A creamy, dreamy soup to make in the Instant Pot

This Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup makes a filling meal. (Photo by Claudia Alexander)

Though the Instant Pot has been around since 2010, I am a relatively new convert. Having already given away my bread machine, rice cooker and yogurt maker, the idea of an Instant Pot in my small kitchen wasn’t at all appealing. However, after a hike with a girlfriend during the pandemic who couldn’t stop raving about the chicken stock she had made, I was convinced enough to give it another chance. I bought the smaller size (3 quarts — perfect for us empty nesters) and it didn’t take long to “fall in love.” I confess, it made me slightly uncomfortable to learn that when the Instant Pot first came out, foodies all over the internet were so enthralled with it they named themselves “Potheads.”

But yes, I am now also hooked. I use my Instant Pot most weeks, saving meat bones from dinner until I have enough for stock, or whipping up a quick risotto for dinner, as well as chilis, stews and soups that I can freeze for a quick weeknight dinner. The Instant Pot also can cook dried beans without having to soak them ahead of time: Check the website of Rancho Gordo for cooking times for different types of beans.

This Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup makes a filling meal. (Photo by Claudia Alexander) 

The following recipe is from the cookbook “The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook” by Diane Phillips. This is my go-to cookbook for pressure cooking and I gave a copy to each of my kids. If you have a smaller Instant Pot like mine, you might have to adjust some of the recipes. I adapted the Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, substituting the wild rice for a wild rice blend, the chicken breasts for chicken thighs, the heavy cream for half-and-half and using less stock because of the size of my pot.

This soup is hearty; you might even call it a stew, but you could add more stock once it is finished to make it soupier. With a salad and baguette, it’s an altogether filling meal.

Claudia Alexander, a resident of Marin County, has been happily cooking for family and friends for more than three decades. She has a weekly food blog, You can contact her at


Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

Serves 6 to 8

2 ½ quarts


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces

1 heaping cup yellow onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cups carrots, chopped

1 ½ cups celery stalks, chopped, if possible with leaves

4 1/2 to 5 cups chicken stock

¾ cup wild rice blend, rinsed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ cup half-and-half

Salt and pepper to taste


Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Turn on the Instant Pot. Make sure the “keep warm” function is off. Select the sauté function. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted, add the chicken and cook until it has lost its pink color. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme, wild rice blend and stock. Lock the lid into place and cook at high pressure for …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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