Easy Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe

4.87 from 43 votes
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Enjoy an easy chicken lentil soup that’s full of Mediterranean flavor. Seasoned with warm spices and packed with veggies, this soup is all you need for a hearty dinner.

An easy chicken lentil recipe that's packed with Mediterranean flavors. Made with simple and fresh ingredients, this homemade chicken and lentil soup is the perfect dinner. 


 

Our love for lentil soup recipes has no end, as our regular readers know! We’ve had great reviews on our turmeric red lentil soup recipe, easy Mediterranean green lentil soup, and curry lentil soup. Today’s lentil soup is a variation made with chicken and veggies, flavored with spices and brightened up with some lemon juice. 

Why This Recipe Works

Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein. They’re so easy to cook and you can use them in lots of different recipes, from soups to vegan meatballs to burgers. However, I’ve seen people who aren’t a big fan of lentils complain that lentils “lack flavors” and are “kinda bland.” Well, this soup is here to change all of that. Once seasoned and flavored properly, lentils are the perfect addition to any meal. 

This soup is packed with vegetables, chicken and spices, making it a complete meal in one bowl. It’s one of our favorite healthy dinners and perfect for meal prepping since you can make a big batch and enjoy during the week.

Ingredients

To make chicken lentil soup you need onion garlic, carrots, celery, chicken thighs, lentils and spices.
  • Vegetables – In addition to onion and garlic – which are the two most common veggies in any soup – we also use carrot and celery to make this soup. Other possible additions are bell peppers and green beans. 
  • Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken thighs work perfectly for this recipe. However, you can also use boneless skinless chicken breast as well. 
  • Lentils – Green lentils are perfect for soup because they hold their shape. You can also use brown lentils if that’s what you have on hand. I don’t recommend using red lentils because once they’re cooked, they turn mushy and won’t keep their form. 
  • Spices – For this recipe I’ve used a combination of warm Mediterranean spices including paprika, oregano, cumin, allspice and coriander. If you like your soup spicy, add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. 
  • Chicken broth – Nothing beats homemade chicken broth but if you don’t have time for it, you can use store-bought. Just make sure it’s low sodium.
  • Final touches – I love finishing soups with some fresh herbs and adding some zing from lemon or lime. Fresh dill adds even more flavor to this soup and a squeeze of lemon is always great for extra brightness. 

How To Make Chicken Lentil Soup

  • Sauté the vegetables: Sauté onion and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil. Then add in diced carrots and chopped celery.
  • Add the chicken: Add in boneless skinless chicken thighs that are cut into small pieces followed by the spices.
  • Add the lentils and cook: Once the chicken is browned on each side, add in green lentils and cook for another minute. Pour the chicken broth into the pot with some water and cook for about 45 minutes until the lentils and chicken are completely cooked.
  • Final flavoring: Finish up by adding chopped fresh dill and lemon and serve warm. 

Instant Pot method

If you love using your instant pot, I’m happy to let you know that this soup will cook beautifully in it! To make this lentil soup in an instant pot, follow these directions: 

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in the instant pot using the sauté function.
  2. Add in carrots and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. 
  3. Add in the chicken and spices, cook for a few minutes, and then add the lentils. 
  4. Fill the instant pot with 2 cups chicken broth and 1 1/2 cup water. 
  5. Seal and lock the lid, press the pressure cook function and set the timer for 18 minutes. 
  6. Let the pressure naturally release. This takes about 10-15 minutes. 
chicken lentil soup with Mediterranean spices is perfect for dinner.

Crock pot instructions 

You can also make this chicken lentil soup in your slow cooker or crock pot. It’s pretty simple and you can simply let it cook overnight or during the day while you’re at work. Here are the simple steps you’ll want to follow:

  1. Start by sautéing garlic, onion, celery and carrots in a pan. 
  2. Sauté chicken and spices with the vegetables. 
  3. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the slow cooker and add the lentils. 
  4. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water.
  5. Cook on low for 5 hours and serve warm. 

Serving suggestions

You can serve this soup as a cozy and tasty fall dinner with some freshly baked barbari, Turkish pide or naan. A side salad such as Greek salad, tomato salad or fattoush would be a good addition as well.

A bowl of chicken vegetable and lentil soup topped with lemon and dill.

Frequently asked questions

Should I soak the lentils?

It’s not necessary to soak lentils before cooking. However, soaking green lentils between 30 minutes to 2 hours reduces cooking time almost by half. This can change depending on the type of lentils you’re using. For example, red lentils are so tender that they don’t need any soaking. 

How long does this soup keep?

You can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze this soup?

This easy lentil soup freezes beautifully. Simply let the soup cool completely and then freeze it in glass containers for up to two months. To serve, thaw in the fridge or microwave and heat in a sauce pan over medium heat. 

Notes and tips

  • Got leftover chicken? You can use leftover or precooked chicken thighs or breast for this recipe. 
  • If you have veggies in your fridge that are about to go bad, use them in this soup. Anything from potatoes to zucchini and spinach will work!
  • To make this soup spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper with other spices. 
  • Serve this soup with warm pita for a tasty dinner. 
Serve chicken lentil soup with fresh dill and lemon.

More soup recipe

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4.87 from 43 votes

Easy Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe

Enjoy an easy chicken lentil soup that's full of Mediterranean flavor. Seasoned with warm spices and packed with veggies, this soup is all you need for a hearty dinner.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil , extra virgin
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 
  • Saute chopped onion and minced garlic until golden. 
  • Add in diced carrots and celery. Cook for two minutes. 
  • Add in chicken pieces and all the spices. Stir well and cook until the chicken is lightly brown. 
  • Add in the lentils and salt. Stir and cook for a minute. 
  • Add chicken stock and water. Stir well and bring the lentil soup to simmer. 
  • Cover and slowly simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken and lentils are fully cooked. 
  • Adjust the salt, and add lemon juice and fresh dill to the soup. 
  • Serve warm. 

Notes

  • You can use leftover or precooked chicken thighs or breast for this lentil soup. 
  • If you have veggies in your fridge that are about to go bad, use them in this soup. Anything from potatoes to spinach and whatever in between can be used.
  • Store the leftover Mediterranean chicken and lentil soup in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • To make this soup spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper with other spices. 
  • Serve this soup with warm pita for a tasty dinner. 
lentil soup in instant pot
  1. Saute onion and garlic in the instant pot using the saute function.
  2. Add in carrots and celery and saute for a couple of minutes. 
  3. Add in the chicken and spices, cook for a few minutes and then add the lentils. 
  4. Fill the instant pot with 2 cups chicken broth and 1 1/2 cup water. 
  5. Seal and lock the lid, press the pressure cook function and set the timer for 18 minutes. 
  6. Let the pressure naturally release. This takes about 10-15 minutes. 
lentil soup in crock pot
  1. Start by sauteing garlic, onion, celery and carrots in a pan. 
  2. Saute chicken and spices with the vegetables. 
  3. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the slow cooker and add the lentils. 
  4. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water. 
  5. Cook on low for 5 hours and serve warm. 

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2616IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4.87 from 43 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had been looking for something to do with the lentils that had been sitting in my pantry for far too long, lol. Glad I stumbled across this recipe – really good and easy to make!

  2. 5 stars
    I just love following you. The recipes are so delicious. This soup is easy and delicious! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This does look extremely easy to make – fantastic way to enjoy lentil. Adding it to my to-make list (just need to buy enough lentil now).