Depending on your situation, keto lunches can be somewhat of a challenge. Typically, to keep keto lunches (and lunch in general) pretty simple, I recommend taking some leftovers from last night’s dinner. But what if you don’t have a way to heat up the food? Some people are fine with a cold lunch, but even the tastiest keto friendly meals may be unappetizing when served up cold.
And let’s be honest – since ketogenic recipes can feel a little bit restrictive (especially if you’re lacking creativity in the food department) – you want every keto friendly meal to be as appetizing as it can possibly be.
This is why I Iove soups in general, but especially for keto lunches. Soups aren’t fussy. They’re usually easy to prepare and they can be heated and poured into a thermos so that you can still enjoy it warm hours later.
Soups are also one of the best keto lunches because you can add a wide variety of keto foods – lots of fat, good protein and veggies – with simplicity and ease. So, if you’re looking for keto meals that are pretty simple, this Asian Inspired Chicken Soup is one that we really enjoy.
The added bonus is that it can be made in the Instant Pot – everyone’s favorite pressure cooker. 🙂 If you have a larger family and everyone’s eating keto meals you can double the batch and freeze some for later.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it jogs your memory for soups that you can pack for other keto lunches!
Coconut oil (or keto friendly cooking fat of your choice)
1 lb. boneless (skinless chicken thighs or breast)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 green onions (sliced (white and green parts))
4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp. ginger (minced)
1 tbsp. chili paste
1 ½ tsp. roasted red pepper paste
10 cups of chicken broth
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 zucchini sliced
5 oz. package of shiitake mushrooms
Avocado for garnish
Press the saute function on your Instant Pot. While you wait for it to heat, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil. Sear the chicken on both sides – you just want to brown it nicely, not cook it all the way through. Once the chicken is cooked on both sides, remove it from the pot and set it aside.
Add a bit more coconut oil to the Instant Pot, if needed and then add the green onions. Cook them for a minute or two until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, chili paste and red pepper paste and cook for another minute or two until the ingredients become fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot along with the 10 cups of chicken broth. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar as well.
Optional: You can add the zucchini and mushrooms to the Instant Pot now to pressure cook with the rest of the ingredients. I personally find the zucchini to be a bit too mushy and I like to add that and the mushrooms after the pressure cooking is over to preserve some of the texture. However, this is an additional step and if time is a factor you may want to just add them to the pot right here. Otherwise leave out the mushrooms and zucchini until afterwards.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to “Sealing.” Press the “Soup” button and adjust the time to cook for 8 minutes. Let the Instant Pot do it’s thing while you get a head start on the cleanup.
Once the Instant Pot is finished, “Quick Release” the pressure by turning the valve to venting – make sure you use an oven mitt because the steam that is released is very hot. I also like to use my Instant Pot on the stovetop for this reason. If you have it under kitchen cabinets the steam could warp the wood over time. Plus, it’s convenient to use the vent fan on stove top when releasing all that steam! Just set the Instant Pot on a large cutting board for a stable surface.
If you’ve already added the zucchini and mushrooms you are good to go! Serve it up with sliced avocado once it reaches a cooler temperature. If you haven’t added the zucchini and mushroom, go ahead and do it now, stirring them into the soup. Replace the lid and set the “Slow Cook” function to high for about 10 to 15 minutes. Your mushrooms and zucchini will be cooked through perfectly without being mushy.
Garnish with fresh avocado – add a little extra fat like ghee or grass-fed butter if you want to make an even more keto friendly meal and enjoy!
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