Healing Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Healing Chicken and Rice Soup

93 reviews / 4.8 average

Healing Chicken and Rice Soup that is limey, salty, and so fresh! Garlic-ginger-infused broth, shredded chicken thighs, tender jasmine rice, fresh herbs, and peanuts. YUM.

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Things I want you to know about healing chicken and rice soup: it is limey, salty, and so fresh. It’s super satisfying thanks to juicy and garlic-ginger-infused chicken thighs and tender jasmine rice, and it can be (read: should be) loaded with fresh herbs and peanuts and more lime juice.

Knock on wood, but when you have a head cold, this will feel like an extremely delicious medical miracle. (*not a doctor, prone to exaggeration.*) I am convinced that it’s healing and happy for the body, and the soul, and people who like a lot of flavor in their life.

So Many Fresh and Healing Ingredients

It starts with the standard comforts of chicken and rice, but also includes:

  • Ginger. So much ginger.
  • Garlic and shallots. Just the right amount of potency.
  • A turmeric dusting.
  • Salty broth.
  • A handful of spinach.
  • Excessive amounts of lime juice.
  • A lil pile of fresh mint and cilantro.
  • Peanuts for crunch.

It’s savory but also bright. Warm and cozy, but refreshing. Super extra healthy, but comfort food. Plus, it’s golden and beautiful-looking.

How To Make This Chicken and Rice Soup Happen

It’s incredibly easy to bring this all together! Here’s what going down…

  1. Sauté a little garlic, ginger, and shallots in a soup pot.
  2. Add your chicken and spices to the pot until the chicken thighs brown. Set those aside.
  3. Add in your spinach until it shrinks down and set that aside.
  4. Add your rice and broth to the pot. Let that cook until the rice is tender.
  5. Shred your chicken and add it (along with your spinach) back in with everything.
  6. Splash a bit of soy sauce, lime juice, and fish sauce, and finish with a lil’ fresh herb treatment on top.

Let’s Get The Rice Texture Just Right

To avoid sad, mushy rice in your soup, jasmine rice is key. Make sure to add that in near the end with the broth and cook just until the rice gets soft, maybe 15-20 minutes. It’s best to not walk away from your stove in this case just so you can keep an eye on things.

How To Store Leftovers

Leftovers? But how?? You didn’t stand over the stove eating this by the ladle-full before it even made its way to the kitchen table? Just us then, okay. You can store any soup leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. The rice will likely absorb a lot of the broth as it sits in your fridge, so you may just need to add a bit more when you go to rewarm it.

Chicken and rice soup in a bowl with spoon.

Thanks to all its nutrition and big flavor and healing whole food ingredients, it is a cold-weather (and head-cold) essential. Garlic, ginger, and lime juice? These three can make it all right again. ♡

Healing Chicken and Rice Soup: FAQs

Can you freeze this soup?

You can! Details can be found in the recipe notes.

How should I save leftovers of this soup?

Just toss any leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container. Of note, this soup will absorb liquid as it rests (thanks, rice). So your leftovers may need some more water or chicken broth added to soup it all up again.

Can I make this in the Instant Pot?

Yes! Try 6 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot and use the quick release function. Top with herbs once the soup finishes cooking!

Can I use leftover chicken or rice?

Yes! Have some pulled rotisserie chicken from earlier this week? Great! Use that in place of chicken thighs here. Have a box of takeout rice in the depths of your fridge? Toss that in the soup! You’ve got options that’ll work great.

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Chicken and rice soup with leafy herbs and a lime wedge.

Healing Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x


Healing Chicken and Rice Soup that is limey, salty, and so fresh! Garlic-ginger-infused broth, shredded chicken thighs, tender jasmine rice, fresh herbs, and peanuts. YUM.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 34 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 68 cups chicken broth
  • juice of 4 limes (about 1/4 cup, plus more to taste)
  • a splash of soy sauce or fish sauce (optional)
  • fresh herbs for topping (mint, basil, cilantro)
  • peanuts or cashews for topping


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and shallots. Sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken thighs. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric. Cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes. (Add 1/4 cup water to the pan to create a little steam bath if it’s getting too browned on the bottom.) Flip and repeat until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. Add spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Remove spinach and set aside.
  4. Add rice to the pan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes so it picks up all the good pan flavors. Add 6 cups broth and bring to a simmer.
  5. While the rice is cooking, shred the chicken.
  6. When the rice is soft, add chicken and spinach back to the pan. Season with lime juice, soy sauce / fish sauce, and fresh herbs. Add extra broth as needed. YUM.


I like to hold onto the herbs until just before serving, so I kept them separate and arranged a little herb salad atop each bowl of soup. 

Freezer Meal Version

Freeze Together:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
6 cups chicken broth
juice of 4 limes (about 1/4 cup, plus more to taste)
Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 13 mins + 10 mins natural release
Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours (thaw first)
Final Step: Shred chicken and add 1 cup jasmine rice. Use sauté function with lid off, and cook for 15 minutes until rice is cooked. Stir in 3 cups spinach and a splash of soy sauce or fish sauce. Serve with fresh herbs (mint and basil), and crushed peanuts.
Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Keywords: soup recipe, chicken and rice soup, turmeric recipe, healthy soup recipe, superfoods soup, detox soup

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    OOOH this looks good! I have some frozen shredded chicken in the freezer this would be perfect for. Thanks Lindsay!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Best chicken soup I’ve EVERY eaten let alone made! I use udon noodles instead of rice and it is awesome! I’ve been making this for my friends with COVID-19 and they swear it helps them heal! I’ve made this soup so many times don’t need to look at recipe any longer.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          This is so good! Perfect for a rainy day. My 7 year asked if he could have the recipe 😂

        2. Pinch of Yum Logo

          This is REALLY GOOD SOUP! I followed the recipe except for rice I used Soba noodles – which I saw in a comment. Delicious! I made it for my daughter who just had a baby so I will now need to make another batch for me!

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Love this recipe! I am on the verge of a cold and tired so I did things out of order and just cooked the chicken with the rice and wilted the spinach at the end. Still great!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This sounds so yummy and warming and cozy! I know it clearly is a chicken soup recipe but I’m wondering what your recommendations would be for a plant-based variation with the same amazing flavours?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I’m wondering the same and thinking of making with some miso or some of the “not chicken” bouillon and topping with some crispy tofu!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Maybe a “Not chick’n” bouillon cube or a good veggie broth and shredded jackfruit for the “chicken”?? I’m plant-based and this is how I’ll try to veganize this delicious sounding recipe!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, Alicia! We haven’t tested this out in the Instant Pot yet, but we think it could work. We’d suggest starting with 6 minutes on high pressure for the cook time. Would love to hear how this goes for you!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Just tried this in the Instant Pot – cooked 6 minutes on high pressure then rested for 10, before releasing remaining pressure. Amazing and loved by the whole family – thank you!!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Did you saute the chicken first in the instant pot? Or just put everything in the instant pot at the same time and cook?

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I lightly brown the chicken on one side then add all of the other ingredients to the pot. Spinach and toppings added at the end after pressure cooking.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I LOVE the amount of lime juice in this recipe. My life was totally changed when I started adding acids to my soup (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar), so I need to try this!!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just made this and even though I had no turmeric or limes, it came out so flavorful! I love soups and I can put this one on my top 5!!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks Yummy. I have tried the chicken soup with noodle, but not rice. If I do not have Jasmine rice, can you recommend other types of rice I can use? Thanks

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Do you leave the whole slices of ginger or remove? I’ve neverr eaten a slice of ginger. I have had it grated.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Hi Jody! You can just leave the ginger in the soup actually. Since you thinly slice it, it breaks down a bit in the soup while it cooks. If you prefer, you can always grate your ginger.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Do you know if this can be done in the instant pot? Any suggestions for cooking time if so?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi there! We haven’t tested this out in the Instant Pot yet, but we think it could work. We’d suggest starting with 6 minutes on high pressure for the cook time. Would love to hear how this goes for you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, Amanda! We haven’t tried this with cauliflower rice yet, but we think it’d work. The cauliflower rice will cook faster than jasmine rice though, so it won’t need as much time on the stove.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just whipped this up because our WI Autumn was begging for a warm, enriching soup tonight. It came together so quick, and I just snuck a spoonful before serving my littles and WOW. The lime, ginger and turmeric are incredible together. You are absolutely 100% correct on all accounts and to be clear, I expect this will heal my son’s ear infection instantly 😉

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks super yummy and perfect when you’re feeling under the weather. Could you freeze this soup to use in a pinch ( 😉) or would that not work well with the rice absorbing liquid?

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was so upset when I forgot to buy peanuts on my shopping excursion today and I pretended they wouldn’t be necessary — but this recipe definitely needs some warm flavors — the turmeric can feel a little bitter. I added a little cumin (1/2 tsp) with the turmeric but doing multiple process tastings, it needed more. I added two spoonfuls of peanut butter and it really helped. I still feel it needs a little “something”, but I think it is a very good starting point. I would say that the lime juice and the cilantro really improved the flavor. As hinted in the recipe, more broth is definitely a good idea.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this tonight with leftover roasted turkey and turkey broth. It was fantastic! It would be a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Approximately how long do you cook the B/S chicken thighs to make sure they are done? I want to try this tomorrow.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    After one bite, my 12-year-old son said, “Can you make this again?” The family all had two bowls for dinner, then he requested another one later for a snack. And one of us may have eaten a bowl of it for breakfast. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the cilantro because the store was out of it (!). New favorite soup — definitely nourishing and super delicious.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this with shrimp in place of the chicken (added at the end) and it was sooo delish. I think salmon would be great as well.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Wow.., This is a good heart warming soup. I’ve tried it, the colour wasn’t great, but the taste is too good. And like the name says, it really Heals…

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks sooo good! I’m definitely gonna give it a shot.
    It’s been so hard keeping the weight down. But Pinch of Yum recipes are just an awesome help. I also found this great weight loss program, really cheap that helped me tremendously, at. https://mmini.me/looseweightFAST
    It’s definitely worth checking out.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I felt a cold coming on today and remembered I had just seen this recipe. I wanted to add even a little bit more veggie goodness so I sautéed a Serrano pepper with the garlic, ginger and shallot and then included some chopped up baby bok choy with the spinach. It was delicious, so satisfying yet fresh. Will be making again and again this fall and winter!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this soup tonight and it was AMAZING!!! Even my 3 and 6 year old had seconds. This will definitely be a winter staple in our house. I love all of the beautiful flavors.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight-used a little more shallot than called for and only had brown basmati rice on hand. Both my husband and I loved it! The lime juice really makes it. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow – perfect for our rainy cold weekend at home!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just made it In the instant pot and it’s delish! Added the spinach after release and soy and fish sauce. Soo good!

    What herbs did you add? I think That will make it rock even more!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I was wondering if you put the chicken and rice in the instapot at the same time and for how long. I want to make this for my dad tonight thank you

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and it was perfect. My husband thought he might like a little less lime juice, but I thought it was delicious with the juice of 4. So comforting!

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Can this be made without the rice? I eat low-carb and love brothy soups, and wondered if it would work without adding any rice or even cauliflower rice at all.