Tuscan Kale, Squash and Chicken Soup is rich in nutrition from bone broth, low-carb vegetables, and leftover roast chicken. This Instant Pot meal is a soothing, light yet hearty soup and makes a great 30-minute meal.
Soups and stews are a great way to use up the last of the winter squashes.
And this Instant Pot Kale and Chicken Soup has a bonus vegetable: butternut squash!
Butternut squash, in particular, is an ideal candidate for an instant pot soup. It cooks down to perfect consistency and adds loads of flavor in a dish. It doesn't hurt that they are lower in carbs than other vegetables typically used in soups such as potatoes.
As a bonus, butternut squash is packed with nutrition. They are rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and minerals. In addition, it is extremely high in Vitamin A and one serving size(200 grams) of this gourd will give you more than 50% of daily value of Vitamin C.
An important thing to remember about vitamins A, D, and K is that they are fat-soluble vitamins. That means they need healthy fat in order to be absorbed into the body. That's why it's important to consume dietary fat with these nutrient-packed foods.
Instant Pot Tuscan Kale, Squash and Chicken Soup
Even though butternut squash still contains carbs, the amount you would eat in a serving of this soup is still relatively small compared to other high carb vegetables.
A small butternut squash as used in this paleo chicken soup would make 2 cups of diced squash. That makes about ¼ cup of squash per serving or 5-6 grams of carbohydrates.
Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot
The easiest part about this recipe is 2 of the biggest protein-rich ingredients are already pre-cooked: chicken and bone broth.
Use whatever leftover chicken you have. I routinely roast 2 chicken fryers in the oven so it's common for me to have plenty roast chicken in the refrigerator or freezer for quick salads and easy soups.
In fact, you can easily throw in the frozen chicken directly into the soup and it will thaw and warm up during the cycle.
If you don't have leftover chicken, just make some shredded chicken in the Instant Pot in advance. Even grilled chicken would be great in this recipe.
Unless you're using frozen (but cooked) chicken, add it towards the very end and then just use the "saute" function to bring everything to warm temperature.
Bone broth can be either store-bought or made at home. Find out how to make bone broth easily using any of the three methods (stove top, slow cooker, or Instant Pot).
Helpful Tips for this Tuscan Kale, Squash and Chicken Stew
- The versatility of this soup gives freedom to use whatever kale, squash and chicken you have. I used garden-fresh curly kale but I imagine lacinto kale would be just as delicious. Likewise, spinach would do in a pinch.
- Diced tomatoes add more flavor and texture. I prefer to use tomato products in glass jars (versus BPA lined cans) and usually stock up on these Jovial Diced Tomatoes when they go on sale. I love that the only ingredients are tomatoes and tomato puree. Please note that the glass jars do run a little larger (18.3 oz) than the typical can size of 14.5 oz but that's a hardly noticeable difference. Feel free to use what you are most comfortable with and what you have in your pantry.
- Italian Seasoning can either be store-bought or mixed at home. You can easily whip up your own Italian seasoning at home with spices you already have. If you don't have either, simply combine equal amounts of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary to make a total of 2 tablespoons. This brand of Italian Seasoning works great.
- It's best to do natural pressure release but if in a rush, feel free to do "QPR" (quick pressure release).
- Be sure to add the chicken (if not frozen), kale, and lemon at the end and press "saute" for just a few minutes to bring everything to even temperature.
- If you are using frozen (but previously cooked) chicken, throw that in along with the squash so it will thaw and come to temperature as needed.
- Check for salt at the end. Depending on the salt content of the broth used, additional salt amount will vary.
- To keep this Whole 30 and Paleo compliant, skip the cheese at the end as garnish.
Tools Used in this Instant Pot Kale, Squash & Chicken Soup
Instant Pot - 6qt - Greatest kitchen appliance ever! This stew is easily made in this electric pressure cooker and can be kept warm for later.
Diced Tomatoes in Glass Jars - I love Jovial brand of tomato products as they are not only organic but stored in glass jars.
Italian Seasoning - this brand is organic and contains no fillers or anti-caking agents.
Instant Pot Kale, Squash and Chicken Soup (Paleo, Whole30, Low-Carb)
- 2 tablespoons cooking fat such as avocado oil, lard, tallow, or butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 5 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 18 oz. jar diced tomatoes
- 1 small butternut squash peeled & diced
- 3 quarts chicken bone broth
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 6 large kale leaves destemmed & roughly chopped
- 1 small lemon juiced
- salt & pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese to garnish optional
- Press "Saute" function on Instant Pot. Add cooking fat to melt.
- Add diced onions and saute until translucent and soft. Add garlic and seasoning and saute for 1 more minute to release flavor.
- Add diced tomatoes, diced squash, and broth. Close lid, set valve to "sealing" position. Press "Manual" and reduce time to 8 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle has completed. allow to naturally release pressure. Carefully open lid when safety valve is down. (see note)
- Add cooked chicken and prepared kale. Press "Saute" function again to bring everything to temperature. Check for salt and season as needed.
- Stir to combine everything. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.