For national mac and cheese day, try this warming, creamy mac and cheese chicken soup. It’s like a broccoli-cheddar hybrid soup, but gluten and dairy-free. Make this warming, comfort-food soup for any day!
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free macaroni, ditalini or other favorite pasta shape
- 1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
- ½ head of cauliflower, chopped
- ⅓ cup gluten-free flour (I use King Arthur 1:1 flour)
- 4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock plus more in case the soup is thick (see note)
- 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (I use full fat)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups), optional for anyone who eats dairy
- Sliced fresh chives, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions; set aside, reserving the pasta water.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and almost cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the cauliflower and the broccoli and continue to cook until they are slightly tender, about 5 minutes more.
- Add gluten-free flour to coat and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
- Slowly stir in stock, then coconut milk, mustard and nutritional yeast. Simmer until thickened and all the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in reserved chicken. Simmer gently until the soup is thickened and the chicken is cooked but still tender, 4 to 6 minutes. If it is thicker than you like, add more broth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta. Serve the cheese on the side for anyone who wishes to add it. Garnish with chives.
The soup will thicken when you add the coconut milk, and the amount of thickening will depend on the brand of coconut milk. I like to make chicken bone broth for this soup because the flavor is terrific, and I usually add about another cupful. If you don’t have enough chicken broth, save some of the cooking water from the pasta and add that instead. The soup will thicken once you add the cooked pasta, too, so be prepared for that.
This recipe is a gluten-and-dairy-free adaptation of this recipe.
Keywords: mac and cheese soup, chicken soup, broccoli soup, creamy soup, dairy-free, gluten-free, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, vegan option