Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
This Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup is loosely based on the classic Thai soup–Tom Kha Gai, but I’ve loaded it up with veggies and rice noodles to make it a easy, hearty and healthy weeknight meal.
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
When I first started thinking about this Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, I was planning to make it a pretty authentic version of Tom Kha Gai. Which is more simple than this recipe–meaning it’s more about the aromatic coconut broth and chicken.
What I ended up with is not authentic at all, however. This recipe is really more about walking in the door at dinnertime, and having to do nothing more than stir some noodles into the soup to soften a bit. Don’t get me wrong though, the coconut broth is awesome and you’ll love every bite. It’s loaded it with lots of veggies and cellophane rice noodles.
Just like my Chicken Coconut Curry, this slow cooker soup is perfect for both weekend and weeknight dinners. Since it’s a slow cooker recipe, you can assemble the first few ingredients in the pot, then forget about it, walk away, and come back to it later that day. I mean, what else could you want?
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because they become tender without drying out. You may use boneless skinless chicken breast instead, but the meat will be more dry in texture.
- Fish Sauce: For this recipe, I used Thai fish sauce. It’s Golden Boy brand. There are lots of variations of fish sauce from Southeast Asia. You can read about the difference between the two we most commonly found here (Vietnamese and Thai).
- Coconut Milk: I used full-fat coconut milk. I tried it with light coconut milk but it was grainy/broken looking, and not creamy enough for me. If you are looking to shave some calories- feel free to swap in the light coconut milk.
- Chicken broth: reduced-sodium chicken broth or home-made chicken stock
- Seasonings: Hot chili pepper (I used habenero), Maple syrup, lime, Salt and ginger
- Veggies: Tom Kha Gai typically has Shiitake Mushrooms in it but I also added in Garlic, red bell pepper, Napa cabbage and scallions for additional veggie servings.
- Cellophane noodles: You can find these at most grocery stores or at any Asian market
- Herbs: Fresh cilantro and basil (or Thai basil)
Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
Step 1: Slow cook 7 1/2 hours
Whisk together broth, coconut milk, maple syrup, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, garlic, hot chili and salt in the insert of a large slow cooker. Add the ginger and chicken thighs. Add bell pepper and mushrooms on top, then cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 hours.
Step 2: Add noodles and cook 30 mins more
Remove 2 pieces of ginger. Stir in the Napa cabbage and scallions. Break the cellophane noodles into two pieces and submerge into liquid as much as possible. Continue cooking on low for 30 more minutes.
Step 3: Add herbs & serve
Stir to combine, breaking up large chunks of chicken. Stir in cilantro and basil, then serve the healthy chicken coconut soup.
FAQs and Expert Tips
For best results we recommend not adding the noodles if planning to make this ahead. You can set this up in the slow cooker the night before and keep covered and refrigerated. Then just pop the insert into the slow cooker and turn it on in the morning. You can also follow through step 1 up to three days ahead. Reheat on the stovetop in a soup pot. Once simmering, stir in noodles and cook, stirring often until they are softened, 5 to 10 minutes.
Use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. However, I would recommend eating it as soon as possible. Since the noodles are already in the broth, they will get softer the longer they sit. Thin with additional chicken broth as necessary.
Cook the soup in a large pot instead. Once the soup comes to a simmer turn it down to low and cook until the chicken is very tender, about 50 minutes. Add in noodles and cook while stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add in herbs to finish and serve.
More Thai Inspired Recipes and Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
- This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken can be made low carb!
- 15 Minute Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup if you love Thai flavors, you’ll love this one.
- Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw If you are looking for more ways to use the Napa cabbage you bought for this soup.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Because who can have enough slow cooker chicken recipes?
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore a classic Italian comfort food recipe made in the Crock Pot!
- Coconut Milk and Thyme Braised Chicken from Diethood
- Sticky Thai Chicken from Running to the Kitchen
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Soup
- Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
A slow-cooker Chicken Coconut Soup inspired by Tom Kha Gai, with the addition of healthy vegetables, and gluten-free cellophane noodles to make it a hearty meal for a busy weeknight.
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or home-made chicken stock
- 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, dark or amber
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce, such as Golden Boy
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ hot red chili, minced, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and split lengthwise
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 ounces sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
- 2 ounces rice cellophane noodles
- 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil or Thai basil
- Whisk broth, coconut milk, maple syrup, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, garlic, hot chili and salt in the insert of a large slow cooker. Add ginger and chicken thighs. Add bell pepper and mushrooms on top. Cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 hours.
- Remove 2 pieces of ginger. Stir in Napa cabbage and scallions. Break cellophane noodles into two pieces and submerge into liquid as much as possible. Continue cooking on low for 30 more minutes.
- Stir to combine, breaking up large chunks of chicken. Stir in cilantro and basil. Serve hot.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. However, I would recommend eating it as soon as possible. Since the noodles are already in the broth, they will get softer the longer they sit.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Category: soup
- Method: slow cooker
- Cuisine: Thai
- Serving Size: 2 1/2 cups
- Calories: 459
- Sugar: 16
- Fat: 28
- Carbohydrates: 33
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 20
Keywords: Thai Chicken Soup,Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Soup,Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup,Chicken and Coconut Soup
Hi Katie. I also love Thai
food, but need to make my substitutions. On the ginger: I do not cook with it often, so purchased fresh grated from Trader Joe’s in their freezer section. Because it is grated, I will not be able to remove it from the soup unless it is in a cooking bag. Do you suggest that or just leave the ginger in or use ginger powder?
I also discovered “Kohlrabi Vegetable Pasta” in TJ’s produce department. It is spiralized in a microwaveable package! I tasted it and WOW! It is crunchy and almost similar in taste to jicima. I have been adding it to my salads for more veggies. It is going to be a staple for us now. If I want to use it for “spaghetti” I will try it cooked and raw. Love all of your recipes and can’t wait to try this soup. Bunches of hugs.
Hi Suzie! You can leave it in. How big are the ginger cubes? I would probably do 2 tsp to 1 tbl. More than that and it will be too strong.
This was delicious. I cooked it yesterday. Next time I am going to leave out the rice noodles so I can freeze some if need be and it will also give me the option to serve it over rice or rice linguine if I want to move beyond soup. Fantastic recipe! Thanks.
I am so happy you liked it! Thank you!
Can you freeze this soup? We love it!
This one doesn’t freeze well because of the noodles. They become too soft. You can make it without the noodles and then when you reheat it add them in.