Gluten-Free White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk, divided (2% recommended)
  • 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 8 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips, for topping (optional)

Instructions:

  • Sauté the Chicken and Vegetables: Melt butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, bell pepper, and shallot (or onion). Season generously with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is starting to brown.
  • Add Flavor Boosters: Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, allowing the garlic’s fragrance to release.
  • Build the Soup Base: Pour in the chicken broth, 1.75 cups of the milk, diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel), and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer over high heat.
  • Cook the Rice: Add the rinsed white rice to the simmering soup. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and al dente (slightly firm to the bite). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Thicken the Soup: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and the gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour) to create a slurry. Slowly drizzle the slurry into the simmering soup while whisking constantly. This will help thicken the soup slightly. Simmer uncovered for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the thickness to develop.
  • Cheese Time! Remove the pot from heat and stir in the shredded white cheddar cheese until melted and incorporated throughout the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the hot Gluten-Free White Queso Chicken and Rice Soup into bowls. Top with crushed tortilla chips for added texture and a fun crunch (optional).

Tips:

  • For a spicier soup, add a diced jalapeno pepper along with the bell pepper in step 1.
  • You can substitute chicken thighs for the breasts in this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time slightly, as thighs take a few minutes longer to cook through.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of milk or broth if needed to thin the consistency.
  • Feel free to experiment with different cheeses! Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would all work well in this recipe.

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