Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
Creamy, hearty, and so good for you, this Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup will warm you from the inside out. It’s got a rich broth, tender vegetables, and plenty of filling mushrooms and rice. And of course it’s easy and hands-off to make!
Let’s cut to the chase: this soup is life. We’re going on our fifth year of loving it as a family, and it is reliably one of the recipes I look forward to most when fall rolls around. My step-daughter requests it for special occasions, my husband cites it as his favorite vegetarian soup, and I personally credit it with a substantial percentage of my winter vegetable intake.
Creamy wild rice soup is a winner, but make it in the pressure cooker and it checks even more boxes. This is:
- Easy to make. Toss everything in, cook once, and go.
- Cozy and flavorful. Plenty of herbs, umami-rich mushrooms, and a medley of veggies ensure no bite is boring.
- Filling. Some soups taste great but leave you wanting a sandwich about an hour down the line. Not so here: this will keep you feeling satisfied.
Serve piping hot bowls of soup alongside garlic knots, breadsticks, or crusty baguette. It’s also nice with a side salad or simple sandwich if you’re into that. Delivering a meal to a friend? Take big containers of this soup with a loaf of freshly-baked Dutch oven bread!
My personal favorite pairing ever? Wild rice soup served with day-old croissants toasted lightly in the oven for dipping.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this, as well as possible substitutions. Find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.
- Mushrooms. At this stage of my life, I usually buy pre-sliced mushrooms to save time. 🙂
- Yellow onion. I believe a sweet onion or shallots would also taste great.
- Wild rice. A hearty, substantial rice that maintains great texture when cooked. Do not substitute for other rice in this recipe, and do not pre-cook the wild rice: it will cook fully in the Instant Pot.
- Vegetable or chicken broth. If you splurge on one ingredient, make it buying a good-quality broth or stock.
- Fresh garlic.
- Kosher salt, dried thyme, dried sage, and dried rosemary. If you don’t have or don’t enjoy one of these herbs, experiment with Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning as a swap.
- Kale. For mixing in at the end. Feel free to omit or substitute with baby spinach or another dark leafy green such as Swiss chard.
- All-purpose flour. For thickening the soup at the end. I believe this would work well with a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour substitute.
What is wild rice?
Wild rice is technically a semi-aquatic grass that grows abundantly in Minnesota and other parts of North America’s Great Lakes region. It’s harvested from lakes and is not related to other types of rice.
Compared to the white or brown rice which you may find more familiar, wild rice has a heartier texture with more bite, and it doesn’t get soggy or disintegrate when cooked in a soup or casserole. It can be harder to find and a bit more expensive, but you can usually find wild rice at Trader Joe’s and large grocery stores, and of course online.
Related: Wild Rice Winter Salad
Can I use a wild rice blend?
No; do not use a wild rice blend for this soup. Most products labeled “wild rice blend” are predominantly brown rice with a few flecks of true wild rice mixed in. It will not cook properly in this soup and you will have a mushy mess.
How To Make Easy Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
Seriously so easy. Instant Pot soup recipes are the best! Let’s break it down, shall we?
This is a general overview. As always, you will find full instructions with exact ingredients and times in the print-friendly recipe card below.
- Add all the things–carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, seasoning, and wild rice.
- Stir in broth.
- Cook for 40 minutes on high pressure.
- Quick release the pressure, then stir in greens. They will wilt naturally.
- Make a roux on the stovetop. This is just a creamy mixture of butter, flour, and milk. Pour it in to naturally thicken the soup.
You may ask yourself, do I really need to go through the trouble of making a roux? My personal opinion is yes: I have tried this with just adding heavy cream to the soup, and it takes a lot of cream, is never quite as thick, and lacks the richness you get from just a small amount of butter in the roux.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy! You could add a little fresh parsley or sprigs of fresh thyme as a garnish if presentation matters.
Taste the soup after adding the roux and add extra salt to taste.
Storage, Reheating, & Freezing
- Storage: This recipe makes roughly 6 portions, perhaps more if you’re feeding children. Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. The flavors become even more rich as the soup sits.
- Reheating: Warm portions either over medium heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. If using the microwave, be prepared to stir several times as it warms.
- Freezing: Transfer to a freezer-safe container and be sure to leave some extra room, because the soup will expand when frozen. It will keep for 3-4 months. Defrost in the fridge, then reheat in a saucepan. Wild rice soup might separate a bit as it thaws and reheats, but keep stirring and it will come back together.
Do yourself a favor and buy a pack of these perfect containers for storing soups, stews, and chilis. They are so convenient for not only storage purposes, but also for giving soup as part of a meal train or for a gift.
- Can I make this dairy-free? Yes; use your favorite dairy-free butter and milk, and you should be squared away.
- Can I add chicken? Absolutely! The simplest way would be to toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken along with the kale. It will warm through rapidly. My kids also like this with kielbasa or ham.
- Do I need to rinse wild rice? I do not rinse wild rice for this soup and have never had a problem.
If you try this Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- 5 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Add at the end:
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk any kind
- Add all the soup base ingredients, carrots through rosemary, to the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Cover, seal the lid, and cook on manual/high pressure for 40 minutes.
- When the pressure cooker is finished, use the quick release function to vent steam. Remove any tough ribs from the kale and tear into bite-sized pieces. Open the lid and toss in the kale, leaving the Instant Pot on its keep warm setting.
- To make the roux, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth.
- Pour the roux into the Instant Pot, stir everything together to combine well, and season with additional salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- Storage: Leftover soup keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Freezing: This soup freezes well! Transfer to a freezer-safe container and be sure to leave some extra room, because the soup will expand when frozen. Defrost in the fridge, then reheat in a saucepan. The soup might separate a bit as it thaws and reheats, but keep stirring and it will come back together.
- Recipe: Adapted from Pinch of Yum.
This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated with new photos and more helpful information about the ingredients, possible substitutions, storage, and serving suggestions.