Easy Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup

A hearty and delicious chicken quinoa soup is the perfect comfort meal.  Made with simple, nourishing ingredients, this protein-packed meal will keep you full for hours. 

Bowl of lemon chicken quinoa soup topped with a slice of lemon and fresh parsley in a white bowl on a white countertop. a whole lemon sliced in half and a turquoise pot in the background

Soup is my absolute favorite meal. Something about a warm bowl of chicken soup on a cold day that brings me so much joy. It reminds me of my momma, who also has a deep love for this classic dish.

Since it’s the beginning of the new year, many people make resolutions to eat healthier. If that is you, this is the ideal recipe. 

This soup is packed with nourishing veggies, mineral-rich bone broth, and protein from the chicken and quinoa. It will keep you full and feeling satisfied for hours.

This year my only goal was to have my very late baby. I can officially say mission accomplished. Sweet baby boy was born in the first week of January. 

So now we are adjusting to being a large family of 6. Relying on an easy recipe that can be doubled – or even tripled – is a must. 

Make once, eat for multiple meals, is what we are relying on these days. It’s all-hands-on-deck and how can we prioritize eating healthy in practical, efficient ways.

pot of chicken quinoa soup with carrots, kale, fresh parsley, white beans, and chicken and topped with sliced lemon in a large dutch oven

Why you will love this recipe:

Healthy recipe: There is so much healthy goodness in this chicken soup recipe. Between the protein-packed quinoa and chicken, savory vegetables, and nutrient-rich bone broth, what is not to love? Lots of nutrients, fiber, and protein. 

Hearty meal: Since this hearty soup recipe is packed with protein, whole grains, fiber, and more, it will keep you nice and full.

Easy: Just a few minutes of hands-on time, then let it simmer. It is super easy to prepare and makes a great weekend or weeknight dinner.

Great for meal prep: Leftovers are a favorite of mine. Make it once, eat it two to three times. That’s my motto. 

Flexible: One of the best things about soup is that it is super flexible. Add in extra veggies, different type of beans or grains. Don’t have an ingredient? Skip it. It will probably turn out just fine.

Kid-approved: It’s a boosted version of your classic chicken soup, so it’s a hit for us. It’s salty, fresh, and satisfying. Do my kids still sometimes pick out the chicken? Yeah. It’s still a hit.

overhead photo of a white bowl filled with chicken and vegetable quinoa soup on a white countertop with fresh parsley in the background

Tips:

  • If you don’t have lemon, no worries, just leave it out. But it does add a really nice, bright flavor to the soup.
  • After the soup has sat for a while, the quinoa tends to absorb the broth. To reheat, you can eat it as it is (which is much thicker) or add more broth to turn it into a soup again.
  • If you don’t have quinoa, you can also use rice. I like basmati as it is a quicker cooking rice.
  • To make this recipe quicker, you can use already cooked chicken.

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Ingredients:

Broth: I like to use homemade chicken broth, but you can also use vegetable broth.

Onion

Carrots

Celery

Garlic cloves

Chicken breast: You can also substitute with chicken thighs. I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Or to make this soup faster, use leftover whole chicken or some leftover rotisserie chicken.

Uncooked quinoa: Use any variety: red, white, or multicolored.

White beans: Great Northern or cannellini are my favorite. You could even use garbonzo beans.

Lemon: Fresh lemon is best, but if you don’t have fresh lemons, substitute for 1 tbs of bottled lemon juice.

Kale: Spinach will also work.

Fresh parsley: Dried will also work.

Olive oil or butter

Bay leaf (optional): I always like to add some bay leaves to my soup. Totally not necessary, but a bump in flavor.

Salt and black pepper to taste

Tools you may need:

Knife

Cutting board

Garlic press

Large pot: I love this Dutch oven.

overhead photo of a bowl of chicken quinoa soup on a white countertop surrounded by two lemon halves, fresh parsley, a spoon, blue and cream stripped napkin and a dutch oven filled with more soup

How To Make Chicken Quinoa Soup

In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add oil or butter, onion and celery. 

Cook for a few minutes until the onions start to become translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

Add in the carrots, chicken, quinoa, bay leaf, garlic, and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from the pot and shred. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot.

Drain and rinse beans, add into the soup. 

Add in lemon juice, parsley, and chopped kale. Stir and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

Taste. Add salt, if desired.

Serve and enjoy.

a white bowl of lemon chicken and vegetable quinoa soup on a white countertop with fresh parsley to the right of the bowl and two lemon haves in the background. A turquoise dutch oven is in the background

Storage:

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. 

Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the soup to cool completely in the fridge. Transfer to freezer-safe containers, like a freezer zip-lock bag or silicon molds. To eat: transfer the quinoa chicken soup to the fridge, thaw, then warm over medium heat until simmering.

Variations:

Herbs: Change up the herbs. Use cilantro instead of parsley.

Sweet potatoes: Add sweet potatoes for a delicious and sweet addition.

Change up the veggies: Bell peppers, zucchini, or some cabbage would be so yummy.

Spicy: Turn this into spicy chicken quinoa soup by adding red pepper flakes to taste.

Southwest Chicken Quinoa Soup: Swap the beans for pinto beans, add in peppers, cilantro, a little cumin, and top with a little cheese.

Add rice: Rather than quinoa, substitute with rice.

overhead photo of a dutch oven with chicken quinoa soup topped with fresh parsley and slices of lemon on a white countertop

Slow Cooker Direction:

Yes. Just add everything (but the kale and lemon) to the slow cooker and set on high for 3 to 5 hours. Once it is done, remove the chicken, shred, and add it back into the crockpot. Add in kale and lemon juice. Stir and serve.

If you want to bring the flavor up a notch, sauté the onions and celery with the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker. You want to brown the chicken, but not necessarily cook it all the way through. 

Instant Pot Directions:

Turn the Instant Pot to sauté. Add butter, chicken, diced onion and celery. Sauté for a few minutes until vegetables are soft and chicken has browned on the sides.

Add in the carrots, quinoa, bay leaf, and broth.

Put on the lid, flip to sealing and place on high for 7 minutes.

Once the timer is up, manually release the pressure. 

Remove chicken, shred, and add back to the instant pot. 

Set to simmer, add in beans, kale, parsley, and lemon. 

Bring it back to a simmer and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Serve.

close up of a white bowl filled with vegetable chicken and quinoa soup with carrots, beans, kale, quinoa and chicken. The bowl sits on a marble countertop with two lemon halves in the background

FAQ:

Is quinoa gluten free?

Yes. It is naturally gluten free and is a great replacement for rice in recipes.

Is this soup gluten free?

Yes. All the ingredients in this soup are gluten free. Make sure the ingredients you choose are also gluten free. Sometimes broth will have wheat in it.

How long does it take to cook quinoa?

It takes about 15 minutes to cook quinoa.

Do you have to rinse quinoa before cooking?

Technically, no. Quinoa seeds grow with a natural coating called saponin. This coating can have a bitter taste and some people are more sensitive to this bitter flavor than others. These days, most quinoa sold in stores are pre-rinsed to remove saponins. 

bowl of chicken quinoa soup on a marble counter with a spoon and blue stripped napkin to the left. A dutch oven is in the background

What To Serve With Chicken Quinoa Soup:

Sourdough biscuits

Rolls

Sourdough skillet bread

Salad: My favorite kale apple salad or burrata caprese salad.

Crusty bread

Grilled cheese

Find More Clean Eating Soup Recipes:

If you try this recipe and love it, I would love it if you could come back, comment on the recipe card, and give it 5 stars! Please and thank you. 

overhead photo of a dutch oven with chicken quinoa soup topped with fresh parsley and slices of lemon on a white countertop

Chicken Quinoa Soup

A hearty and delicious chicken quinoa soup is the perfect comfort meal packed with vegetables, quinoa, and bright flavors from lemon and parsley.
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken quinoa soup, quinoa soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Amy

Equipment

  • Large Pot or Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 6-8 cups Chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion about 1 cup
  • 4 large carrots about 2 cups
  • 2 stalks celery about 3/4 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound chicken breast boneless skinless
  • 1 can white beans Great Northern or cannelini
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups kale de-stemmed and chopped
  • juice lemon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley or more
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add oil or butter, onion and celery.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the onions are started to get translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the carrots, chicken, quinoa, bay leaf, garlic, and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from the pot and shred. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot.
  • Drain and rinse beans, add into the soup.
  • Add in lemon juice, parsley, and chopped kale. Stir and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy

Notes

  • If you don’t have lemon, no worries, just leave it out. But it does add this really nice, bright flavor to the soup.
  • After the soup has sat for awhile, the quinoa tends to absorb the broth. To reheat, you can eat it as it is (which is much thicker) or add more broth to turn it into a soup again.
  • If you don’t have quinoa, you can also use rice. I like basmati as it is a quicker cooking rice.
  • To make this recipe quicker, you can use already cooked chicken.
  • If you like a thicker soup use 6 cups of broth, or 8 cups for a thinner dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 762mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7799IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @ablossominglife or tag #ablossominglife!

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