Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

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Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup is nutritious, protein-packed and filling! This soup has quinoa, shredded chicken, lots of veggies, and Italian-inspired herbs.

Pair this soup with some crusty bread or homemade dinner rolls and an easy cucumber salad.

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

This nutritious and hearty soup is so easy to assemble! With less than 30 minutes of prep time, everything can be in the slow cooker, ready to cook. Just a few hours later, a delicious and fragrant soup will be ready to eat!

Top individual bowls with plenty or freshly grated Parmesan cheese and make sure you’ve got some crust bread to serve alongside the soup!

Process shots-- images of the ingredients being added to the crock-pot and then stirred together and prepped to cook.

How to make Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

  1. Mirepoix: This is a fancy name for diced onion, carrot, and celery. We start by sautรฉing these veggies on the stove top. This not only builds flavor, it also ensures that there are no crunchy veggies in the soup. Even after slow cooking for 5 hours, these particular veggies can remain crunchy.
  2. Measure out the seasonings: There are a lot of Italian-inspired seasonings in this soup. You can increase or decrease these spices to preference; we enjoy the soup exactly how the recipe is written.
  3. Add tomato paste and seasonings: By adding these here, they enhance the flavor of the mirepoix and will disperse more evenly into the soup.
  4. Mix until fragrant: Once the tomato paste and seasonings are well integrated and smelling great, transfer the entire mixture to a slow cooker.
  5. Add uncooked chicken breast: The chicken goes in uncooked (let the slow cooker do the work!). Cut chicken breasts (or thighs) into small pieces so they will cook quickly.
  6. Toss in bay leaves and uncooked quinoa: Again, the slow cooker will cook the quinoa through. The bay leaves add a nice subtle flavor.
  7. Add in undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes: I recommend a good brand of tomato so this soup doesn’t end up acidic. I love Muir Glen’sยฎ fire-roasted diced tomatoes (not sponsored).
  8. Pour in good quality chicken stock: Stir everything together, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3-5 hours.
  9. Once the soup is done cooking, give it a good stir and remove the chicken. 
  10. Shred the chicken: Then stir it back into the soup. Season soup again to taste, add in spinach or kale if desired, and serve.

Overhead image of the Crock-pot Chicken Quinoa Soup in a bowl with fresh Parmesan melted over it.

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup notes

  • The longer this soup cooks, the more liquid the quinoa absorbs. For a heartier soup, that’s great, but if you want it to remain more broth-y, stop cooking as soon as the quinoa has “popped.”
  • Each slow cooker is a little different so cooking time varies. Look for chicken that shreds easily, quinoa fully cooked through, and tender veggies.
  • Use a big enough cooker to fit everything: I recommend a 6-quart Crock-pot. Crock-pot is actually the brand name of a specific line of slow cookers, but most people use it as a generic term for any slow cooker.
  • Rinse the quinoa first: Quinoa has a naturally-occurring bitter coating on it, called saponin, and needs to be rinsed before adding to the cooker. Many quinoas are pre-rinsed, so check the package to see if the quinoa has been rinsed. If not, add quinoa to a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cold water until the water beneath the sieve runs clear.

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Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

4.82 from 16 votes
This Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup is nutritious, protein-packed and filling! This soup has quinoa, shredded chicken, lots of veggies, and Italian-inspired herbs.
Print Recipe

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

4.82 from 16 votes
This Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup is nutritious, protein-packed and filling! This soup has quinoa, shredded chicken, lots of veggies, and Italian-inspired herbs.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 176kcal
Cost $8.28

Equipment

  • 6 quart slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup EACH: diced yellow onion, diced celery, diced carrots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: dried oregano, dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste preference
  • 2 small (~12 ounces or 3/4ths a pound) small boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut into 3-5 pieces
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces EACH) undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (See Note 1)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional: 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • For serving: fresh basil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, crusty bread

Instructions

  • MIREPOIX: In a cast iron pot or skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the 1 cup diced onion, 1 cup diced carrots, and 1 cup diced celery. Cook and stir for 7-9 minutes. Add in the 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes if using. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until fragrant and combined, another 1-3 minutes. Transfer all of this mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • SLOW COOKER: Remove any fat from the chicken breasts, and cut into chunks -- about 3-5 per breast (this ensures it will cook in the same amount of time). Place in the slow cooker along with the 2 cans undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (See Note 1), 2 bay leaves, and 6 cups chicken stock. Stir together.
  • COOK: Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or until quinoa has "popped" and chicken shreds easily. I don't recommend cooking on low (See Note 2). Once chicken shreds easily, remove from slow cooker into a separate bowl or plate and shred with two forks. Return to the soup and stir. Remove bay leaves and discard. If desired, add in 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach and stir gently to wilt. Taste soup and season with any additional salt or pepper as needed.
  • SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil and lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with a side of crusty bread.
  • STORAGE: When stored, note that the quinoa will continue to absorb liquid. This soup does not freeze and thaw well.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Quinoa has a bitter saponin coating on it and needs to be rinsed before adding to the soup. Many quinoas are pre-rinsed, so check the package to see if the quinoa has been rinsed. If not, add quinoa to a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cold water until the water beneath the sieve runs clear.
Note 2: When cooked on low, the quinoa finishes a lot quicker than the chicken and veggies. The longer this soup sits or cooks, the more broth that gets absorbed into the quinoa. This makes it heartier and also less broth-y. If you want a more broth-y soup, watch carefully and remove from the heat of the slow cooker when it is your desired consistency. Alternatively, add more broth as desired.ย 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 176kcal

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Nutrition facts in crockpot chicken quinoa soup

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69 Comments

    1. The veggies would probably be okay it’s just the quinoa that tends to absorb more and more liquid the longer it is in the crockpot. If you are okay with a heartier soup (less broth) then you should be okay to cook it on low for 6-8 hours. The quinoa really expands and absorbs more liquid the longer it cooks.

  1. I am wanting to make this at lunch! Looks great. My boyfriend doesn’t like quinoa on its own, but when I sneak it into soups like this he doesn’t notice and I love it. But, also wondering if I can use chicken thighs instead?

  2. Me again, haha! I was also wondering, can I add more veggies? I was thinking yellow and red peppers and corn? Corn I know to add at the end to just heat through, but im wondering about the peppers? could I throw them in at the beginning with everything else?

    1. Hey Katherine! I actually haven’t tried chicken thighs in this recipe and to be honest I’ve never cooked chicken thighs in the crockpot so I really can’t say. As far as veggies, absolutely you can add some more! The corn you could add in right away (drained) or at the end. And then peppers should be delicious too. You may want to sautรฉ them in a little olive oil before adding them to the crockpot or they might still have a “crunch” after everything else is cooked. If you don’t mind that then just throw them in raw too ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Jana! So glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I stopped posting nutritional info because of negative feedback for being off by any amount, so while I can’t guarantee this is 100% accurate, here is one label for this soup: (If the soup was evenly divided into 7 parts — change the amount based on how many equal parts the soup is divided into)

      Nutrition Facts

      SERVINGS
      7
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 250 Calories from Fat 60
      % Daily Value *
      Total Fat 7g 11%
      Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
      Trans Fat
      Cholesterol 65mg 22%
      Sodium 350mg 15%
      Potassium 820mg 23%
      Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
      Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
      Sugars 2g
      Protein 29g
      Vitamin A 60%
      Vitamin C 10%
      Calcium 10%
      Iron 10%
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

      1. Thank you for posting nutritional info. I know it’s a pain to calculate but is so helpful when on an eating plan. Thanks again:)

        1. 1 serving size would be the entire soup divided into 6 or 8 equal parts ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure the exact cup amount, but if you are figuring it out for nutrition facts, the best way would be to equally divide the total soup amount.

  3. 4 stars
    This was delicious and hardy. I used chicken thighs and upped the quantities slightly because my package of chicken was a little over a pound. I also substituted zucchini for the celery since that was what I had in the fridge. I made it on the stove top on a cold day and added some kale at the end (trying to use up the last of what I had). The quinoa really does soak up the liquid and gives some great body to the soup if you don’t like things to “brothy”. Used all the recommended herbs too. Family loved it!

    1. Awesome!!! So glad to hear it ๐Ÿ™‚ And isn’t it the best when you are able to use what you have in the fridge leftover? Thanks for the comment!

    1. If I’m not using chicken broth, then I use water and the equivalent cubes to make 1 cup of broth (I actually use the powder so that comes out to 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of water!)

    1. So glad to hear that! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just keep it in tupperware in the fridge and enjoy it for leftovers the next day or so ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    is there nutritional info for this? I made it, delicious BTW, but I am trying to get 100g of protein in a day, and need that information. Thanks

    1. I would just cook the quinoa separately and add it in with the other ingredients that have been cooking in a large stockpot ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I just pinned this recipe. I’m wondering if I could leave this on low all day and add the quinoa lets say about 2 hours before turning it off??

    1. Hmm I haven’t tried that, but it sounds like a good idea!! If you try that, I would turn it to high for when the quinoa does cook. Another alternative is to cook everything on low all day and then cook the quinoa on the stovetop and just add that in (reduce the liquid in the soup by 1-2 cups)

  6. Hi. Could you please tell me what ‘Italian seasoning” is? I’m guessing it’s something like a blend of oregano/marjoram etc.. Or something like that. Gabrielle (from Australia)

  7. 5 stars
    This soup is fantastic!, no really- it’s amazingly easy and so warm and comforting. You literally dump all the ingredients into the crock pot and for us, 4 hours later it was done. We left the house, and when we opened the door it smelled like thanksgiving. We plunged into the soup and it was so satisfying and delicious. After dinner i sent this recipe to my daughter who is extremely busy with her career and my son who is senior in college studying to be a dietitian. After all my raving about easy and delicious they are both trying the recipe this weekend. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you so much for this sweet comment Sharlene! I’m so thrilled to hear it’s been a hit and you’ve passed along the recipe! Thank you for the review!

  8. This was my first time trying one of your recipes and after making this soup….I’m a Fan of yours!!! This soup was delicious!!! Both my husband and I loved it!! So yummy!!! Thanks for the great recipe! I look forward to making many more that you suggest!!

  9. 5 stars
    Since I have an instant pot now, I used the sautรฉ function to cook the onions, celery, carrots and garlic for a bit before adding the rest of the ingredients and switching it over to the slow cook function. But even with that slight change, this soup was seriously amazing! Perfect for a chilly fall night, and healthy too. Thank you for the recipe, we will definitely be making it again!

  10. 5 stars
    I’m a sucker for Italian chicken soup. My husband likes a heartier soup, so I’m cooking it for longer! If you want to make it even healthier, there’s a product called “Better Than Bouillon.” It’s a soup base, used a lot like bouillon (but tastes better in my opinion) and even has an organic option. 1 tsp = one bouillon cube.
    Also, I’m planning on making your beef stew next! Love the recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Grace! I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying some of my recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you love the stew!

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve made this and it’s fantastic! question though: can I make it with frozen chicken breasts? I figured it would make the broth a little thinner but with the quinoa absorbing it I figured it could be okay? What do you think?

    1. Thanks so much Kayla! I’ve never tried frozen chicken with this, but I would recommend thawing it first because I think the quinoa would be too mushy by the time the chicken cooked.

  12. 4 stars
    Hi Chelsea! Thank you for posting this recipe, the flavor is quite delicious. I am not really a crock pot professional, so maybe you can help me out? I followed your recipe exactly, but I noticed that my chopped carrots and celery are still hard and crunchy after 5 hours of cooking in the crock pot. How long does it normally take for these vegetables to soften? Thank you again for a delicious recipe, I hope I can get it down perfectly next time!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Rhi! I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor, and I’d love to help troubleshoot the veggie tenderness. At 5 hours of cooking was the quinoa and chicken cooked through? You might have a cooler running crockpot so it’s possible this dish could take longer in your crockpot. And then how thinly did you slice the carrots and celery? If you try it again, I’d try to make sure they are both very thinly sliced. And lastly, make sure you don’t open the crockpot during the cooking if you can avoid it. It takes a long time for a crockpot to heat up again after being opened ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope these tips help!

    1. It will be a similar cooking time without the chicken for the quinoa to fully cook and the veggies to get soft.

  13. 5 stars
    I am making this for supper tonight for the second time – we Loved it the first time around! Amazing flavour! Thank you so much for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight; other than using plain quinoa (couldnโ€™t find any flavored), followed the recipe exactly. It was delicious!

  15. 5 stars
    I cooked this and ate some before I went to bed. Delicious. Turned off crock pot to let cool before refrigerated and quinoa soak up almost all the broth and a lot of the spices flavor. Just wondering if there is a way to add liquid to present soup and some extra spice. Thanks.

  16. To avoid the quinoa soaking up all the liquid, do you think I could add a 28 oz can of tomatoes, rather than the 14 oz? Or would that throw off the balance of flavours? Thanks! Want to make this tonight:)

  17. I like this recipe, very easy but I cooked it over the stove which is faster. I used chicken stock and water to cook the soup with the ingredients except quinoa. When the soup is boiling and the vegetables looking soft especially the tomatoes, then I add in the quinoa to cook for another 15 mins before I off and leaving it to become fluffy. Thanks for sharing and I will definitely cook this again.

  18. 5 stars
    This soup is absolutely fantastic, very filling, very flavorful (I added a total of 3 tsp of minced garlic) and super easy! For those on WW, I measured out 6 servings @ 1 1/2 cup = 2 SmartPoints. I used O Organics Quinoa and low sodium chicken broth and did not have a problem with it being thick, cooked it for 4 hrs on high, I have a All-Clad 7 qt Slow Cooker from Williams Sonoma.
    https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-gourmet-slow-cooker-with-all-in-one-browning/?pkey=s%7Call%20clad%20slow%20cooker%7C11. Thank you for sharing Chelsea!!

  19. It was good the night I made it, but the second day it was amazing! The flavors all marinated more and it was just great. Plus it was so incredibly easy to make.

  20. I want to make a chicken stew but cannot seem to find a recipe where I can add all sorts of veggies, mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, carrots, parsnips, spinach cauliflower, new potatoes, sweet potatoes all in proportion of course, and also perhaps add some red lentils and or quiona. My worry is whether I add all the vegetables at the beginning or in stages as some cook quicker than others. I am not too sure how long quinoa or red lentils take to cook so don’t know whether to add this at the beginning or towards the end of cooking time. What are your thoughts on this please. Thank you.

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