This Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup is packed with vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, tender chicken pieces, and chewy wild rice. You will love the Instant Pot version of this cozy chicken wild rice soup as it is an easy and fuss-free one-pot recipe.
The weather right now is just perfect to slurp on a warm bowl of soup. While I enjoy making my Instant Pot chicken noodle soup often, I love switching it up at times. This Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup is a richer version and is one of our absolute favorites at home.
My homemade version is inspired by Panera’s wild rice chicken soup and it is packed with rustic, earthy, and savory flavors and textures! Making wild rice soup in the Instant Pot is super easy and requires very basic prep work.
The only preparation you need to do is dicing the vegetables. To make it even easier, skip the chopping part and pick up readymade mirepoix from the grocery store.
By the way, did you know wild rice is not rice at all? It is actually the seed of an aquatic grass. To learn more about how it is processed and the numerous health benefits this grain offers, do read this article from WebMD
Table of Contents
To make this Instant Pot creamy chicken wild rice soup, you will need;
Wild rice: Be sure to use 100 % wild rice and not the wild rice blend or quick-cooking wild rice for this recipe. The soup will have a different texture if you use white rice. Wild rice is easily available in stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. If you can’t find them in stores, you will get them online.
Chicken: I’ve used a mix of bone-in chicken thighs and boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can use whatever you prefer.
Mushrooms: Feel free to use your favorite variety of mushrooms. I’ve used button mushrooms for this recipe.
Cooking fat: I’ve used olive oil. You can also use butter plus olive oil.
Mirepoix: Equal parts onion, carrots, and celery. I’ve used red onions because that is what I had in my pantry. You can also use white or yellow onions. Keep the carrots a little chunky, or they will turn too mushy due to the long pressure cooking time.
Garlic: To amp up the flavor. Try and use freshly minced garlic.
Herbs: I’ve used a mix of dried herbs and some freshly chopped parsley to finish off the soup.
Stock: I’ve used better than bouillon to make the stock. If you’re watching your salt intake, stick to low-sodium chicken stock.
Cornstarch: To thicken the soup.
Heavy cream: Adds body and richness to the soup and gives it a nice mouthfeel.
Baby spinach: To add some extra nutrients and greens to the soup! Feel free to use collard greens, baby kale, or your favorite greens.
Lemon juice: Just a tad bit, in the end, it really elevates the flavor of the soup.
Other ingredients: Bay leaves and ground nutmeg.
Why you will love this recipe?
✓ Really easy to put together
✓ One-pot recipe
✓ Absolutely comforting
✓ Wholesome and hearty
✓ Easily adaptable
✓ Great for chilly fall and winter nights
✓ Leftovers are delicious
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup – Step by step process
Step 1: Saute mirepoix, garlic, and seasoning mix
Press the ‘SAUTE’ button, wait until it displays ‘HOT’. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let it heat up for a few seconds. Add 1 cup each of diced onions, carrots, celery, sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. (Photos 1 to 4)
Add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, sauté until aromatic. (Photos 5 and 6)
Next, add seasoning mix (1/2 teaspoon each of dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried rubbed sage, tarragon, black pepper, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste). Saute for another 30 seconds. (Photos 7 and 8)
Make sure you don’t have any browned bits stuck at the bottom of the pot to avoid a potential ‘BURN’ error. If you do, deglaze it with 1/4 cup of stock.
Step 2: Add mushrooms, wild rice, stock, chicken, and pressure cook
Press ‘CANCEL’, add 8 oz of sliced mushrooms, rinsed wild rice (3/4 cup), and 5 cups of stock. (Photos 9 to 11)
Place 1.5 pounds of chicken breasts and thighs in the pot, make sure they are submerged under the stock. Throw in 2 bay leaves. (Photos 12 and 13)
Note: If you plan on serving the soup right away, 5 cups of stock is just right. But if you plan on having leftovers, use 6 cups of stock or 4 cups of stock + 2 cups of water since the soup thickens considerably in the fridge.
Close the lid of the Instant Pot with the valve set to the ‘SEALING’ position. Press the manual or pressure cook button and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. It will take some time for the pressure to build up (about 15 mins), after which the timer will start. (Photos 14 and 15)
Step 3: Natural pressure release
Once the cooking cycle is complete, let it depressurize for at least 10 minutes.
Then do a quick release of leftover pressure following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once the float valve (silver pin) drops, open the lid. Discard the bay leaves.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, shred or dice it into small pieces. Set aside. (Photos 16 to 19)
Step 4: Thicken the soup
Turn on the ‘SAUTE’ button, bring the soup to a boil, add the cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water), mix well, stirring continuously, until it turns thick. (Photos 20 and 21)
Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream, mix well and heat through. (Photos 22 and 23)
Step 5: Add remaining ingredients, mix, and serve
Press ‘CANCEL’ to switch off the IP. Add 2 to 3 cups of roughly chopped spinach, stir until it wilts. (Photos 24 and 25)
Add the shredded or diced chicken back, 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, mix well. Check for seasoning, adjust with more salt and pepper if required. Dish out, and serve with homemade crusty artisan bread. (Photos 26 to 30)
Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup is filling and great as a standalone dish all by itself.
If you wish to serve it along with some sides, you could serve it with some;
- Crusty artisan bread
- Dinner rolls
- Breadsticks, and/or a salad.
- You could also serve it in bread bowls for a fancy meal.
In the fridge: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Transfer the soup into a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. Add some stock or water to thin it out as required.
Freezer: You can also freeze the soup in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Heat as stated above.
Recipe tips and variations…
Add a splash of white wine: Take the soup a notch up with a splash of white wine. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine after sauteing the veggies, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Cheese: You can also add some grated parmesan cheese after adding the heavy cream, mix until well incorporated. If you have parmesan rinds, throw that in along with the bay leaves. It will add an amazing flavor to the soup.
Heavy cream: Use room temperature cream to avoid it from splitting when added to the soup.
Heat the stock: This is an optional step, but it does help the pot to come to pressure quickly. I dissolve better than the bouillon chicken stock base in hot water.
Seasoning: Add whatever herbs you have at home or feel free to use your favorite seasoning blend. If you have nothing, just salt, and pepper along with fresh or even dried thyme.
Make it a dump-and-go recipe: You can skip sauteing the mirepoix, garlic, and herbs and just dump them in instead. I love sauteing them as it flavors the base layer of the soup instead of making it just one-dimensional. Feel free to make the soup as per your preference.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is this Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup gluten-free?
Wild rice is naturally gluten-free, so yes, this soup is gluten-free. Just be sure to use gluten-free cornstarch.
Can I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe?
Yes, you can! Add about 3 cups of diced or shredded rotisserie chicken in the last step. The cooking time will stay the same because the wild rice needs that amount of time to cook.
How do you know when wild rice is cooked?
When wild rice is cooked, the kernels split open revealing a white and creamy interior. It should be chewy and tender, not mushy.
Can I make a vegetarian or vegan version of this soup?
Yes, you definitely can. Leave out the chicken and swap the chicken stock with vegetable stock. You can double the mushroom quantity.
You can consider adding 1/4 inch cubes of extra firm tofu just before adding the heavy cream. Let it cook on the ‘SAUTE’ mode for 5 to 10 minutes so that the tofu absorbs all the flavors.
For a vegan version, you can swap the cream with a 13.5 oz can of full-fat coconut milk.
If you don’t like the flavor of coconut milk, you can use cashew cream.
I am not a fan of mushrooms, can I leave them out?
Mushrooms do add that umami flavor. But, you can leave it out if you don’t like it. You can try using Trader Joe’s multipurpose umami seasoning blend (not sponsored).
You can also add about 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce (regular or vegan) to build on the flavor. If using fish sauce, adjust the salt accordingly as it already contains salt.
How do I make a lightened-up version?
Skip the cream and swap it with milk or half and half. You can also use evaporated milk instead. I do not suggest adding just milk, as it won’t lend that required creaminess to the soup. But if you are okay with that, feel free to use just milk.
How many servings does this soup make?
This recipe makes about 10 cups of soup. It should easily feed about 6 adults if you consider about 1.5 cups of soup per serving.
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★ Did you enjoy this pressure cooker chicken wild rice soup? If you happen to try it out, I would love to hear from you! I’d appreciate it if you could rate and leave a review below in the comments. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too. Thanks so much 🙂
Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 8 oz button mushrooms
- 3/4 cup wild rice rinsed
- 5 to 6 cups chicken stock, refer notes
- 1.5 lbs chicken, I've used a mix of skinless breasts and thighs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 to 3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Press the 'SAUTE' button, wait until it displays 'HOT'. Add olive oil and let it heat up for a few seconds. Add diced onions, carrots, celery, sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add minced garlic, sauté until aromatic.
- Next, add seasoning mix. Saute for another 30 seconds.
- Make sure you don't have any browned bits stuck at the bottom of the pot to avoid a potential 'BURN' error. If you do, deglaze it with 1/4 cup of stock.
- Press 'CANCEL', add mushrooms, rinsed wild rice, and 5 cups stock. Place chicken breasts and thighs in the pot, make sure they are submerged under the stock. Throw in the bay leaves.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot with the valve set to the 'SEALING' position. Press the manual or pressure cook button and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. It will take some time for the pressure to build up, after which the timer will start.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, let it depressurize for at least 10 minutes, then do a quick release of leftover pressure following the manufacturer's instructions. Once the float valve (silver pin) drops, open the lid. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, shred or dice it into small pieces. Set aside.
- Turn on the 'SAUTE' button, bring the soup to a boil, add the cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water), mix well, stirring continuously, until it turns thick.
- Stir in heavy cream, mix well and heat through.
- Press 'CANCEL' to switch off the IP. Add roughly chopped spinach, stir until it wilts.
- Add the shredded or diced chicken, freshly chopped parsley, ground nutmeg, and lemon juice, mix well. Check for seasoning, adjust with more salt and pepper if required. Dish out, and serve with homemade crusty artisan bread.