Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is a healthy, nutritious, and classic soup recipe that’s loaded with chicken and vegetables. This chicken noodle is made completely from scratch using homemade chicken stock.
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There’s nothing that can possibly make me feel better than a bowl of freshly made chicken noodle soup! At the first sign of a cold, all I want is a bowl of homemade soup and my favorite blanket.
It’s not just the feeling of comfort that this soup brings, it’s actually loaded with vitamins and nutrients that help your body be strong while it’s fighting the virus. It all starts with homemade chicken stock, which is made with bone-in chicken and vegetables. Using chicken legs and thighs with bones to make the stock is the best way to get extra flavor and extra nutrients into the soup.
While there are some shortcuts you can take with chicken noodle soup (store-bought broth, a rotisserie chicken, etc.) it’s really the best when it’s made from scratch with lots of love. Once you enjoy your first spoonful of this at-home recipe, you’ll see exactly what I mean!
Chicken Stock – Learn all about how to make your own chicken stock and why it’s so good for you (and good tasting)!
Chicken – I like to use the chicken reserved from making the stock. If using store-bought stock, then you can also use shredded rotisserie chicken instead.
Egg Noodles – These are the best noodles to use in a soup because they absorb the broth well while holding the shape. If you plan on freezing the soup, do not add the pasta.
Vegetables – Classic chicken noodle soup features onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Head down to the FAQ section to see what other veggies you can toss in!
Lemon – Trust me, adding lemon juice to your chicken noodle soup at the end is a total game changer.
Fresh Herbs – You’ll need both parsley and dill weed for the very best flavor.
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to Make Chicken Stock
Homemade Chicken Stock is the best possible base for most soups, especially chicken noodle soup. You can easily prepare it ahead of time and keep some in the freezer for those days when you want to make soup quickly. Besides making the stock, chicken noodle soup only takes 30-40 minutes.
Choose any cut of chicken legs or even a whole chicken. Preheat a large pot over medium heat and sear chicken with a little oil until it’s golden brown. Add the vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, salt, and water to the pot. Bring it to boil and reduce heat to low. Cook slowly for 4-6 hours, half the time with the lid of and half off.
Strain the stock through a fine strainer when it’s ready and make sure to save chicken meat for the soup. Discard leftover vegetables, herbs, chicken bones, and skin.
Stock and chicken meat can be frozen separately to be used later.
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup
Cook the veggies and add the chicken. Preheat a large pot over medium-low heat and oil and diced onions, celery, and carrots. Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, until softened (1) and raise the heat to medium. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant. Shred or dice chicken meat saved from cooking the stock and add it to the pot (2).
PRO TIP: Many soups, including this one, start with the same base of onions, celery, and carrots. This base is called soffritto (or mirepoix in some regions) and it consists of finely diced onions, celery, and carrots that are first sweated until softened and then remaining ingredients are added.
Cover and cook. Pour in stock and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to always taste as you cook to see if the soup has enough salt. Cook the soup over medium heat for about 15 minutes and add noodles and fresh herbs (2). Stir and let the soup cook just until noodles are tender.
Enjoy! As a finishing touch, squeeze in juice from 1 lemon (3), stir, and serve.
Tips to Make this Soup the Best
Homemade Stock – Homemade is always the best because you know exactly what goes into the dish. It can be adjusted to your personal taste, and it’s actually cheaper! Homemade stock will truly make your soups taste better and again, it’s easy to keep some in the freezer to use when needed.
Fresh Herbs – Using fresh herbs over dried ones will give your soup strong, fresh taste and aroma. When possible, I always recommend using fresh herbs. If there are leftover herbs, mince and freeze it in freezer bags. You can also keep the bunch of leftover parsley, cilantro, dill weed, and green onion in a cup of water in the refrigerator and use through the week. Just make sure to change the water.
Lemon – A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a game changer in chicken noodle soup. It enhances all the flavors in the soup and adds a fresh, citrusy touch.
Egg noodles go very well in clear broth soups because they are great at absorbing the flavor, but at the same time, they don’t get mushy as fast. These are the best noodles to hold up in a chicken soup.
If you don’t like your noodles to be too soft, cook them al dente and take the soup off heat. Serve the soup right away.
If you are making the whole batch but know you will have leftovers, take out half (or however much you wish to save) of soup from the pot and set it aside to save. Add just enough noodles for the servings you need at the moment and cook the noodles in the remaining soup in the pot.
Save the soup you took out without the noodles. You can cook the noodles in the saved soup when you’re ready to have more.
It’s best to cook the noodles in soup because they will absorb all the flavors, as opposed to making them separately. So, it’s easier to take out half the soup and cook it with noodles another time.
Absolutely! Feel free to add more veggies to the soup, but dice them small so you get a nice and even look on them as well as an even bite. Grab your veggie inspiration from my Vegetable Soup and add veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, kale, spinach, corn, peas, and more.
How to Store Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup should be stored in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator. Properly stored, refrigerated soup will last 3-4 days.
PRO TIP: Add noodles to the soup during the last few minutes of cooking so they stay tender. If you’re not eating all the soup at one time, the noodles will soak up the broth and become softer. Most people don’t mind softer noodles but if you do, you can cook noodles in chicken stock separately and add them directly to the bowl.
How to Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup
You can freeze all of the soup or a portion of it, just make sure to freeze it without noodles.
It’s best to get the soup cooled as quickly as possible before freezing it. Place the pot with stock into a larger container filled with ice and let it cool, stirring occasionally. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, portion it into freezer zip-lock bags or plastic containers with air-tight lids. Get the air out and seal.
Label and date each bag and container and place it in the freezer. If using freezer bags, lay them down on a cutting board to freeze evenly. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Thaw soup overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat soup, pour it into a pot and heat it through over medium heat. Add noodles and cook until noodles are tender.
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Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- 8-9 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 long celery ribs
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken meat saved from cooking stock
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh minced dill weed
- 1/2-1 lemon – juice only
- 8 oz wide egg noodles
- Prepare chicken stock according to the recipe. Chicken stock can easily be made ahead a day before or made ahead and frozen. Make sure to save the chicken meat from cooking the stock. Chicken meat can be frozen as well, in a freezer zip-top bag, separately from the stock.
Chicken Noodle Soup:
- Preheat a large pot over medium-low heat and add oil and diced onions, celery, and carrots. Stir and cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, until softened, and raise the heat to medium.
- Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant. Shred or dice chicken meat saved from cooking the stock and add it to the pot.
- Pour in stock and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to always taste as you cook to see if the soup has enough salt.
- Cook the soup over medium heat for about 15 minutes and add noodles and fresh herbs. Stir and let the soup cook just until noodles are tender.
- Squeeze in juice from 1 lemon, stir, and serve.
- NOTE: see the post for storing and freezing instructions.
- Gluten free note: this soup is completely gluten free is NOT using the egg noodles. Egg noodles are not gluten free but feel free to use your favorite gluten free pasta instead!
- Lemon: DO finish the soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, this is a game changer!
- Preserving fresh herbs: You can keep the bunch of leftover parsley, cilantro, dill weed, and green onion in a cup of water in the refrigerator and use through the week. Just make sure to change the water. Or, you can wrap them in damp paper towel and keep them in the refrigerator, closed in a zip-top bag for about a week.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles in August 2018.