Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice
This Chicken Soup with Wild Rice is creamy, with chewy wild rice, tons of veggies, and will leave you feeling warmed and satisfied on a cold night. It’s one of our favorite chicken crock pot recipes, not to mention one of the best recipes with evaporated milk for extra creaminess!
It’s getting to be that time of year again: We’re craving a roaring fireplace, a soft blanket, and a warming, comforting meal. One of our favorites? Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice.
This soup checks all the boxes:
- It’s filling, thanks to the boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which you’ll roughly chop near the end of the cook time and return to the soup.
- It’s healthy, thanks to the wild rice, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and onion.
- It’s creamy, thanks to the addition of evaporated milk.
- It’s quick to make, taking just 25 minutes of total active time.
- And it smells amazing, which you get to experience all day long as it simmers away in your crock pot!
Served with a side of crusty baguette to soak up all the delicious broth, this soup may just be the height of soup perfection.
Now let’s talk about the evaporated milk for a moment. Evaporated milk is essentially concentrated milk — it’s milk with some of the water removed. We love evaporated milk recipes (especially soups!) because evaporated milk adds a fantastic creaminess without using cream, which means the soup is lower in fat than a traditional cream-based soup while keeping the rich flavor.
Plus, by keeping a can of evaporated milk on hand in the pantry, you’ll always be ready to make this soup — unlike recipes that call for fresh cream, which has a limited shelf life!
Are you sold yet? Let’s dive into the details of how to get this incredible soup on your dinner table! We’ll also share a few tips and tricks along the way to make this soup even quicker, easier, and more budget-friendly.
Meal Planning Smarts
- Chicken – We use chicken thighs in this recipe, which is typically more budget-friendly than chicken breast. To save even more, we recommend buying in bulk and freezing what you don’t need yet.
- Freezes well – This soup freezes well, so make extras to freeze, and you’ll have an inexpensive, easy meal ready to go on a busy night later in the winter.
- Baguette – Not only is bread such a wonderful and comforting pairing with soup, it’s also a budget-friendly way to bulk up a meal. Pick your favorite crusty bread, or if you’re cutting back on starchy carbs, a quick side salad is just as tasty!
- Mirepoix — the mixture of onions, carrots, and celery that starts this soup off — is often available pre-chopped at the grocery store. Check the produce section, and you’ll shave off some chopping time!
- Make the soup at your convenience earlier in the day, and choose whether to simmer on low or on high depending on how many hours you have left before dinner.
- You can also make this soup in advance and simply reheat when ready to serve.
- If you could use a refresher on chopping the veggies we used in this Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice, just watch these short demo videos, which we always include with our meal plan recipes:
How to Chop & Dice an Onion
Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.
How to Chop Carrots
Watch this video to learn our tips on how to best peel, chop, and dice carrots easily.
How to Dice Celery
Learn how to chop celery for use in stir-fries, soups, sautes, and salads.
How to Chop and Dice Peppers
Learn how to chop and dice red peppers to use for sautes, stir-fries, salads, and more.
How to Mince or Crush Garlic
Garlic adds great flavor and aroma to any dish. Learn how to impart the flavors of garlic to any dish with this short video.
- Skillet – You’ll sauté your mirepoix before adding it to the slow cooker, so you’ll need a skillet big enough to fit all that chopped onion, carrot, and celery.
- Slow cooker – This handy kitchen tool will make this meal super simple to put together, and make it easy to scale to your preferred number of portions.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools
- Onions, medium - 1/2, chopped
- Carrots - 1/2 lb, chopped
- Celery - 1 rib, chopped
- Bell peppers, any color - 1/2, chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Chicken, boneless, skinless thighs - 1 lb (sub boneless, skinless breasts)
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Stock, chicken - 3 1/2 cups
- Wild rice, uncooked - 1/2 cup
- Evaporated milk, unsweetened (12oz / 255mL) - 1 can (sub regular milk, but the soup will be less creamy)
- Flour (opt) - 1/4 cup
- Baguette, small, for serving (opt) - 1 (sub any crusty bread)
- Onions / Carrots / Celery / Bell peppers / Garlic – Prep as directed. Combine onions, carrots and celery in one container. Store bell peppers and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Saute mirepoix – Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery (mirepoix) with a pinch of salt. Saute until vegetables soften, 4 to 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Slow-cook soup – Combine onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, garlic, chicken, Italian seasoning, salt, stock and wild rice in the bowl of a slow cooker. Stir to make sure that rice is submerged in liquid. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours (3 to 4 hours on high).
- About 20 minutes before serving, transfer chicken to a cutting board and roughly chop. Return chicken to the slow-cooker.
- Pour evaporated milk into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until it begins to bubble, 1-2 minutes. (Optional step: For a thicker soup, whisk flour into milk. A few small dry spots of flour may remain, but will dissolve into soup as it finishes cooking.) Add to soup. Turn slow-cooker on high and continue to cook soup for 20 minutes.
- Season soup with additional salt, if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with bread on the side. Enjoy!
A little note:
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We hope you’ll see why this Chicken Soup with Wild Rice is one of our favorite recipes with evaporated milk, and high on the list of our all-time best soup recipes!
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