Chicken Parmesan Soup combines all the flavors of this favorite Italian dish into an easy, almost no-effort soup cooked in the Slow Cooker. Easily gluten-free by omitting the pasta. See the recipe for a tasty vegetarian option.
I’ve made Chicken Parmesan for years and I love the combination of flavors between the Parmesan cheese, acidic tomato sauce, peppery basil and tender chicken. It’s a delicious meal but can be labor intensive. (By the way, the best I’ve ever made is Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Parmigiana.) Enter Chicken Parmesan Soup cooked in the Slow Cooker. This recipe delivers all the complex flavors of authentic Chicken Parmesan in soup form that’s one of the easiest you’ll ever make.
To get flavors reminiscent of Chicken Parmesan into this soup, I don’t recommend winging it or omitting ingredients for the base of the recipe. Experience talking here. The soup starts with chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, onion and a diced green bell pepper. Fresh basil and dried oregano are next with a bit of tomato paste and good helping of shredded Parmesan. When I tell you to use dried oregano, it’s because I’ve tried both dry and fresh and for better, authentic flavor, the dried herb delivers a better, deep hint of oregano. The tomato paste is a small amount but packs a necessary punch to brighten the flavors and the Parmesan cheese is a must to add at the beginning of the process (If you have some Parmesan rind that you can also drop in, all the better. See the recipe notes about this). You get the picture. Follow the recipe at least at the beginning.
And though I just lectured you about not omitting or substituting anything for the base of this soup, there are a couple areas where you can change things up- specifically regarding the pasta and the chicken. Because I also live in a house where one person doesn’t want a lot of gluten and another person prefers his meals vegetarian. Sigh and eye roll here. But the good news is, the noodles are not the star of this soup so the time I left them out, the soup was still fabulous. In fact my husband and I preferred it with less or no pasta. And to satisfy the vegetarian, substitute a 14.5 ounce can of any type of white beans (we love Butter Beans) for the chicken and it’s still full of great Italian Parmesan goodness.
Don’t forget to save Chicken Parmesan Soup to your “Soup” or “Slow Cooker” boards and let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’d love to share tasty recipes with you.
This soup is fabulous and so versatile. Leave out the pasta for a gluten-free option, make it vegetarian by swapping out the chicken with white beans.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup white onion
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 14.5 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, more if you like it spicy
- 1/2 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
- 3 ounces spaghetti, penne, or gemelli pasta
Mince the garlic, then chop the bell pepper, onion, basil, and oregano. Shred the Parmesan cheese. Add all these ingredients to the slow cooker; also add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and then nestle the chicken breast into the slow cooker (DO NOT add the pasta yet). Cook on high for 3 hours, or on low for 6 hours.
Transfer the chicken breast to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces. If you're adding pasta to the soup, place the chicken either on a plate covered with foil or in plastic and put it in the refrigerator.
If adding pasta, place the pasta into the soup and cook on high for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.
Add the chicken back into the soup, give it all a good stir and wait about five minutes for the chicken to heat back up. Serve garnished with more Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.
- You can make the soup with or without the pasta with equal success depending on what you like. I would not add a lot of pasta however because it can take over the soup!
- Don't forget to add the Parmesan cheese to the slow cooker at the beginning of cooking. It really adds to the traditional flavor of the the dish and thickens the soup very slightly. If you happen to have a piece of Parmesan rind, the thick end of a piece of the cheese that doesn't grate easily, drop that in at the beginning for extra cheese flavor. Remove it before serving.
- Easily make this soup vegetarian by replacing the chicken with a 14.5 ounce can of white beans, such as cannellini, or even lima or butter beans. Add the beans at the beginning with the other ingredients so the beans can get all the flavors.
Recipe adapted from Food52.com