Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
When you want a hot bowl of comfort but don’t want to slave over the stove for hours, this quick and easy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is the perfect choice. It has the simple, clean flavors you expect from this classic, and it’s ready in 30 minutes.
There’s something to be said for the chicken noodle soup that takes 2 days to make, and starts from scratch with the whole bird. But when you’re sick and also the cook of the household, that’s typically not in the cards. You need something easy!
For the past week I’ve been the kind of sick where at times you don’t even feel like you can watch TV on a laptop in bed, and this quick Chicken Noodle Soup has helped me get by. It’s delicious, still homemade, and free of preservatives!
Key Tips for Success for This Recipe
✅ Use a quality chicken broth – I once did a taste test comparing several brands of chicken broth, and the differences were staggering. Since you’re not making the broth yourself from the whole bird, you need to start with a good broth.
✅ Season the soup well – If a soup is underseasoned, it’s difficult for the flavors to come through, even if there is a good mix of vegetables and herbs. The salt helps you taste the flavor.
✅ Use a fresh herb – Soup is a very aromatic food, and herbs are all about aroma and flavor. Rosemary and thyme are my top recommendations.
What’s the difference between broth and stock?
Although many people think of them as interchangeable, it’s best to use broths for homemade soups. Broths are typically made more with meat whereas stocks are made more with bones, giving a different type of mouthfeel. A true broth will give you that classic soup flavor and feel that you’re going for.
When making quick soups like this one where you’re not really simmering anything, it’s important to use a broth that has a lot of flavor to begin with. It’s what lets you get away with such a quick preparation that still tastes delicious. I suggest buying a handful of brands from the store and doing your own taste test. I have found that brands vary hugely in terms of richness and flavor. I tend to like Swanson and Imagine.
Add Whatever Pasta You Prefer
There’s a lot of customization that can happen for this soup overall, but especially with the noodles. You can add any kind of pasta you’d like, like stars, spirals, and more, but I really love a wide pappardelle egg noodle. You could also make it heartier by adding tortellini, like in my Chicken Spinach Tortellini Soup.
How to Make It Step by Step:
To get started, chop some carrots, onion and celery:
I include more carrots and celery than what is traditional for a mirepoix because I love tasting the carrots and celery in every bite.
Sweat the carrots, onion, and celery in a large soup pot with a little bit of fat, salt, and pepper:
Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened:
Next add chicken broth, and your fresh herbs of choice:
Make sure to buy a really good quality chicken broth for this, as the available options vary hugely in quality.
If you google “best tasting chicken broths” you will see lots of posts where people did blind taste tests. My favorite brands are Imagine and Swanson, and I’ve noticed that these tend to rank well for others too.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer:
After 10 minutes of simmering time, I add some finely chopped chicken seasoned with salt and pepper, which cooks very quickly.
I’m using the breast meat here, but boneless skinless thighs are great too, and will be a little bit more tender:
Simmer the chicken for just a couple minutes, until fully cooked through.
You can also just add pre-cooked shredded chicken, either from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or Crockpot Chicken Breast, which I often keep on hand.
As far as the pasta goes, I boil the noodles separately and also store them separately from the liquid, to avoid that mushy disintegrated noodle texture.
You can also use gluten-free pasta, or simply omit the noodles to make it low carb. Enjoy!
What to Serve with This Recipe
- Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Cheddar Scallion Biscuits
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini
- Kale Caesar Salad
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Yes, for up to three months. Leave extra room in the container to allow for expansion of the liquid. Also, chill the soup fully in the fridge before freezing.
It lasts a solid 5 days at a minimum, though I can usually keep it for 7 days in the coldest part of the fridge. I recommend storing the noodles separately.
I recommend boiling the noodles separately and also storing them separately from the liquid, to avoid that mushy disintegrated noodle texture. Add the noodles just before serving.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups chopped celery
- 1.5 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 10 cups chicken broth (I like Imagine Organic and Swanson brands)
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme*
- 3 cups finely chopped chicken breast or thighs seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper
- 8 oz pappardelle egg noodles or other desired noodle, cooked**
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil, celery, carrots, onion, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until softened.
- Add the chicken broth and thyme, bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the chopped chicken and simmer for 3 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.
- Taste the broth and make any necessary seasoning adjustments. Depending on the salt content of the broth you use, it may need additional salt.
- Serve the soup in bowls with a handful of noodles added to each one. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.