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Gluten-Free Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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Comfort food is calling! This cozy gluten-free wild rice soup is the creamiest, coziest soup of the season. We love the tender chicken, creamy texture, and savory layers of flavor in every bite!

two bowls of gluten-free chicken wild rice soup with bacon

When I was in 4th grade, my family moved IN THE WINTER across the country from sunny Arizona to Minnesota.

In the middle of an actual blizzard.

With icy wind and snow blustering around us, we unpacked boxes and wondered what, exactly, my parents had gotten us into. In my memory, on the evening of moving day, there was a knock at the door. Our new neighbors had made us a simmering pot of Minnesota wild rice soup to welcome us to the neighborhood. And just a bite into eating it, we knew we were going to be just fine.

This gluten-free wild rice soup recipe will always remind me of our years in the Midwest! It’s cozy, comforting, and creamy in all the best ways–perfect on a chilly day!

The best thing about this easy recipe is the simple ingredients! Here’s all you need to make this classic comfort food…

ingredients for creamy gluten-free chicken wild rice soup

Simple Ingredients For Gluten-Free Chicken Wild Rice Soup

  • Chicken. For ease, we’ve always made this chicken wild rice soup recipe with leftover cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken. It’s also a great leftover turkey recipe or great way to use leftover chicken!
  • Bacon. Some crisped, cooked bacon adds a layer of delicious flavor to the creamy broth that’s tough to beat!
  • Green Onion. You can use regular white onion or sweet onion if you prefer, but I love the mild taste of green onion in this cozy soup.
  • Wild Rice. True wild rice is long, thin, and black in color, with a signature nutty flavor. It takes much longer to cook than traditional white rice, but the result makes for delicious, hearty soup!
  • Chicken Broth. I love using chicken bone broth for extra protein.
  • Water.
  • Butter. This is the base of the gluten-free roux we’ll use to thicken the soup.
  • Gluten-Free Flour. Traditional wild rice soup often uses wheat flour to thicken it, but to keep this wild rice soup recipe gluten-free, I’m using a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend for the roux. (If you’re not gluten-free, you can use regular all-purpose flour.)
  • Salt & Pepper. Simple seasonings, but they’re perfect here!
  • Pimentos (If You Like). This is a trick I picked up from Pinch of Yum way back in 2012. They add a pretty pop of color and have a very mild flavor. (Almost like extra mild, less acidic roasted bell peppers)
  • Some Fresh Herbs, Maybe. If you have them, I love to mix in some chives or fresh parsley for a pop of color at the end. Some fresh thyme or rosemary can also be delicious!
making gluten-free wild rice soup step by step

How To Make Gluten-Free Wild Rice Soup, Step By Step:

  1. Cook The Bacon. In a large Dutch oven or large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon from the pot and place on a small plate. Drain the bacon grease from the pot. 
  2. Add Green Onion, Garlic, Salt, and Pepper and stir, cooking just 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. 
  3. Cook The Rice. Pour in chicken broth, water, and wild rice and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is mostly tender (it’ll still have some bite!)
  4. Meanwhile, Make the Roux. When the rice is almost tender, start the roux. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add gluten-free flour and whisk this flour mixture 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth and the flour is starting to toast. Gradually whisk in the half and half and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, about 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Finish The Soup. Add chicken, bacon, pimentos, and the gluten-free roux to the soup and stir to combine. (At this point, the soup will look a little thin.) Continue cooking on low heat 15-20 minutes to allow the soup to thicken. It will get thicker the longer it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.
  6. Ideally, Let The Soup Sit. If you have time, let the soup continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to develop. (Or, prepare the soup in advance and refrigerate overnight!) If the soup thickens too much, add a splash of water or broth to thin it back out.
  7. Serve & Store. Garnish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh chives or fresh parsley, if desired, and enjoy warm. Serve with your favorite gluten-free bread or crackers. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. (This soup doesn’t freeze well, since the creamy texture can separate.) 

We most often use these stove top directions, but check out the recipe card below for Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker instructions!

two bowls of gluten-free chicken wild rice soup with bacon

Make It A Meal (Serving Suggestions)

Now the best part: time to eat! I love to combine this soup with simple, light side dishes since this delicious soup is rich and creamy.

  • Gluten-Free Focaccia. This gluten-free rosemary focaccia is THE EASIEST beginner gluten-free bread recipe. It’s fabulous with all kinds of gluten-free soup recipes!
  • Gluten-Free Biscuits. These easy biscuits are so cozy with a creamy soup.
  • Gluten-Free Baguettes. Or, keep things simple with store-bought gluten-free baguettes. Schar, BFree, and MyBread are great options!
  • A Simple Salad. A classic side salad is always a favorite for soup season!
two bowls of gluten-free chicken wild rice soup with bacon

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Wild Rice Soup:

Can I Use Other Rice Instead? Hearty, nutty wild rice is pretty unique from other kinds of rice. If you can’t find wild rice at your local grocery stores, keep an eye out for a wild rice blend. Lundberg makes a wild rice blend with wild rice and brown rice that’s easier to find. White rice, arborio rice, etc. won’t cook the same, so I don’t recommend them for this recipe.

For The Best Flavor, Make It In Advance! This is a great soup to make in advance, since it gets great flavor the longer it rests. Feel free to make it in advance and reheat it the next day!

Can I Make This In A Slow Cooker? Yes! Cook & drain the bacon, then add the cooked bacon, green onion, garlic, salt, pepper, broth, water, and rice to a slow cooker and cook on LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours, or until the rice is tender. Make the roux as directed on the stove top and stir in the chicken and roux at the end. Let the soup cook 10-15 minutes more to thicken.

Variations To Try

There are plenty of ways you can mix up this gluten-free soup recipe. Try one of these variations:

  • Add Mushrooms. Sliced or diced mushrooms are a classic pairing with wild rice soup. 1-2 cups is plenty!
  • Use Turkey. When you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or the holidays, this soup is a great way to use it!
  • Add More Veggies. Use 1 cup onions, 1/2 cup diced carrots, and 1/2 cup diced celery instead of the green onions.
  • Add Some Herbs! I find the smoky bacon and the green onion add plenty of flavor to this hearty wild rice soup, but you can also tuck in bay leaves, or add some fresh thyme or fresh parsley for a more herby flavor.

⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our Gluten-Free Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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two bowls of gluten-free chicken wild rice soup with bacon

Gluten-Free Chicken Wild Rice Soup


  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This cozy, creamy soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold day. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/21 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup wild rice* (uncooked rice)
  • 1/2 cup butter (8 Tablespoons/1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free measure-for-measure flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed or shredded chicken (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 Tablespoons diced pimentos (optional)
  • Optional garnish: chives or fresh parsley, for color

Instructions

  1. Cook The Bacon. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon from the pot and place on a small plate. Drain the bacon grease from the pot. 
  2. Add Green Onion, Garlic, Salt, and Pepper and stir, cooking just 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. 
  3. Cook The Rice. Pour in chicken broth, water, and wild rice and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring soup to a simmer over medium high heat and cook 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is mostly tender (it’ll still have some bite!)
  4. Meanwhile, Make the Roux. When the rice is almost tender, start the roux. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add gluten-free flour and whisk this flour mixture 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth and the flour is starting to toast. Gradually whisk in the half and half and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, about 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Finish The Soup. Add chicken, bacon, pimentos, and the gluten-free roux to the soup and stir to combine. (At this point, the soup will look a little thin.) Continue cooking on low heat 15-20 minutes to allow the soup to thicken. It will get thicker the longer it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.
  6. Ideally, Let The Soup Sit. If you have time, let the soup continue to cook covered on low heat up to an hour longer, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to develop. (Or, prepare the soup in advance and refrigerate overnight!) If the soup thickens too much, add a splash of water or broth to thin it back out.
  7. Serve & Store. Garnish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh chives or fresh parsley, if desired, and enjoy warm. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days. (This soup doesn’t freeze well, since the creamy texture can separate.) Keep in mind that soup will continue to thicken as it cools, since the rice will absorb more liquid, so you can thin leftovers out by adding a splash of water, if needed. 

Notes

  • Wild Rice. Ideally, we recommend real wild rice. I can find it at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts & Amazon. If you can’t find it in your grocery stores, look for a wild rice blend. Lundberg makes a blend with wild rice and brown rice that works here, too.
  • Gluten-Free Flour. We use King Arthur Measure-For-Measure flour. You can also use white rice flour. Do NOT use almond flour, oat flour, or coconut flour here. It won’t work and will ruin your soup!
  • Half & Half. Using half & half will give you gorgeously creamy soup. If you want the soup even richer, you can absolutely use heavy cream. For a lighter version, you can use whole milk, but the soup will be thinner in texture than mine.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten-free wild rice soup, gluten-free chicken wild rice soup, wild rice soup recipe

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

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