We are going to share with you an old fashioned but very popular keto chicken soup recipe, which is no different than any other chicken soup that you have eaten your whole life, except for one simple change…there is no rice, pasta or potatoes in it.
Instead there is just lots of chicken and plenty of good veggies which make it a perfect keto/low carb meal.
Who doesn’t love good ole’ chicken soup?! Well now you have a perfect keto-friendly soup that is easy to make, delicious to eat, and will be a popular one in your household.
It is good on a cold day in the fall and winter, also good when you have a cold or just don’t feel good. It is full of chicken and veggies in a yummy chicken broth deliciously seasoned. It is low in carbs and calories, can be eaten for lunch, dinner, or just a snack.
Chicken soup is definitely keto-friendly, as long as there are no noodles, rice or potatoes in it which add too many carbs.
Thankfully there are some substitutes that you can add to in replacement of these carb-packed foods which we will mention later on in our notes.
How Many Carbs are in Chicken Soup?
There are only 5.1 NET Carbs per cup of our ketogenic chicken soup. That is a big difference from other homemade chicken soups that have pasta or rice in them.
I looked up a lot of chicken soup recipes and the average NET Carbs ranged from 10-37 per cup of soup. That is a big difference when you are strictly counting daily carbs.
Why Soups Are Good for a Keto/Low Carb Diet
Soups are usually a quick, easy meal to make, and there are many of them that are a good fit for a low carb diet. A Keto-friendly soup should have a base of meat or fish, along with a bunch of veggies, sometimes brothy and sometimes creamy.
Most of the time they make a pretty filling meal for lunch or dinner and once they are prepared then they also make good leftovers for the next day, or frozen for future meals.
That way when you need a quick meal the keto-friendly chicken soup is already cooked and ready to eat, which helps you to stick to the diet, especially when you are really hungry.
How to Lower Carbs in Soup Recipes?
The most obvious high carb ingredients to avoid in soup are:
Flour or Cornstarch for thickening
So by removing these items and replacing them when you can with low carb alternatives, this will decrease the unwanted carbs in soups by a lot.
What Ingredients are in Keto Chicken Soup?
Chicken – Any type of chicken is good for this keto chicken soup recipe. It can be white meat, or dark meat, raw or precooked.
Olive oil – To lightly saute the veggies. It will also add some nice rich flavor and a healthy fat to the chicken soup.
Celery – A must in chicken soup, and use the leaves too.
Onions – Also a must to use onions in your low carb chicken soup. Any type of onion will work well.
Carrots – Even though carrots have some carbs in them, just add a couple of them and the flavor that comes from them is essential in soups.
Garlic – Fresh is always best but you can also use chopped garlic in a jar.
Salt – Essential to use as a flavor enhancer unless you are not able to eat salt.
Thyme – A good spice for a lot of chicken dishes. It comes in a powder form.
Bay Leaves – Just one or two is enough to give your low carb chicken soup a real good flavor. When the soup is done cooking, just pull out the bay leaves and throw them away.
Chicken Stock – It makes flavorful and tasty broth. You can also use broth if you don’t have stock.
Spinach – Fresh baby spinach leaves.
What is the Best Chicken to Use for Soup?
Personally, I think whatever type of chicken that you like best is good for this low carb chicken soup recipe. You can use white meat, or dark meat, or a combo of both. I like them both and have used both types.
You may be wondering whether you should use raw, uncooked chicken or whether you should use already cooked chicken? That too is a personal decision. I use whichever I have in my house or whatever I have time for.
For instance if you have precooked chicken and use that your soup will be cooked quicker than if you need to start with raw meat.
Use a Good Chicken Stock
It’s important to use good chicken stock when making your keto chicken soup because the better the stock, the tastier the soup will be. There are a few brands that you can buy either in your store or online.
We like to use College Inn stock or broth, which always is consistently good tasting and sometimes on sale at our store. It is also gluten free which not all broths or stock are not, so if that is a concern then be careful to read the labels.
There is also chicken bone broth. We buy the Kettle and Fire brand. It is made from organic free range chicken bones that are slow simmered for 14 hours, is also gluten free and is high in protein, 10 grams in 1 cup.
Different Variations of Low Carb Chicken Soup
If you are like me, you are a pasta, rice and potato lover, and since these yummy foods have lots of carbs in them, we have had to find some low carb options.
Here are some of our favorite veggies, spices, and noodles that you can add to create different variations:
Just about any veggie will go good in chicken soup. There are the normal staple vegetables in all chicken soups like celery, carrots and onions.
However, feel free to get creative by adding as many other types of veggies that you like or if you are like me, I use what I have at home to add to soup.
Here are a few choices for your keto soup recipes:
If you are looking for other spices to add to your keto chicken soup, either in addition to the ones in our recipe or instead of them, you can add:
Parsley – Fresh or dried.
Rosemary – Fresh or dried.
Sage Fresh or dried.
Onion – Powder or dried flakes.
Pepper – Hot, dried flakes.
Poultry – A blend of several spices that go good with chicken and turkey.
Cilantro – Fresh or dried.
Can I Put Noodles in Keto Chicken Soup?
Traditional pasta noodles are not an option in keto chicken soup because they are too high in carbs. But I am happy to say that there are some really good noodle substitutes that you can use in your keto soup recipes:
Shirataki Noodles – We buy angel hair Pasta Zero in our grocery store. We love it. Put your favorite sauce over them and they pick up the flavor of whatever they are mixed with.
Cauliflower Rice – Made from a head of cauliflower, riced in a food processor gives it the texture of rice in certain recipes. Guide to Making Cauliflower Rice.
Hearts of Palm Rice – By Natural Haven and it comes in white or brown. It is such a good rice substitute that you won’t know that you aren’t eating rice.
Chicken Soup Cooking Methods
When you are making soups it is so nice because they can be made using several different cooking methods. We will talk about 3 of them, The Stove, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker/Crock Pot.
Stove: The most common way of cooking things is on the stove. It is an easy and quick way. Just use your favorite large pot, cover and simmer.
Instant Pot: By using the instant pot to make your chicken soup, it is quick and easy and always comes out tender and tasty. It is especially handy when you don’t have the keto chicken soup made ahead of time, it cooks quickly in the instant pot.
Crock Pot/Slow Cooker: You can use the slow cooker to cook your soup for you while you’re at work or just around the house doing other things. Once you prepare it just throw the lid on and set it for 3-4 hours on high or 2-3 hours on low.
How to Make Low Carb Keto Chicken Soup on the Stove
For this keto chicken soup recipe we chose to cook it on the stove, and we will share the instructions step by step with you.
Preparing the ingredients:
STEP 1: Get a large cutting board and a sharp knife of your choice.
STEP 2: Cut up your veggies and set them aside.
STEP 3: Cut up your chicken and put that aside too.
Putting the soup together:
STEP 4: Add the oil to the pan and then proceed to add the veggies, one at a time, celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. Stir together.
STEP 5: Now it’s time to add the spices and stir together to make sure everything is blended.
STEP 6: The next step is to add your broth or stock.
STEP 7: Add the bay leaf and add the spinach.
STEP 8: Next add the chicken. Stir and then put on the lid.
STEP 9: Simmer for 1 hour or until the veggies and chicken are soft.
Can I Make Keto Chicken Soup in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, the slow cooker is another good way to make keto chicken soup.
The reason it is a good tool for your kitchen is that you can make a lot of recipes in it when you are not at home or just busy doing other things and not able to stand over the stove and keep checking the soup.
It will take your soup longer to cook in the slow cooker but it’s ok, as long as you get it started a few hours ahead of dinner time.
Here are some step by step instructions to help guide you through the process:
First add all of the veggies, and then the spices and meat. Blend together thoroughly.
Lastly add the broth or stock by pouring it all over the other ingredients.
Cover and cook 2-3 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low.
Can I Make Chicken Soup in an Instant Pot?
Yes, the instant pot is also another important tool to have in your kitchen if you are interested in making meals the easy way.
Once you get the keto chicken soup ingredients into it they will cook up pretty quick in the instant pot.
Here are some step by step instructions to help you:
First add the oil to the instant pot. Set your cooker to medium high, or saute setting, add the veggies and saute for 5 minutes.
Add chicken, broth or stock, and spices to the pot.
Lock your lid on, then set your instant pot on high pressure for 5 minutes.
When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release.
When it cools then open the lid and serve.
FAQs & Best Tips
Now we will address some of the questions that you may have about how to make keto chicken soup, and some helpful hints that we think will help you be successful in making this recipe.
To speed up the soup, use cooked chicken instead of starting with raw chicken. That will cut your cooking time way down.
Cook the soup until the veggies are al dente, or to your desired doneness, but try not to overcook them or they will be like mush.
Cook some chicken in advance, then cut it up and stick it in ziploc bags in the freezer. That way when you want to make soup then the chicken is already cooked.
You will also save money by buying the chicken when it’s on sale.
If you are going to add some low carb noodles or rice to the soup, do so after it’s fully cooked. Add it to the pot or into each individual person’s bowl.
Making Chicken Soup Thicker
It’s hard to thicken things when you are watching your carbs but it’s certainly not impossible. One thing that will help thicken keto chicken soup is a small amount of xanthan gum.
It’s a low carb ingredient you can buy that adds stability and thickness to things. We use it a lot in gravies and sauces to thicken them, so likewise it will help in your soups.
Stir in ½ teaspoon at a time because it can get so thick if you add too much.
How to Add More Flavor
To add more flavor to the keto chicken soup, just add some:
More Spices, such as Hot pepper, Hot sauce, Italian seasoning, cilantro, parsley.
Cheese – Grated or shredded Cheddar, Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella.
Tomatoes– Fresh or canned.
Do You Have to Cook the Chicken Ahead of Time?
You do not have to use pre-cooked chicken to make low carb chicken soup. In fact I used to always start my soup with raw chicken because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do.
However, using cooked chicken is a quicker way to make keto chicken soup and now I usually prefer doing it that way.
Feel free to start with raw chicken when you are not in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Allow an extra hour or so if you use boneless raw chicken. If the chicken has bones in it, allow an extra 2 hours in order to get the chicken cooked and then time to take the meat off the bones.
Can I Use a Leftover Chicken for Soup?
But if you have leftover cooked chicken, and don’t want to waste it, then making keto soup with it is a perfect way to use it up.
Also if you want a quick dinner after work, you will speed up the cooking process by stopping at the grocery store and buy 1 or 2 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens, which are so easy to use and tasty to eat.
Does Chicken Broth Kick You Out of Keto?
Chicken broth is generally low in carbs so it will not kick you out of keto. Just a hint, read the label just to make sure before buying it in case there are any additional ingredients that are not keto-friendly.
You can also make your own broth naturally by cooking your own chicken in the pot. By simmering it for a couple hours, you will be starting off your soup with a lot of flavor.
How to Increase Healthy Fat in this Soup?
Chicken soup can be pretty lean, but If you want to add some extra healthy fat to it then add some olive oil or avocado oil to the soup.
Once you serve the soup in bowls then you can garnish the top with some chopped avocado and a spoon of sour cream…yummy.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
Gluten-free – There is no gluten in our keto chicken soup recipe.
Sugar-free – No sugar in low carb chicken soup.
Nut-free -Of course nuts do not belong in this soup.
Dairy-free – Dairy products are not in this keto chicken soup recipe, unless you choose to garnish it when done with some cheese or sour cream.
Paleo – A good choice for our readers on this diet plan.
What to Serve with Chicken Soup?
Here are 3 bread recipes along with one cracker recipe on our site that are low carb and yummy to eat with soups. Try them and let us know what you think!
Soups are always a food that you can make ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. The same is true for leftover soup. It will keep for 4-5 days maximum.
How to Reheat
When you want to reheat your soup, there are 2 ways that are quick and easy.
Stove Top – Put the portion that you want to heat up in a saucepan and heat on medium low-medium so that it does not burn or stick to the pan.
Microwave – Use a microwave bowl or cup and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Can You Freeze Chicken Soup?
Chicken soup does very well when you put it in the freezer as long as you put it into an airtight container. I also like to put the plastic container into a ziploc freezer bag for double protection. It will last about 3 months in your freezer.
To thaw it out just take it out of the freezer, and pop it into a saucepan and heat slowly until all of the soup is thawed completely. If you think of it ahead of time then you can take it out of the freezer the night before and stick it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly.
Tools to Use
Cutting Board – A large one to cut up all of your chicken and veggies.
Knife – A sharp knife that will be used to cut up all of your ingredients.
Soup Pot – A large pot that will fit your soup in.
Ladle – This large one is perfect for dishing out your low carb soup.
Other Low Carb Soup Recipes
There are a few other low carb soup recipes that we have on our website. Please take a look at those recipes and try them out too.
This delicious recipe is for keto chicken soup which is the same as any other chicken soup without all of the carbs that come from noodles, rice or potatoes. Instead there are just lots of good veggies and lots of chicken. It is a perfect keto meal that is easy to make, delicious to eat and your family will love it for lunch or dinner. If you have leftovers it stores easily in the refrigerator or long term in the freezer.
1rotisserie chicken, shredded (approx. 4 cups)
1 tbspolive oil
3 quarts of chicken stock, or broth
Get a large cutting board and a sharp knife.
Cut up your veggies and set them aside.
Cut up your chicken and put that aside too.
Add the oil to the pan and start to lightly saute the veggies, adding them one at a time, celery, carrots, onions and garlic.
Add the spices and stir together well.
Now you can add your broth or stock. Add the bay leaves.
Next add the spinach and then the chicken. Give it a good stir.
Put on the lid and simmer for 1 hour or until the veggies and chicken are soft.
5.1 NET CARBS PER SERVING
Buy your chicken in advance when it’s on sale so you can cook it up and freeze it in portions. That way when you need to cook a quick meal the meat will be ready to go.
So do not overcook your veggies until they are mushy.
Pre-cook your low carb noodles or rice and then add them to the pot after the soup is cooked or add them to your individual bowls.
Storing: Store your keto chicken soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Reheating: It is easy to reheat your low carb chicken soup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on the stove top in a saucepan on medium heat until it reaches the desired heat.
Freezing: Your low carb soup will freeze well in an airtight container for about 3 months.