Slow cook your way to a steamy bowl of comfort with this chicken & kale soup! White beans, carrots, and Parmesan shavings round out this easy dinner, which is healthy to boot. Serve with some crusty bread and extra cheese for extra yum.

Chicken Kale Soup (Slow Cooker)

Originally posted January 10, 2017

Eric has started to make a small “ding!” sound every time I close the sliding door of my closet. I think he figures that if I hear a pleasant “ding!” as a reward for shutting the closet door, I will do it more often. You know, kind of like Pavlov’s dog. (Ring a bell, give food. Eventually the dog salivates at the bell, without the food.)

White Bean Chicken Soup

I’m slightly offended to be a mere subject in his psychological experiment, but at the same time have caught myself silently “dinging” myself for all sorts of things now as a mini reward. Who knew I was so easy to please? Maybe I’m part canine? A little worried that I’m going to start requesting belly rubs and ear scratches soon.

Chicken Bean Soup w/Kale

How to make White Bean, Chicken & Kale Soup

Have you jumped on the kale bandwagon? I heard this interview of a restaurant critic on the radio the other day where she totally slams kale. At least, kale as it is often prepared in these trendy times. (Kale salad, kale chips, kale pizza.) She said that years ago grocery stores would leave it on the stands outside during winter, so that it would partially freeze, which made it more tender. And even then it was usually tossed into a soup or stew.

Sauteeing chicken in skillet

Shredding chicken for soup

Prepped chicken, beans, cheese, and veggies in crockpot
Do not skip that Parmesan rind!! If you don’t have one, throw in a chunk of parmesan.

I was cheering the whole interview. I mean, have you ever had kale chips? They’re gross. If you think otherwise, I think you’ve drunk the Kool aid. (It was probably kale-flavored.)

Adding kale in chicken bean soup

Chicken and Kale Soup

Kale in soup, however, is a completely different story. It becomes tender and absorbs the flavors around it.

What makes this chicken soup healthy?

This soup is so hearty and healthy, yet completely satisfying. It’s the perfect meal for when you aren’t feeling well! The chicken and beans have tons of protein to support the immune system. The chicken broth is hydrating and salty, perfect for your dulled taste buds. The carrots and tomatoes and onions have vitamins and mineral to help fight off a cold, and of course the kale that I’ve been trashing this whole post comes through for you with tons of minerals and fiber. WIN.

I also love how versatile this soup is. Swap out the vegetables, swap out the bean type, etc. I just talked to my friend Shannon the other day, she’s the one who gave me the recipe, and she said she was going to try it with sausage, which I think would be awesome! Whatever you do, don’t leave out the Parmesan rind. It totally takes this soup above and beyond!

More soups you will love!

Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram


Slow Cooker Chicken, White Bean, and Kale Soup with Parmesan Shavings

4.88 from 8 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 hrs 10 mins
Total: 7 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8
Slow cook your way to a steamy bowl of comfort with this chicken & kale soup! White beans, carrots, and Parmesan shavings round out this easy dinner, which is healthy to boot. Serve with some crusty bread and extra cheese for extra yum.


  • 3 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed*
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15-oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 rind Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 6-8 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Parmigiano Reggiano shavings


  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken and salt and pepper well.
  • Add the olive oil to the hot skillet. When it starts to shimmer, add the chicken. Sear well for 1-3 minutes, then flip and sear the other side until brown.
  • Add the onion, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes, white beans, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, chicken broth, and Parmesan rind to a 6-7 quart crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove the chicken and shred, discarding bones. Return to the crock pot.
  • Add 6-8 cups of chopped kale, cover, and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
  • Serve with lots of Parmesan shavings and crusty bread!


*You can use chicken breasts if you like. Or, to make this even easier, omit the raw chicken and add about 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1503mg | Potassium: 1288mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10348IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 311mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 365
Keyword: chicken, crock pot, kale, parmesan, slow cooker, soup, white bean
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Categorized as , , , , ,

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

You May Also Like…


  1. Just came across your beef barley soup recipe today, and tried it. You are absolutely right – it was the BEST recipe I’ve ever tasted!  Thank you for sharing it!  My husband says thank you too!

  2. I made this white bean soup this weekend with left over rotisserie chicken and on the stove top instead of a crock pot , wow its a hit very good!
    I started by browning my onion while picking the bird clean and cutting up the carrots and kale . then added the water, bullion and all the other ingredients except the Kale which I put in at the last 20 min.
    I did not have a parm rind but i did have sargento 16 month aged parm shaved cheese to add to my bowl very tasty !
    I served with a baguette of crusty bread and its a meal in its self.

  3. I want to make this soup however, just curious about those parmesan rinds.. Is that something that you’d ask for in the deli section of your grocery store? I have a container & a small bag of the shredded parm. Not sure if that be the same as adding the find.. hmmm! 🤔

  4. I’ve made a variation of this soup for years – without the carrots and tomatoes. It’s great all year regardless if you’re ill or well. Next time I make it, I’ll add the other veggies. They have to be good.

    I’ve used dried beans and soak them in chicken broth to give them more flavor compared to a water soak. I’ve also used left over roast – pork or beef – instead of chicken. If I use the chicken alternatives, I use beef broth for the beans. Today, without seeing this recipe, I bought some canned beans to see if they would be as good. Must have been ESP. Too bad it didn’t work for the carrots and tomatoes.

    Every time I’ve shared this dish with non-family members, everyone wants the recipe. It’s a definite YUM!

    1. Thanks for all the tips Tim! Love the idea of making this with dried beans! They would soak up even more of the flavor that way.

  5. Oh, this looks so yummy and warm, especially for this cold weather. I love tender chicken with a lot veggie. Yum yum…

  6. yum! i just got some parm rinds last week. occasionally whole foods will have them, and i can get a box for like $3. the best part is there’s always still cheese left on them (i mean, the whole thing is cheese but you know what i mean) so i’ll grate off a bunch of cheese for whatever (last week i made 44 clove garlic soup and you grate parm into the mugs before you serve it) and then throw the rinds in the freezer. ANYWAY, this looks delicious and sausage sounds so good…maybe with some little elbow macaroni :)

    and your closet experiment reminds me of that episode of the big bang theory where sheldon starts giving penny a chocolate each time she adjusts her behavior to suit him better, haha! but hey, who doesn’t like a reward? ;)

    1. 3 bucks?? Good deal I should check that out at whole foods. Elbow macaroni would be an awesome addition to this!

      And seriously why am I the last person on the planet who hasn’t started big bang theory?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.