Feel Better Chicken Soup (2024)

This recipe for Feel Better Chicken Soup with lemon and ginger is healing and soothing and will warm you to your bones! Brothy and flavorful, it is the perfect base for noodles, rice, beans or grains, or keep it keto and low-carb!

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Hi friends, I wanted to share a soup we’ve been making for years around here, especially when feeling under the weather with a cold or flu-Feel Better Chicken Soup!

I like to make a big batch and keep it in jars in the fridge, or even freeze it for times when I don’t feel like cooking. It makes a lovely gift to someone who is feeling sick. This chicken soup recipe has the best flavor – lemony and gingery and very soothing for stuffy heads and sore throats. The ultimate in comfort food!

But the best part is once you have the basic soup made, you can take it in all sorts of directions, using what you have on hand. (If you are vegan or vegetarian- I highly recommend this AyurvedicTurmeric Detox Broth instead. )

Feel Better Chicken Soup | 60-second video

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Chicken Soup Ingredients

  1. Onion- red onion, white onion or yellow onion, or sub shallots or leeks
  2. Garlic- fresh garlic cloves!
  3. Ginger- use ginger root or ground ginger in a pinch.
  4. Vegetables: Celery and carrots, or feel free to add other veggies like mushrooms, or other veggies.
  5. Chicken broth (store-bought or homemade) or chicken bouillon or low-sodium chicken broth.
  6. Chicken: skinless chicken breast, skinless chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
  7. Lemon- you’ll need fresh lemon juice
  8. Herbs and seasonings: fresh parsley or cilantro and white pepper.

How to make Chicken Soup (instructions)

Step 1. This flavorful soup starts with sauteing onion, garlic and ginger until tender and fragrant and golden. Sometimes I’ll add celery and carrots, sometimes not. I like to add a lot of garlic, feel free to cut back if you want.

TIP: if using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, sear the skin side until deeply golden in the pot first. This adds lovely flavor, depth, and collagen to the soup. Remove the thighs and saute the onion, garlic and ginger.

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Step 2. Add the chicken stock (or broth) and whole chicken thighs (or chicken breasts). Bring to a simmer and cover, cooking until the thighs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Bone-in will take longer.

TIP: If adding rice or quinoa, you couldadd directly to the pot of simmering broth, only adding about 1/2 cup. Same with canned beans- just add one can, drained.

I prefer to keep my rice or noodles separate, to prevent the soup from getting cloudy, but do as you like.

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Step 3. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, more or less depending on size of the chicken pieces.

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Step 4. Use two forks or tongs, and pull apart the chicken. You can do this in the pot, or use a cutting board if using bone-in chicken. Return the chicken (discarding bones and skin) to the pot and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the broth. Squeeze with lemon to taste.

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Serving Suggestions

Serve in a bowl with chili flakes if you want; a drizzle of sesame oil is nice, and some scallions or fresh parsley or cilantro. You can ladle it over cooked noodles or leftover grains if you want.

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Chicken Soup Variations:

  • Pasta or noodles: Add leftover pasta or noodles from the pantry, like egg noodles, orzo, rice noodles, linguini or even spaghetti. It’s a great way to use up stray bags of half-used noodles.
  • Grains: Add cooked quinoa, millet, rice, or farro at the end of cooking.
  • Beans: Add can of white beans or lentils or cannellini beans for more fiber.
  • Veggies: Toss in diced carrots, celery, mushrooms, or leeks (to the simmering broth) or add baby spinach at the end and drizzle it with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions and call it good.
  • Creamy Chicken Soup: If you like some creaminess, stir in some coconut milk at the very end. Adjust salt and lemon to taste.
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Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or freeze in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, before reheating on the stovetop

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Whichever direction you choose to take this flavorful soup, I know you will be happy with the base. I’m excited to see where you take this! Please share your variations in the comments below.

Other Chicken soup recipes you may like

Chicken Noodle Soup

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

Chicken Kale Soup

  • 20 Broth-Based Soup Recipes
  • Chicken Meatball Soup with Bok Choy
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill
  • Authentic Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
  • Kale, Chickpea and Chicken Soup with Rosemary Croutons
  • Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Instant Pot Chicken Artichoke Soup with Wild Rice

Feel better, friends.




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Feel Better Chicken Soup Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.9 from 92 reviews

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Gluten-free
  • Method: Stove top, instant pot
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Print Recipe


Feel Better Chicken Soup with lemon and ginger. A delicious and EASY low-carb, keto soup that you can make in an Instant Pot, Stove top or in a slow cooker. Simple and healthy! Add rice, quinoa, noodles or beans! (Inspired by Bon Appetit)



  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
  • one cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 48 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use black pepper)
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts-if very large, cut in half) or bone-in chicken thighs, please see notes )
  • lemon juice to taste
  • pinch chili flakes
  • scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
  • a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)

Optional: Feel free to add 2-3 cups of chopped veggies: celery, carrots, mushrooms, etc. Serve over cooked noodles, rice, or grains of your choice.



  1. *If using skin-on chicken thighs, please see notes. Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15. Bone-in thighs may take 25-30.
  3. Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. When done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.
  4. Squeeze with lemon, taste, and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony, and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.
  5. Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on its own.
  6. Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) and a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha).


Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs: for the best flavor, sear the skin side first in the dutch oven or instant pot in a little oil until deeply golden. Remove and continue with recipe, sauteing onion and garlic.

Storage: Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

See Variations in the post above. Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to the simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces), but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separately and ladle the soup overtop cooked noodles, to keep the broth clear.

Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.

For aslow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.


  • Serving Size: 1.5 cups with no rice or starch.
  • Calories: 197
  • Sugar: 2.7 g
  • Sodium: 585 mg
  • Fat: 7.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 24.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 106.5 mg
Feel Better Chicken Soup (2024)
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