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Warm up this winter with a nourishing bowl of Thai chicken soup. Tender chicken is simmered in a fresh and flavorful Thai-inspired broth and served over vermicelli noodles. Make it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop for an easy and comforting weeknight meal!
For more easy and delicious weeknight Thai recipes, try our crockpot Thai chicken curry!
This Thai coconut chicken soup is good 'til the last slurp! The creamy broth is layered with Thai flavors of ginger, garlic, red curry paste, coconut milk, and fresh lime. The chicken and vermicelli make it a hearty soup, and it's a great recipe for the slow cooker because you can set it and forget it until dinner time!
Try our Thai chicken zoodle soup for a lightened-up version with an extra boost of nutrients from vegetable noodles!
Is this an authentic Thai chicken soup recipe?
If you've ever traveled through Thailand, you'll know that there are many different types of incredibly delicious Thai chicken soup. This recipe is inspired by the Thai flavors that we love – coconut, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, palm sugar, and red curry paste. While it is not an authentic Thai chicken soup recipe, it is very tasty and we are sure you will love it!
This Thai coconut chicken soup is chock-full of healthy ingredients and fresh flavors. It might seem like a long list but don't fret, the methods for making it are simple.
Here's everything you need:
- Vegetables: we use carrots and red bell peppers but you can use other quick cooking vegetables like broccoli florets, snow peas, zucchini, or green beans.
- Onion, ginger, and garlic: this aromatic trio is the flavor base of the Thai soup broth.
- Fish sauce + soy sauce: fish sauce and soy sauce season the broth and boost the umami flavor. Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, if needed.
- Palm sugar: palm sugar is made from sap and has a unique flavor, but you can use coconut sugar or brown sugar if that's what you have on hand.
- Chicken stock: we always have some of our homemade chicken stock on hand, but a store-bought stock or broth also works.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: boneless skinless chicken thighs are a quick and convenient option. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Coconut milk: we use a full-fat coconut milk for its creamy texture and rich taste.
- Lime: fresh lime juice adds brightness and acidity, and balances out the other flavors.
- Rice vermicelli: rice vermicelli noodles are thin and cook quickly. You can also use the thicker rice sticks if you prefer, but you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Lime wedges, sautéed mushrooms, fresh cilantro, cherry tomatoes, black pepper: these optional toppings add color and flavor. You can also use sliced green onions and other fresh herbs like sweet Thai basil. Feel free to pick a couple, or use them all!
How to make Thai chicken soup
This crockpot Thai chicken soup is perfect for busy weeknights. Start it in the morning, and it's ready by dinnertime. Here's how we make it in a couple simple steps:
- Place everything (except the coconut milk, lime, and vermicelli) into your slow cooker. Set it on low for 8-10 hours.
- Shred the cooked chicken, return it to the slow cooker, then add the coconut milk and lime juice. Let it warm up before serving.
- To serve, place the cooked vermicelli noodles into bowls, ladle soup overtop, and serve with any or all of the toppings. Now it's time to dig in!
Can I freeze Thai chicken soup?
If you're planning on freezing this soup, add the coconut milk and vermicelli noodles before serving for the best texture. When it comes time to reheat, mix in the coconut milk on the stovetop and cook the noodles right before serving.
How to make this on the stovetop
This Thai chicken noodle soup can easily be made on the stovetop, so don't worry if you don't have a slow cooker. To make it on the stovetop, follow the same instructions but instead of setting the crockpot to low, simmer the chicken in a pot on the stove for 30 minutes (until cooked through). The main difference is you can't walk away while your soup cooks, but it's ready in less time overall.
Can I use leftover chicken?
Yes, you can. You can still make the broth in the slow cooker or on the stovetop then add the leftover cooked chicken when you add the coconut milk and the lime juice.
Can I make this soup ahead of time?
Yep! For the best taste and texture, wait to add the coconut milk and lime until it's time to reheat it.
What's the best curry paste to use?
You may have learned already that not all curry pastes are created equal. We like Mae Ploy curry paste. When in doubt, look for where the curry paste is made and choose one that is made in Thailand; it's the safest bet.
Is this soup spicy?
It really depends on how spicy your curry paste is. If you're unsure, start with just a little bit and add more (to taste) at the end.
How do I store leftover soup?
Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Since rice noodles (like vermicelli) are always best served fresh, we recommend cooking the vermicelli when you reheat the soup.
- 2 medium carrots (chopped)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
- ½ medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 inch piece of ginger (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 15-ounce cans coconut milk
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 8 ounces rice vermicelli (cooked according to package directions )
- Optional toppings: lime wedges, sauteed mushrooms, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, black pepper
- Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the coconut milk, lime, and rice vermicelli to your slow cooker and stir together. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.2 medium carrots, 1 medium red bell pepper, ½ medium yellow onion, 2 inch piece of ginger, 4 cloves garlic, 4 tablespoons red curry paste, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon palm sugar, 3 cups chicken stock, 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Remove the chicken thighs and shred them using two forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, add the coconut milk and lime juice, and stir. Let the coconut milk warm for 10-15 minutes before serving.2 15-ounce cans coconut milk, 1 lime
- Place the cooked rice vermicelli into soup bowls and top with the Thai chicken soup. Squeeze a little lime over the top and serve with any or all of the optional toppings.8 ounces rice vermicelli, Optional toppings: lime wedges, sauteed mushrooms, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, black pepper
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.