This Thai chicken soup is slightly spicy, light and creamy, and packed with tender chicken, bok choy, rice noodles, and the flavors of curry and coconut. On top of all that, it'll be on the table in about 30 minutes.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Every time I make this Thai Chicken Soup I wonder why I don't make it more often. It's both creamy and light, packed with the flavors of red curry and Thai spices, and so fast and easy it only takes about 30 minutes, start to finish.
One of the reasons this soup comes together so quickly is because it calls for pre-cooked chicken.
I originally developed the recipe as a way to use up leftover Tahini Grilled Chicken. And, in fact, if you're making this as a part of Spring Meal Plan #5, that's exactly what you'll do, cooking extra grilled chicken early in the week and reserving the leftovers for this soup.
You can use any kind of pre-cooked or leftover chicken in this soup. Three of my favorites:
If you're the type of person who plans meals a few days in advance, plan to make some extra chicken one night just so you'll have leftovers for this soup. Or, simply pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local market and be done with it.
Coconut Milk, Red Curry Paste, and Thai Seasoning
This soup gets its creaminess from coconut milk, a pantry staple at my house because of all the many things you can do with it.
For all its deliciousness, there are a lot of different coconut milk options. You can buy coconut milk in a carton or a can, full fat or reduced fat, powdered, concentrated, sweetened and unsweetened.
In general, I like to use Thai Kitchen unsweetened Coconut Milk, buying it in packs of 6 at a time, because as I said, I really like to have it on hand at all times. A good additive free option is Savoy Coconut Cream.
Coconut cream is thicker and more concentrated than coconut milk, so if you use it in this soup, thin it out with some water. I find that ⅔ coconut cream and ⅓ water is just about right.
Whatever brand of coconut milk you choose, stay away from powdered or sweetened varieties. Both have their uses, but this soup isn't one of them. I usually use full-fat coconut milk to maximize all that creamy goodness, but you could use a reduced fat variety if you prefer.
Red Curry Paste is simply a blend of spices, shallot, garlic, and chilies, and generally available in the Asian foods section of most major grocery stores. It adds flavor to this Thai chicken soup, of course. But, it also adds tremendous depth and umami.
Like the coconut milk, I generally like Thai Kitchen's Red Curry Paste because it's spicy without going overboard. I prefer to safe the spicy overload for the chili garlic sauce, my all time favorite fiery garnish.
This recipe also calls for Thai seasoning blend, which I know is kind of vague. But, here's the thing: Pretty much any Thai seasoning will work. Often, I mix up my own Thai Seasoning Blend, especially if I already have all the ingredients on hand.
At other times, when I'm feeling kinda lazy and just want to be eating a warm bowl of soup as soon as possible, I reach for a prepared blend. Most recently, I ordered Spice Hunter Thai Seasoning and thought the flavor mix was delicious.
Garnishments for Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Ok. That's not even true. This soup is perfectly delicious without any of the garnishments. But, it's even better WITH them.
A bit of fresh lime juice, a handful of scallions, roasted salty peanuts, fresh cilantro, and as much chili garlic sauce as you can handle take every bowl of creamy Thai chicken soup and elevate it with flavor, upon flavor, upon flavor.
More popular soup recipes:
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If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil
- 3 large shallots, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce, divided
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Thai seasoning blend *I often use Spice Hunter Thai seasoning (see link below). Or, you can mix up your own.
- 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- Two 14-oz cans coconut milk, unsweetened, reduced or full-fat
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 lb bok choy, leaves removed, stalks chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 5 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 oz red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 7 oz pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 -2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chili Garlic Sauce
- Chopped scallions
- Peanuts, roasted and salted
- Lime wedges
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro and Thai seasoning and cook 1 minute longer. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and sugar. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend.
- Add bok choy and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. While the bok choy cooks, combine the lime juice, red curry paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce in a small bowl. Stir it into the soup along with the salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add cooked chicken and pad Thai noodles. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to cook the noodles and warm the chicken.
- Serve with garnishes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 2490mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 35g