Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Soup – Warming, comforting chicken and rice soup with a salsa verde twist! This is the perfect meal for cold days or when you’re feeling under the weather. (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
The weather is only just starting to turn where we live, and by turn I mean 80’s, but it feels heavenly. The mornings are cool and crisp, and I fling open the windows to let it all in. It feels heavenly after The Eternal Summer we endure every year.
Perhaps the best part (other than getting to tuck into a sweater or blanket at the end of the day) is that it’s really, finally, truly soup season.
This salsa verde chicken and rice soup is such a glorious way to celebrate. It’s cozy, smells amazing, and is packed with flavor. It’s the perfect thing to soothe a cold or warm you up on a chilly day.
SALSA VERDE CHICKEN & RICE SOUP = SUPER EASY! (A GREAT WAY TO CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE!)
As we scooped up bites of the steaming soup, Michael said this would be the perfect thing to eat if you have a cold. It’s comforting in the way that all chicken soup is, but it’s also got plenty of flavor and if you use medium or spicy salsa, it can also help clear up congestion. I’ve already mentally tucked that away for our first round of winter colds, but for now, I’m enjoying every last bowl!
This is a great way to clean out the fridge a little bit. For instance..
- We picked up a rotisserie chicken and used half the meat for dinner one night with mashed sweet potatoes and I tossed the other half into this soup.
- You can also easily use leftover rice if you’ve already got some cooked.
- I made homemade salsa for this batch, but store-bought salsa verde works really well.
- Canned beans keep things simple and easy and fill the soup out a bit more. (I got the Sprouts brand ones)
- This is a great way to use up the last of a bunch of cilantro and the last of the bag of spinach I had in my refrigerator (super greens or kale would also work well).
Despite being sort of a hodgepodge, this soup is LOADED with flavor. Thanks to the combination of seasonings and the addition of salsa verde (green salsa) that’s already very flavorful, this was incredible. It also gets better with time, so I purposely make it in the morning or early afternoon so it has time to get even better.
KICK UP YOUR SALSA VERDE CHICKEN & RICE SOUP WITH SOME CRISPY TORTILLA STRIPS!
The soup is full-bodied enough that I don’t think it particularly *needs* an extra dipper, but I’ll happily include one if it means my kids will try the soup! The tortilla strips are an extra step, but one my family really enjoys.
They’re SUPER simple to make! To make crispy tortilla strips, you simply:
- Brush corn tortillas with a little olive oil (or mist them with spray olive oil).
- Sprinkle with coarse salt or our little seasoning blend (in the recipe card)
- Slice into strips with a knife or pizza cutter
- Arrange on a baking sheet & bake for just a few minutes to crisp up!
Not feeling like making tortilla strips? Feel free to add some tortilla chips or corn chips on the side instead, or make a batch of cornbread.
ADAPTING FOR YOUR DIETARY NEEDS (PALEO, VEGAN). This could easily be a paleo soup. Simple omit the rice and beans and add a bit more chicken and an extra handful of spinach and top it with diced avocado (so good!). You could also skip the chicken and add extra beans for a vegan version!
MAKE YOUR OWN SALSA! I made my own salsa for the batch I photographed. I drained two 15oz cans tomatillos, added 1/2-1 jalapeño (it was a mild one), 3/4 cup cilantro, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, and a hefty pinch of salt. Pureed until smooth in a blender. It was amazing and added so much flavor to the soup.
OR USE STORE-BOUGHT SALSA. Storebought works great for this as well, so don’t feel like you have to complicate things unnecessarily if you’re strapped for time. The salsa adds a lot of the flavor for the soup, so do try to use a yummy one! Our favorite is Sprouts’ tomatillo salsa. SO GOOD!
KICK UP THE NUTRIENTS! You can substitute cooked quinoa or brown rice in place of the white rice in this soup without any trouble at all for some added protein and fiber.
LOVE THIS SALSA VERDE CHICKEN RICE SOUP? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken and Butternut Soup
- Chicken & Lime Soup
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Taco Soup
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS SOUP RECIPE:
Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Soup – Soothing chicken and rice soup with a salsa verde twist! This is the perfect meal for cold days or when you’re feeling under the weather. (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
FOR THE SALSA VERDE CHICKEN & RICE SOUP:
- 4–6 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 3 cups cooked chicken
- 2 cups salsa verde (see notes for a homemade version)
- 2 cups spinach (can also use kale or super greens)
- 1 (14oz) can great northern beans, drained
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (can sub brown rice or quinoa)
- 1/4–1/2 cup cilantro, minced
For optional seasoned tortilla strips:
- 6 corn tortillas
- olive oil
- optional: 1 tsp taco seasoning or 1/4 tsp each cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and chipotle chili powder
- Place all ingredients except rice and cilantro in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Continue to simmer 10-15 minutes, or until greens are wilted and soup is cooked through. Add cilantro and rice just before serving.
To make tortilla strips:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush one side of the tortillas with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and taco seasoning/spices (if using). Slice into thin strips and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake 10-20 minutes, or until crispy. Enjoy!
NOTE: For a simple homemade salsa verde (this makes just as much as you need):
- 2 (15oz) cans tomatillos, drained
- 1/4-1 jalapeño (start small, and add more as desired)
- 1/2 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2-1 cup cilantro
- hefty pinch salt
Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Category: Main Dish, Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: salsa verde chicken and rice soup, salsa verde chicken & rice soup, chicken & rice soup, chicken and rice sop
Originally posted Nov 2016. Completely updated Mar 2020.