Creamy Chicken-Cauli Vegetable Soup (Coconut-Free, Instant Pot)

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While the Autoimmune Protocol does not specifically exclude coconut products, it tends to be one of the top ingredients people avoid due to allergies or sensitivities. Eating coconut-free can make preparing AIP meals that much trickier, because coconut products are often used to add texture, creaminess, and a high-quality fat source to meals. I get many, many emails, comments, and direct messages from members of the community that are exasperated by their need to also avoid coconut!

Fortunately, I’ve set to work developing many coconut-free desserts over the years (like my Pumpkin Spice Cake, Blackberry Collagen Popsicles, and Gingersnap Cookies). The best substitute for coconut milk I’ve found to use in soups, stews, and curries, is simply a thinned vegetable puree. If you need it to be creamy, you can add some extra fat and nutritional yeast for rich texture and flavor.

I’ve heard from a lot of you that you aren’t sure what proportions to use to achieve this, so I developed this recipe for all of you who want to learn this technique. Here I use cauliflower, but you can experiment with different vegetables, like parsnips, rutabaga, and turnips, each lending their own unique flavors.

Speaking of texture… there is something about getting it just right in a soup or stew. This one is super vegetable-rich, and the cauliflower puree makes it hearty and flavorful. Let me know what you think in the comments!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Chicken-Cauli Vegetable Soup (Coconut-Free, Instant Pot)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat (duck fat and tallow are good coconut-free options)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced, fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups bone broth
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast or thigh meat
  • 1 large head cauliflower, steamed
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  1. If you haven't steamed your cauliflower, do so before starting this recipe (see the notes section for how to do so in your Instant Pot). Place the cooking fat in the bottom of your Instant Pot and press the Saute button. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the spices and broth and stir to combine. Add the vegetables, stir to combine, and add the chicken pieces whole, nesting into the vegetables. Close and lock the lid and cook on Manual - High Pressure for 8 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off use the quick release method to release the pressure. Remove the lid and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Use a ladle to remove about 1 cup of the cooking liquid, avoiding the vegetables if you can.
  4. Add the cooking liquid, steamed cauliflower, and nutritional yeast to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add back to the pot and stir to combine.
  5. Use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces. Add back to the pot with the lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine.
You can steam the cauliflower beforehand in two ways. First, you can use a traditional steamer basket for about 10-15 minutes. Second, you could use your Instant Pot with the steamer basket on Manual - High Pressure for 3 minutes. In both cases, make sure to break your cauliflower into big chunks and that it is on the softer side to use in this recipe.


About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos and get a glimpse of life on the farm by following her on Instagram.


  • Lorna Umphrey says

    This sounds so delicious but I don’t have an Instant Pot. Is it easy to adapt to just the simple stovetop?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Lorna, I do think you could make it on the stovetop, but the adaptation would take some experimenting as liquid measures for pressure-cooked meals are usually quite different. We have tons of non-IP soups in the archives you could try instead – like this celeriac and leek soup:

  • eunice says

    THank you!!! I’m allergic to coconuts, so this soupy recipe is awesome 🙂

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks Eunice! I try to pop some in for the coconut-sensitive folks now and again!

  • Nancy says

    You are the best!!! I was just talking to my daughter about what we could substitute for the garlic “mayo’ that you have in some of your recipes in The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and I looked up your website and there was the answer. Incredible and wonderful suggestion for a substitute. It’s such a great cookbook and you probably don’t remember but you hand delivered it to me from your car trunk stash before Amazon had picked it up. This was at Clackamas Town Center when Sarah Ballantine came to Portland years and years ago. I love your second book just as much. You have been such a gift for so many for so long for. Thank you for all the wisdom you share with those of us who try to treat our autoimmune condition with lifestyle change. ❤️🙌

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Nancy! I remember that book signing from the way-back! Thanks so much for continuing to come by and support my work, and for the sweet comment. I’m so happy you guys loved this one and hope you are all doing well!

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