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Easy Meals

Chicken Lemon Rice Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale

Chicken lemon rice soup with butternut squash and kale makes for a delicious meal that is easy to make in one pot and nutritious! 

best chicken lemon rice soup with kale and squash

I don’t know about you, but to me nothing sounds better for lunch or dinner when it’s cold outside than a big bowl of soup. Soups are great because you can pack a lot of nutrition into them, and make them ahead of time to enjoy for the next few days.

This chicken lemon rice soup has all the characteristics of chicken noodle soup that we know and love, but it’s thicker and creamier thanks to the addition of rice. Extra lemon gives each bowl more vitamin C and bright, fresh flavor! 

It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and whole grains thanks to the U.S.-grown long-grain rice, butternut squash and kale! Rice is the most popular grain globally and the primary dietary staple for more than half the world’s population.

This tiny but mighty U.S.-grown grain is nutrient-rich, supplying energy, complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, beneficial antioxidants and more than 15 vitamins and minerals.

Rice Nutrition

Brown, wild, black, red and purple rice are 100% whole grain varieties. Research shows that eating whole grains can help reduce heart disease, may reduce the risk of certain cancers and may aid in weight maintenance.

Rice is a nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrate that the body slowly digests to help you stay energized throughout the day. Plus, research shows that eating rice increases levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, which helps boost mood and keeps appetite in check. I’ll definitely take that mood boost as we head into the colder months with less sunshine!

Is all rice gluten free?

Yes, rice is naturally gluten-free, highly digestible and the least allergenic of all grains. It’s a great option for people with Celiac disease or who choose to follow a gluten free diet.

Ingredients for Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

  • U.S-grown long grain white rice
  • Chicken stock
  • Lemon
  • Butternut squash or sweet potato
  • Kale or spinach 
  • Egg yolks
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt 
  • pepper
best chicken lemon rice soup with kale and squash

Chicken Lemon Rice Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Chicken lemon rice soup with butternut squash and kale makes for a delicious meal that is easy to make in one pot and nutritious! It's the perfect cozy soup recipe for the winter months!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 4 -5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups U.S.-grown long-grain white rice
  • 1 ½ cup shredded chicken
  • 2 cups lacinato kale washed and stems removed, torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 ½ cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp.salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper + more on top
  •  

Instructions
 

  • Prepare rice according to package directions in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.
  • While the rice is cooking, peel and cube the butternut squash, cutting into small cubes. Toss with 1 tbsp. Of olive oil and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Set aside.
  • Once the rice has cooked add 1 cup to a blender along with the egg yolks, 1 ½ cup of chicken stock, and lemon juice. Blend until combined.
  • Heat the rest of the chicken stock over medium to high heat. Add the mixture from the blender, the rest of the rice, cooked butternut squash and fresh thyme. Stir together and add the kale pieces. 
  • Let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes as the soup thickens. You can always add more chicken stock to thin it out.
  • Remove from heat and enjoy with extra fresh black pepper and more lemon juice squeezed on top if desired. Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
Keyword chicken lemon rice soup

The blog post is in partnership with the US Rice Federation. All opinions are my own and I’m proud to partner with brands and organizations that share my mission of making healthy food more accessible to everyone.

More soup recipes & rice recipes you are sure to love: 

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healthy chicken lemon rice soup
Easy Meals

Kale Cauliflower Power Breakfast Bowl

Packed with high nutrients ingredients and a hint of spice, this kale cauliflower bowl is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner . It’s gluten free and will keep you extra satisfied from the protein and fiber!

This post was sponsored by Nature’s Greens but all opinions are my own! 

To be honest, in this day of meal prepping, I am not a meal prepper! My strategy to make sure I have veggies, grains and proteins on hand throughout the week revolves more around making a larger batch of one thing that can last for let’s say two meals or ingredients that I can use interchangeably throughout the week. I often hear from my clients and followers that eating the same salad over and over again is boring, which is why meal prepping does not work for them. I challenge them with the idea of a prepping a couple things that they like and then as the days go on get creative with those ingredients rather than using them for the same meal three or four times.



The ingredients in this kale cauliflower bowl are perfect for that. It’s hearty, savory and packed with different flavors and textures to help keep you satisfied until your next meal. If you’re New Year’s resolution was to eat more veggies, I challenge you to try this bowl for breakfast once or twice a week. Making the ingredients ahead of time (i.e. the quinoa, cauliflower and even the kale) and top it with a fresh egg it makes it just as quick as grabbing cereal or toast in the morning but way more nutritious.

For me, a filling breakfast really sets my whole day up for success eating wise. If I don’t have something with protein, fiber and good carbohydrates, I find myself hungrier throughout the day which leads to eating way more than I normally would at night. I totally understand that not everyone is a breakfast eater, but if you do find yourself especially famished and or hangry, overdoing it at lunch and dinner, etc, start with something small that contains protein, fiber and is low in sugar for breakfast. Start to see how you feel on days you have breakfast and go from there.

Eating breakfast is not an issue for me but eating greens in the morning definitely is!  This kale cauliflower breakfast bowl is helping me to reap the nutritional benefits of kale. Did you kale is one of the few vegetables that contains protein too? That’s just one of the many benefits this leafy green can contribute to your diet.


With Nature’s Greens kale greens they’ve already done the hard work for you. Their greens are triple washed, and ready to cook and serve. Having a bag in your fridge makes it so convenient to simply add a handful to whatever you are having. Leftovers from dinner last night? Liven them up by putting them on a bed of kale greens! Trust me, it even works for pizza!

If you’re on a kale kick be sure to check out these other kale recipes on my site: kale butternut squash pizza, kale sausage egg muffins, blackberry kale farro salad, and kale pesto!

Kale Cauliflower Power Breakfast Bowl

Kale Cauliflower Power Breakfast Bowl

Maggie Michaczyk, RDN
Wake up with the goodness of veggies and protein in this power breakfast bowl! Spicy cauliflower complements crunchy and nutrient dense kale for a delicious and filling meal anytime of day. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  •  
  • 2 cups Nature’s Greens Kale Greens
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into 1-inch pieces*
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 eggs your favorite way for topping the bowls

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl remove any remaining stems from kale and add olive oil.
  • Massage oil into the kale with your hands. Then add the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Massage one more time and add to a small pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Wash and cut the cauliflower into 1 inch pieces (it’s ok if some a little bigger and some are a little smaller).
  • In small bowl combine the hot sauce, brown rice flour and water. Mix together and pour on top of cauliflower. Mixing until all the pieces are lightly coated.
  • Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is roasting, cook quinoa according to package instructions.  

To assemble the bowls:

  • Add about 1 cup of quinoa to the bottom of your bowl top with 1 cup of ½-1 cup of kale, ½ cup buffalo cauliflower and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.
  • Cook an egg your favorite way. I suggest either hard-boiled, soft-boiled or fried for this bowl!
  • Place the egg on top and add a pinch more of salt and pepper if desired.
  •  

Notes

*you will have leftover cauliflower from this recipe. I strongly encourage you to add it to something else you are eating the next day!

XOXO

MAGGIE

Pin this Kale Cauliflower Breakfast Bowl for Later!


Pumpkin Dinner

Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Fall produce is everywhere you look at the grocery store, farmers’ market and on Instagram! The cooler temperatures and flavors of the season were the inspiration behind this fall harvest salad with pumpkin vinaigrette that will have you celebrating autumn with every bite!

I did not always know how to roast a pumpkin or cook a squash, so apples were about as seasonal as I got. As time went on (and my love for all things fall grew) I started learning more about the nutritional benefits of seasonal vegetables, which really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities for what you can do with them.

Pair that with my love of pushing the pumpkin envelope and putting it into as many things as possible and the pumpkin vinaigrette for this salad was born! I also shared this vinaigrette idea in my cookbook, The Once Upon a Pumpkin Cookbook that has 50 recipes and 30 hacks for using pumpkin puree in sweet and savory recipes!

pumpkin vinaigrette

This salad combines quinoa, kale, delicata squash, chickpeas, apples, parmesan cheese, and pumpkin seeds in a delicious and easy to make salad inspired by the flavors of the season! I recently contributed to an article in Women’s Health on 6 legit benefits of quinoa, a must read if you haven’t gotten on board this grain train. Technically, quinoa is not a grain at all but rather a seed  packing a protein punch that many other grains and seeds do not. Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids, something very unique to non-meat sources of protein.

I love it served out of a pumpkin like this because not only is it functional but it doubles as table decor! To me fall entertaining means using pumpkins in as many ways as possible and this is one of those creative ways I can not get enough of!

pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas

fall harvest salad

pumpkin vinaigrette

Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Dive into loving seasonal produce with this salad that combines the flavors of the season! Powered with plant protein from quinoa, you'll be satisfied and delighted as you reap the nutritional benefits of these fall foods.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Harvest Salad:

  • 1 pie pumpkin hollowed out for the bowl
  • 2 cup kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small delicata squash
  • 1 can garbanzo beans aka chickpeas
  • 1/2 apple diced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • salt and pepper

Pumpkin Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash the outside of the delicata squash and cut off the two ends.
  • Cut the squash into rings, place into a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Toss with pumpkin pie spice and once the squash is done roast on a parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to kale and massage. Massaging helps to breakdown the fibers and make it more enjoyable to eat!
  • Once squash is roasted poke out the seeds and cut pieces in half into half moons.
  • Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine, kale, quinoa, chickpeas, apples, parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and squash. Add vinaigrette and toss together.
  • Serve in hollowed out pie pumpkin and enjoy!

XOXO

MAGGIE

Butternut Squash

Kale & Butternut Squash Pizza

Pizza night gets turned up a notch in terms of nutrition with this kale & butternut squash pizza! Customize is how you may, but I think this homemade kale and butternut squash combinations tastes delicious and is a healthy alternative to some of the other frozen pizzas out there. Made with Nature’s Greens ® kale that is pre-washed and bagged for connivence, this pizza take less than 25 minutes to make from start to finish.

This blog post is in partnership with Nature’s Greens®, but all opinions are my own.

Sure, the flavors are reminiscent of fall, but in my opinion they are great to enjoy all year long. I opted for frozen butternut squash that I defrosted and threw onto the pizza. When sautéing greens, make sure you always keep the heat on low to retain the most nutrients. Depending on the crust you use, this recipe makes great leftovers for the next day too!

 

 

kale and butternut squash pizza

Kale & Butternut Squash Pizza

Once Upon A Pumpkin
Pizza night meets harvest flavors! Kale and butternut squash come together for this delicious and nutritious homemade pizza that can be whipped up anytime of year.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 store bought pizza crust can use cauliflower, gluten-free depending on preference
  • 2 cups Nature’s Greens kale
  • 1 tbps. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butternut squash cubed and roasted (can use frozen)
  • ½ cup spicy kale and lemon pesto
  • ½ avocado
  • balsamic glaze optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven according to pizza package directions.
  • Heat a medium saucepan, adding olive and garlic until fragrant. Add kale and gently sautee on low heat until kale begins absorbing the olive oil and looks moist.
  • Spread pesto on top of pizza crust and top with sauteed kale, parmesan cheese, and butternut squash.
  • Bake pizza according to package directions, remove from oven and top with sliced avocado, and drizzled balsamic  Slice into pieces and enjoy!

XOXO

MAGGIE