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3 Healthy Chicken Soup Recipes To Try — For A New Take On The Classic

Eliza Sullivan
January 14, 2021
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Woman in cooking in her kitchen
Image by Kristine Weilert / Stocksy
January 14, 2021

Chicken soup might just be the ultimate home remedy, and we all have our go-to recipe, be it a family favorite or one pulled from a much-loved cookbook. And the benefits are far from folklore: A study published in the October 2000 edition of Chest suggests "that chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections."

In other words, there's science behind this classic soup, and its potential ability to relieve cold symptoms. For the study, they used a fairly classic chicken soup recipe (they even called it "Grandma's Soup"): chicken, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery stems, and parsley, plus salt and pepper. One of the best ways to boost the health benefits of any soup recipe is using a bone broth for the base, or a homemade stock (since they're not all that different, really).

While we're all for sticking to the classic tried-and-true recipe, there are also numerous ways to edit and update classic chicken soup to make it into something new. Below, find three of our favorite healthy versions:


Chicken Zoodle Soup

Many a chicken soup recipe would be incomplete without the noodles, but they aren't always the healthiest component of the mix. This recipe opts for zucchini noodles (also known as zoodles), instead. Of course, you could always just swap in a healthy noodle to your favorite recipe—but the other great thing about this recipe is that it takes only 35 minutes (in an Instant Pot) to come together.


Keto-Friendly Chicken & Dumpling Soup

James Beard Award–winning chef Rocco DiSpirito takes on the classic with this recipe, which goes after a chicken-and-dumplings take on the classic soup. The dumplings skip grains in favor of a protein mix of almond flour, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, and egg. And he swears it works for kicking a cold: "Last winter after coming down with a bad cold, I treated myself to this keto-friendly soup," DiSpirito writes, "Within a few days, I no longer had to line my pockets with loads of tissues before leaving home!" High praise, indeed.


Spiced Chicken Soup With Cashews & Coconut

This chicken soup gets something of an overhaul but requires only five ingredients: chicken breast, bay leaves, carrots, cashews, and coconut milk. Award-winning chef and author Monisha Bharadwaj also shares some quick swaps, like using almonds or even sunflower seeds instead of cashews. She further notes that adding potato to the mix can add more body to an otherwise simple (and super flavorful) soup. Keep in mind it isn't based on a broth or stock, though, so it might not have the same benefits as other recipes.

But let's be honest, chicken soup isn't our only go-to recipe—this time of year, we're making pots of soup pretty regularly. Luckily, we're building a long list of favorites to keep us going all winter (chicken soup, included).

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Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.