Made with chicken, red lentils, curry powder, and coconut milk, this chicken and lentil soup is a hearty one-pot meal that is high in protein and fiber. This heart-warming meal is great for lunch, dinner, or an easy meal prep idea.
What You’ll Need
A cross between a red lentil soup and a chicken curry, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken lentil soup:
- Chicken: Using chicken breasts in this recipe helps to provide a lean source of protein to the dish. If needed, you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Red Lentils: Lentils are a plant-based protein powerhouse. If you don’t have red lentils, you can use green or brown lentils, however, it will slightly change the texture and flavor of the soup.
- Curry Powder and Turmeric: For a little spice, heat, and flavor. Feel free to use mild curry powder if you don’t like spicy, or hot curry powder if you like things with a kick. Don’t forget the salt and pepper too!
- Onion, Ginger, and Garlic: Some aromatics for additional flavor. You can use onion powder, ginger powder, or garlic powder if you don’t have fresh, but they will not provide the same depth of flavor.
- Coconut Milk: To provide a curry-like texture and taste to the soup, both full-fat and lite coconut milk will work well. If you’re not a fan of coconut milk, you can use whole milk with a bit of heavy cream instead.
- Chicken Broth: For deeper flavor. Feel free to use low-sodium chicken broth if you prefer.
- Carrots, Kale, and Cilantro: Some veggies for a boost of fiber and nutrients and a bit of cilantro to serve.
Over the years, I have probably made a dozen different variations of this soup. Depending on what ingredients I have on hand, I’ve used different combinations of lentils, cuts of chicken, vegetables, and spices to make different styles of soup, but no matter what I use, it always seems to turn out just right.
How to Make Chicken Lentil Soup
Cook the veggies. Begin by cooking the onion, carrots, ginger, and garlic with olive oil in a large pot on the stovetop on medium-high heat until tender.
Add the lentils and spices. When the veggies are tender, add the lentils and spices, and stir until well combined, the lentils are well coated, and the spices are toasted and fragrant.
Add the broth and coconut milk. Cover the lentils and veggies with chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken and cook the soup. Add the raw chicken breasts to the soup, ensuring that they are completely submerged in the liquid, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, and the chicken is cooked through.
Shred the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Add the green. Return the shredded chicken to the soup along with the kale and cook for a few more minutes until the kale is wilted and everything is well combined.
Taste and serve. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper as needed and then serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Slow-Cooker Option: This chicken and lentil soup is meant to be cooked in a pot; however, you could also use a slow cooker if you prefer. Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and simmer the soup on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the slower cooker, place it on a cutting board, and shred it into pieces before returning it to the soup. Stir everything until well combined, season to taste, and serve.
Instant Pot Option: Place all the ingredients in an instant pot, stir to combine, and cover. Press the “soup” button and cook for 30 minutes until the pressure releases. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred it on a cutting board, then return it to the soup and stir until well incorporated.
Storage and Reheating
To Store: Allow the soup to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To make grab-and-go meals and reheating easier, you can freeze the soup in individual portion-sized containers.
To Reheat: To reheat from the fridge, place the soup in a pot on the stovetop on medium heat and warm for 5 minutes or until heated through. To reheat from frozen, thaw the soup overnight in the fridge and then place the soup in a pot on the stovetop on medium heat and warm for 5 minutes or until heated through. To reheat the soup in the microwave, place thawed soup in a microwave-safe bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes, with 30 additional 30 seconds increments as needed depending on the strength of your microwave.
This golden chicken and lentil soup with coconut milk is a hearty and healthy meal that works equally well for lunch or dinner. Whit up a double batch for dinner tonight and you’ll have leftovers for healthy lunches all week long.
More Lentil and Chicken Soup Recipes:
Golden Chicken Lentil Soup
This golden chicken lentil soup is high in protein, rich in fiber, packed full of flavor, and ready in under one hour making it a great weeknight meal!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup red lentils, dry
- 2 chicken breasts
- 14oz can coconut milk
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1” fresh ginger, grated
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh cilantro, to serve
- In a large pot heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add lentils, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in broth and use a spoon or spatula to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot. Add coconut milk and again stir to combine.
- Add raw chicken breasts to the pot, ensuring they are submerged in liquid, and cook for 20 minutes on a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Return shredded chicken to the pot with the chopped kale, stir to combine and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed and serve with fresh cilantro.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 341 calories
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 35 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Protein: 20 grams
Keywords: lentil chicken soup, chicken and lentil soup, red lentil chicken soup, chicken lentil curry soup