This cheesy keto chicken soup is so thick and creamy. All the best flavors from King Ranch Chicken in a hearty slow cooker soup recipe.
The chilly weather approaches, and you need this King Ranch Chicken Soup recipe in your life. It is so rich and cheesy and creamy, and bursting with spicy Tex-Mex flavors. And so easy to make in your slow cooker!
It’s not quite a “dump-and-run” recipe but it’s close. That’s my own personal term for recipes where you simply pop everything into your crockpot and walk away, and dinner is done. I love those recipes… who doesn’t?
In this recipe, you have the extra step of cooking the garlic in butter and then making in into a thickened soup base. But the results are spectacular so I wouldn’t change a thing!
What is King Ranch Chicken Soup?
You might well be asking yourself what King Ranch Chicken is. I was too, when I started seeing posts for it on Pinterest. From what I could see, it looked like a very tasty, albeit carb-a-licious, chicken casserole.
Upon a little investigation, I found that it is indeed a chicken casserole, and it takes its name from the largest ranch in the US. It’s a Tex-Mex style casserole with tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup, and cream of chicken soup.
I also spotted a number of King Ranch Soup recipes, like this one, and realized that they would be easy, and delicious, to keto-fy.
Most of these soup recipes take quite a bit of flour whisked into the butter, to create a roux. A roux like this helps thicken the broth, but that’s not really an option for keto.
So I used some cream cheese and some glucomannan to thicken the broth, for a super rich, hearty keto chicken soup.
How to make Keto King Ranch Chicken Soup
Easy, fun, and delicious. Let’s get started!
- Use boneless skinless thighs, or breasts if you prefer. You can even do this soup with frozen chicken – simply add 30 minutes to the cooking time.
- Use fresh tomatoes if you can, as they are slightly lower in carbs than canned. I used fresh tomatoes from my garden.
- De-seed your jalapeño, if you like milder soup. I always leave the seeds in for more heat.
- Cook the garlic in the butter, then add the spices and cook for another minute or so. Then stir in the broth.
- Thicken the broth with glucomannan or xanthan gum. My preference for a recipe like this is glucomannan because it is easier to whisk in and becomes much less gloppy.
- Pour the sauce over the other ingredients and turn on your slow cooker! Once it’s done cooking, remove the chicken and shred it. Add the cheeses to the slow cooker and blend, then add the chicken back in.
Ta-da! You are now about to enjoy some deliciously spicy Keto King Ranch Chicken Soup.
Can you make this soup in an Instant Pot or on the stove?
This recipe is easily adapted for Instant Pot or stovetop.
For an Instant Pot, I would follow the same process and cook on high for 30 minutes or so. Let the pressure release naturally before opening the lid.
For the stove, I would start with Step 2 in a large saucepan or stockpot. Then I would add the chicken, tomatoes, and jalapeno right into that same pot and cook it that way.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Proceed with Step 5 as directed.
More keto chicken soup recipes
- Keto White Chicken Chili
- Keto Thai Chicken Soup with Zoodles
- Easy Keto Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Chowder
- Keto Chicken Cauliflower Rice Soup
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup
Keto King Ranch Chicken Soup
- 1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 large jalapeno, diced (more if you want it spicier)
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon glucomannan (optional, thickens the soup)
- 2 cups cheddar or colby jack, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, and jalapenos to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook another minute. Stir in all the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the salt and pepper, and the glucomannan if using, to thicken the sauce. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker to high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- When the time is up, remove the chicken to a plate. Add the shredded cheese and the cream cheese to the slow cooker and replace the lid. Let melt 10 minutes, then use an immersion blender to blend everything together.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and stir back into the soup. Serve hot with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cheese, as desired.
Kiki B says
Has anyone made this in an Instant Pot? Did you use the slow cooker option or the pressure cooker option?
Does this keep well in the refrigerator or freezer? Does it reheat well?
I made this using leftover Thanksgiving turkey…it was delicious! Being from Texas, I miss King Ranch Chicken, so this filled the void. Thank you for the recipe!
Sandy Scanlon says
I made this yesterday, I used 3 small jalapenos and fresh tomatoes. Also used chicken bone broth instead of just chicken stock. It was amazing! Extremely filling. I just wish it was a little thicker. Wonder if it would hurt to add either more cheese or more glucomannan to thicken it a bit more?
This will definitely be going in my rotation though, but first need to portion out and freeze my leftovers 🙂
Thank you, Carolyn. You are one of the first keto bloggers I discovered, and you’ve consistently provided amazing content & recipes. I appreciate you!
I used pico de Gallo instead of dicing the jalapenos and tomatoes. The added cilantro adds another depth of flavor.
Melissa Regnerus says
Anyone use chicken breasts with similar, good results? Also fresh tomates work fine?
It works fine that way.
Abby B says
This was soooo good!
Reminded me of a chicken tortilla soup that chilis used to have. I used one full jalapeno and one jalapeno minus seeds. I think I will add more heat next time.
We will definitely be making this one a regular on the rotation.
This looks wonderful! Could I use xantham gum as the thickener and if so, how much do you think? Thank you!
Use it in the same quantity.
I made this soup today on my stove top, it’s great!!! Thanks so much for all your great tasting keto recipes!!!
I didn’t even use a thickener and in a pinch used the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Also had no chili powder so used a little paprika. This was so delicious and I’ll def make it again.
Good to know. Did you add your chicken at the end or in the beginning?
Jenn Davis says
We Love, love, love this soup! So good! It can be made with turkey leftovers….. just prep everything as per directions, EXCEPT add the cooked poultry At the End, after broth is done. Simmer to flavour the cooked poultry and voila! Thanks for figuring this one out Carolyn! mmmmm soup…….
Made this tonight and it was just delicious!!
Toni Dash says
I love it! So comforting and delicious! And really easy to make! Such a huge win!
Matt Taylor says
I love all kinds of soup. This king ranch chicken soup is awesome and so easy to make. So cool it is keto!
Oh my goodness this looks so delicious and full of flavor! My family is going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try!
Sandi Moskowitz says
Made this soup last evening and it’s a winner. Not only does it taste awesome, it made the whole house smell wonderful. I made it stove top with cut up chicken tenders. Thanks so much for all you do.
Jeff S says
Not usually a soup fan, but this is delicious. One bit of advise for other minimally experienced cooks: if you are using a liner in your slow cooker, pour the soup into a large bowl before using the immersion blender! Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and effort filtering out shreds of plastic.
Ohhh, I’ve never even used a liner at all. Thanks for the tip!
I’m soo glad you said this. I just started using my immersion blender and I always use the crockpot liners!
Simon Beckett says
The soup caught my eyes at the first sign. It looks delicious!
I made this tonight! So delicious!
Tina O says
Can I use arrowroot powder to thicken?
Sure, it’s just higher in carbs.
Wow, what a terrific riff on King Ranch Casserole. This may be your best soup yet!