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The rich taste and aroma of this easy Coconut Chicken Soup will warm your belly and soul! Loaded with vegetables and lean chicken breast, this dish will keep you full and satisfied for hours.
Why you should make this recipe
Every now and again, we all crave warm, comforting soups that fill our bellies and warm our souls.
This coconut chicken soup recipe does just that! It combines classic chicken and fresh vegetables with a bit of an exotic flavor – coconut. The result is a wonderful mix of familiar comfort food combined with a new exciting flavor that I think you will fall in love with (I did!)
Even better, this super easy dish comes together in one pot. All you have to do to prep is a little bit of chopping.
As the soup cooks and simmers on the stovetop, your kitchen will fill with a delicious, warm aroma. You’ll be counting down the minutes until you can dive headfirst into a big bowl!
With 7 basic ingredients and a handful of aromatics like garlic and ginger, you’re on your way to a delicious bowl of hot soup that’s perfect for cooler weather.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: thinly sliced; chicken thighs will work too but are not as lean as chicken breast.
- Coconut oil or vegetable oil for cooking the chicken
- Onion: yellow or white small onion; thinly sliced into half moons
- Garlic cloves: minced
- Fresh ginger: peeled and minced
- Zucchini: cut into quarters lengthwise then dice into small cubes
- Pumpkin: cubed into 1/2-inch pieces; butternut squash works great too
- Red bell pepper: seeds removed and thinly sliced
- Jalapeno pepper: seeds and membrane removed to reduce heat; chili pepper will work too
- Coconut milk: unsweetened and light coconut milk is best
- Chicken broth: low sodium broth is best; chicken stock is also a good option
- Lime and cilantro: for finishing touches and garnish
- Salt and pepper
This soup cooks very quickly. Just make sure all your ingredients are prepared and ready to go before you start cooking, and then it’s just a matter of adding them all into the pot.
Step 1: Season the sliced chicken breast generously with salt and pepper.
Step 2: In a large stock pot (6-quart pot), heat the coconut oil over high heat. Add the chicken breast and saute over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
Step 3: Add the sliced onion, minced garlic, and minced ginger and stir to combine. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
Step 4: Stir in diced zucchini and cubed pumpkin.
Step 5: Add the sliced bell pepper, sliced chili or jalapeño pepper, coconut milk, chicken broth, and fresh lime juice. Give everything another good stir.
Step 6: Bring coconut soup to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fully cooked.
Step 7: Remove from heat and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with cilantro leaves to serve.
This comforting soup is pretty simple and quick to whip up but there are some tips that you may find helpful.
- Ensure your ingredients are prepped and ready before heating that pot! Slice your chicken, dice those veggies, and mince the garlic and ginger. Once you have all ingredients lined up, the cooking process flows smoothly and quickly.
- For best flavor, pat dry chicken breast with a paper towel first to remove excess liquid. This helps the chicken brown in the coconut oil, creating a wonderful flavor.
- Don’t be tempted to stir your chicken and vegetables often. Flavor is developed when ingredients are hit with heat, so do your best not to disturb that process more often than needed.
If you’ve ever had Tom Kha, a Thai coconut soup, you’ll be familiar with this recipe. This is a much simpler version and mildly flavored than the Thai classic.
Check out these simple ways to jazz up this soup even more:
- Add lemongrass to the broth and coconut milk during cooking to infuse more flavor into the broth. Discard after cooking.
- One of the most prominent ingredients in Tom Kha is red curry paste. Add a teaspoon of curry to the vegetables for more Thai flavor.
- Fish sauce is another effortless way to add umami flavor.
- Sautee a few sliced mushrooms along with the other vegetables. They are packed with nutrition and taste fantastic in soup.
- Tired of chicken? Swap it with shrimp for a seafood version.
Chicken coconut soup is a wonderful soup on its own. Before serving, squeeze another wedge of lime and garnish with a few fresh cilantro leaves. You can also use basil leaves or sliced green onions.
Some people enjoy this with a side of jasmine rice, but I prefer cauliflower rice to keep the carb count low. This coconut soup is bursting with flavor and comfort that you won’t need an extra side of carbs.
Storage and reheating instructions
Leftover chicken coconut soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
In fact, this soup tastes even better the next day after all the flavors continue to meld together overnight. So don’t be afraid of making a big batch of this soup – you’ll want leftovers the next day!
To reheat, add leftover soup to a small stockpot and warm over medium heat until warmed through.
One of the best parts about this soup is how incredibly nutritious and satiating it is. This hearty meal contains lean chicken breast, which will help fill you up thanks to the protein in the chicken.
One serving of soup has 18 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, and only 9 grams of fat. In addition to the exceptional nutrient profile, this soup is loaded with antioxidant-rich vegetables. The green zucchini, red bell peppers, and beautiful orange pumpkin make it easy to meet your daily vegetable needs.
The vibrant colors of these vegetables are due to all their different vitamins and nutrients. Zucchini is rich in potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6, while red bell peppers and pumpkin are both loaded with vitamin A.
An excellent way to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients from your foods is by “eating the rainbow” or eating as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as possible each day. Luckily, that is easy to do with delicious and colorful soups like this!
Frequently asked questions
Coconut milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, and magnesium. It’s also high in lauric acids, which are known for boosting your immune system. Regular coconut milk is calorie-dense and high in fat, but since we’re using light coconut milk for this recipe, you can enjoy the health benefits AND luxurious taste without most of the calories!
In short, this is a much simpler version of a traditional Thai coconut chicken soup, commonly known as Tom Kha Gai. It’s made with ingredients that are easy to find in all grocery stores and can quickly be made in under 50 minutes.
You can make this soup vegan with simple modifications. Instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth, preferably one with Asian-inspired flavors like mushrooms. Skip the chicken and saute mushrooms instead.
More healthy soup recipes
I am a huge fan of healthy and easy soups! They’re such a great way to warm up and nourish the body. If you’re looking for a few more yummy soup recipes, here are a few I know you’ll love:
For even more inspiration, check out this roundup of delicious low-carb soup recipes!
When you’ve tried this soup, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Coconut Chicken Soup
- 1 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil , or vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, small, thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 zucchini, medium, diced (cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into cubes)
- 1 cup pumpkin, diced into ½-inch cubes (approximately ¾ pounds)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper or chili pepper, small, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 14 ounces light coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lime
- Handful cilantro leaves , (optional)
- Season the sliced chicken breast generously with salt and pepper.1 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, salt and pepper
- In a large stock pot (6-quart pot), heat the coconut oil over high heat. Add the chicken breast and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Add the sliced onion, minced garlic, and minced ginger and stir to combine. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened.1 yellow onion, small, 2 garlic cloves, 1 inch piece ginger
- Stir in diced zucchini and cubed pumpkin.1 zucchini, medium, 1 cup pumpkin
- Add the sliced bell pepper, sliced chili or jalapeño pepper, coconut milk, chicken broth, and lime juice. Give everything another good stir.1 red bell pepper, 1 jalapeño pepper or chili pepper, small, 14 ounces light coconut milk, 2 cups chicken broth, Juice of 1 lime
- Bring coconut soup to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fully cooked.
- Remove from heat and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with cilantro leaves to serve.Handful cilantro leaves