This keto chicken soup has a delicious flavorful broth and is loaded with chicken that just falls off the bone! Packed with healthy and wholesome ingredients, you can even add low carb noodles to them! 3 grams net carbs per serving.
Growing up, whenever I even presented a hint of sickness, my mom would whip up some chicken soup. I’m sure it’s a placebo effect but I truly felt like her soup had healing properties.
Now that I’m no longer living at home, I’ve started making my own version of her soup. Her original recipe calls for potatoes but I swapped them out for extra chicken and extra celery, keeping the carbs down but the flavor intact.
This keto chicken soup recipe is one that screams comfort food. It is at the top of the list of go-to’s when the cooler weather hits, along with a zucchini lasagna or some mac and cheese. It uses simple ingredients and takes minimal prep.
This soup is filling and hearty, bulked with cauliflower rice and tender chicken pieces. It’s rich in flavor, thanks to the fresh vegetables and slowly simmered chicken.
If you have a sneaky look in my freezer, you’ll notice I always have a big batch of this soup frozen up, always on stand-by when the sniffles come…just like when I was a kid!
How do you make keto chicken soup?
Here is everything you’ll need to make this recipe. There aren’t any hard-to-find ingredients and you can use your favorite bone-in chicken or even an entire chicken.
- Olive oil– A flavorful oil to sauteed the vegetables in.
- Soup vegetables– Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. The onions and garlic add extra flavor, the carrots add some sweetness, and the celery adds some umami and salty flavors.
- Salt and pepper– To taste. Remember, you can always add more salt after the soup has been cooked.
- Chicken broth– Also known as chicken stock. Use a chicken stock with no added sugar or fillers in them, as they can increase the overall carbs of the soup.
- Bay leaves– An aromatic spice that adds an extra level of flavor to the soup.
- Chicken– Use a more flavorful cut of chicken, like thighs. You can also use a whole chicken, and allow it to fall apart naturally as the soup cooks. Avoid using breasts as they can become rubbery, especially the longer you cook the soup.
- Cauliflower rice– Optional, but adding cauliflower rice adds extra bulk and nutrients, and also replicates what a chicken and rice soup would do.
Start by sauteeing the vegetables in a deep pot for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaves, and bring everything to a boil. Next, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken pieces and cauliflower rice. Cook on low heat for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is tender and naturally breaks apart.
Instant pot or slow cooker method
This soup can easily be made in an instant pot or a slow cooker. These two cooking methods are perfect if you are short on top or if you’d like to use a whole chicken- if made in a slow cooker, it falls off the bone!
In an instant pot, add the oil and turn on the saute settings. Add the vegetables and cook for several minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and turn on the soup setting for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let the soup stand for 10 minutes, before stirring and serving.
Sauteed the vegetables in the pan before transferring to a 6 or 8-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. Give the soup a stir before serving.
- Add some low carb noodles– For a classic chicken noodle soup, add some keto pasta or almond flour pasta to the already cooked soup.
- Add some veggie noodles– Zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash are two other fantastic low carb noodle alternatives.
- Make it creamy! Add 4 ounces of softened cream cheese towards the end of the cooking process. This will make an extra creamy chicken soup.
- Add cabbage– For extra bulk and nutrients, add 1-2 cups of finely chopped cabbage.
- Make it spicy! Add some ginger, hot sauce, or Tabasco, especially if you like a spicy chicken soup or Chinese chicken soup.
Tips to make the best recipe
- While the soup is simmering, be sure to regularly remove the scum that builds up on the surface.
- If you prefer to use a whole chicken, you can let the soup simmer for up to an hour.
- Use bone-in chicken pieces, as the chicken bones will give the soup an even better and richer flavor.
Storing, freezing, and reheating keto soup
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze: Place soup in sealable containers and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: To reheat from frozen, place the soup in a deep pot and place over low heat. Let it thaw slowly and once it begins to simmer, give it a mix and serve. To reheat from the refrigerator, either microwave for 1-2 minutes or stovetop.
What to serve with low carb chicken soup
- Keto Bread– Toast up several slices of keto bread or pair the soup with some buns, rolls, or even some garlic bread.
- Crackers or chips– The childhood combination, whip up some keto crackers or keto chips.
- Salad– An extra nutritional boost. Broccoli salad, keto potato salad, keto pasta salad, or toss some greens with some keto salad dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although many chicken soup recipes don’t contain noodles or pasta, they aren’t necessarily keto friendly. They include potatoes, corn, and other high carb and high sugar vegetables. Luckily, you can easily make a low carb chicken soup with a few tweaks, like this simple recipe!
Most canned soups, including Campbells and Progresso’s, are NOT keto friendly. They contain added sugar and high carb ingredients, like noodles, rice, and potatoes.
This recipe yields 8 servings and each serving provides 2 grams net carbs. These carbs come predominantly from the carrots, so if you want a carb free soup, omit the carrots and replace them with extra celery.
Adding raw chicken to soup is a fantastic way to give the soup an even better flavor, provided you allow it to simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer you cook the soup, the more flavorful it becomes and the chicken falls off the bone.
Organic or preservative-free chicken broths are suitable for a keto diet. Avoid using pre-formulated broths, as they can contain added sugars.
Keto Chicken Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped, approximately 2 cups
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6-8 cups chicken broth * See notes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 lbs chicken thighs or one whole chicken ** See notes
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, around 5 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper, then the chicken broth and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken and cauliflower rice. Cook on low for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
- Remove from the heat and serve with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. If using a whole chicken, use two forks to pull apart prior to serving.