This easy chicken lentil soup is an effortless yet delicious recipe for those days you want a simple and healthy meal. Packed with tender chicken, nourishing lentils, and aromatic spices, this comforting soup is truly goodness in a bowl!
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This chicken lentil soup is just the thing I like to cook when I’m in the mood for something hearty and delicious.
The lentils are packed with protein and fiber and provide a comforting base, while the chicken is just the right touch to give the soup a savory depth.
The real magic comes with the spices. Think cumin, coriander, and paprika, plus dried oregano for that earthy touch. Don't forget a splash of lemon at the end - it's the spark that makes the flavors truly pop.
And the best part? This chicken and lentil soup recipe is easy-peasy to whip up.
The ingredients are probably things you already have in your pantry, and it doesn't take a lot of work to throw together. The result is sure to hit the spot, though.
Why you’ll love this chicken lentil soup
- Super nourishing comfort food — This chicken lentil soup is the very definition of soul-soothing, heartwarming food.
- Perfect for meal prep — The soup reheats wonderfully, so you can cook a big pot, and you'll have lunches ready for the entire week.
- Adaptable and versatile — This is an incredibly flexible recipe as you can swap the green lentils for brown, add any veggies you like or even make it vegan by using chickpeas instead of chicken.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil — The aromatic base of the soup begins with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. If you need a substitute, go for a neutral-tasting oil like avocado or canola. If you're cutting back on oil, you can use a splash of broth or water instead.
Onion, carrot and celery — This trio is often called a mirepoix, a fancy French term for the base that gives any soup its flavor.
Red bell pepper — Red bell pepper adds a pop of color and a hint of sweetness. But feel free to use any color bell pepper you have on hand.
Garlic — I love to add lots of garlic to this soup for that deep aromatic base. Frozen garlic or the marinated stuff in a jar also works well here if you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand.
Chicken — I used chicken breast here, but boneless, skinless chicken thighs would work just as well. Alternatively, you can use rotisserie shredded chicken.
How to make chicken and lentil soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper and sauté until they become tender and the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic, red chili flakes and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the chicken to the pot and cook until no longer pink on the outside. Don't worry if it's not fully cooked at this point; it will continue to cook in the soup.
Once the soup has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked through. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice, chopped cilantro or parsley. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Leftovers and storage
- Once the soup has cooled, transfer it into airtight containers. It'll stay good in the fridge for about 5 days, making it an absolute meal prep dream.
- To reheat, simply pour your portion into a pot and warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Or zap it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, checking and stirring every minute or so.
- Freezing this soup is a breeze. Once cooled, pour it into freezer-friendly containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, leaving some room for expansion. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe notes and tips
- When prepping your veggies, aim for a uniform dice. This helps everything cook evenly and ensures you get a little bit of everything in each spoonful.
- If you prefer a smoother soup, you can blend a portion of it with an immersion blender, then stir it back into the pot.
- Feel free to toss in any other veggies you have on hand. Spinach, kale, or peas could be a tasty and nutritious addition.
If you liked this chicken lentil soup, you might also like some of my other easy chicken soup recipes:
- Avgolemono — Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Soup
- Green Chili Chicken Soup
- Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smoked)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ lb (650 g) chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can (14 oz /400g) diced tomatoes
- ½ lb (250 g) green lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups (1.5 liter) chicken broth
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper and sauté until they become tender and the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, red chili flakes and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the ground cumin, paprika, and dried oregano and cook for another minute, stirring often.
- Add the chicken to the pot and cook until no longer pink on the outside. Don't worry if it's not fully cooked at this point, it will continue to cook in the soup.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes, green lentils and chicken broth to the pot. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once the soup has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked through. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 9gSugar: 17gProtein: 44g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.