Fill up your CrockPot with chicken, barley, veggies and broth to make this warm and comforting slow cooker chicken barley soup! And maybe some easy, buttery focaccia bread on the side? It’s the perfect soothing lunch or supper.
Why we love this recipe
This super-duper-easy recipe brings together a few of my favorite things, namely tender chicken, sweet veggies, good-for-you barley…and my wonderful slow cooker.
It’s one of those recipes that is so ridiculously easy that it feels like magic when you toss everything in and it comes out of the slow cooker as a wonderful concoction of warm and wonderful soup.
I based this recipe on one of my all time favorite slow cooker recipes, my beloved beef barley soup.
But in this case the beef was replaced by boneless chicken breasts (and feel totally free to replace those with chicken thighs if you are more of a dark meat person), and chicken broth instead of beef broth.
It’s the perfect comfort food for chilly, busy winter days (or really any time you are just craving chicken soup with barley…even if it’s the middle of July!).
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Chicken: We like chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can swap in boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Barley: Barley is a slightly chewy, nutty whole grain that is full of fiber and that adds a wonderful heartiness to this soup. It comes in two forms, pearled barley and hulled barley, and while we tend to opt for pearled barley, both versions will work just fine for this recipe. Look for it in the rice aisle of your supermarket.
- Chicken broth: As always, we use the boxed versions of chicken broth instead of the canned – we think the flavor is fresher. But the canned version is fine if you would rather use that.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make this recipe
Step 1: Get out your slow cooker and put some boneless chicken, chicken broth, chopped onion, barley and poultry seasoning into it and give it all a good stir. Put the cover on and let it cook on low for 8 hours. Take a nap. 😴
Step 2: After the soup is cooked, scoop out the chicken and use two forks to shred it into bite sized pieces. (I find that this is a great job for any kiddos who want to help in the kitchen!)
Step 3: Put some chopped carrots and celery in a microwave safe dish with about 1/8 cup of water. Cover the dish and microwave them for about 4 minutes. Stir them into the soup along with the shredded chicken. Have a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Step 4: Ladle it into bowls and serve it up!
It absolutely can! I actually think soup tastes better the next day because the flavors have even more of a chance to deepen. It may thicken up a little in the fridge as the barley absorbs more of the broth, but you can thin it down as needed with more chicken broth or water.
Poultry seasoning is a mix of spices, usually including sage, thyme, celery seed, marjoram, black pepper and nutmeg. You can find it in the spice aisle of your supermarket.
100% yes! Sometimes I add baby spinach or peas, or corn…it’s a great way to use up any leftover veggies. Simply stir them in with the shredded chicken and you are good to go.
You can! The cooking time will be about three and a half hours, and you can check your chicken for doneness with a food thermometer – it should read 165 degrees.
Pop your question in the comments and I will answer pronto!
Want to round out your meal?
Other slow cooker soup recipes we love
So there you have it – a perfect, easy, delicious winter soup, with thanks once again to the trusty slow cooker!
Could you leave us a review?
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear how it came out for you! I’d be super grateful if you could leave a star rating (you pick how many stars! 🌟 ) and your thoughts in the Comments section.Print