My favorite (and I think the best) chicken noodle soup! No food blog would be complete without a recipe for chicken noodle soup. Our version is healthy, satisfying, and tastes incredible. Bonus, you can make this soup from scratch in under 40 minutes! Jump to the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
This Chicken Noodle Soup Is Easy
Every time I start to think about this soup, I want to make it. Classic chicken noodle soup is pure comfort food. Thankfully, our recipe is so easy you can even make it tonight! Chicken noodle soup is one of the easiest soups to make. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive. You are looking at about 40 minutes from start to finish for this soup. Not too bad, especially when 20 minutes of that time is hands-off!
For a creamier soup, take a look at our favorite creamy chicken noodle soup recipe (it’s inspired by this one).
How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup
We’ve made chicken soup for years and have tried it various ways. We’ve even started from a whole chicken before.
I’ll take a bowl of satisfying chicken soup any day, but this version is the one we circle back to. It’s straight-forward and quick to make.
It’s important to use good-quality chicken broth. While I wish we had homemade chicken broth in our freezer all the time, we don’t. When reaching for store-bought broth, we go for low-sodium. We also look for a store-bought broth that’s darker in color (usually means more flavor) and since I know it usually has more of a backbone, I like to buy boxed bone broth (we use homemade bone broth sometimes, too).
In case you are wondering, we use Pacific Foods Bone Broth and also like the stock sold at Trader Joe’s.
Don’t be afraid to season your soup. When it comes to soups, season early and check the seasoning often. Before we add the chicken thighs to the soup, we always check the seasoning level of the broth. If the flavor doesn’t pop, add a bit more salt.
Another option is to use fish sauce. It may seem odd, but whenever we’re tasting something and it’s just missing that something something, a small dash of fish sauce fixes it. Fish sauce is a major ingredient in our Pho soup recipe.
For the best chicken soup, I use chicken thighs. Chicken soup is better when made with darker meat. Chicken thighs become tender and soft in the soup — similar to how the chicken turns out in our recipe for shredded chicken. Chicken breast doesn’t tenderize and stays firm in the soup. You can use both cuts of chicken, but thighs will produce better soup.
Herbs are a must in this soup — we add thyme and bay leaves at the beginning, which help to add a herby backbone to the broth. For a pop freshness, stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley at the end. Other herbs will work, too. Instead of (or in addition to) the thyme and bay leaves, try rosemary. For the herbs at the end, try fresh chives for a mild onion flavor.
As for the noodles, you can use whatever you love. We love the lightness of egg noodles, but you can throw just about any pasta into the pot. For another recipe that uses egg noodles, see our easy parmesan buttered noodles.
Make Ahead and Storing Tips
The soup can be made and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
If you are not planning on enjoying the soup straight away or plan to freeze it, you might want to hold off on adding the noodles. As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the broth. You can deal with this in two ways:
When reheating the soup, add a bit more broth/stock to the pot. I’ve even been known to add a splash of plain water to the soup when reheating. As long as you don’t need to add a lot, it won’t thin the flavor of the soup too much.
When making the soup ahead of time, for the freshest, least soggy noodles, leave the noodles out then refrigerate or freeze the soup. When you are ready to reheat, bring the soup to a low simmer and add dried noodles. Cook until they are done and enjoy.
Let’s recap, for the best chicken noodle soup from scratch, keep the following in mind:
- Use high-quality stock/broth
- Season the soup early and check it often
- Chicken thighs make a better soup and are far more tender than chicken breast
- Add extra flavor with herbs, both at the beginning and at the end
What Can I Add to Soup for More Flavor
Our recipe sticks to classic ingredients and flavors, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can add to make it your own:
For a creamy chicken noodle soup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream or half-and-half. We do this when making our creamy chicken soup.
Add three to four lemon slices for a lemon chicken soup — similar to this Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Soup.
Add three or four slices of lime, swap the parsley for fresh cilantro, and then add diced tomatoes and cubed avocado for Mexican-style chickensoup. You can even add diced corn tortillas as we do for this tortillachicken soup.
Add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and a few dashes of fish sauce for an ultra-satisfying, umami-packed soup.
Swirl in fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking for more of a vegetable-heavy soup.
Swap the noodles for potatoes, winter squash, rice, quinoa or grains. Add hearty veggies (like potatoes) to the pot along with the onions and carrots. When it comes to rice and grains, add them already cooked. (Take a look at our sausage and potatosoupor our homemade creamy potato soup for some inspiration)
Swap the noodles for tortellini — I love using cheese-filled pasta when making this veggie tortellini soup.
Save Time and Use Rotisserie Chicken or Leftover Chicken
For the easiest chicken noodle soup, if you have a rotisserie or leftover chicken, instead of adding chicken thighs to the pot, add two to three cups of shredded or diced cooked chicken to the soup at the same time as adding the dried noodles.
Since there is no need to cook the chicken thighs anymore, reduce the simmer time by 10 minutes. We use this method whenever we’ve roasted a whole chicken the night before.
For even more tips, you can also take a read through our article for How to Make the Best Leftover Chicken Soup.
What Our Readers Are Saying
If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you achieve amazing chicken noodle soup at home, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
“My first time ever making chicken noodle soup and it came out amazing!!” – Sharon
“My new go to recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup! I made this while visiting family a few weeks ago. Six adults and four kids, everyone LOVED it…. twenty thumbs up!” – Haley
“This soup is so flavorful! Reminds Me of great chicken noodle soups you can only get at a NYC deli. This combination of herbs is what I have been missing in my recipes.” – Amanda
Recipe updated, originally posted in 2018. Since posting this, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
253 comments / 177 reviews
Ultra-Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup
This quicker version of homemade chicken noodle soup skips cooking a whole chicken and calls on boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The soup still tastes incredible, satisfying, and classic. The significantly reduced cook time makes this chicken soup from scratch possible on a weeknight. We highly recommend chicken thighs for this because of their flavor and soft texture when cooked, but if you prefer them, chicken breasts will work.
Makes 6 servings
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
2 tablespoons butter, chicken fat or olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 large carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped (optional) Heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves) 2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter, chicken fat or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
Heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)
8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock
5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Water or more stock, as needed
Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Taste the soup then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt.
Submerge the chicken thighs into the soup so that the broth covers them. Bring the soup back to a low simmer then partially cover the pot with a lid and cook, stirring a few times until the chicken thighs are cooked through; about 20 minutes.
If, during this time, the broth seems low, add a splash more stock or a bit of water. Turn the heat to medium-low.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Stir the noodles into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.
While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot and then taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley and serve.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Refrigerating Chicken Noodle Soup: As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the soup broth. When reheating, add a splash of extra chicken stock or if you don’t have any, water.
- Freezing Chicken Noodle Soup: The noodles don’t fare too well when frozen. If you plan on freezing the soup, remove the portion of soup you plan to freeze before adding the noodles. Freeze the broth, chicken, and vegetables. When you are ready to reheat the soup, add dried noodles to the soup and simmer until done.
- Seasoning the Soup: If you feel the soup is missing some zing, add a bit more salt. You can also add a pop of flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce (we use this trick for store-bought stocks and broths often) or Worcestershire sauce.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 298 / Total Fat 11.4g / Saturated Fat 4.4g / Cholesterol 97.7mg / Sodium 748.7mg / Carbohydrate 22.9g / Dietary Fiber 1.7g / Total Sugars 7.5g / Protein 24.8g
AUTHOR:Adam and Joanne Gallagher
As it does with turkey, the body uses tryptophan from chicken to make melatonin—which can help you rest—and serotonin, the chemical that signals your nerves and makes you feel happy and at ease. Both of these are reasons chicken soup is associated with comfort food: you literally feel a physiological sense of comfort.Why is chicken noodle soup good for you when you don't feel good? ›
The broth provides hydrating fluid and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. That's especially helpful when you have a fever and run the risk of becoming dehydrated. The steam from hot broth also can open up nasal passages to help you breathe easier.Does chicken soup make you happy? ›
"Chicken is also high in tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin that can enhance your mood and give you the feeling of 'comfort' that helps make chicken noodle soup a true comfort food," Allonen said. The noodles provide carbohydrates that help you feel full and satisfied.What can I add to my chicken soup to make it taste better? ›
Seasoning the Soup: If you feel the soup is missing some zing, add a bit more salt. You can also add a pop of flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce (we use this trick for store-bought stocks and broths often) or Worcestershire sauce.What foods make you feel satisfied? ›
- Whole Grains.
- Greek Yogurt.
- Red Chili Pepper.
- Beans and Legumes.
- Fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can't produce them on its own. ...
- Dark chocolate. ...
- Fermented foods. ...
- Bananas. ...
- Oats. ...
- Berries. ...
- Nuts and seeds. ...
The key to a good chicken soup is the low and slow cooking process. This draws all the nutrients out of the chicken bones which provide a whole host of health benefits particularly relating to a healthy gut and strong immune system.Is soup healthier than junk food? ›
When prepared with the right ingredients, soup can be a truly healthy dish with multiple nutritional benefits. For example, soups made with bone-, vegetable-, or meat-based broths provide vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as collagen.Should you eat soup everyday? ›
"The concept of eating soup to lose weight has spanned decades, but experts say an all-soup diet lacks nutrients and is not sustainable. They do agree it can be smart to eat vegetable-packed soups for some meals, though, as these are filling, nutrient-dense, and low in calories."Is soup Good for anxiety? ›
Many folks feel comforted after eating a bowl of warming chicken soup. Comfort foods, like chicken soup, boost levels of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that produced a calming effect.
Soups' Impact on Your Mental Health. Soup is a dish that helps improve the mood if you suffer from depression. Therefore, consuming fresh carrot and zucchini soup is absolutely a better choice than chips, desserts, cookies, chocolate, and other high-calory foods.Is it good to drink chicken soup everyday? ›
Works your Muscles. Known to all, chicken is considered to be a great source of protein and amino acids that are really good for the growth of muscles and other tissues. Hence, a bowl of chicken soup can be a great addition in your daily diet.What gives soup the best flavor? ›
"Ground paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, ground ginger, and other powdered spices add a touch of color and spiciness to broths," she says. As a general rule, use fresh herbs at or near the end of cooking and dried herbs and spices early on. This helps you get the flavors you're looking for in the right balance.How can I make my soup more flavourful? ›
- Use aromatic vegetables. One of the secrets to great stock is being generous with the aromatic vegetables – onion, carrots & celery. ...
- Season with soy sauce. ...
- Use a full flavoured accompaniment. ...
- Don't overdo the water. ...
- Season seriously. ...
- Use a little acid. ...
- Spice it up.
Something as simple as a drizzle of oil, sprinkling of seeds, scattering of fresh herbs will all make a difference. Croutons or cheese toasts will transform your soup to a comforting bowl. Make a rustic pesto, ideal with cream of tomato soup.What food fills you up the longest? ›
- Boiled potatoes. Potatoes have been demonized in the past, but they're actually very healthy and nutritious. ...
- Eggs. Eggs are incredibly healthy and nutrient-dense. ...
- Oatmeal. ...
- Fish. ...
- Soups. ...
- Meat. ...
- Greek yogurt. ...
- Eat enough protein. ...
- Opt for fiber-rich foods. ...
- Drink plenty of water. ...
- Choose solids foods to tame hunger. ...
- Eat mindfully. ...
- Eat slowly. ...
- Learn which dinnerware works for you. ...
- Exercise regularly.
The Importance of Vitamin D In Your Daily Life
You'll find that increasing your levels of Vitamin D, you'll be in a better mood and increase your overall happiness!
Besides close relationships, there are two other things that predict happiness in people: having a job or hobby that they love and that challenges them and helping others through volunteer work, random acts of kindness or another type of prosocial behavior. All three of these things make sense.What triggers you to be happy? ›
We feel joy in our bodies because of the release of dopamine and serotonin, two types of neurotransmitters in the brain. Both of these chemicals are heavily associated with happiness (in fact, people with clinical depression often have lower levels of serotonin).
- PROBIOTICS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Probiotics are the live microorganisms (good bacteria) that reside in the gut. ...
- NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH PREBIOTICS. ...
- DRINK WATER + TEA. ...
- REMOVE INFLAMMATORY FOODS. ...
- FALL IN LOVE WITH KIWI FRUIT. ...
- NOURISH WITH COLLAGEN. ...
- ENJOY A GLASS OF GREEN JUICE. ...
- EXERCISE DAILY.
The sodium in the recipe helps relieve sore throat pain (the same principle behind gargling warm salt water), the heat helps clear nasal congestion, and can relieve pain and sinus pressure. The vitamins and minerals in nutrient-dense soups can also speed recovery, Bailey adds.What 2 foods can you survive on? ›
- Potatoes. Advertisement. ...
- Human Breast Milk. Advertisement. ...
- Kale. Advertisement. ...
- Trail Mix.
Regularly consuming soup has been linked to a lower body weight. However, there's insufficient research on the benefits of soup diets for weight loss. Still, due to the low calorie nature of these eating plans, you'll likely lose some weight in the short term.Is soup enough for dinner? ›
To rightly be considered as dinner, a soup must not only be filling, but must also be correct on the calorie chart. Hearty soups like Russian Borsch, Vietnamese pho, and Italian Minestrone are considered as main courses. They have an apt mix of vegetables, protein and carbohydrates in a single bowl.Is soup healthier than a sandwich? ›
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule-a creamy clam chowder will pack in more calories than a small turkey sandwich crammed with vegetables, for instance. But as a rule, soup is the better choice. Why? Soup has a high water content, which can help you feel full.What happens if you drink soup daily? ›
The great news is that if you are intentional about what you put in your soup, you can ensure that you're getting tons of nutrients for fewer calories than most other meals. Studies have shown that soup is actually a contributing factor in losing weight, maintaining weight goals, and lowering the risk of obesity.What foods calm anxiety fast? ›
Foods naturally rich in magnesium may, therefore, help a person to feel calmer. Examples include leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard. Other sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks have been linked to lowered anxiety.What to drink to calm nerves? ›
- Apple cider vinegar.
Recent studies show that foods with the highest antidepressant benefits include oysters and mussels, other seafood, lean organ meats, leafy greens, lettuce, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Fatty fish: Diets high in B12 and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease depression and improve mood. Choices include mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon and tuna. Dark chocolate: Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids release endorphins that improve mood.What is the best food for mental illness? ›
To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular are brain protective. Nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods.Can we have soup at night? ›
Warm soup is a great bedtime snack, as it is a food that is innately relaxing since it is so warm and soothing. Smooth soups made from easy to digest vegetables such as butternut squash or clear, tasty broths are best before bedtime.Can you eat too much chicken soup? ›
Even chicken soup isn't sacred. The time-honored home remedy can cause a rare complication called hypernatremia, or abnormally high sodium content in the blood, four San Francisco doctors report in The New England Journal of Medicine. It all boils down to too much salt in the soup. Not just chicken soup -- any kind.Does vegetable soup count as one of your 5 a day? ›
Tinned and fresh ready-made soups might contain enough vegetables to count towards your 5-a-day, but it can be hard to know how much they really contain.What is the most important ingredient in soup? ›
- Stock. The key ingredient in many soups is stock. ...
- Veggies. We use a wide variety of vegetables in our soups, ranging from carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, celery, and corn to okra, many of which are grown on farms we trust in North America.
Add Some Herbs
Start by melting a little butter in a pan and add some fresh herbs like ground pepper, oregano, thyme, and basil. Mix the sauteed herbs into the broth to add flavor to a boring canned soup. You can also toss a sprig of rosemary or fresh sage into the pot while you heat up the soup.
After it's come to a boil and you've turned it down to a simmer, let it cook for awhile. 10 minutes, 15 minutes... whatever you want. Just know the longer you cook it, the more flavor that will come out of the food and into the soup.What seasoning are good in soup? ›
Blends most suitable for soups include All-Seasons Salt, Celery Salt, Garlic Salt, Herbal Seasoning (no salt), Italian Seasoning, Mexican Seasoning and Onion Salt. Of course, all-purpose and ethnic blends like Italian Seasoning are always good bets, too.What can I add to my chicken soup to give it flavor? ›
Seasoning the Soup: If you feel the soup is missing some zing, add a bit more salt. You can also add a pop of flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce (we use this trick for store-bought stocks and broths often) or Worcestershire sauce.
- Make Extra. Before getting started on your homemade soup, make sure to get enough ingredients to double the recipe. ...
- Make Your Own Stock. ...
- Chop Ingredients Into Bite-Sized Pieces. ...
- Sauté Your Veggies. ...
- Calculate Cook Time. ...
- Let It Simmer. ...
- Add Noodles. ...
- Don't Freeze Noodles.
Always cover your pot if you're trying to keep the heat in. That means that if you're trying to bring something to a simmer or a boil—a pot of water for cooking pasta or blanching vegetables, a batch of soup, or a sauce—put that lid on to save time and energy.Why are soups so comforting? ›
It warms you up from the inside out and makes you feel safe (and comforted), and research even shows it's not all in your head. Studies have found that chicken soup may reduce cold symptoms making it the ultimate healthy, comfort food.Why do I like soup so much? ›
Soup is often associated with being cared for. Over time, the food alone may conjure up feelings of comfort. In one experiment, people either ate chicken noodle soup or not before doing a word-completion task. Those who ate the soup and regarded it as comfort food were more likely to recall relationship words.Can you live on soup? ›
What Experts Say. "The concept of eating soup to lose weight has spanned decades, but experts say an all-soup diet lacks nutrients and is not sustainable. They do agree it can be smart to eat vegetable-packed soups for some meals, though, as these are filling, nutrient-dense, and low in calories."What soups are good for anxiety? ›
Matcha and Mushroom Soup
Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants as well as L-theanine, an amino acid that helps with anxiety and stress relief. Its umami profile goes well with the spinach and mushrooms, too. Speaking of spinach, swap the frozen for fresh, folate-rich greens that regulate mood and energy.
Since soups are mostly liquid, they're a great way to stay hydrated and full. They give your immune system a boost. Soups can help you stave off cold and flu, and they're a great antidote for times when you are sick, too! Most soups are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients.What are the most craved kind of soup? ›
1. Chicken Noodle Soup. Chicken soup has been around since time immemorial and cultures across the world have their own version of this classic comfort food.Why do you spoon soup away from you? ›
Why move the soup further from you when you're trying to bring it to your lips? Spooning it away from you allows any soup that is going to dribble off the spoon to end up back in the bowl on its short journey back across the bowl, instead of on your shirt, blouse, or lap. It definitely helps reduce spills!What foods take away anxiety? ›
- Fatty fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring, are high in omega-3s. ...
- Eggs. ...
- Pumpkin seeds. ...
- Dark chocolate. ...
- Turmeric. ...
- Chamomile. ...
- Yogurt. ...
- Green tea.
Researchers have studied the association between foods and the brain and identified 10 nutrients that can combat depression and boost mood: calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and zinc.