade route. And my absolute favorite broth to keep on hand is Swanson. To me, it seems to be the most consistent in taste and seasoning. And, if you are short on space, my favorite bouillon is Better Than Bouillon. They have an amazing range of flavors to choose from as well as vegetarian and low sodium options.
Why Go to All That Trouble?
And the reason for changing up the recipe a bit? So we can shop for those meat sales and purchase them in bulk. Menu planning, sales shopping, and purchasing in bulk are the best things you can do for your food budget. And knowing what the heck to do with bulk buys, that is the ticket to get stockpiles make-ahead dinners, saving $$$ AND far less stress in your life.
This freezer meal cooking session is part of a bulk meal assembly by shopping meat sales. Of course, I don't intend to make and eat crockpot chicken and rice soup for that many meals back to back, that isn’t the end game either. And if you can shop the bulk meat sales for 2 or 3 weeks, you can rotate that stash. AND we made a
printable meal prep calendar you are most welcome to download so we can all track our purchases and meal prep.
Cooking Variations & Options
This chicken & rice soup was made in the crockpot. It CAN be cooked in multiple ways.
- Crockpot Method – This option is simple. It all gets tossed in and cooked. PLEASE be careful about the type of rice you get. Long-grained rice is the only rice I would cook in the crockpot for a full meal cook time. Short-grained rice will turn to mush. If you have short grain or instant rice, just leave it out until the end. Turn the slow cooker to high, stir the soup, and add the rice and veggies. It will take about an hour to cook if your vegetables are still frozen. About 40 minutes if you had defrosted them previously.
- Instant Pot Method – This is a great option if you forget to toss your soup in the crockpot before leaving. Or if you simply prefer pressure cooking. Both work. It takes, in total, about 45 minutes to make instant pot chicken & rice soup. 18 minutes is the actual cook time. You have warm-up and cool down in there too.
- Stovetop Method – Cooking your soup on the stovetop is a great option if you are going to be in your kitchen. I wouldn’t recommend leaving your stove for safety reasons. But cooking it on the stove will take about the same amount of time as the pressure cooking method.
- And, as previously mentioned, this works as a freezer meal too.
Check out the printable recipe (below) and see how easy it is to cook using each method. Slight variations may be necessary, but they are listed in the printable. Now and then one cooking method is more simple than another BUT if you don't remember to start your chicken and rice soup in the slow cooker before starting your day, you can still have a homemade, budget-saving dinner… without much fuss.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Soup Recipes
I adore slow cooker chicken recipes. They are amazingly easy, add to your stockpile AND supply a home-cooked meal.
Here are a couple of our most popular chicken and slow cooker soup recipes. Enjoy!
Crockpot Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- Combine chicken, 4 cups of chicken broth, vegetables, and rice in a slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- If your soup is too thick, add a bit more broth. Stir in seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Recover and allow to rest 20 minutes before serving.
- Add the chicken and 4 cups of broth to a boil. Turn burner to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred. Turn the heat back to medium-high. Add chicken, frozen vegetables, rice, and seasonings. Bring to boil.
- Turn the heat back to medium-low and cook until rice and vegetables are tender. About 20 minutes.
- Add more broth as needed for desired consistency. Allow the soup to rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Follow slow cooker directions and use the manual setting for 18 minutes with the vent closed.
- Allow to naturally vent for 10 minutes, then quick release.
- Add more liquid as desired if your soup is too thick for your taste. Recover and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Label your freezer bag with the name and date. Add notes that you will need 4 to 6 cups of chicken broth and your seasonings when making this meal.
- Pour the rice into a sandwich bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Set aside.
- Add chicken and celery to a 1-gallon freezer bag. Toss in the rice bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
- Stack and tape the chicken bag with the frozen vegetable bag.