Meals in a jar are my absolute favorite thing to can. It doesn’t take much effort to mix up a large batch of soup, stew, or chili and fill a dozen or so jars to can for future meals.
On those nights when you need a quick meal they’re perfect to simply heat and eat. With home-canned meals in a jar, you get the convenience of fast food without sacrificing taste, nutrition, or quality. Not to mention the savings you’ll enjoy!
Chicken and rice soup is one of those wholesome meals that costs very little to make and tastes amazing. It’s especially good when you’re coming down with a cold and need an additional boost of nutrients.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started…
Pressure Canner– any time you are canning anything low acid (vegetables, meats, beans) you absolutely must use a pressure canner in order to preserve it safely. Otherwise you risk botulism, a deadly form of food poisoning.
Canning Jars– Wide mouth jars are best for chunky foods, but regulars will do if that’s what you have. Select a size that fits your family’s needs. If you are cooking for only one or two, you’ll probably want to can soups in pint jars. If you’ll be feeding a larger family, you’ll want to can soups in quart jars. Make sure your jars are sterilized and you have the appropriate lids and bands to go on them!
Canning Tools– a wide mouth funnel, ladle, and jar lifter are the bare essentials you’ll need to can foods at home. You can buy canning tools in a kit which comes with everything you’ll need to get started.
• 4 quarts chicken stock (homemade is best!)
• 3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
• 1 1/2- 2 cups sliced carrots
• 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 tsp chicken bouillon
Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, filling about half-way full. Add a handful of rice to each quart jar, or half a handful to each pint jar. Be sure not to add more rice to the jars or it will get too thick and won’t get heated adequately during the canning process.
Finish filling the jars with soup, leaving 1 inch headspace. Use the back end of a plastic or wooden utensil to poke around in the jars to remove air bubbles. With a clean cloth dipped in vinegar wipe the rim of each jar to remove any food residue.
Place lids on jars, securing the band finger-tight. Some canning lids need to be simmered before use, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Process pint jars for 75 minutes, quart jars for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live at high altitudes (over 1,000 ft in elevation) increase the pressure to 15 pounds.
After the canning process, remove the jars to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 24 hours. Once cooled, test the lids to make sure they’ve sealed properly by unscrewing the bands and pulling up on each lid to make sure it doesn’t come off easily. If the jar didn’t seal, put it in the fridge to be eaten right away. Otherwise, it’s safe to put on your pantry shelf. You can store the jars with or without the metal bands.
I try to use up our home canned goods within a year for best taste, texture, and nutritional value. However, canned foods will stay good for many, many years if stored properly. Keep out of direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity which can cause the lids to rust.
Let me know if you try this chicken and rice soup canning recipe! It’s one of my family’s favorites. Find everything you need to get started canning, freezing, fermenting and pickling produce at lehmans.com/canning!