Chicken Noodle Soup to the rescue! This classic recipe comes together in a hurry, and is the perfect thing to make with leftover chicken. That means you can have a big pot of homemade soup whenever the doctor orders.
Food equals love. Show up at a dear one’s door with a pot of soup and 3-Ingredient Homemade Biscuits, and they’ll feel the love for days to come. Lots of my best soup recipes, like super healthy Chicken Quinoa Soup, anything but boring Mexican Chicken Soup, and one amazing Chicken Pot Pie Soup are waiting in line, begging to be made.
There’s little wonder why Chicken Noodle Soup is the undisputed champion of them all. Every cozy bowl is loaded with tender chicken and egg noodles swimming in a savory broth—just the thing for whatever ails you.
Whether you’re feeling under the weather, or just hangry, all you need is a rotisserie chicken, and you’re more than halfway there. This recipe is as simple as it gets.
Yes, you can use store-bought stock, frozen stock from another chicken recipe, or make your own stock from scratch. And you can make this soup with a whole uncooked chicken, too. It’s a bit more work, but I’d never say no, thank you to a bowl of homemade soup. All the options are included below—just pick one to match what you have on hand.
No matter what, this will be a chicken noodle soup recipe you'll be happy to have.
Making Chicken Noodle Soup for a houseful of sniffly people? Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
What you need to make homemade chicken noodle soup:
Boiled down to the essentials, here’s what you need to make one fantastic soup.
- Chicken. For the fastest soup, make sure it's cooked, then shredded or chopped. (For using raw chicken or chicken parts, see the options below.)
- Olive oil.
- Onion, celery, carrot. Basic mirepoix vegetables.
- Chicken broth. Homemade chicken broth, canned chicken broth, or frozen chicken broth. See below for making your own.
- Thyme (fresh or dried) and a bay leaf.
- Egg noodles. This can be any pasta, ditalini, rotini, farfalle, gluten-free corn noodles, or dumplings. The soup may take longer to cook, depending on what you choose.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Parsley. A bit of fresh green parsley makes all the difference.
How to make Chicken Noodle Soup:
This recipe is easy to double, triple, or quadruple. All you need is a pot big enough—you can freeze or give away what you don’t eat. None of the techniques below give exact quantities, in case you're making a double batch. For details, have a look at the recipe card below for exact amounts.
Option 1: using precooked chicken and broth, fast and easy
- To start, find your biggest soup pot. A Dutch oven or a stock pot with a heavy bottom is best. Heat some olive oil over medium high heat, then sauté the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and celery soften.
- Next, pour in the broth, shredded chicken, thyme, and the bay leaf. Bring the soup to a simmer, and continue to cook until the vegetables are fork-tender. It should only take about 15 minutes!
- Time for the noodles. Add them in dry, and keep simmering until they’re tender. Like extra noodles? Add some, but not too many, otherwise the noodles will soak up all the liquid in the pot. No one wants that.
- Once the noodles are tender, give the soup a final taste, then season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley before serving.
Option 2: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
If you don’t mind waiting, you can certainly make this recipe in the slow cooker. (It takes a lot longer than it does on the stove, though.)
- To start, add the broth, chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, and thyme to the slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or LOW for 6 hours.
- Once the time is up, stir in the egg noodles and cook 15 minutes longer on HIGH until the egg noodles are tender.
Option 3: making the whole soup, broth and all, from a rotisserie chicken
Before you make the soup, you need to make broth with the chicken carcass. This can be done on the stove, or in an Instant Pot. You don’t even need a recipe.
Why make your own chicken broth? Well, it’s economical, thrifty, and always, always makes the best soup. The bones give the soup a rich flavor, and the cartilage breaks down into the broth to make it extra nutritious, too.
You can do it on the stove or in an electric pressure cooker. Before you start, clean off the meat from the chicken carcass and set aside. Once you have your homemade chicken broth, you can follow the recipe for making the soup.
Chicken broth on the stove:
- Place the chicken carcass in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a few more mirepoix vegetables (a stalk of celery, a carrot, onion, and bay leaf) and a few black peppercorns.
- Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for a few hours.
- When ready, pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the stock in a bowl set underneath. You can throw away all the vegetables, bones, skin, and herbs.
- To make low-fat chicken broth, chill the broth overnight and skim off the solidified fat that has risen to the top.
Chicken broth in an Instant Pot:
- First, add the chicken carcass, any aromatic vegetables you want, and cold water to the pressure cooker.
- Then select High Pressure and set timer for 30 minutes. When timer sounds, turn the pressure cooker off and use a natural release.
- When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Let the broth cool for a few minutes—it will be piping hot.
- Then pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer set over another pot. Once drained, throw away the bones, meat, skin, vegetables and herbs, but keep the liquid.
- Use immediately, or cover the bowl and refrigerate. If you prefer, you can skim the fat off of the chilled stock before making the soup.
Storing, freezing, and reheating Chicken Noodle Soup:
Let any leftover soup cool completely, then store in the fridge and eat within 5 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months to have on hand for soup emergencies. As the soup cools, it may thicken into a gel--especially if you used an Instant Pot. Don't worry, it will liquefy again when heated.
Reheat Chicken Noodle Soup on the stove until piping hot and enjoy.
Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
- 3 cups cooked chicken chopped or shredded
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Minced fresh parsley for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in broth, chicken, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley.