Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

I’ll just sneak it in at the beginning that if you are blessed enough to still have leftover turkey (frozen leftovers at this point, perhaps?) this soup would be a most excellent avenue for it. If not, no fear, it is still very, very simple to put together, leftovers or not.

I loved this soup. Like, really loved it. Even afterwards when I was in the throes of heaven-help-me pregnancy-induced heartburn because of the tomatoes and gentle spice, I was still loving on it. And that’s saying a lot because I’ve been known to develop life-long grudges against food if they mess me up in any way, shape or form. And that’s probably all I need to say about that.

Don’t be scared of the spiciness, simply adjust according to your preference – but for the record, the 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in the recipe was perfect for our family. Extremely subtle heat with deep flavor. Although my children have a love/hate relationship with the common white potato, they enjoy sweet potatoes and were all over this soup. The creamy sweetness of the potatoes combined with the mild vegetables, tender chicken, and light spiciness is a lovely combination.

What To ServeI served it with sharp cheddar cheese slices and these rolls.

Nutritious, filling, and just downright delicious, this soup is going into the winter-soup-rotation, that is for sure. Thanks, Kim (a MKC reader in Idaho), for sending the recipe to me!

Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

One Year Ago: Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}
Two Years Ago: White Bean Turkey or Chicken Chili
Three Years Ago: Bourbon Chicken

Spicy {Or Not} Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Yield: Serves 6-8

Spicy {Or Not} Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Note: Increase the red pepper flakes if you like more heat. The 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe will give gentle and flavor but is not overly spicy (as in, my kids ate it with no problem).


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or use about 3-4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/- inch pieces
  • 1 can (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large pot (4 or 5 quarts), melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring often, about 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-6 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients (don't add the cooked chicken, if using, you'll add it near the end), stir well, and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. If using cooked chicken, stir it in at this point and let it heat through. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Kim D., who emailed me the recipe

45 Responses to Spicy {Or Not} Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

  1. Bonnie says:

    Absolutely love this soup! Different and tasty! I made it with chicken two weeks in a row!

  2. Hayley says:

    Hi Mel! I don’t know if you will get to this in time, but I was wanting to double check my understanding of the recipe. If I am using the raw, diced chicken, I wait to put it in with the broth and everything else? It just seems like every other chicken soup recipe I do has the chicken sauteed first, so I want to make sure I’m not misunderstaning. Thanks!

  3. Samantha says:

    I made this soup last night and it was even better than I expected! My husband loved it as well. I will definitely be saving this recipe to make again very soon!!

  4. Sheena says:

    Just made it today and it was heavenly!! I am feeling sick (thanks flu for seking me out!) and it hit all the right notes….Loved it!!

  5. Heidy A says:

    Yum. We are all under the weather right now and stuck at home. I decided to make this hearty chicken soup to help us out and it was delicious! Thanks for another great recipe.

  6. Nina says:

    Perfect for winter, perfect for colds, perfect for toddlers! This soup is absolutely fantastic. I’ve made it at least half a dozen times, sometimes following the recipe exactly, other times adding more veggies (usually corn or spinach or kale) and black beans. The only real change for me is that I use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes because I can’t stand the consistency. Will make again and again and again!

  7. […] thenΒ blend in blender. Dinner: Chicken & sweet potato soup (using homemade chicken stock) from this recipe. […]

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Mel,
    Can you freeze this? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Karen – I’ve never frozen this but it’s definitely worth a try. Based on the fact that it doesn’t have a dairy/cream base, it should freeze ok – the potatoes might get a big soft upon reheating but otherwise, I imagine it would fare well.

  9. […] So lately we have had record temperatures here. Yesterday was a cold walk to school at -18 degrees celcius, not including the wind chill! So what better excuse is there to come home to a delicious hot soup and a cup of Paleo White Hot Chocolate. If you don’t like spice, feel free to leave it out but I guarantee either way this soup is delicious. It’s also extremely filling! Adapted from: […]

  10. Mel says:

    Monica – I’ve never tried it in the slow cooker so you’d have to experiment. Good luck!

  11. Monica says:

    Do you think it’s ok to throw all these ingredients in the slow cooker instead? I’ve got a 3 week old babe in arms πŸ™‚

  12. Brittany says:

    I am going to be making this for the second time tonight and have been looking forward to it since I put it on the meal plan! You are my go-to blog for recipes, but expecially soups! I am a soup fanatic, and have loved every one I have tried of yours! I use your desserts and dips recipes for holiday meals and family get together’s and they always turn out fantastic! I’m a newleywed, and thanks to your website, I have convinced my husband I have had this cooking thing down for years! πŸ™‚

  13. Trish says:

    This was fantastic! I just made it with the veggies since I didn’t feel like thawing out chicken to make it, and it was so flavorful and delicious. Since I didn’t have the chicken in there, I decided to puree it since I prefer a thicker soup to brothy, and it made it even better! Yummy! And so healthy!

  14. Heidi says:

    Very good! With the 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red peppers it was a little spicy for my 3 little ones 6 and under, but they all ate it with no complaints- just drank a gulp of milk after each bite. I used a yellow onion (don’t like red) and used fresh tomatoes because I had them around today. We ate it with corn bread on the side. Yum! My husband and I really enjoyed it!!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Melissa says:

    We loved this! My husband detests sweet potatoes and he loved it and even ate it for leftovers the next night!

  16. Kelly says:

    You totally sold me on this in the description. I’m very early in my first pregnancy and my off-and-on reflux issues have been ON like crazy! Soup sounded good, and if Mel swore by this even while pregnant, it had to be a winner. Plus it is full of veggies that I need!

    I didn’t have celery, so I just threw in more peppers (I had an assorted bag in the freezer). I used two GIANT sweet potatoes, too. I would definitely say- don’t pass on adding the cheddar at the end. It took a good soup and made it into a great soup. I made some easy rolls to go with it. Leftovers will be delicious for lunch tomorrow!

  17. Emma says:

    No worries, I just used the big potato and the soup didn’t seem like it needed any more! It was delicious by the way, just the right amount of heat πŸ™‚

  18. Mel says:

    Hi Emma – you’ve probably already made this so sorry it took me a few days to check in. I usually use medium-sized sweet potatoes and end up with anywhere from 2-4 cups of diced potatoes.

  19. Emma says:

    I’m ready to make this for dinner tomorrow night! What size of sweet potatoes did you use though? I have one large sweet potato and was hoping to avoid another trip to the store…this looks delicious by the way, and I have yet to be let down by a Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recipe πŸ™‚

  20. Mel says:

    Melody – scandalous, yes. Just teasing you. I’ve never used canned sweet potatoes so I have no idea what their texture/taste is like. I have a feeling they might be too mushy…but listen, anything is worth a try. Just don’t be mad at me if it doesn’t work out. πŸ™‚

  21. Melody says:

    This is probably so scandalous, but would canned sweet potatoes work? I have some in my pantry.

  22. Carrie says:

    So yummy!! I love that it is so healthy too. I didn’t feel guilty going back for seconds. I am eating the leftovers for lunch right now, and crying that there isn’t more πŸ™‚ I added some frozen corn (cuz it seemed like the things to do) and really liked it.

  23. Katie says:

    I made this for Christmas Eve and for my family’s annual soup exchange. It’s delicious!

  24. tonya says:

    This is incredible!!! At the supper table tonight my husband asked why we were having cheese. I said, “Because that’s the way Mel serves this & you know that I want to be just like her when I grow up.”. I also made the rolls. We loved it all!!!

  25. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was fabulous! Definitely going on my regular meals list.

  26. Shanna says:

    I made this the other night and it was so nice to have something simple, healthy and filling to bring to the table! Thanks for another easy meal that the kids will eat! πŸ™‚

  27. Tami says:

    I made this and it was very very good. I kept thinking it would be really good with the addition of a can of small white beans. Next time I will try it. Once again you saved dinner time.

  28. Sheena says:

    I just made this. Absolutely delicious!

  29. Natalie says:

    Made this and loved it–thanks!!

  30. Jessica Kramer says:

    You are amazing!! Finding your blog is a God send for me. Your blog has helped me learn to cook and bake better, thank you. You have given me confidence in the kitchen. Last night I made this soup and I have never received so many compliments about my cooking. It was very good!!

  31. Emily M. says:

    Thanks for a great recipe–it was a yummy dinner tonight.

  32. TK says:

    Hi there Mel, I made the soup last night from the last of the leftover turkey and it was delicious! I relaized too late that I forgot the garlic but we loved it anyway. I halved (sp?) the recipe since we are empty-nesters and it still made enough to take to work in our lunches today. Thanks πŸ™‚

  33. Lisa says:

    Made this last night. I ended up adding some hot sauce because I felt it needed a little something extra. My husband and 7 year old loved it, younger two kids not so much. Will probably make it again:0)

  34. Jaqui says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you and your family. I hope you have a speedy pregnancy, especially that last trimester.

  35. grace says:

    a reader recipe! hooray! for me, i’d probably require quite a bit more heat, but that’s just because i’m apparently a glutton for mouth-and-esophagus-burning. πŸ™‚

  36. Amy A. says:

    I was thinking the same thing as Brooke. πŸ™‚

  37. brooke says:

    Yum this looks GREAT!! Did I read it wrong or are you pregnant!?

  38. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! This soup looks so delicious and comforting. I love the addition of the sweet potato!

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