Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is the culinary equivalent of a warm hug, made to give you an instant sense of comfort and cure whatever ails you. Everyone needs a go-to from scratch chicken noodle soup recipe, and this is mine.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- The Ideal of Comfort Food. Sure there’s Instant Pot Mac and Cheese and Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, but if we were playing Family Feud and the category was comfort food, I am certain that chicken noodle soup would be the number one answer. It’s the quintessential comforting meal, with unfussy, uncomplicated flavors and plenty of savory satisfaction.
- Just the Right Size for a Single Meal—But Scalable. This chicken noodle soup recipe serves 4, which makes it much less of a project than many other recipes, which serve 8, 10, or even more. That said! If you want to make a big batch and freeze the leftovers, it’s easy to scale this up.
- All-Around Simple. We’re talking simple ingredients and simple technique—this is a great Cooking 101 recipe. It’s also made on the stovetop, which means you don’t need a slow cooker or Instant Pot to make this recipe. (If you do have either of those appliances, check out my Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup and Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.)
- Healthy, Nutritious, and Delicious. Packed full of veggies and lean protein, this homemade chicken noodle soup is a well-rounded meal that the whole family will devour.
- Perfect for Sick Days. It’s not an old wives’ tale—chicken noodle soup really does help with colds. Even better, I add a little hit of fresh ginger to this recipe, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can also ease cold and flu symptoms. (Maybe throw in some extra if you’re really under the weather—or make Instant Pot Carrot Soup with Ginger or a Turmeric Smoothie.)
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup
- Kosher Salt. You’ll need some for the soup and some for cooking the noodles.
- Egg Noodles. I used extra-wide.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Unsalted Butter. Use whichever you prefer, or use half the amount of both.
- Mirepoix. That would be a white onion, carrots, and celery stalks. These form the base of the flavor in your homemade chicken noodle soup.
- Ground Black Pepper. Some extra black pepper will help clear your sinuses if you’ve got a cold!
- Thyme Sprigs. I prefer the flavor of fresh thyme to dried; fresh rosemary sprigs are also nice, even if they’re not the traditional choice. Add a few bay leaves if you happen to have them, but it’s not a must.
- Garlic. Feel free to add another clove or two for a little extra garlic flavor.
- Ginger. Enough to add some interest without overpowering the soup. I love the little bit of zing ginger adds to the equation.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth or Stock. Using a low-sodium broth allows you to control the flavor of the finished soup.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breasts. Thighs will give your soup a richer flavor. You can use bone-in chicken thighs or breasts if you’d like; it just takes a bit more time.
- Lemon Juice. A squeeze of lemon juice adds some bright flavor; it’s also the secret to my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe.
- Fresh Parsley or Thyme. For serving.
- Cook the Noodles. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil.
- Soften the Mirepoix. Sauté until they soften.
- Add the Herbs and Spices. Stir until fragrant.
- Pour in the Broth. Cover the pot and increase the heat.
- Cook the Chicken. Simmer them right in the pot.
- Remove the Cooked Chicken. Dice or shred it.
- Finish. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the lemon juice. Add the noodles, season to taste, and ENJOY!
- Make It Fiery. Add sriracha, cayenne, or red pepper flakes with the ginger and garlic, or serve your homemade chicken noodle soup with chili crisp.
- Make It Creamy. Stir half-and-half into the soup instead of lemon juice—start with 1/2 cup and add up to 3/4 cup, depending on your desired richness (check out my Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup too).
- Make It Low Carb. You can make this a low-carb chicken noodle soup by skipping the egg noodles and substituting bite-size pieces of shirataki noodles, or just skipping the noodles altogether. Zucchini noodles (as seen in my Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles and Zucchini Pasta) are another option.
- To Store. Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best results, store the noodles separately from the soup.
- To Reheat. Reheat the soup in a saucepan set over medium-low heat until warmed through; add the noodles during the last few minutes of cooking time to keep them from getting bloated. You can also reheat the chicken soup in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze the soup without noodles in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 6 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and adding noodles.
Meal Prep Tip
To cut down your prep time, chop the mirepoix ingredients a day ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
What to Serve with Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Salad. You can’t beat a soup-and-salad lunch! Serve your homemade chicken noodle soup with Green Goddess Salad or Arugula Salad.
- Sandwiches. Chickpea Salad Sandwich and Air Fryer Grilled Cheese would both be excellent with this soup.
- Bread. Sop up that broth with a slice of Crock Pot Bread or No Knead Focaccia.
- Crackers. Float some crumbled Ranch Crackers in your bowl—or go with classic oyster crackers for a bit of nostalgia.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Ladle. Makes it easy to serve soup and transfer it to containers for storage.
- Chef’s Knife. A good knife makes prep work a breeze.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to know if your chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t Add All the Noodles If You Plan on Leftovers. Adding all the noodles at once makes them soggy, sad, and bloated when you refrigerate or freeze your leftovers. Only add all the noodles to the pot if you plan on eating all the soup in one sitting. If not, place a portion of noodles in bowls and ladle the soup over the top.
- Start with a Quality Broth. A good broth is essential for a great soup; it’ll add lots of depth of flavor. Homemade broth is spectacular, but that’s not always an option. A low-sodium broth that tastes good enough to sip on—or even better, a chicken bone broth—is a better bet than the inexpensive canned variety or chicken bouillon.
- Scrape Up Any Browned Bits. If there are browned bits at the bottom of the pot after cooking the veggies, congratulations: you have fond! Fond is the name for those browned bits and they’re full of flavor. After adding the broth, use a wooden spoon to scrape them from the bottom and they’ll add some dimension to your homemade chicken noodle soup.
- Add a Parmesan Rind. Yep, the same hack that makes Minestrone Soup and Kale Soup extra delicious works when you’re making chicken noodle soup from scratch! A Parmesan rind adds umami flavor and even thickens the broth a little bit. Just be extra cautious with the amount of salt you add to the recipe, as a Parm rind also makes the broth saltier.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided, plus more for pasta water
- 1 12-ounce bag egg noodles* (I used extra-wide)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion diced (about 2 cups)
- 4 medium carrots diced (about 2 cups)
- 3 celery stalks diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger about 1, 1-inch piece
- 2 quarts 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (use thighs for a richer flavor)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from about 1 small lemon
- Chopped fresh parsley or thyme for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package instructions, then drain and return to the pot. Drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Cover and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch over or similar large pot, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the thyme sprigs, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stir in the chicken broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and increase the heat to bring to a high simmer.
- Add the chicken and return to a high simmer (it should not fully boil). Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (it should reach 165°F on an instant read thermometer). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and dice or shred. Fish out and discard the thyme sprigs.
- Return the chicken to the pot. Add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- If you’ll be serving all of the soup at once: Stir the noodles into the pot with the broth/chicken and ladle into serving bowls. If you know you want leftovers, divided the noodles between bowls, then ladle the broth/chicken mixture over the top (this allows you to store the noodles separately so they don’t become mushy). Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
- *You can use any kind of short noodle you like or have on hand. Use whole wheat for a nutritional boost.
- Love heat? Add sriracha or red pepper flakes.
- TO REFRIGERATE: Store noodles and soup separately to avoid soggy noodles—refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat the soup in a saucepan set over medium-low heat until warmed through; add the noodles during the last few minutes of cooking time to keep them from getting bloated. You can also reheat the chicken soup in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: You can freeze the soup (no noodles) for up to 6 months—if you include the noodles, they will be very mushy and soak up most of the broth.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can put raw chicken in homemade chicken noodle soup! As long as the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it’s absolutely safe to cook the raw chicken directly in the soup.
Make sure you cook the chicken just until it reaches a safe temperature and not any longer. An extended cooking time will result in chewy, rubbery chicken.
Normally I am on Team Add-All-the-Veggies, but chicken noodle soup is an exception. Here, you want to use a light hand because too many vegetables will add a sweetness to the broth that takes away from the savory flavor you expect in a soup like this. If you still want to add some extra veggies, I suggest a green like spinach or kale, not corn, peas, sweet potatoes, or extra onions and carrots.