Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Soup with Kale

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Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa with Kale made with hearty quinoa, tender chicken, and veggies is a healthier spin on traditional chicken soup.

284 CAL 26g CARBS 7g FAT 31g PROTEIN
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This Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa soup is easy to make, full of flavor, and will keep you full for hours. It's a spin on a traditional chicken noodle soup but made with protein-packed quinoa and vitamin rich kale.

I love hearty soups and I cannot lie (tell me you all remember that song?). In fact, hearty warm soups are my dinner of choice right now, and this soup doesn’t disappoint. Let's be honest, it's rare that homemade soup disappoints ever.

But, I am talking about this Chicken Quinoa Soup with Kale in particular. What makes it hearty is all the ingredients I've packed into this one soup. First off, the quinoa adds even more protein to the dish, making it a soup that will fill any eater. Then, I like to use poblano peppers in it as well to give this soup the slightest touch of spice in the background, but you could easily use bell peppers too. In addition, you could also add a can of diced tomatoes to deepen the flavor if you like.

And, as always, I would be remiss if I didn't remind you that this (like most soups) also freezes great, so you'll want to consider making up a big batch and saving individual portions for quick meals in the future.

Crockpot quinoa and chicken soup with kale, carrots, celery, onion, and chicken broth in a bowl with a slow cooker.

How do you make Chicken Quinoa Soup with Kale?

Making this soup could really not be any easier. In fact, I feel kind of silly even writing these instructions out! But, to make this soup all you have to do is put everything into your slow cooker all at once and turn it on. Really. It's THAT easy.

Set your slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Give the soup a stir before serving. The chicken should pull apart easily when you stir, but if not, you can pull it out and shred it and put it back into the slow cooker crock before serving.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

You can customize this chicken soup in so many ways!

  • Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the thighs.
  • Add spinach, Swiss card, or another leafy veggie instead of (or in addition to) the kale. If you use spinach, add it in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • If you don't want to use quinoa, you could use brown or white rice instead. However, it will cook differently depending on the rice you choose. 
  • To make this dish vegetarian, you can skip the chicken all together. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Add a can of drained white beans (pinto, navy, or garbanzo) for added texture and protein.
  • Spice up the soup by adding not only poblano peppers, but also by using red pepper flakes and hot sauce as a condiment/topper when you're ready to eat it.
  • For added vegetables, use a bag of frozen, mixed vegetables and dump it right in when you're cooking the rest. You can use this in addition to the carrots and celery or instead of.

What sides go well with Quinoa Chicken Soup?

While you could eat this soup all by itself (it's a meal in a bowl, after all!), there are a few sides I've been known to serve with soup to round out the meal a bit.

  • Pretend you're at a deli with a soup and Caesar salad combo.
  • Cornbread is always a welcome side to any soup, in my opinion.
  • Try a dinner roll or piece of baguette to dip into the soup as you eat it. Bonus points for eating a whole grain roll or baguette!
  • A side of roasted veggies always does the trick for me!
  • Try a handful of whole wheat crackers, pita chips, or tortilla strips sprinkled on top of the soup to add a little bit of crunch.

Is Quinoa better for you than rice?

Quinoa isn't a grain, but a seed, actually. It's related to beets and spinach, which I would never guess by looking at it! It is texturally similar to rice though and makes a great substitute for white rice, if you are looking to up your nutritional content by making some smart swaps in the foods you eat.

Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and has less calories and carbs than white rice. The seed also contains manganese, phosphorus, folate, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc.

It will also make you fuller, faster, which is great if you are watching what you eat and want to get more bang for your (food) buck.

So you'll all have to let me know if you make this soup this Sunday (or any day)! I love to hear about your adventures in the kitchen.

Chicken quinoa soup in a bowl with curly kale, chicken, vegetables, and broth in a bowl with a spoon.

More Chicken Soup Recipes

The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Soup with Kale

284 CAL 26g CARBS 7g FAT 31g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

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Add everything to a slow cooker. Stir together.


Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Taste and season as needed.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups (464g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284
Calories from Fat 28
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 99mg
Sodium 294mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 2g
Protein 31g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Soup with Kale
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Sherry Z
October 17, 2020 - 09:30
Has anyone used an Instant pot with this recipe? If so, how long did you cook it for?
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