Hearty Chicken-Vegetable Quinoa Soup
This Hearty Chicken-Vegetable Quinoa Soup is packed with flavor, simple to make, and full of nourishing ingredients. Make it on the stovetop in one pot or cook it up in your slow cooker. It is a healthy and comforting dinner!
TNNers, I am pretty obsessed with all the vegetable soup recipes lately.
There is something so comforting about a bowl (or mug) of hearty, veggie-loaded soup to warm you up from the inside out. Recipes like Healthy Stuffed Pepper Soup and Veggie-Loaded Lasagna Soup have been heavy in the dinner rotation here lately. And now I am adding this AMAZING chicken quinoa soup into the mix.
This super hearty and delicious Vegetable-Chicken Quinoa Soup is the ultimate healthy, easy, veggie-loaded dinner. You’ve got protein, oodles of veggies, and some serious flavor that will make this quickly a family favorite dinner! And it is made up all in ONE POT, because who needs more dishes? Not me! Or you can make it in your slow cooker and come home to dinner ready to go.
This recipe is…
Gluten free, dairy-free, made in one pot or in your slow cooker.
Why this quinoa soup is so good!
- One pot meal. In case you missed it….no sink full of dishes after this meal!
- Hearty, satisfying, 💯 comfort food. This quinoa chicken soup feels like a hug in a bowl and is a complete meal all in itself!
- Made with easy to find ingredients. Frozen veggies and veggies that can be found in most supermarkets year round. Chicken breasts or thighs. Even quinoa is typically well stocked these days (and if you can’t find it, just swap it out with rice!).
- Adaptable. We all have different eating styles and needs, so this quinoa chicken soup recipe is easy to switch up and adjust to fit YOUR needs or uses simply what you have on hand. Be sure to check out the Suggested Adaptations portion of the post below for ideas.
- Flavorful. Like, whoa. I love a good chicken soup, but sometimes feel like they are lacking a depth of flavor. Not this quinoa chicken soup! I added Italian seasoning AND balsamic vinegar to help make this soup sing on your taste buds while filling you with veggies and protein!
Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!
Skip the white beans. If beans don’t agree with you, or you don’t have them on hand…simply omit them. This quinoa soup will still be protein packed and amazing.
Replace the quinoa with rice. Swap out the 1 cup of quinoa with 1/2 cup of white rice. If you prefer to use brown rice, cook it ahead and add it to the soup with the frozen veggies and balsamic vinegar. Why? Because brown rice takes much longer to cook (usually about 40 minutes) and the rest of the ingredients would be overcooked by the time the brown rice was soft enough to eat.
Use precooked chicken. This recipe would be a great way to use up leftover chicken or for rotisserie chicken. Shred cooked chicken and add to soup with frozen vegetables and vinegar, letting it warm up in the hot soup.
Up the veggies. Love the veggie-loaded approach and want to maximize this soup? Green beans, chopped kale, diced zucchini or summer squash are also great additions. Feel free to stir in spinach at the end of cooking, too!
Swap out the veggies. Use pretty much whatever veggie you have on hand. Green beans, diced zucchini or summer squash would also be lovely in this soup.
Cook it in your slow cooker. Saute the onions in oil and then transfer them to your slow cooker. Add all other ingredients except the peas, corn and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. After cooking, remove the cooked chicken, shred and stir it back in. Add the frozen veggies and vinegar to the soup. Let them sit in the hot soup to cook for about 15 minutes before enjoying.
Make it in your Instant Pot. Use the saute function on your electric pressure cooker to saute the onions. Once the onions are done, turn the saute function off. Add remaining ingredients except the beans, peas, corn and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Lock lid into place and cook on Manual Pressure for 13 minutes. After done cooking, quick release the pressure, remove the cooked chicken, shred and stir it back in. Add the beans, frozen veggies and vinegar to the soup. Let them sit in the hot soup to cook for about 15 minutes before enjoying.
Make it without the chicken. Want this quinoa soup to be vegan or vegetarian? Omit the chicken and replace it with 2 extra cans of white beans or cooked chickpeas! Also be sure to use vegetable broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What would you serve with this quinoa soup?
I loved this soup topped with some sliced avocado and a sprinkling of chopped green onions. Some grated cheese would also be amazing! And a slice of crusty bread for dipping always makes soup better. Of course, this soup all on its own is pure magic!
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, but heads up….quinoa’s consistency does change after being frozen. It won’t be as firm as it would be freshly cooked. If that doesn’t bother you, freeze away! If you prefer to have the freshly-cooked quinoa texture, omit it when preparing this recipe and then add uncooked quinoa to the soup when it is reheating. Quinoa usually needs to cook for 16-18 minutes, so just be sure to simmer your soup for that long.
Can I make this soup ahead of time?
Totally! I love making this soup for dinner and enjoying the leftovers as quick lunches for a few days after. Quick note, though. As the soup sits, the the quinoa will absorb more liquid so stir in the additional cup of broth (or more) as needed. Be sure to taste and re-season the soup after adding more liquid. Also, the quinoa does become quite soft after sitting in the soup for a day or two. The soup still tastes delicious but the texture will change a bit.
Can I put quinoa in soup?
Absolutely! Quinoa is quick cooking, so you can add it to a soup dry and it will cook up beautifully along with the other soup ingredients. It is perfect for adding a little texture (and protein) to a soup.
Quinoa does absorb a good amount of liquid, so it is great for making a thicker soup (almost stew) consistency. Or you can add extra broth, if you prefer.
Is quinoa gluten free?
Yes, it is!
What kind of quinoa should I use in this chicken soup?
There are several different kinds of quinoa out there that you can buy, but I typically use white quinoa in my recipes, including this chicken quinoa soup. It has a great light, fluffy texture and the most mild flavor of all the quinoas out there.
If you don’t have (or like) white quinoa, red quinoa or multi-colored quinoa also works beautifully in this dairy-free soup recipe.
Other hearty veggie-loaded soup recipes to add to your dinner rotations
- Chicken & Veggie Pot Pie Soup
- Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Rice Soup (dairy-free)
- Slow Cooker Creamy Vegetable Chicken Stew
- Slow Cooker Chicken & Butternut Squash Stew
- Instant Pot Black Bean & Butternut Squash Soup
- Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
Did you try these quinoa chicken soup and now you’re hungry for more?
Hearty Chicken-Vegetable Quinoa Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion, about 1 large onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 15 ounce can white beans
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, optional, but I find it gives the soup a nice depth of flavor.
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, add onions and cook until softened and golden brown around the edges, about 2 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery, and garlic. Sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of salt over the veggies. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken thighs to the pot. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and Italian seasoning. Pour broth in and bring up to a simmer.
- Add quinoa and beans. Stir, cover pot and cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
- Once cooked through, use tongs to remove chicken from pot and place on a plate to cool slightly.
- Stir peas, corn, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (if using) into the soup. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, carefully cut or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add back to the pot. Taste the soup then season with additional salt, pepper and another tablespoon of vinegar as needed. Serve warm.Allow leftovers to cool completely before storing in fridge for up to 3 days. Note: As the soup sit, the quinoa will absorb more liquid so stir in the additional cup of broth (or more) as needed. Be sure to taste and re-season the soup after adding more liquid.
For Slow cooker
- Saute the onions in oil and then transfer them to your slow cooker.
- Add all other ingredients except the peas, corn and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. After cooking, carefully remove the cooked chicken, shred and stir it back in.
- Add the frozen veggies and vinegar to taste to the soup. Let them sit in the hot soup to cook for about 15 minutes before enjoying.