Slow cooker chicken kale soup simmers all day for a healthy, hearty dinner that’s ready when you are. It’s packed with lean chicken, lots of leafy green kale, cannellini beans, and loads of flavor.
Do you eat all the vegetables and fruit that researchers tell you are essential for good health? The American Heart Association recommends that at minimum we should be eating at least 5 servings of veggies a day and 4 servings of fruit. I’d guess that most of us don’t achieve that goal on a daily basis. I know I probably don’t.
This slow cooker chicken kale soup will get you on the right track for good nutrition because there’s lots of kale in it — 6 cups, plus carrots, onions, celery, and tomatoes. And because it’s so delicious, you’ll find yourself rejoicing in how easy it is to eat all those vegetables.
Plus, crockpot chicken kale soup is a snap to make. Simply put everything in the slow cooker, turn it on, and forget about it. It’ll be ready when dinner time rolls around.
About This Recipe
Easy to make, with lots of healthy protein, white beans, and good-for-you veggies … what’s the catch, you might ask. No catch, just plain good cooking.
Pile everything into your slow cooker and let it work its magic! Shortly before serving the soup, remove the chicken breasts to a plate, cool slightly and shred the meat. Put it back into the slow cooker and mix it in. Add a splash of red wine vinegar for a touch of acidity to brighten the flavor.
Keep reading for the printable recipe card below. It has complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts (use thighs if you prefer)
- Kale – lots of it, 6 cups! So good for you.
- Carrots, celery, onion, garlic – These aromatics add lots of great flavor.
- Canned cannellini beans – or any other white beans
- Canned diced tomatoes – use fresh tomatoes if you prefer.
- Chicken broth – look for unsalted or low sodium broth to keep the sodium content low.
- Bay leaf, dried thyme, salt and pepper – simple seasonings from your pantry
- Red wine vinegar – just a dash of vinegar adds surprising depth to the broth. Lemon juice works too.
Oh, for sure! This soup cooks for hours so the chicken will be safely cooked. However, once you put the raw chicken and all the other ingredients in, get the cooking started immediately. You don’t want to let it sit on the counter a couple of hours before you turn it on.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse (Healthline) so try to include it in whatever you can. It’s very low in calories, has lots of fiber, and is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Soup is a good choice because kale can be a bit tougher than other greens. When it simmers in a soup, kale becomes nice and tender.
For more soups that include kale, try Zuppa Toscana, Italian Sausage Stew with White Beans and Kale or Chicken Barley Soup with Kale and Butternut Squash.
Looking for more kale recipes? Check out my list of 20 amazing kale recipes.
I find that dark meat is a bit more flavorful and richer. Add lots of seasoning like garlic, onion, and herbs. Use good quality stock or broth. Adding a bit of acidity at the end of the cooking really punches up the flavor too. Try adding red wine vinegar or lemon juice.
Make It Your Own
- Vegetarian? Simply omit the chicken. There’s plenty of protein in this soup without it. Add a second can of beans if you want. Serve it with a sprinkling of cheese.
- Omit the beans for a keto and Whole30 friendly soup.
- A tasty alternative to carrots is sweet potato, peeled and diced.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This chicken kale soup recipe makes a big batch, about ten servings. The good news is that it’s great reheated the next day, either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Healthy chicken kale soup soup makes a wonderful lunch!
It can be frozen for up to month, too. For best results, thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat gently.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
Soup is a perfect way to eat a bunch of veggies all at once. Try:
- Vegetable Soup (7 vegetables in this one!)
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Turkey Quinoa Chili (under 400 calories!)
- Ground Turkey Soup with Beans and Spinach (20 minutes!)
- Easy Hamburger Soup Recipe
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (see note)
- 6 cups lightly packed, roughly chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
- 2 cups sliced or diced carrots (3 medium carrots)
- 1 ½ cups sliced or diced celery (3 stalks)
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 cans (15.8 oz.) cannellini beans, undrained (see note)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, preferably no-salt added
- 1 ¾ teaspoons coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
- Add all ingredients, except red wine vinegar, to 6-quart slow cooker, making sure chicken is submerged in liquid.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 7 to 8 hours.
- Remove chicken to plate, cool slightly, and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to crockpot.
- Add one tablespoon red wine vinegar, stir well, and taste. Add more vinegar, salt, and pepper if needed.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs may be substituted if you prefer dark meat.
- Use any white bean, such as cannellini, great Northern, or navy beans.
- Leftover soup can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to one month. Thaw overnight before reheating.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.