Gluten-free White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup tastes like white queso dip but is made with zero processed cheese. This easy soup recipe is creamy, cheesy and delicious!
Whelp, it’s time to break out the boots with the fur (with the furrr) and my Margaritavilla station on Pandora. The season that shall not be named has officially arrived. Gahh!
That is to say, we got our first snow storm of the winter this week, complete with highs in the negative double digits, which meant snow days from school and soup making to the tune of 4 pots in 24 hours. More on that in a bit.
Is anyone else in agreement that snow after Jan 1 is just plain wrong? Let me rephrase that – is anyone else who doesn’t live in a fabu ski town agree that snow after Jan 1 is just plain wrong?
Confession: my little brother moved back to Denver. I know. Sobs, sobs, sobs. He’d lived there for a handful of years but really missed the family and came home this fall. Well, the mountains called his name back west and off he went the day after Christmas. We were so sad to see him go but want him to be 100% happy always, and that’s with his girlfriend, friends, and the great outdoors in the fabulous state of Colorado. The bright spot is now we have a reason to recommence our yearly trip to visit the aforementioned fabu ski towns we can never get enough of. Yipee ki-yay!
Anyway, 6 inches of snow. Freezing temps. Coughs, colds, and red noses call for just one thing – SOUP (and a glass of red wine at night to warm the soul. I started on vacation and just can’t find a reason to stop. YOLO!)
White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup, friends! It’s warming my belly and the insides of my fridge because, as I mentioned, I made four steaming pots of it in 24 hours to get the recipe juuuuust right. Well, once I forgot a critical step while multitasking (2015 is the year of unitasking) and botched the whole batch, and another time I ate the whole pot before I could photograph it. But the other two times were just for you, WHITE QUESO LOVERS!!!
A simple chicken, green bell pepper, Rotel, and chicken broth base is bulked up with white rice, spiced with a touch of chili powder, then given an uncanny resemblance to white queso dip with the addition of shredded white cheddar cheese at the end. Topped with crushed tortilla chips you’ll swear you’re at your favorite Mexican restaurant eyes-down-ordering-then-devouring white queso dip before the meal comes because free chips and salsa weren’t enough.
This soup is unbelievably delicious – I could not stop eating it (see above!) Creamy, cheesy, and so satisfying. You’ll be making four batches too, and not just because you’re a queso-loving, multitasking, extra-hungry bonehead!
Start by sautéing 1lb chicken breasts, 1 chopped green bell pepper, and 1 chopped shallot or 1/2 small onion in 1 Tablespoon butter in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic then saute for 1 more minute.
Next add 6 cups (48oz) chicken broth, 1-3/4 cup milk (I used 2%,) a 10oz can Rotel, and 1 Tablespoon chili powder then turn the heat up to bring the soup to a simmer.
Add 3/4 cup long grain white rice then place a lid on top of the pot, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer until the rice is al dente, stirring occasionally to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom.
In a small dish, whisk together 1/4 cup gluten-free or all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup milk until smooth, then stream into the soup and stir to combine. Let the soup simmer uncovered or 5 more minutes.
Finally, remove the pot from the heat then slooooowly sprinkle in 8oz freshly shredded white cheddar cheese stirring constantly to ensure the cheese melts smoothly. I strongly encourage you to use freshly shredded cheese vs pre-shredded as it has a coating that prevents it from sticking together and doesn’t melt quite as well.
Let the soup sit and thicken for 10-15 minutes then ladle into crocks, top with crushed tortilla chips, and have at it!
White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup
Gluten-free White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup tastes just like white queso dip. Creamy, cheesy and fabulous!
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded then chopped
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups (48oz) chicken broth
- 2 cups milk, divided (I used 2%)
- 10oz can Rotel
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- 1/4 cup gluten-free or all-purpose flour (see notes for brand used)
- 8oz shredded white cheddar cheese
- Crushed tortilla chips, for topping
- Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, bell pepper, and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute.
- Add chicken broth, 1-3/4 cups milk, Rotel and chili powder to the pot then turn heat up to high and bring to a simmer. Add rice then turn heat down to medium-low, place a lid on top, and then cook until rice is al dente, stirring occasionally.
- Stir remaining 1/4 cup milk into flour in a small dish then drizzle into the soup and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat then slowly sprinkle in cheese while continuously stirring to make sure it melts evenly. Let soup sit and thicken for 10 minutes before serving with crushed tortilla chips.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Even with the addition of chili powder and green chilis in the Rotel, I would not call this soup spicy at all – just slightly warming. If you’re looking for a kick, throw a chopped jalapeno in with the vegetables and/or use spicy Rotel. Either way, you are going to LOVE this soup!