Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice Soup is a quick, easy and healthy recipe that is ready from start to finish in about 30 minutes.
This post was first published in December 2020. It has been updated most recently as of October 2021.
This easy chicken and rice soup recipe is the perfect bowl of comfort. Just like my Basic Instant Pot Chili. Cooking soups and stews in the Instant Pot is such a lifesaver when you need a warm, hearty and healthy meal in a short amount of time.
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- How to make Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice Soup
- Do you need to cook the chicken or the rice before you make the soup?
- Can I use frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot?
- Make a soup starter to prep ahead
- How to store leftover soup
- Recommended Tools
- Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice Soup
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Onions, Celery, Carrots, Garlic – the standard aromatics you would use for any soup or stew base.
Dried Herbs – for this recipe I usually go with oregano and thyme. You can also go with Italian seasoning or add some rosemary to the mix. Whatever kind of flavors you like.
Brown Rice – I would only recommend using brown rice in this recipe as it has a similar cooking time in the Instant Pot to chicken. White rice will probably come out mushy.
Broth – I use bone broth or low sodium chicken broth. You could also use veggie broth if that’s what’s in your pantry. Use whatever you like, just check for seasoning as it will depend on the salt levels in the broth that you choose.
Olive Oil – a few tablespoons of olive oil for sautéing the veggies.
Fresh Parsley – this is totally optional but I like to stir some in after the soup is cooked for a pop of freshness and some color. If you don’d have it, skip it.
How to make Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice Soup
This recipe is so easy, you’ll pretty much have it memorized in no time. In the cold winter months, it will become part of your weekly meal plan. If you don’t own an Instant Pot yet, you need to get one now and live your best life.
- Start by chopping up the veggies. You’ll need an onion, a few carrots, a few ribs of celery and some garlic. This is the most labor intensive part.
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot. Hit the “sauté” button and let it get hot. Add in a bit of olive oil and the onion, carrots and celery and soften for a few minutes.
- Once the veggies are softened, add in the garlic, and seasonings and cook for another minute or two.
- Add in rice, raw chicken and broth. Close lid and make sure the valve is set to the “sealing” position and cook on manual for 12 minutes.
- I let it natural release for another 10 minutes and then carefully (always with a dishtowel or oven mitt) flip the valve to “venting” and let the rest of the pressure release.
- Open the lid carefully away from your face.
Do you need to cook the chicken or the rice before you make the soup?
Nope! That’s the best part about this recipe and why it’s so easy. Uncooked brown rice and chicken have very similar cooking times, making this the perfect combination for this soup. If you had to cook brown rice separately, that would add an additional 40 minutes to your prep. We don’t have time for that!
I strongly recommend sticking to brown rice in this recipe because white rice has a shorter cooking time and it may become overcooked and mushy. As the brown rice cooks, it releases starches that also give this soup a wonderfully creamy texture without adding any dairy!
Can I use frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot?
Yes! If you forgot to take your chicken out of the freezer, don’t fret. That’s right, you can use FROZEN chicken and it will come out just fine. Now if that isn’t the best thing ever, I don’t know what is. It might take the instant pot a bit longer to come to pressure if your chicken is frozen, but it will work just fine. Just make sure that the breasts are separated and not frozen together in a giant chunk.
Make a soup starter to prep ahead
A pro tip that I’ll share with you. Whenever I buy a bag of carrots and celery, I chop them all up and make “soup starters” for the freezer. A “soup starter” is lightly sautéed onion, carrot, celery and garlic, frozen in a cup or two of broth.
When it’s time to make soup, hit the sauté button on your Instant Pot, drop in the frozen soup starter block and when it’s unthawed, add the rest of your ingredients and you’re good to go. Now you’ve saved even more time by not having to chop veggies! Genius.
How to store leftover soup
This soup freezes like a dream. I make a batch and then if we don’t eat it all, I use these Souper Cubes to freeze the leftovers in perfect one cup portions. Souper Cubes are probably my favorite meal prep tool for freezing soups, stews, broth and sauce in small amounts for when you just need a serving or two. They’re brilliant.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup chopped celery, 2-3 ribs
- 1 cup chopped carrots, 2 large or 3 medium
- 1 yellow or sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¾ cup brown rice
- 6 cups broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chop carrots into ¼ inch rounds. Chop celery into ¼ inch slices. Dice onion and mince garlic.
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your instant pot. Turn on the saute function and let it heat up for about 2 minutes. Add olive oil and let it heat for about a minute.
- Add onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add in garlic, dried herbs and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until garlic and herbs are fragrant.
- Add brown rice and stir. Place whole chicken breasts on top and pour in broth.
- Close instant pot and turn valve to "sealing".
- Set the instant pot to cook manually for 12 minutes on high pressure.
- Once cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for another 10 minutes. With a dish towel or oven mitt, carefully flip the valve to "venting" to release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the Instant Pot away from your face. The chicken will be very tender. Shred chicken with two forks right in the pot, stir in fresh parsley if using, check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
If your chicken is frozen, make sure the breasts are separated and not in a frozen mass. The instant pot may take more time to come to pressure but the cooking time will be the same.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 557mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 35g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.