Dive into a heartwarming blend of shredded chicken, aromatic rice, ranch seasoning, and a medley of veggies all simmered together in a rich broth. This Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup will become your new comfort food favorite!
Oh, the memories this Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup brings! Growing up, chicken and rice soup was a staple in our household, especially on chilly days or when one of us was under the weather. But let’s be real; as much as I cherished mom’s classic rendition, it was due for a little revamping. Enter a rainy day, me, and an accidental over-purchase of ranch seasoning. And voilà! That was the birth of this elevated, zestier version of our family classic. I remember the first time I served it; the house was filled with raised eyebrows, surprised gasps, and eventually, empty bowls. Now, whenever the weather gives me an excuse, this soup’s on the stove, and there’s a line at the door!
Why You’ll Love Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup:
This Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup is not your ordinary chicken soup; it’s an experience! First off, the ranch seasoning: it’s that unexpected twist that makes this recipe shine, introducing a tangy, zesty flavor that’ll have you going back for seconds. And, let’s not forget the cheddar cheese or cream of chicken soup, which adds a creamy depth that transforms this from “just another soup” to a dish fit for a king (or queen). Lastly, the optional bacon bits garnish? It’s the cherry on top, adding a smoky crunch that sends your taste buds to flavor town.
Ingredient Notes For Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup:
- Chicken: Preferably go for rotisserie or home-cooked, but in a pinch, canned chicken will do.
- Rice: White rice is our go-to for its quick cooking time, but feel free to try brown rice or even quinoa. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
- Ranch Seasoning Mix: Store-bought is fine, but if you have a homemade blend, even better.
- Condensed Soup: Whether you opt for cheddar cheese or cream of chicken, it will elevate the creaminess. You can also experiment with other condensed soups for a twist.
- Bacon Bits: These are optional, but come on, who says no to bacon?
How To Make Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup:
Let’s embark on this flavorful journey, shall we?
- Kick-off: Start by heating that golden olive oil in your favorite stock pot or Dutch oven. You’re setting the stage here.
- The Veggie Waltz: Introduce the onion, carrot, and celery to the warm oil. Sauté them until they’re soft, tender, and basically doing a little dance in the pot. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Seasoning Soirée: Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, ranch seasoning, and paprika. Throw in the garlic and let everything mingle for a minute or two.
- The Broth Bath: Gently pour in the chicken broth and the condensed soup. The broth bath just got creamier and richer!
- Chicken & Rice Dive: Now, invite the chicken and rice to the party. Bring everything to an enthusiastic boil, then lower the heat, letting it all simmer until the rice is perfectly cooked. Around 15-20 minutes is golden.
- Finishing Touches: Sprinkle in those irresistible bacon bits, have a taste, adjust the seasoning if you fancy, and serve it piping hot. Slurping is not only allowed but encouraged!
Ah, leftovers! If you somehow manage to resist eating it all, store this delightful soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Looking to savor it later? This soup freezes beautifully. Just portion it out in freezer-safe containers or bags and store for up to 3 months. When hunger strikes, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove.
Variations & Substitutions:
Let’s get creative!
- For the Veg Lovers: Add in some chopped bell peppers or zucchini. Maybe even a handful of spinach or kale in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Grains Galore: Swap out white rice for wild rice, barley, or even orzo for a delightful texture twist.
- Vegan Vibes: Omit the chicken, use a plant-based broth and opt for a creamy vegan soup alternative. You can even throw in some beans or lentils for protein.
- Heat Seekers: Add a dash of red pepper flakes or a splash of hot sauce for that extra kick. After all, who doesn’t like to play with fire once in a while?
Phew! That was quite a ride, wasn’t it? Now go, let your culinary flag fly, and remember: it’s not just soup; it’s an adventure in a bowl!
Ranch Chicken and Rice Soup
- 3 cups of chicken cooked and shredded
- 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 carrots peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery ribs finely diced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 packet 1.0 oz. of dry ranch seasoning mix
- 1 can 10.75 oz. of condensed cheddar cheese or cream of chicken soup
- 2/3 cup of uncooked white rice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- Optional: real bacon bits for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper adjusted to taste
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, warm the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, sauté the finely chopped onion, diced carrot, and diced celery for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, ranch seasoning, and paprika to the sautéed vegetables. Stir well to combine.
- Introduce the garlic powder and allow it to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, ensuring the garlic does not burn.
- Pour the chicken broth and the condensed soup into the pot, mixing well to integrate the flavors.
- Incorporate the shredded chicken and white rice. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow the mixture to simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes. Ensure the rice is cooked thoroughly.
- If opting to use bacon bits, sprinkle them into the soup. Adjust the seasoning as necessary after tasting. Serve while still hot.