Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Sit down, rest yourself a moment, and settle in with a warm bowl of Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. It won’t demand much from you, just a quick 15 minutes of ingredient prep, and you’ll be rewarded by soul-soothing spoonfuls of nourishing, healthy goodness.
Are you tired today? I am. I realize that “tired” is a pretty lame way to describe yourself, because really who isn’t? It has all the impact of saying you are “busy.” Aren’t we all?
Trite though these adjectives may be, tired and busy are how I’m feeling right now, and Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is the recipe I need. Life these last few weeks has been full. In the last six days, I’ve been to Spain, attended an a cappella Christmas concert put on by these guys, attended two holiday parties, spoken on a panel at a local college, brunched, hosted two separate couples for drinks and dinner, and tested five blog recipes, and worked on my cookbook manuscript. It’s been fabulous and exhausting.
I need to start getting some sleep soon, especially since the more tired I am, the greater my tendency is to cry at the drop of a hat. With all of the cheesy Christmas movies I have DVRed right now, if I’m not careful, I’m going to sob through every box of Kleenex west of the Mississippi.
Thankfully, I have this easy Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. Its breezy 15-minute prep time means I can spend less time cooking and more time sleeping (or watching the aforementioned cheesy movies).
This soup also tastes wonderful leftover. Make it once, and enjoy having a healthy, warming meal on hand whenever you need it.
Though the activities that fill your day will look different than mine, let this Instant Pot chicken vegetable soup be there for you at the end of it too.
If you’re feeling tired and run down, it will give you comfort and respite. If you are feeling upbeat and well rested, it will keep your momentum strong. If you’re somewhere in between, then it will tip the scale in your favor.
In the flavor department, this Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is full-on classic. It’s clean, cozy, and the kind of thing I like to eat when I want my dinner to give me a hug.
Fresh thyme and bay leaves make this soup stand out above other run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup recipes you may have tried, as does the method of pressure cooking.
How Do You Pressure Cook Chicken Noodle Soup?
The Instant Pot makes this soup incredibly weeknight friendly, because every element of it from the veggies, to the chicken, to the noodles cooks in the Instant Pot from start to finish.
A quick breakdown of the recipe steps:
- Begin by sautéing the veggies. I like a mix of butter and olive oil, though you can use all of one or all of the other if you prefer.
- Add in the herbs, seasonings, and water.
- Place the chicken pieces on top.
- Close and cook. Once the Instant Pot comes to pressure, cook the chicken soup in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Open, remove and shred the chicken, and stir in the uncooked noodles.
- Five minutes later, the noodles will be perfectly al dente, the chicken juicy, and your soup ready to serve!
I elected to make this Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup with chicken breasts, though you can swap thighs if you prefer. My one pinky-out directive is that you use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs.
Not only is bone-in chicken more tender, but the bones themselves help to flavor the broth, making this recipe the best Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup with chicken breasts (or thighs) that you’ll try.
If you prefer to make this Instant Pot chicken soup with cooked chicken that you already have on hand, this is an option as well. To do so, omit the bone-in chicken from the recipe, then stir the cooked, shredded chicken into the soup at the very end. (Related tip: How to Cook Shredded Chicken). This Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup also uses cooked chicken, and it’s a great option for those who don’t own an Instant Pot.
My preference for Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is bone-in chicken as the recipe directs. Cooking the chicken in the broth helps to flavor it, but know that using already cooked chicken is an option if it is helpful for you.
Raise your bowls: to healthy Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, cheesy movies, and an early bedtime tonight!
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, or a mix
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion — chopped
- 1 pound carrots — peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices
- 3 medium stalks celery — cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt — plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups water — plus additional as needed
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles — about 3 3/4 ounces
- Chopped fresh parsley
Carefully remove the skin from the chicken. If your chicken breasts are very large (more than 1 pound each), use a very sharp knife to carefully slice them in half crosswise through the bone. Set aside.
Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Add the olive oil and butter.
Once the butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens and becomes translucent.
Stir in the salt, pepper, and oregano. Place the thyme and bay leaf on top. Pour in the chicken broth and 3 cups water. Gently add the chicken pieces.
Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure (manual) for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then immediately vent to release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid.
Remove the chicken and transfer it to a cutting board. Pick out the thyme stems and bay leaf and discard. Turn the Instant Pot to saute (you will need to press “cancel” first).
Add the noodles. Let cook, uncovered, until noodles are al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes.
While the noodles cook, shred the chicken and discard the bones. Once the noodles are done, turn off the Instant Pot. Stir in the parsley and shredded chicken. If you’d like a more brothy, thinner soup, stir in additional water until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Enjoy hot with an extra sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 of 6) — Calories: 403, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 32g
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