Another Budget Friendly Paleo Meal by Erika: “Creamy” Chicken Tomato Crockpot Soup

Today I woke up for the first day of my last semester as a college student; a bittersweet moment indeed. Knowing I had a busy day ahead of me I wanted to have a meal ready to go when I got home from my classes and work. I walked into the kitchen grabbed my handy crock pot and started throwing everything that sounded good into it, set it on high and walked out the door for the day. It was a perfect meal for a cold rainy winter day.

“Creamy” Chicken Tomato Soup
4 frozen skinless boneless chicken breast
Garlic salt to taste
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 clove garlic
1 14 oz. can of coconut milk (full fat)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes and juice
1 cup of chicken broth (I used homemade chicken broth but you can use store bought)
Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Put all the above ingredients into the crock-pot, cook for 9 hours on low. After 9 hours take two forks and shred the chicken, set the crock-pot on warm till ready to serve (making sure to taste it before serving to make sure there is enough salt and pepper)

Served: 6 (with left over’s for lunch the next day)

Total cost: 17.48 (this is the price if you had to go buy all the ingredients; chicken, chicken broth, spices, coconut milk and diced tomatoes.. if you are buying spices at Safeway they always have a buy two get one free deal going on if you buy their brand)

Total cost per person: 2.91

hope you all enjoy my pocket friendly college budget paleo meal :)


  1. Jason says

    Looks good, I have been looking for good soup recipes and here you go with this!
    Just for clarity, the chicken goes in frozen?

  2. Matt says

    Deiced tomatoes? Are those thawed tomatoes? 😀

    Sorry, that was a cute typo I couldn’t resist commenting on.

    Seriously though, the recipe looks good and I’ll definitely give it a try.

  3. Shannah says

    Sounds very yummy. I’m wondering what coconut milk you use. I only use the Thai Kitchen brand in a can and it has a VERY concentrated and has a stong coconuty taste to it. I’m kinda worried that it would affect the taste of the soup. I was about to throw a pork roast in the crock pot, but might take a detour and try this instead.

    • Erika says

      I use the this kitchen brand as well! It wasn’t over powering either. I think the chicken broth helped to cut back on that.

    • Erika says

      Yes that is correct, I put it on high because the chicken was frozen so I was worried about undercooking it (I always worry about that) but low should be perfect for 9 hours my chicken was a little on the drier side but still good

  4. Jenn says

    I really cant stand coconut, the smell or taste. I know it sucks bc Paleo uses it all over the place. Is there something besides the coconut milk you would put in the soup?

      • Erika says

        ok if you don’t like the taste of coconut milk use a 15 oz can of tomato puree (or you can make your own it is cheaper and taste much better this way but i am all for the store bought time saver) if you want your soup to be on the thicker side add in a 6 oz can of tomato paste as well

        i hope this helped :)

        • Mary says

          I appreciate this test with tomato instead of coconut! I am not a fan of coconut milk (although I don’t mind the oil or the shredded coconut). I plan on making this with tomato paste and puree tonight. Thanks so much!

          • Danielle says

            I’m so glad someone tried this without the coconut milk, not because I don’t like coconut but we have a lactose intolerant in the house!

          • says

            There is no lactose in coconut milk. Coconut milk comes directly from the coconut with no cow’s milk included so even if you wanted to use the coconut milk you would be fine! : )

    • Annette says

      I hate, hate, hate coconut (everything about it – flavor, texture, meat & milk, doesn’t matter), and can always pick out the coconut flavor when people try to sneak it in there. My friend made this recipe with a few slight variations (used fresh rather than frozen chicken, cooked on low, used additional herbs & spices) and I couldn’t taste the coconut at ALL. The “Scrumptious Salmon Chowder” also conceals the coconut flavor completely. I encourage you to try them both.

    • Erika says

      id like to point out that the price of this meal varies especially by where you do your shopping. I got almost everything on sale last weekend except the coconut milk and tomatoes.

  5. Judy says

    Saw the recipe on my fb feed, realized I had all the ingredients, and there’s dinner! Thank you for posting this! Can’t beat a quick, easy, cheap, AND healthy meal idea.

    • Karolyn says

      I would make it again, however way less garlic salt. Maybe it was the brand I used but if I didnt add all that extra liquid it would be too salty to eat. It was very tasty though! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.

  6. Amy W says

    I love your book and I love this website. One question I had about the Creamy Chicken Soup…did you really mean 2 tablespoons of garlic salt? My soup came out extremely salty. I used low sodium tomatoes and chicken brother. I like the soup in general but I’ll back the garlic salt WAAAY off next time. Not sure if it was a typo or intended.

    Thanks again for all of your great recipes!

  7. says

    I know you say to put the chicken in frozen, but I usually brown my meat before slow cooking it, and i bet frozen meat wouldn’t sear well. Thoughts?

    • Erika says

      I wouldn’t. Your going to be shredding the chicken anyways they point of my meal was that I forgot to thaw my chicken so it was litterally a quick through together meal.

  8. Greg Basky says

    Ummmmmm. Kitchen smells good this morning. Can’t wait to try this at lunch today. Hope the rest of the crew likes it.

  9. Marcheline says

    I wish I had a crockpot! Must put it on the list… I will admit to being nervous about leaving anything plugged in and turned on while no one is in the house… I live in an old house, and I have pets.

    That being said, this recipe sounds delicious, but needs some veggies in there to make me really happy. Maybe some zucchini, cauliflower, and greenbeans!

  10. Theresa says

    I just made this soup using homemade chicken broth and added a little curry powder, delicious. Thanks for this yummy quick meal.

  11. Stacy says

    I made this yesterday and I loved it! I added some green chilies because we like spice and I also added a can of tomato sauce to make it more tomato-y. :) Thanks for this super easy, super delicious recipe!

  12. Cheryl says

    Hello. I have a very high inflammatory response to tomatoes and the entire nightshade family, unfortunately. I’ve been trying for years to come up with some suitable alternatives. Does anyone have any suggestions other than simply leaving them out of the ingredients? :) I have simply gone without these delicious treats for years and every time I try them, I pay for it for days. :( Thank you.

    • Sarah says

      Not chunky liked diced tomatoes, but you might want to try pureed pumpkin/squash (not nightshades, right?) – canned or the equivalent amount roasted. Obviously it wouldn’t be a suitable replacement for tomatoes in every recipe, but I use it all the time in chilis, soups, casseroles, etc. The taste is pretty much indiscernable, adds volume, thickens it up nicely (thin out with broth if too much), and it adds tons of beta carotine.

      • says

        Thanks, Sarah. I’m not allergic to tomatoes, but know someone that is. This will be really helpful for them. Also for me just for a change of pace from time to time.

  13. monica says

    i am sorry i dont want to take anything away from the meal… its looks great… however i am just puzzled on the frozen chicken… does it matter when its put in there.. i have recently gotten a cheese enchilda soup in a jar and to make it filling i have added chicken or beef… i usually just boil chicken and then shred it , throw it in the crock pot to simmer … Like i said i dont want to take anything from the recipe.. but it does matter how chicken or when is chicken placed in there … i dont plan on making it for 9 hours…. and i am hoping i can find that milk lol please get back with me

    • Jenna says

      What exactly is your question? Put the frozen chicken in the crock pot with other ingredients as directed in the recipe. If you’ve already cooked your chicken, then just dump it in a pot with the ingredients and warm it all up.

  14. Mandi says

    Just curious, I though paleo did not include salt, canned items or anything unnatural but this recipe contradicts that. Comments?

    • Jenna says

      Paleo uses salt because salt is necessary for health and canned items so long as the items in the can are paleo (not grain, dairy, legumes, creepy chemicals).

  15. Lauren says

    I see that the recipe has been updated since I last checked, but I had to add my comment anyway. The original recipe calling for 2 T of garlic salt was incredibly salty. It is rare that I make something that even my husband won’t eat, but this recipe fell into that category. It is a bummer, because it did smell good, but I think it definitely needs some work. Even taking out the ridiculously overpowering saltiness, the recipe lacked flavor.

  16. Jen says

    I made this on the stove top (I broke my crock-pot making the Beyond Easy Pulled pork) and added carrots, onion, celery and fresh basil just because I had a bunch that needed to be used…it was amazing!!!! I will be making this again for sure. Thanks for the inspiration. It simmered all afternoon on the stove and I could hardly keep myself from repeat sampling :-)

  17. Sophie says

    This soup was wonderful. I played with the recipe a little bit because I wanted tons of left overs. I used 6 chicken breasts, 2 cans of coconut milk, 2 cans of stewed tomatoes (didn’t have diced), and 4 cups of chicken stock. 9 hours on low was way too long for my crockpot, I was happy with the results even after 4 hours (when I shredded the chicken). Next time I think I’ll add a few more veggies to the mix. An onion, some celery, and maybe even some cabbage…make it a little more hearty. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  18. Kristy of Kendallville says

    I’ve made this twice now… It’s a big hit with my family and is soooooo easy to put together! I especially love the idea of throwing frozen meat into the crockpot — what a time saver!

    The first time I followed the original recipe for the most part; the second time, I doubled the coconut milk and tomatoes (2 cans each), halved the broth (1/2 cup), and cooked it on low. The second time was definitely a bigger hit… the meat was certainly more moist, and it was more like meaty soup than stew.

    I also added some frozen peas the second time (borderline paleo, I know, but my family digests them fine), and it really added a perfect touch of sweetness. (I tossed them in just before we ate so they wouldn’t overcook.) I think next time I’ll add some onions and maybe zucchini or broccoli. I also like the idea of using roasted squash instead of tomatoes… Yum!

    Great dish, Erika! Thanks!

  19. Jaime says

    I made your spice rub crock pot chicken today. I am going to shred the leftovers and use it to make this tomorrow. I bet all the spices on the chicken will make the soup delish. You rock.

  20. Denelle says

    I just made this last night and it came out pretty milky looking, my can of coconut milk from whole foods had a big chunk of white on top, was that suppose to go in as well? Im new to paleo and crock pot cooking so I just wanted to make sure I was doing this right.

  21. Kristi says

    Making this soup again because it was such a hit the first time!! I use two cans of tomatoes and cook for 6 hours, DELISH!!!

  22. Danielle says

    I followed this recipe exactly and it looks nothing like the picture. I think by tablespoon you meant teaspoon of the seasonings because my soup is a dark green/black from all the dried herbs on top and tastes of nothing but Italian Seasoning. It is so gross.

    • Alex says

      Me too, Danielle. Mine is terrible. I thought it sounded like too much and should have listened to my gut. The combination of the Italian herbs and coconut is not good at all to me. I am not picky, and eat most anything. I do think it must have been (an expensive ) typo, as the photo above is not black or dark green. The positive reviews are confusing me if they followed the proportions listed. Unfortunately I doubled the recipe. I hate wasting food.

  23. D2010 says

    Can I use thawed chicken? Don’t have any frozen at the moment (and don’t want to wait to cook of course).

  24. Mexi Spin says

    The first time I made this recipe we thought it was wonderful and vowed to make it again. In the meantime, I got a real itch for chicken tortilla soup, which is no longer a part of my life for paleo reasons, so I decided to take your base and adjust the spices to make it Mexi. The results were INCREDIBLE!

    Here’s my twist to your awesome soup recipe:
    Same amount of chicken, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and fresh garlic. I added 2 tablespoons of chopped green chilies and about 1/4-1/2 a bunch of torn up fresh cilantro (to taste). Instead of the Italian seasonings, I used the seasoning line up from one of my favorite gluten free taco seasoning recipes… 1.5 teaspoons of chili powder, 1.5 tsp paprika, 1 tsp seasalt, 1 tsp onion powder, 3/4 tsp cumin, 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste), 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 t black pepper.

    WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THE YUMMINESS! Thank you for the inspiration!

  25. Jenny says

    I’m allergic to coconut. Any other recommendation to substitute or just leave out and “up” the chicken broth?

  26. says

    I started with 4 frozen chicken breast, and 12 hours later, ended with the most delicious chicken soup. No one could believe how good it was, and each of my kids asked (with one raised brow), “Did you add coconut to this?” We all loved it. I’m going to make it again adjusting amounts of coconut milk and broth to accommodate some long grain wild rice.

  27. Nicole says

    I just made this soup in a regular pan on the stove instead of a crockpot and it worked perfectly! I cut the chicken into bite size pieces first and sauteed it in olive oil until it was cooked all the way through. I then added all the other ingredients and brought to a boil then turned it down and simmered on low for 30 minutes. I added extra veggies and used everything else the recipe called for, it turned out delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

  28. Yummy! says

    Super easy and great tasting! I made this with fresh chicken breasts and cooked it for just under 6hours on low… the chicken just fell apart and the flavours were perfect. I added some spaghetti squash and zucchini for my lunch the next day; perfect!!! Awesome soup and very versatile. Thanks for posting!!

  29. Chris says

    I just wanted to let you know I tried this soup today and it was amazing! My hubby & daughter loved it too.. Thank you for such a super easy & delicious recipe!!

  30. says

    Very easy and quick! I made this in my VitaMix, actually. I made the chicken broth, shredded up the chicken when it was done, mixed the other ingredients in the VitaMix, then poured the soup over the chicken. I also added a few handfuls of spinach.

  31. says

    I just did this soup for the first time this week– so delicious and easy on the budget :) Thanks so much!! I shared it on my blog too– too good not to share!

  32. Nichole says

    Ok, this may be a silly question but I have seen several recipes on Pinterest lately that call for Italian “dressing” seasoning packets. So since I am planning on making this soup over the weekend I wanted to clarify if I should be using salad dressing Italian seasoning or actual Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, ect) Thanks so much!!!

  33. says

    Thanks – I’m looking forward to trying this tonight!

    Defnitely don’t use the Italian Salad dressing packets, I just checked one I had in my pantry and the first ingredient was sugar. Lots of other unprounouncable stuff further down.

    Also, for crock pot cooking on high – try half the time as on low. (E.g. 9 hours on Low = 4-5 hours on High.)

    Bon Appetit!

  34. Jamie says

    This was superb! First time I have used coconut milk in something savory. It just tasted like cream to the whole family. I actually had a bunch of shredded chicken, so I followed the recipe (X2) and added my chicken the last hour. The leftovers went quickly the next day. Thank you.

  35. Beth T says

    After a month of eating paleo dinners, my 13 year old told me that this was his favorite paleo meal yet. My family inhaled this soup! So easy and quick to prepare. I used fresh chicken and cooked it on low for 8 hours. It was probably done before that.

  36. Michelle says

    Quick question…..when you have a coconut allergy in the house is there something you can use other than coconut milk or oil?

    • Sarah says

      I would sub heavy cream from grass fed cows unless you have an autoimmune issue, than I would use unsweetened almond milk. Use butter or ghee from grassfed cows, lard, or tallow instead of coconut oil.

  37. anina says

    Cheers for sharing, just wondering if there are any suggestions on how to cook this without a slow cooker?


  38. Mary Kay says

    Made this today with one change. I thought I had plain diced tomatoes, but all I had were cans of diced tomatoes with chiles (Rotel). It was a hit with the whole family.

  39. Jenny says

    DELICIOUS!!! Not only was this recipe superb; it made the whole house smell amazing – all the way out to the attached garage! MMM that was a treat to come home to! The recipe was quick & easy and tasted absolutely excellent. This is the second time I’m making this recipe this month – bf said when can we have this again!? Thanks for sharing!! :)

  40. Moe says

    Going to make this tonight! I was reading the comments and some talk about the measurement of the spices being wrong? is the recipe posted to date correct? or do I need to adjust the measurements?? any help is grealty appreaciated!

  41. Caitlin says

    This was great, thanks! I used already defrosted chicken and it was ready to be shredded after being on for 7 hours on LOW. Next time I think I’ll add some onions as well. I am a fan of onions in everything. :-)

  42. Angel says

    This is in the crockpot now and has been cooking a few hours on low. Is it normal to look sort of curdled? Like the coconut milk separated from the rest of the liquids in it? Recipe was exact except for having to use light coconut milk. Thanks! :)

    • Amber says

      I had the same issue with the coconut milk separating so I didn’t eat it. Anyone know why this happened and how to fix it for next time?

  43. Valerie Pegg says

    I’m making this right now! I added a bunch of fresh veggies I had in the fridge (leeks, carrots, celery, jalapeno, bell pepper), I hope it’s still delicious.

  44. Valerie Pegg says

    Mine turned out more like a stew than a soup, but is really good! Will definitely save this recipe. Thank you!

  45. Mona says

    This is my FAVE soup! I even took to work and everyone loved it, not because healthy/Paleo, just because it was YUMMY!!! And super easy for me!

  46. says

    Maybe I missed it earlier in the comments, but can a person NOT use cows milk? I always have milk on hand but have never purchased coconut milk. I LOVE making something when I already have everything in the house, lol!

  47. Nada says

    Ever see a cat sitting and staring at the fish bowl, salivating? This is me right now. I just cannot tear myself away from the crockpot. I keep “testing” the broth. Tastes like a rose pasta sauce. Hubby was apprehensive when I told him about it but he’ll try it when he gets home. Cannot wait — will post our review when I get home.

    Changes: I used 14oz of a jar of pasada instead of dice tomatoes because that’s all I had on hand. Chicken was pre cooked from the freezer and broth was a broth cube (ugh I know. In a pinch. I need groceries.)

    • Carley says

      I cooked it over medium to high heat for a little over an hour. It tasted amazing!
      I put the raw chicken diced into bite size pieces in the chicken broth and added some water to cover the chicken. I boiled this first.
      Once the chicken was about 75% done, I added the other ingredients and maintained it over medium heat until the chicken was fully cooked.
      This was a hit with my guests!

  48. Erin says

    Made this yesterday and it’s delicious! I added some chipotle hot sauce for a kick.
    Do you happen to have the nutrition facts for this recipe?

  49. Tanya says

    I made this last night, but I’m on the fence, maybe my 4 chicken breasts were too big but it turned more into a pulled chicken dish for me. For my tastes I had to add some hot sauce and extra roasted garlic to the final dish. I added a handful of carrots and celery as well.

  50. Karen says

    Just saw this recipe on Pinterest this morning…’s in my crockpot cooking as I write this. Smells great. Looking forward to trying it. I saw on the comments that a few people added a can of tomato sauce, so I did that also.

  51. Mad says

    I love your soup recipe…it got me through 2 years of completing my masters! When my computer was wiped I lost my bookmark for your page and was worried I would never find it again…phew!

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