Curry Chicken Soup (Stove or Instant Pot!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

This Curry Chicken Soup is ultra-comforting and loaded with veggies. I love how quick and easy it is to prepare, all in one pot!

curry chicken soup in white bowls

How to Make Curry Chicken Soup

To make this flavorful soup, you’ll start by sauteing some onion, carrots, and celery, along with garlic and ginger.

vegetables with curry powder in skillet

I like to use curry powder to get the classic curry flavor in this soup, without relying on several individual spice jars. Stir the powder into the sauteed veggies to bring out the flavor, then you’ll add in the veggie broth, lentils, and chicken, and let it all simmer until the chicken is cooked-through, about 30 minutes.

Adding Raw Chicken to Soup

I don’t know about you, but I don’t love working with raw chicken on my cutting board– so I place the chicken thighs into this soup whole.

raw chicken going into soup

After the soup has finished cooking, it’s easy to grab the cooked chicken with tongs, shred it with two forks on a cutting board, and then return it to the soup.

If you would rather cut the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces before cooking, you are welcome to do that, too.

shredded chicken in soup

How to Thicken Soup (Without Flour)

This soup gets its thick texture from red lentils, which are one of the quickest-cooking variety of lentils. What I love about this addition, is how the lentils practically dissolve as they cook in this soup, creating a thick and creamy texture.

Eating a 1/3 cup of lentils each day may help to lower cholesterol (source) and they are an excellent source of iron (source) so I love adding them whenever I can. Plus, the fiber they contain should help keep you full for hours.

curry chicken soup in ladle

curry chicken soup in white bowls
Add to Collection
Print Pin
4.93 from 26 votes

Curry Chicken Soup (Stove or Instant Pot)

This Curried Chicken Soup is an easy one-pot meal, that is loaded with fiber-rich lentils and veggies. No dairy or flour required!
Course Soup
Cuisine gluten-free
Keyword curry chicken soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 290kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 carrots , chopped
  • 3 celery stalks , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 pound boneless & skinless chicken thighs
  • Fine sea salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion, carrot, and celery until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, and stir unti fragrant, about one more minute.
  • Add in the broth and lentils, and give the pot a stir, then place the chicken thighs directly into the broth. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, letting the soup cook until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked-through, about 30 minutes. (You can use a thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF, or you can slice into it to check.)
  • Use tongs to remove the chicken thighs, transfer them to a cutting board, and use two forks to shred them into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot, and stir in the coconut milk. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt, if needed. (I usually add an extra 1/2 teaspoon, but it will vary depending on the sodium in the broth that you use.)
  • Serve with freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired. (The lemon helps brighten up the flavor!)
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Try serving the leftovers over rice, too!



Instant Pot Directions:
No oil is needed for this method. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, curry, broth, and lentils to the Instant Pot and give the mixture a stir. Place the chicken thighs on top and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
When the screen reads L0:10, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a cutting board, then use two forks to shred it.
Add the chicken back to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust any seasonings. I usually add another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, depending on how much sodium is in the broth I use, several grinds of black pepper, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors. Serve warm.


Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5562IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4mg
Curry Chicken Soup Nutrition above is for 1 of 6 bowls of soup. (Roughly 2 cups per serving)

Recipe Notes:

  • I haven’t tested this recipe using chicken breasts, because I originally developed it for the Instant Pot, and the Instant Pot doesn’t create the best texture for chicken breasts cooked directly in liquid. (Check out my Instant Pot Chicken Breasts post for tips.) I imagine you could cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and cook them that way, if you prefer to use that instead of chicken thighs in this soup recipe.
  • For a vegetarian recipe, feel free to leave out the chicken all together. You could add in a cut sweet potato for some added heartiness, and in that case the soup would only need to cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are as soft as you’d like them to be.
  • If you don’t have broth on hand, you can use water instead and season with extra salt to compensate for the flavor.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from your experience

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite soup? My Chicken Vegetable Soup is another fan favorite, and Curried Butternut Soup is another easy option for your Instant Pot!

Shop the Post:

My Soup Pot

Favorite Knives

Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



This is a very delicious lentil chicken soup with a slight curry flavor! I was really wanting a strong curry flavor but once I got over that, I realized it was still amazing!! I simmered a lot longer and added at least another 2 tsp of salt!

    Megan Gilmore

    Glad you thought it was delicious, still! You can always add more curry powder to your taste next time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback!


    Has anyone tried this in a crockpot? How long did you cook it?


      Can this be done in a crockpot? For how long?

        Megan Gilmore

        I’ve cooked other chicken dishes for around 2 hours on high or 3 to 6 hours on low. The main thing is to check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer, to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Hope that helps!

Niomi Smith

Thank you so much, this was absolutely delicious! My two 12yr olds even ate it all up. I think I could live on it personally!!

I could only fine brown lentils at shop so I used cannellini instead, so will hunt some down next big shop.

And now about to make the cashew chocolate thingy, can’t wait to eat that too.

Its a keeper for sure, thanks again 🤗


    What chocolate cashew thingy?


      Chocolate Pots De Creme!

Berneda Rivard

Can chicken breasts work instead of thighs?

    Megan Gilmore

    Check the notes below the recipe! I haven’t tested with chicken breast yet, because I was developing this one for the Instant Pot and chicken breast can be rubbery in there if you cook it directly in liquid, but I imagine it could be done.


      I made it with a mix of chicken thighs and tenders that I had in the freezer. Worked great!


Absolutely delicious! I wouldn’t change a thing with this recipe.

Lori Hodgson

Made the stove top version with chicken breasts. Followed the rest of the recipe exactly. Absolutely delicious.


Delicious soup, and so easy to make! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂


This was a great soup. I used a a little diced red bell pepper, rotisserie chicken added at the end; 1 diced and boiled, medium Yukon gold potato; and, diced jalapeño for the adults. My kids all loved it, even my 2 yr old asked for 2nds. I made a simple salad with chopped romaine and tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, s&p. The dressing paired perfectly with the lentils served over jasmine rice. Day 2 was just as good!


This is delicious and easy to put together using ingredients I usually have on hand. I made this for lunch prep for the week. So yummy!


Loved this soup! I made it with chickpeas instead of chicken and it’s perfect. Using the instant pot made it so fast and easy. Once again Megan did not disappoint! This will be in my lunch prep rotation from now on.


My family can be hard to please with soups as a main course, and this soup hit all the right notes with everyone! So delicious. I added diced mushrooms, and I subbed air fried TVP chunks for the chicken and added at the end. Would probably also work with tofu or soy curlz.
Thank you for an awesome soup, this one is going into regular rotation this fall/winter!


Will brown lentils work? I can never find red.

    Megan Gilmore

    I usually have to cook brown lentils in soup for about 25-30 minutes to get tender, but that should work, too.


Does the cooking time change for the vegetarian version in the InstaPot?

    Megan Gilmore

    I usually cook lentil soup for 10 minutes in the Instant Pot, with a 10 minute natural release, so it should be the same here!

Kitty B Wildered

Woohoo! On the menu for this week. Curry Chicken & Rice is one of my favorite dishes, so VERY EXCITED to try out this soup!


Best winter savory soup! This is just what I need! This is your comforting curried chicken stew without the branded products – although I think Whole Foods Balti curry is the best EVER curry. I wanted to make this vegan! Thanks for the suggestion! I will try this. How long would it cook in Instant Pot?

Nicole B

This soup was so delicious! It gave me all the fall feels and was so flavorful and comforting. I prepared the soup as directed but accidentally over did the coconut milk. Even with that mistake it was still delicious. This will definitely be a recipe that I put into rotation. Thanks, Megan!


Just made this in my Instant Pot and love it! Another commenter is correct that it’s a relatively mild curry flavor, but that can be ramped up or left as is for more “sensitive mouths”. I made it with a mix of thighs and tenders I had in my freezer and it turned out great. Two thumbs up!


Such a yummy, comforting soup! Perfect for the fall and holiday season. I loved it.


Made this tonight and turned out amazing! I used 2 cups water and 2 chicken broth, kept everything else the same. My picky none soup eating kids devoured it! I used my instant pot. Thank you for this recipe! And I was pleasantly surprised when I saw you used red lentils I rarely see it in recipes


This soup is delicious! I splurged on a “gourmet” curry powder and it had plenty of curry flavor and a nice slow heat. I found this looking for recipes containing liver friendly ingredients as I’m working on healing mine. This was perfect and so easy in the instant pot. Thanks!


Hi Megan, would it work to sub green lentils? I’m planning to make this soon and will report back, but I’ll see if I can track down red lentils first if you think it makes a big difference. Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    Green lentils take longer to cook, and will hold their shape more, so they won’t “blend in” to this soup the way red lentils do. So, the soup might not look as thick, and you’ll notice the texture of the green lentils more. But, I think it should still taste good! You should also wait to add the salt until after the green lentils are tender, as salt tends to affect them more than it does red lentils.


      Thanks for the reply! I grabbed some red lentils 😉


I made this tonight and it’s all gone! I didn’t have curry powder so I mixed the spices from scratch. Added fresh squeezed lemon and half cup coco milk at the end. My husband and two kids loved every single drop, great recipe.


Fantastic. I didn’t add the lentils but thickened the broth a little with arrowroot starch. I have tried both chicken thighs and chicken breast and they both are wonderful! My husband who doesn’t like chicken soup ate 3 bowls!


This soup is so good! I can’t believe I made it. Thank you so much for the recipe.
I used skinless, boneless chicken breast and thought it came out just fine. I only had hot Thai curry seasoning but worked.

This is my first insta meal. I have a Ninja foodie. I will certainly be to trying more recipes.

Ibrahim S Mansaray

Loved it! Only did it the instant pot way. But if I double the recipe, I wonder if I double the cooking time in the instant pot or use a different amount of time.


This recipe is delicious and always a hit. But if I want to double it, do I double the cook time on the instant pot?


Loved the ease of this recipe! And the smell is soooo good. Thanks so much 🙂


Can I substitute cooked turkey.

Suzy Kudsia

Sooo delicious and easy to make! I used thr Instant Pot and followed the directions. I didn’t have fresh ginger so I used powder ginger, tasted great.
At the end when I added the coconut milk, I added roasted chicken for a quicker meal since I didn’t have raw chicken.
Absolutely fabulous! Thank you for another easy, healthy and delicious recipe! Will be making this agin!


This curry soup is hit a super hit with my family- I have to make it every week now.
My son in law would never eat chicken soup but I can’t make enough of this – so simple to make & delicious- now I will have to try the others


I literally have to make this curried chicken soup every second day for my son in law who incidentally never ate chicken soup before but absolutely loves this one – gave one to a friend the other day & now she’s hooked on it as well- it is certainly a winner in my family


I have made this twice now. Excellent. The first time I accidently thought the recipe was 4 TBSP curry but it was 4tsp. So I had quadrupled it. It was actually amazing with that much curry but only if you can stand the spicy. So I would recommend more curry. I followed it perfectly the second time and its still great. A really healthy and super super hearty soup/stew. Probably my favorite. Great for a crowd, I doubled the recipe both times and would recommend as it is so good that it runs out quick.


We’re a veg fam and looovd this soup with the sweet potato and some TVP subbed for chicken. SO hearty and flavorful. Thank you for another fave recipe for our whole family!


Delicious! I used cooked chicken breast in pieces and chicken broth because that’s what I had on hand. I just added the chicken to heat through after cooking everything else on the stove. This is sure to become a favorite recipe.


Oh my gosh! My family L O V E S this! It’s great on a cold night! I like to add a bit more veggies and a couple cans of corn. This goes great with a half cup of rice too. When kids are feeling like they’re sick. I whip this up and fill em’ up! Thanks a bunch!


Made this 5 times and is always excellent.


Delicious! Only added a few extra shakes of salt. First time I accidentally used 4 Tbsp curry instead of tsp. It was also delicious with the mistake, just a lot more kick. This is on winter rotation!

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter