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Slow Cooker Curried Coconut Chicken Soup

This is it – the last few days of summer! My husband’s family likes to make an annual trip to the beach around this time every year, and I’m looking forward to that. But I’m also looking forward to ending of our summer travels, settling in for the fall and winter, and eating some warm, cozy, comfort food. Soup makes an occasional appearance on our table in the summer, especially spicy ones like this. But in the winter we eat soup at least once a week. Soups are the perfect way to use left over meat and incorporate homemade bone broths. We talked about some of the benefits of bone broth last week, but let me just remind you that they are a wonderful immune booster as we head into the cold and flu season and as kids head back to school and swap germs with their friends. When your kids (or worse you) are sick, it is tough to get a nourishing meal on the table. You’ll be thankful you packed this away in the freezer when a sick day inevitably rolls around. The broth is packed with germ fighting power, but the mild spice (or quite spicy if you like extra Sriracha like me) will clear out the sinuses.

One final note, you may be wondering if this is a kid friendly meal. Rest assured it is only mildly spicy, and you can adjust to taste by adding more or less curry powder and Sriracha. And I know all kids are different, but my kids love this meal. They would also live on peanut butter if I let them. I find if I’m faithful on my part to provide variety, most of the time they seem to enjoy it, even if they’re apprehensive at first.

Curried Coconut Chicken Soup


Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com, adapted from Art of the Slow Cooker, by Andrew Schloss


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 3 cups sliced red bell peppers
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, crushed
  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1.75 cups coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • .25 cups chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice, cooked


Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add and saute onions, carrots, and pepper about 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook 1-2 more minutes until fragrant. Pour in broth with salt and lemongrass. Bring to a boil then add to the crock pot with the chicken. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low. At the end of the cooking time, mix coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, and sucanat in a small bowl and add to the soup. Cook for 15-30 minutes on high. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Serve over hot cooked rice, garnished with lime wedges for squeezing over the soup.

Freezing Directions:

Cook soup as directed above. Reserve cilantro and lime wedges for serving day. Cool soup and store in freezer bags. Store rice in separate freezer bags and store along with soup until serving day. To serve: Thaw and reheat soup. Stir in cilantro leaves. Serve over hot rice with lime wedges to squeeze over soup.

Servings: 8

**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

31 Responses to “Slow Cooker Curried Coconut Chicken Soup”

  1. Kym says:

    Do you think you could use fat free or low-fat milk with coconut milk mixed to cut some of the calories from the coconut milk?

    • kim says:

      Yes, you could do that if you are looking to cut calories. We whole foodies tend not to shy away from a little healthy fat. :)

      • Nicole says:

        Hey Kim,

        In most soup type recipes, you can replace coconut milk with “Lite Coconut Flavoured Evaporated Milk”. I’ve never had an issue doing this in the past, and I don’t think you’d have an issue with this recipe either. It’s certainly what I plan to do!

  2. Sabrina says:

    What is lemongrass? is there a substitue?

  3. Allison says:

    Where can lemongrass be found? Is there a substitute or is this recipe as good if I can’t find it?

  4. Jennifer says:

    Do you think it would ruin the recipe to not put the peanut butter in? Is there something I could sub for it?

    • kim says:

      I don’t think it would ruin it to leave out the peanut butter, althought it isn’t overwhelming. The spice isn’t overwhelming either. My small children quite enjoy this meal.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Also, how spicy is this?

  6. chole says:

    The cooking time seems plenty long, is there any reason you can’t use raw chicken?

    • kim says:

      I personally like to use cooked chicken in this recipe (I tend to use left over chicken from another meal or from making the broth). However, I think you could use raw chicken. Just make sure that your crock pot will cook it thoroughly.

  7. Pamela Scott says:

    Is it important to use Madras curry powder, or could you use red curry or regular curry?

    • kim says:

      I think you could make substitutions on the curry powder. Just be aware that it may have a slightly different flavor. Truthfully my favorite curry is a Thai style red.

      • Pamela Scott says:

        Hmm… I also love Thai red! I could only find it as a paste at the store… does that sound right? Do you think it would be a 1:1 substitution using the paste? I’m really looking forward to trying this one!

        • kim says:

          Yes, you could make a 1:1 substitution with the red curry paste. I think I’m going to have to try this too because I love red curry!

        • Pamela Scott says:

          Wow! Tried this and Loved it with the original Madras curry powder – will definitely try with the Thai Red, too, but it was great. Even my dad who is, shall we say, not brave about trying different flavors gave this a thumbs up! I liked that the flavors really came across as Thai-inspired (to me). Thanks! :)

  8. Lauren says:

    Goes great over quinoa as well!

  9. Kellie says:

    The cooked chicken doesn’t get too tough over that long of a slow cook process? It almost seems like you’d want to add it in near the end? I have some rotisserie chicken (white and dark of course) — would that do fine the whole time?

  10. Cyndee says:

    You can buy lemongrass in a paste form located in the produce section of your grocery store – they have it at my super walmart. I however, did not add the lemongrass and it turned out fantastic. I also bought pre cooked frozen chicken breast – I defrosted them in the microwave then diced them. The soup came out perfect.

  11. sandi says:

    Hello, I’m a little confused, this seems like a thai recipe but isn’t madras curry powder from India not Thailand? If so, then wouldn’t thai red curry paste be a much better choice?

    • kim says:

      I believe you are right. If you want, you could substitute your favorite curry paste. It may give it a more of an authentic Thai flavor. Let us know if you try it!

  12. Dancerlindzi says:

    In the bottom pictures what is that cute little mesh basket?

  13. Margaret Miller says:

    I wanted to provide kudos to the chef here.

    I made this recipe last night and it was excellent. I added halved cherry tomatoes towards the end of cooking and used red Thai chili paste and a dash of fish sauce but these were my only modifications. My husband loved it! As I wasn’t serving to kids I did amp up the spicy factor a bit. This one is a keeper.

    • Lisa says:

      Margaret! Thanks so much for sharing your adaptions to this recipe! It sounds delicious with those alterations! So glad you enjoyed it!

  14. […] coconut chicken soup over riceI love this recipe (http://onceamonthmeals.com/slow-cooker-curried-coconut-chicken-soup/), and made a big batch to freeze at the beginning of Passover. It will definitely make a […]

  15. Betty says:

    I’m so glad I found this recipe of yours! I made it last night and it was divine. I like spicy hit but I dialed it back a bit for my BF. Half the fun of slow cooker is the aroma while cooking. This excels in that department! And so flavorful. Thank you!

    • Lisa says:

      Yipee Betty – so glad you loved this! There is nothing better that the aroma of a meal in the slow cooker!

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