As the weather gets colder, soothe yourself and cuddle up with this chicken soup with cabbage “noodles”!
This is a tasty, easily prepared chicken soup which won’t break your keto diet! I toss ingredients in the crockpot to cut prep time and active cook time from over 1 hour to around 15 minutes. It also makes this recipe easy to cook even if you’re feeling under the weather. Spiralized cabbage serves as my noodle replacement.
Making Chicken Soup with Cabbage Noodles
- Crockpot: I made this soup in my crockpot on high heat over 3 hours. But if you don’t have a large crockpot, you could also make this soup in a Dutch oven (preferably) or large soup pot.
- Spiralizer: This is not your typical $5-10 handheld spiralizer. By spending an extra $10, you can get a much stronger spiralizer. This spiralizer suctions securely to my countertop, is big enough to accommodate bulky vegetables and allows me to easily leverage pressure to spiralize tougher vegetables like potatoes. It also spiralizes about 5 times faster than a handheld spiralizer relying on wrist-twisting. I recommend it to anyone who spiralizes on a regular basis.
- Chicken thighs: one of my favorite things about starting keto was switching from chicken breasts to chicken thighs. I love the juiciness of thighs. But if you truly just love chicken breast, this recipe would work fine with chicken breast as well. Or if you roasted a whole chicken, you could put leftover breast meat straight into this soup.
- Cabbage: I use green cabbage in my spiralizer on the widest setting to make cabbage noodles. After three hours in the crockpot, I would describe them as almost perfectly al dente. They aren’t crunchy like regular cabbage, but do have more texture/bite compared to regular flour-based pasta. After spiralizing and cooking them, they most closely resemble linguine or ramen.
- Cream cheese: I add cream cheese to a lot of foods for extra fat (keeps me full) and adding a creamy texture. But if you wanted to save around 120 calories and 2 g net carbs per serving, you could leave it out.
- Seasonings: I use chicken bouillon cubes (nothing fancy), bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Of these, the chicken bouillon cubes are probably the most important. Think of the rest as a good starting point for your soup. But feel free to play around with the seasonings to make different varieties for yourself.
- First, I spiralize the cabbage. After washing it, I place the bottom of the cabbage in the mounting part of the spiralizer. I use the blade with the widest setting. If used on zucchini, the same setting makes ribbon style zoodles. But because cabbage already has so many separate leaves, it makes separate thin noodles on this setting, most similar to ramen or linguine once cooked.
- After spiralizing my cabbage, I lay half straight in the crockpot. I layer my chicken has whole thighs directly on top. Then, I add the cream cheese and seasonings. I pondered cutting up the chicken before I added it, but I saw no need since it comes apart so easily after being in the crockpot for a few hours. And since I was making this while feeling under the weather, I was skipping any steps that weren’t crucial.
- I try to keep my broth as concentrated as possible, so I only added 3 cups of water. Three cups of water will NOT look like enough, but it was for me! My philosophy on soup is that I can always add more fluid for broth later if needed. The cabbage and chicken both release more water as they cook. At the end of cooking, there was sufficient broth to cover the entirety of the noodles and chicken.
- Chicken thighs: if you prefer, you could substitute chicken breasts instead. I use boneless skinless chicken thighs for convenience, but thighs with skin and bone would probably make for richer broth.
- Cream cheese: you could add a cup of heavy whipping cream instead, or omit this entirely.
- Bouillon cubes: canned broth, broth from a carton, homemade broth/stock, or “Better than Bouillon” are all fine alternates.
- Onion powder: swap out for ¼ cup chopped onion
- Garlic powder: swap out for 4 minced garlic cloves
- Oregano: swap out for your favorite herb with chicken, such as sage, rosemary, thyme, or parsley
- Consider adding other vegetables to the soup, such as spinach or chopped celery.
This chicken noodle soup with cabbage noodles stands very well on its own, but you could add in a slice of zero carb bread (it exists!).
If you don’t want to serve it with a ketchup drizzle, you can also just serve it with red pepper flakes, as shown in the picture.
The soup stores well in the refrigerator for a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can spiralize other vegetables like squash, zucchini or eggplant. If your daily carb limit is a bit higher, you can opt for cauliflower rice.
The biggest benefit is the reduced amount of carbs per serving esp. for someone who is on a strict keto or low carb diet. In addition, this recipe packs in a lot of other nutrients as shown in the nutrition card. The biggest relief is obviously from the broth.
Chicken Soup with Cabbage Noodles
- Veggie Spiralizer
- 24 oz Chicken Thighs, ,boneless and skinless
- 1 Cabbage ,medium size
- 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 6 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 tsp Dried Oregano
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 cups water
- Rinse the cabbage, then shake it to remove excess water. If the cabbage’s bottom is asymmetrical or slanted, cut a small amount off to make it flatter. Then, mount the bottom of the cabbage, placed the top of the leaves at the blade, and spiralize.
- Place half the cabbage in the bottom of the crockpot. Next, add the rest of the ingredients in layers (chicken followed by cream cheese with spices and last is another layer of cabbage spirals). The goal is to distribute the chicken and cream cheese evenly.
- Cook the soup for 3 hours to get cabbage noodles to a palatable and tender texture. Stir the cooked mixture at equal intervals to evenly distribute any temperature differences within the pot, spread the cream cheese, and dissolve the bouillon cubes.*If you plan to be away while this dish is cooking, just stir it about 20 mins before serving.
- Use a fork or wooden ladle to tear the chicken into smaller pieces prior to serving.
- Serve the soup with red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce for an extra spicy kick.
- This soup stores well in the refrigerator for a week.
- This soup can be served as a mean on its own, but you could add in a slice of zero carb bread if you want a side item.
- You can replace cream cheese with heavy whipping cream if interested.