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
I made this a few months ago and it was fantastic! It was such a hit with my family; even my 3-year old who isn’t crazy about soups loved it.
I recently made this soup again to serve to friends and it was SO GOOD! I adapted it to make on the spot instead of in the slow cooker, and I was just kind of winging it, I’m no expert chef, and it came out SO DELICIOUS that I just feel the ingredients and proportions are dead on and you really can’t mess it up. Put in whatever veggies you want! My main concern is not overcooking the chicken, which seems to happen my unsophisticated slow cooker. Anyway, the lime, coconut, fish sauce, and chicken stock make such an amazing base and I love the rice noodles which help make it filling. It’s a whole meal. And doesn’t take long on the stove either.
This looks so yummy. What would suggest for doing this in an instant pot? Thank you!
If it fits into your insert without going over the fill line, here’s what I would do: In step 1, pressure cook for 25 minutes and then natural release. Then use the saute mode in step 2, and simmer uncovered to soften the noodles.
Loved the flavor! I cooked it on the stove and it turned out great! I misread the recipe and added too many noodles, but the family still loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks Julie! So glad it still turned out great!
I made this last night and it was really good – though next time I’m going to simmer it on the stove rather use the crock pot. In my experience (though it could be my crock pot), flavors are always SO much better when simmered rather than slow cooked. The soup recipes posted today – Chicken Quinoa and Chicken Vegetable give me just the guidance I need on how to make the Chicken Coconut Soup stove-ready. Thanks for all your recipes. I’ve made so many of them and they are the best!
I am so glad you liked it! Let me know how it works out on the stove.
This was SO good!!! All the ages loved it, How soon can I repeat a meal:)
Yay! I am so psyched you tried this recipe Marty! It’s been a sleeper, and always one of my favorites! I appreciate the review and rating! Cheers!
This was amazing and super simple to make. Family loved it! Most of us had 2 bowls. Will add to our regular line up and make this again!
I did something wrong! My soup split and by the end there were lots of little chunks in the broth. I did leave the slow cooker on over night though…do you think that could have contributed?
What causes creamy soups to split during the cooking process and how can I prevent it?
Hi Val. That happened to me one time with this soup. I had used Light Coconut milk though, and I assume that’s what caused it. Was yours by any chance light coconut, or was it regular? To answer the question about breaking, what that means is the proteins in the liquid coagulate and separate out. To prevent this, they need to hang onto a starch. Lower fat coconut milk has stabilizers in it, but when you add that to a large volume of liquid and then add heat the solids will break out. For a soup that has milk in it, you can prevent that from happening by adding a starch to thicken the soup before you add the milk. Hope that answers your question. Let me know about the coconut milk.
Thai food is my favorite. You have incredible creative idea, this Chicken Coconut Soup looks delicious. Thanks for a quick guide for this awesome recipe, I will try it.
I made this soup the other night and it was good! Peter and I lived in Asia for nearly 10 years and we love fish sauce, so I added a lot more of it to the soup. We are very fond of that salty flavor. I might not add the maple syrup next time….I’m not sure that it added anything. It was wonderful in front of the fire – we are having very cold temps in SC and there is still snow on the ground!
Hope you and your family are well this New Year…xox Debbie
Wow…this has everything you need for a warm delicious bowl of comfort. Perfect for this snowy weather we are having right now.
It’s pretty cold here too. We are all about the soup right now!
I’ve been using my slow cooker a ton lately and am always looking for new recipes a try! This one sounds absolutely delicious – loving the flavors and ingredients – yum!
Slow cooker recipes are such a life saver! Thanks so much Sarah.
I’m loving the combo of flavors here!!! I’m ready to cuddle up with a bowl now!!
Coconut, lime and ginger are always a winning combo in my opinion! Glad you agree Felesha. Have a great day.
I love Thai food. This looks devine! It is fantastic that you can make it easily in the slow cooker. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
That’s great to hear Katie. Glad you’ll be trying it.
You may be right with the lack of authenticity, but the dish sounds utterly delicious and certainly something you’d be happy with at the end of a busy day. Loving the selection of vegetables, makes for a very tasty bowl of goodness.
Exactly! No need for authenticity all the time, especially when the results end up being so crave worthy. Glad you agree and thank you Helen.