Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Warm and cozy instant pot chicken wild rice soup takes under an hour to make! It’s cream, snug, and studded with celery, onions, mushrooms, and carrots. The perfect meal for chilly winter nights!
Snug as a bug!
Instant pot chicken wild rice soup has been the most memorable recipe I’ve made this fall. It’s warm and cozy and loaded with garlic, onions, dried herbs, and studded with carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Every bite starts with tender chicken, nutty and chewy wild rice and smooths out with that luscious, rich and creamy flavor.
Warm and hearty soups like this always remind me of the cold and frostbitten days in Chicago. One look outside our grand bay windows and you’d see everything enveloped in a blanket of glistening snowflakes as far as the eyes can stretch. My mom was the kind that always had a hot after school snack ready and waiting for us when we got off the bus and finally peeled off the layers that shielded us from the blistering wind. As soon as the bus would stop, she’d opened the front door, and as you got close, you’d feel the warmth and the smell of a pot of soup that had been slow-simmering with love. During the winter months, my brother and I were elated to see hearty bowls of soup and bread.
And though chicken wild rice soup was not something I’d had until I was much older, it always reminds me of those simpler times.
A couple of weekends ago when the weather dipped well below 40, the hankering for a warm bowl of soup kicked in. That night we invited some of our closest friends over for a cozy meal and a Stranger Things marathon. I have to say, in my thirties, I look forward to a night in with comfort food, sweats, good friends, and a satisfying TV show.
So I began scrolling through some of the recipes on the blog and settled on the slow cooker chicken wild rice soup that so many of you have made and loved. I wanted to experiment making chicken wild rice soup in the instant pot (so it’s ready in less than 1/2 the time). To amp up the flavors a bit, I swapped out the wild rice blend I usually use for the real deal wild rice, added more seasonings, more veggies, more garlic (because why not), and cut back on the flour just a hint to make this a little more… soupy?
When we sat down to dinner, my friend’s 18-month old started shoveling drippy spoonfuls into his mouth and in between, he’d look up and give us all a huge toothy grin, pieces of wild rice stuck to his chin, and not a care in the world. I have to say, he was totally projecting how we all felt about this soup.
It’s homey and goes great with a simple salad and lots of chewy bread. Looking back, I wish I had made the roasted garlic rosemary focaccia that night. I would’ve been in garlicky, comfort food heaven.
What I love most about instant pot chicken wild rice soup is that it’s super quick and easy to make. It also tastes like cream of mushroom soup meets chicken and wild rice. I have to say, I absolutely love this mashup. A.) because I’m big on the shrooms and B) it adds an umami-esque factor to the whole thing, and I so dig that.
To make this even faster, you can pick up prechopped mirepoix from the store. Or toss it into a food processor and pulse until the veggies break down a little bit. Then it’s as simple as tossing everything into the instant pot and letting it cook all the way through. The wild rice takes the same time to prepare as the chicken and veggies. In 35 minutes you’ve got all of that marked off and done.
Then, it’s as simple and making the roux and adding it to the instant pot (affiliate link).
A few things I’d like to mention about this instant pot chicken wild rice soup:
- Actual wild rice: with 35 minutes of cooking time, you’ll need to use real wild rice for this one. I don’t suggest a blend, or brown rice, or white rice. It’s actual wild rice (affiliate link). It can be difficult to find in stores so if you’ve got a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can pick it up there. Or if your grocery store entirely does not carry it, you can buy it online.
- Seasonings: like the slow cooker version of my chicken wild rice soup, this one also calls for a seasoning blend. I use the 21 seasoning salute from TJ’s, but Mrs. Dash (affiliate link) also makes one that you can find in almost all grocery stores. Just be sure to use the salt-free kind.
- Roux: the roux for this instant pot chicken wild rice soup is cooked separately from the soup so you’ll need a small saucepan, five tablespoons of butter, 1/3 cup of flour, and 2 cups of milk or cream. Depending on my mood, I might even add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to amp up the flavor a little more. Often I find the milk leaves this soup a little lacking in richness so I’ve started using half and half (half cream, half milk) and I find this certainly satisfies my tastebuds a whole lot more. But you can play around with this recipe and use what you like!
If you don’t like mushrooms, just omit it from the recipe and if you don’t eat chicken, just double the mushrooms, so you get a little bit in every bite.
The hardest part about this whole instant pot chicken wild rice soup is waiting for 45 minutes. But here’s the thing – it’s simple, humble, feel-good food. It’s also perfect for those of us that want a warm bowl of soup for lunch every day of the week as this recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings.
Quick to throw together, straightforward, easily adaptable to your preference. Instant pot chicken wild rice soup is perfect to meal prep on Sundays and enjoy all week long!
In fact, I think it’s going on the menu again for next week!
- 3 cups mirepoix (equal parts, chopped onion, carrots, and celery)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, diced (see notes)
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed (see notes)
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash's seasoning (see notes)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH salt AND pepper
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 2 cups milk (or half and half)
- INSTANT POT: Add all the ingredients listed under the soup section into the instant pot, cover, and cook on manual (high pressure) for 35 minutes. During the last 5 minutes prepare the roux. Quick-release the steam by turning the valve. Remove the chicken, shred it using two forks, and add it back into the instant pot.
- ROUX: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Let the flour mixture cook for 2 minutes before adding the garlic powder (if using). Continue whisking as you slowly start streaming in the milk (or half and half). Once the sauce thickens (about 2-3 minutes), add a sprinkling of salt.
- CHICKEN WILD RICE SOUP: Stir the prepared roux into the instant pot and let sit for 5-7 minutes before serving. This allows the soup to thicken just a tad bit. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. Serve with tons of crusty bread!
01/21: After several reviews, I've changed the quantity of the all-purpose seasoning to 1-3. The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons but some readers have mentioned that this made their soup quite spicy for them. We make this soup with 3 tablespoons often and don't find it spicy, but you may want to start with 1 tablespoon and add more if this is your first time making this soup!
- Purchase prechopped veggies or pop each individual veggie into a food processor and give it a few pulses to make this faster.
- I used Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute for this recipe (that's their version of the Mrs. Dash salt-free Original seasoning blend.)
- The soup will thicken significantly as it sits. Leftovers should be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated. Additional milk, cream, broth, or water can be used to adjust the consistency of the soup when reheating.
- I suggest using real wild rice for this recipe. A wild rice blend, white rice, or brown rice won't produce the same results. Unfortunately, they do soften quite a bit in the time needed to prepare this recipe.
- Update: Leftovers can be frozen, just allow them to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. You may need additional water or broth to help bring it back to its normal consistency.