Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

12.18.2013

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup | Cooking Classy

It may seem as though I make every soup in the slow cooker lately. Well, basically, I do. I cant get enough soup this winter during these bitter cold days, and I love the fact that I can come home to a warm pot of soup waiting for me in my kitchen. I also realized a healthy recipe is much overdue here with all the holiday baking I’ve been doing.

This soup is loaded with with nutrition and you get plenty of protein from the chicken, quinoa, kale and beans. It’s so hearty and filling and amazingly delicious, that it’s hard to believe it’s actually good for you. I added a bit of lemon juice because I love the way lemon pairs with both quinoa and kale. I also chose to add in the beans because I like a soup with plenty of body, I’m not into those really brothy soups unless I’m sick or something. I need sustenance (thank you Thor). If I’m going to have soup as my main meal then it better be loaded. Which also means of course I couldn’t leave out the cheese :). Everything is better with a little bit of cheese sprinkled over it. If you are really aiming to be healthy you could leave it off but I say it’s worth the calories to add a tablespoon or two of parmesan. That’s the great thing about parmesan, thanks to it’s sharp flavor, a little of it will go a long way without adding a huge amount of calories. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup | Cooking Classy

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup | Cooking Classy

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

Yield: About 6 servings

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (raw)
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (7 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups packed kale, roughly chopped (thick ribs chopped and discarded)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Finely shredded parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  • Add chicken to a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker, then add onions, celery and garlic, then drizzle with olive oil. Add quinoa, thyme, rosemary and pour in chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 1/2 - 4 hours or LOW 7 - 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken, let rest 10 minutes then cut into bite size pieces and return to soup. Meanwhile, add in beans, kale, parsley and lemon juice, then cover and continue to cook on HIGH heat another 10 - 20 minutes until kale has reached desired doneness. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/12/slow-cooker-quinoa-chicken-kale-soup/

90 comments

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking: Pure comfort food! This soup looks as delicious as it is wholesome and healthy. Wonderful weeknight meal, Jaclyn! December 19, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness: I am all over anything that I can make in a slow cooker! Especially with how healthy this sounds. Lovin’ the idea of using quinoa in a soup…perfect with lemon and kale! December 19, 2013 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Laura: Made this for Christmas dinner today (we needed something healthful to off-set all of the stocking goodies and cookies). YUM! Followed recipe exactly and cooked it on high. Came out fantastic. Served it with crusty bread. December 25, 2013 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup Laura! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Thanks for your comment :)! December 26, 2013 at 10:42pm Reply

  • B @ The Sequin Notebook: I’m always looking for new kale recipes, so this soup sounds like a great meal for a cold winter night…looking forward to trying it out soon! December 27, 2013 at 7:47pm Reply

  • Annie: Do you have the Nutritional info for this soup? January 1, 2014 at 3:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t but you can find it on sites like myfitnesspal.com and others. January 2, 2014 at 10:44pm Reply

  • Barbara: Cooking this soup right now and the house smells wonderful. So glad to find something so healthy with kale and quinoa. Can’t wait to taste it. January 4, 2014 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you loved it Barbara! January 12, 2014 at 9:21pm Reply

  • Ashley: This looks so yummy! My mom and I have been really in to kale and quinoa lately and this is a recipe I’d love to try in my new crockpot (thanks Santa!). My mom is trying to eat as vegan as possible though and I was wondering if this recipe would be just as delicious with vegetable broth and no chicken? January 5, 2014 at 10:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it would still be delicious, I might add in another veggie for a filler and also more beans. Hope you and your mom love it! January 15, 2014 at 11:22pm Reply

  • Ali: Only thing I would change…. Don’t add the quinoa so early. Became starchy mushy mess. Otherwise was great recipe. Thx. January 6, 2014 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Ali! Thanks for the comment and tip! January 6, 2014 at 9:57pm Reply

    • Laurie: I followed your recommendation about putting the Quinoa later in the process, and it wasn’t mushy, so thank you. October 19, 2014 at 9:18pm Reply

  • Holly: I made this tonight for my family and everyone went crazy over it! This soup was the perfect antidote to an absurdly frigid Chicago night. January 6, 2014 at 9:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I heard about that weather that’s crazy, and I though Utah was bad :). I’m so glad you family liked the soup Holly! January 6, 2014 at 9:56pm Reply

  • Sonya: Made this for dinner tonight. Used red quinoa because I didn’t have the white. Added sliced button mushrooms for funsies too and served with cheese quesadillas. It was super awesome!!! January 7, 2014 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Sonya! Thanks for leaving a comment! January 15, 2014 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Dawn: I made this tonight and we all LOVED it. My six year old that doesn’t like much of anything even gave it a big thumbs up. Thanks for sharing!!! January 8, 2014 at 6:58pm Reply

  • Kyla: Made this last night after being sick this week and it was soo yummy! I love all of the healthy additions, thanks for posting! January 9, 2014 at 9:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope your feeling better Kyla! I’m glad you enjoyed the soup :)! January 10, 2014 at 9:21am Reply

  • Sophia: The pictures sells the meal to me. I do like Quineo and will try this. Thanks for the share. January 9, 2014 at 10:47am Reply

  • Cynthia: I can hardly wait to make this! Thank you for sharing. January 9, 2014 at 11:17am Reply

  • Sweat Style: I just made this two days ago and it was delicious! Just had some leftovers for lunch today and its still good! Thanks for the yummy yet healthy recipe. January 11, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! January 11, 2014 at 1:46pm Reply

  • Amparo Moran: I had beeing looking for a quinoa and kale soup,and can’t wait until I try it. Sounds so good. Thank you for the recipe. January 14, 2014 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Helen Jakovljevic: Where can you find the calorie content, etc? January 14, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: myfitnesspal.com is a good site for that. January 14, 2014 at 7:36pm Reply

  • Christa: i made this tonight for my family and everyone loved it!! This will be a repeat for sure! January 14, 2014 at 9:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear everyone in your family loved this soup Christa! Thanks for your comment! January 15, 2014 at 11:42pm Reply

  • Julie: Hi- anybody try freezing or reheating this recipe? Thanks! January 16, 2014 at 8:59am Reply

  • Kerrie: Pinned this 3 weeks ago and have made it twice!! Delicious!! January 16, 2014 at 6:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you like it enough that you’ve already made it twice Kerrie! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment! January 16, 2014 at 7:49pm Reply

  • Jennette: I made this soup today. It delicious! I replaced the white beans with fresh green beans cut in 3/4″ slices. I wanted a soup that is low in points because I am doing weight watchers. I especially love the lemon, thyme and rosemary seasoning combination. January 24, 2014 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this soup Jennette! So glad you did! January 24, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

    • charisse mcguire: how much of the green beans did u use? January 26, 2014 at 10:41am Reply

  • charisse mcguire: I missed the part about the beans, but still cooking it, is it ok I left out the beans? January 26, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

    • charisse mcguire: just saw previous comment, I can add green beans? January 26, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

      • Jaclyn: If you’d like to, it all about personal preference. January 26, 2014 at 10:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah that’s fine, but you can add them even at the end and just let them sit in there for a few minutes just to heat through. January 26, 2014 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Jen: Really enjoyed this, but would suggest not adding the quinoa until you’re about to eat it as it soaks up all the broth. I had planned to enjoy this for lunch Mon-Fri (made on a Sunday). It was quite thick by lunchtime on Monday; by Tuesday there was no liquid left in my lunch which made for a visually unappealing dish. Lesson learned – next time the quinoa goes in just before I eat it! Thank you for a tasty and super healthy recipe! February 1, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the tip Jen! I’m glad you liked it! February 4, 2014 at 10:02pm Reply

  • Slow Cooker Chicken, Quinoa, & Kale Soup | 2 Bees in a Pod: […] co-worker Emily came into the office a couple of weeks ago and said “Jenn I made this recipe over the weekend that you have to try and post on your blog!”  And I immediately […] February 5, 2014 at 4:51am Reply

  • Deanna: Made this for the first time and I would recommend it to anyone! It was easy, healthy, and just as delicious for leftovers as it was right out of the crockpot. Thank you! :) February 11, 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Deanna! So glad you liked it! February 18, 2014 at 10:37pm Reply

  • Lisa F: Made this 2 weeks ago and loved it so much I made it again today. I so love kale and it’s so easy to make this. Absolutely wonderful! February 14, 2014 at 6:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it enough to make it again Lisa. Thanks for your comment! February 14, 2014 at 8:42pm Reply

  • Sable: Might be a dumb question but curious did u use chicken broth and if so how much? Thank you! February 15, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I did use 4 cans of chicken broth which is equal to 7 cups since there’s 1 3/4 cup in each can. Hope you try this! February 15, 2014 at 5:17pm Reply

  • Diana: I just made this soup exactly as you specified. I chose 4 hours on high… and the only slight variation is I used reggiano parmesan cheese and shaved it on top rather than grate it.

    Outstanding! Thank you! February 17, 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear you liked it Diana! Thanks for your comment! February 17, 2014 at 10:06pm Reply

  • Healthy and Hearty Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup | My Blog: […] Liz JacksonWelcome to the seventh installment of Slow Liz’s 2014 Slow Cooker Challenge! Recipe: Cooking Classy – Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale SoupThe Food Network revealed the top three most […] February 25, 2014 at 7:53am Reply

  • Angel: I made this yesterday and it was delicious! The only thing I added was a little more garlic, a solid hot pepper for some heat, and added 1 more cup of broth with the last ingrediants. My husband raved and neither he nor my son(the quinoa-hater)had any idea it was in there. It did’nt get mushy at all. I’ll share this with friends.
    And is it just me, or does anyone else get annoyed with comments that don’t help with the recipe? “It looks great.” “I want to try this.” I get tired of weeding thru these for actual useful tips. February 28, 2014 at 1:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Angel, thanks for your review! March 11, 2014 at 8:09pm Reply

  • kare: Did you defrost the chicken before you put it into the crock pot? The recipe sounds delicious but I don’t know if I can put frozen chicken in.
    Thanks! March 1, 2014 at 2:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, I recommend thawing the chicken first. March 18, 2014 at 8:49pm Reply

  • ellen mackay: I loved the soup but I used spinach instead of kale I do not care for kale and it was great March 1, 2014 at 5:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh yum! I need to try it with spinach too, I love spinach! Glad you liked it Ellen! March 1, 2014 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup | ilonaskitchen: […] Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup adapted from cookingclassy […] March 4, 2014 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Sarah: Love this soup!! I have made it plenty of times!! I was curious if this soup is ok to freeze? Does it still taste decent ? April 8, 2014 at 7:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t ever tried. I imagine it would be okay, sometimes the brothy soups don’t freeze as well, but you may as well try it instead of tossing it out. April 21, 2014 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Marina: Do I have to make this in a slow cooker? Or can I just make it in a pot on the stove?? April 14, 2014 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No, you could definitely make it on the stove top too. April 14, 2014 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Cara: I have a rotisserie chicken. When can I add this during cooking? April 22, 2014 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d add it near the end. May 6, 2014 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Jessica Bova: Wow, this soup looks right up my alley! Quinoa, kale, and chicken are three of my favorite foods to combine, and I can never turn down a delicious soup recipe. Love how healthy this is, and I’ve been meaning to start using my crockpot more often so this is the perfect excuse. The thyme and rosemary are a great touch- Thanks for the clear instructions! May 7, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

  • kathy: This is a GREAT alternative to chicken noodle soup when you are feeling under the weather. Just started autumn here in the southern hemisphere and made this this week. Super yummy! I think it tasted better as leftovers (or else my tastebuds were just working better as my cold died down ;0)) but even our 18 month old sipped the broth up and said ‘mmmm!’ May 9, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Kathy! I’m happy to hear your family liked it! May 9, 2014 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Nammy: Kale doesn’t have protein. Just correcting that typo (it’s in a sentence near the very top of this page) July 30, 2014 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It has 2.9 g per cup which isn’t a ton but it is some :). July 30, 2014 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Kari: I froze this in lunch-sized portions and it tastes great after defrosting! I added extra broth before freezing. BTW, I found the chicken only needed 4.5 hours on low to cook fully.
    Thank you for an easy, healthy recipe! This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your site. August 6, 2014 at 7:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked this recipe! I hope you try and enjoy more here :)! August 6, 2014 at 8:44pm Reply

  • Angel: Hi there! I just wanted your opinion on whether I could use chick peas instead of the beans? My grocer did not have the beans you listed so I grabbed some chick peas since they were on sale! Thanks ! August 21, 2014 at 6:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would also be delicious, I love chick peas! August 21, 2014 at 11:33pm Reply

  • Shannon: Hi there! Just wondering if this would work with bone-in chicken breasts? September 19, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would work fine for this recipe. Hope you love it! September 19, 2014 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Rachel: I made this last night and it was wonderful. It really hit the spot now that the weather has turned chilly. October 5, 2014 at 6:54am Reply

  • Paula: I made it tonight for dinner. Very flavorful and filling soup supper! I am freezing the leftovers for lunches. I’m not a big fan of the lemon but I will definately make this again October 6, 2014 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Paula! Thanks for your feedback! October 6, 2014 at 8:24pm Reply

  • Megan: Could you make this without the slowcooker? October 7, 2014 at 11:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you could definitely do it on the stove top. November 4, 2014 at 10:43pm Reply

  • Crystal: I don’t have a crock pot– how could I adapt this to make on the stove in a shorter time?

    Thanks! October 7, 2014 at 2:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would saute the onion, celery and garlic in oil then add broth and herbs/s&p and chicken/quinoa and boil until cooked through (remove rest 5 minutes then shred and return) then add remainder. Hope you love it! November 4, 2014 at 10:45pm Reply

  • Marie: I made a triple recipe of the Kale Soup!!! I cooked everything but the quinoa, kale, spinach and beans the day before… That way all of the flavors could merge together…. The next day I added the last ingredients and a little extra garlic and let it all simmer… Served it to 27 ladies they all wanted the recipe!!!
    I did use canned chicken because I was making such a large recipe.. I also cooked it on top of the stove in a very large pot… November 3, 2014 at 9:14am Reply

  • Ryli: Made this today and it turned out amazing. My chicken breasts were partially frozen, mostly thawed and I cooked in a 6 qt cuisinart slow corker for 8 hours on “simmer” to account for a full work day. I chose to semi-sautée the onions, garlic, and celery before I added them this morning to richen the flavor and ensure they weren’t under done tasting(if even possible after slow cooking for 8 hours but better safe than sorry!). I also waited to add the quinoa until I got home with the kale, parsley and beans. It could’ve been fine adding early on but I didn’t want to risk it soaking up all the broth! Also, added some cayenne for spice. Fantastic. Chicken breasts were incredibly tender when I removed them to shred (instead of chop). Thank you for this delicious slow cooker recipe! Hit the spot during these increasingly dark and cold Alaskan nights! November 3, 2014 at 9:20pm Reply

  • Stacy: Making this today, sounds amazing and healthy. I added the recipe into the Lose It app and it comes up as:
    287 calories
    5.4g Total Fat. 1.1g Saturated Fat
    50.5mg Cholesterol
    915.2mg Sodium
    32g Carbs
    5.5g Fiber
    2.1g Sugar
    26.4g Protein

    Per Serving (6 servings in recipe)

    Hope this helps! November 9, 2014 at 8:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the info Stacy! November 9, 2014 at 11:56am Reply

  • cianna richardson: Made this tonight – simple, clean and bright. A few tweaks made it more flavorful: 1) added 2 TB reduced sodium better than bouillon chicken base for added ‘stockiness’. 2) increased spices to 2TB thyme, 1TB rosemary. 3) doubled the quinoa to 1 1/2 c. to make it thicker and more stew-like. I never measure lemon juice, but squeezed two full lemons in. I just changed it to taste. The soup needed some more salt as well. Overall, it was a good dish that needed some Oomph… November 9, 2014 at 5:05pm Reply

  • cianna richardson: OH. Sorry, but I forgot to add:
    I just threw EVERYTHING IN AT ONCE in a crockpot and let it stay on low for 6 hrs… This way was much easier and freed up my Sunday ;) November 9, 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Erica: Hi Jaclyn-I know the recipe yields about 6 servings-would that be about 2 cups per serving? Just trying to figure out portions.
    Thank you! November 24, 2014 at 2:14pm Reply

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