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A wide shallow speckled bowl of creamy dairy free chicken and cauliflower rice soup, topped with fresh herbs and gluten free crackers.

Creamy Dairy Free Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup {paleo + whole30}

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5-6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Thanks to cashew cream, this ultra creamy dairy free chicken and cauliflower rice soup is so satisfying and delicious that you’d never know it was dairy free unless you made it yourself! Made with all the same flavors of a classic chicken and rice soup, but paleo and whole30 friendly for a healthy meal that the whole family will love. Cashew free option included in the recipe notes!


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 4 large carrots, cut into coins
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or all purpose seasoning 
  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen cauliflower rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak the cashews. Add raw cashews to a heat proof bowl and cover with hot (ideally just boiled) water – allow to soak for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Make the flavor base of the soup. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté for 14-16 minutes, stirring occasionally – until liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and onions are translucent. Add poultry seasoning and sauté 2 minutes more, until spices are aromatic.
  3. Add broth and chicken. Add 5 cups broth and whole chicken breasts to the pot, scraping up any stuck-on bits, and bring to a simmer. Make sure the chicken is submerged beneath the broth and partially cover the pot. If chicken pieces are too large to fully submerge they can be cut into smaller pieces. Simmer on low until the chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender – about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Make cashew cream. While the soup is simmering prepare the cashew cream. Drain and rinse cashews and add to a high-speed blender along with the remaining cup of chicken broth. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, with no pieces of cashew remaining.
  5. Finish the soup. Remove chicken to a cutting board to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle dice into small pieces or shred using two forks. If it isn’t completely cooked through don’t panic, it will finish cooking when you return it to the pot. Return chicken to the pot along with cauliflower rice, cashew cream, and parsley. Bring back to a simmer and cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes, until cauliflower rice is tender and soup has thickened slightly.  
  6. Season and serve. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve topped with more parsley if desired. Enjoy!


To make without cashews: I would recommend adding about 1-2 cups of whatever dairy free creamer works for you. We love the original unsweetened / unflavored nutpods as a cashew free option in savory recipes, but it does contain other types of nuts. For a nut free option I would look for an unsweetened oat milk creamer. Or, if you can have dairy about 1 cup of half and half would work beautifully.

To make a completely veg friendly version you should: Leave out the chicken, and/or swap it out for white beans or a protein rich grain like quinoa and use veggie broth instead of chicken broth.

To reheat: This soup can easily be re-heated in the microwave or over low heat on the stove top.

To store in the refrigerator: Allow it to cool to room temperature and transfer to an air tight container before moving to the fridge. It should keep for 4-5 days.

To freeze: Allow to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container, leaving about an inch of room at the top. Freeze for up to 4 months. To thaw, move to the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stove top, or run the container under warm water until the soup can be easily released into a pot and thawed and warmed over medium low heat.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Healthy