Ultra-Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my all-time favorite chicken noodle soup recipe. It is SO good and the only recipe you’ll ever need. Our family has been making this for years! It’s healthy and satisfying, and the flavor is out of this world. I also love that you can make this chicken noodle soup from scratch in under 40 minutes!

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe Video

This recipe makes me smile just thinking about it! This is my go-to soup whenever it’s chilly or someone in the family is sick.

It’s way better than the canned stuff and it’s FAST! The secret is flavorful chicken thighs! They make a ridiculously flavorful broth and mean we have homemade chicken noodle soup ready in under 40 minutes (and most of that is hands-off!).

Bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs: My secret for the best soup! Chicken thighs get super soft and delicious.
  • Chicken stock: I highly recommend homemade chicken stock or chicken broth, but store-bought works! When shopping for stock, darker broth or bouillon usually means more flavor. I also love boxed bone broths (or you can make your own).
  • Egg noodles: I love them, but you can always substitute your favorite pasta.
  • Veggies: I keep it simple with onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.
  • Thyme, Bay leaves and parsley: All three are classic flavors for chicken soup.

How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup

I start by sweating my veggies in some butter. I’m not looking to brown them. I just want to give them a head start before adding the broth. Next, I add my broth and taste for seasoning. Now is a great time to see if your broth needs salt. Seasoning early on is always a great idea.

Step for making chicken noodle soup - cooking onion, carrot and celery in a pot

When I’m happy with my broth, it’s time to add the chicken thighs. We gently poach them in the broth, which adds flavor to the soup and keeps our chicken juicy and tender. After 20 minutes, the chicken will be cooked so we can remove it and shred it. I toss in my noodles and the shredded chicken along with some fresh parsley. This soup is so simple to make and tastes amazing!

Pot of homemade chicken noodle soup

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe Variations

  • Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup: Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream or half-and-half, like in this creamy chicken noodle.
  • Add Lemon: Add 3 to 4 lemon slices, similar to this lemony chicken soup.
  • Mexican-Inspired Soup: Add 3 or 4 slices of lime, use rice instead of noodles, swap the parsley for fresh cilantro, and then add diced tomatoes and cubed avocado. You can even add diced corn tortillas as we do for this chicken tortilla soup.
  • Add Umami: Add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, mushroom powder, or a few dashes of fish sauce for an ultra-satisfying, umami-packed soup.
  • Add More Veggies: Swirl in fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking for more of a vegetable-heavy soup.
  • Substitute the Noodles: Try potatoes, winter squash, rice, quinoa, or grains. Add hearty veggies (like potatoes) to the pot along with the onions and carrots. When it comes to rice and grains, add them already cooked.
  • Use Tortellini: I love using cheese-filled pasta when making this veggie tortellini soup.
Serving chicken noodle soup

Make Ahead and Storing Tips

To Make Ahead: Make the recipe below, but do not add the noodles. Refrigerate or freeze the soup. When you are ready to reheat, bring the soup to a low simmer and add dried noodles. Cook until they are done, and enjoy.

Storing in the Fridge: Chicken noodle soup can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the broth. If making ahead, leave out the noodles. If storing leftover soup with noodles, when you reheat, add a splash of extra broth or water.

Storing in the Freezer: Chicken noodle soup can be made and and frozen for up to 3 months.

More Homemade Soup Recipes

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Ultra-Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

You will love this homemade chicken noodle soup that skips cooking a whole chicken and calls on boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The soup tastes incredible, satisfying, and classic. The significantly reduced cooking time makes this the best chicken noodle soup for a weeknight.

Makes 6 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)

5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)

2 tablespoons butter, chicken fat or olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)

Heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme or use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Water or more stock, as needed

Directions

    1Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes.

    2Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.

    3Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Taste the soup then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt.

    4Submerge the chicken thighs into the soup so that the broth covers them. Bring the soup back to a low simmer then partially cover the pot with a lid and cook, stirring a few times until the chicken thighs are cooked through; about 20 minutes.

    5If, during this time, the broth seems low, add a splash more stock or a bit of water. Turn the heat to medium-low.

    6Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Stir the noodles into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.

    7While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot and then taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Refrigerating Chicken Noodle Soup: As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the soup broth. When reheating, add a splash of extra chicken stock or if you don’t have any, water.
  • Freezing Chicken Noodle Soup: The noodles don’t fare too well when frozen. If you plan on freezing the soup, remove the portion of soup you plan to freeze before adding the noodles. Freeze the broth, chicken, and vegetables. When you are ready to reheat the soup, add dried noodles to the soup and simmer until done.
  • Seasoning the Soup: If you feel the soup is missing some zing, add a bit more salt. You can also add a pop of flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce (we use this trick for store-bought stocks and broths often) or Worcestershire sauce.
  • Using Rotisserie Chicken: Add two to three cups of shredded or diced cooked chicken to the soup when you add the dried noodles and reduce the simmer time by 10 minutes.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 298 / Total Fat 11.4g / Saturated Fat 4.4g / Cholesterol 97.7mg / Sodium 748.7mg / Carbohydrate 22.9g / Dietary Fiber 1.7g / Total Sugars 7.5g / Protein 24.8g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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378 comments… Leave a Review
  • Kimberly M Smith April 28, 2024, 3:14 pm

    This is by far, sorry mom, the best chicken noodle soup recipe ever. I follow it exactly, but I put a little cilantro in my personal bowl. I have made this at least 10 times in the last year and I normally have to double it for me and my husband And either triple or quadruple it if family and friends find out I’m making it. Thank you so much for sharing. I would not change a thing in this recipe.

    Reply
    • Joanne April 29, 2024, 1:18 pm

      Wow, thank you so much for the kind comment! So happy you found our recipe.

      Reply
  • Moira Pryde April 15, 2024, 11:20 am

    Second time at this wonderful soup, added sweetcorn and mushrooms this time thank you for this recipe

    Reply
  • Daisy April 9, 2024, 5:03 pm

    I have cooked this soup one time. I followed the recipe to the T. It was great. And so easy. So much flavor. I left the noodles out and added some potatos. Going to cook another double pot today.

    Reply
    • Joanne April 9, 2024, 6:40 pm

      This is wonderful, Daisy. I am so happy you gave our recipe a try.

      Reply
  • Lise March 23, 2024, 10:55 pm

    Delicious! Made this for my very sick wife

    Reply
    • Joanne March 28, 2024, 5:47 pm

      Hi Lise, I’m so happy it worked well for you. Hopefully your wife feels better soon!

      Reply
  • Michael A Ramsey March 13, 2024, 12:15 pm

    This soup is great and easy to make

    Reply
    • Joanne March 28, 2024, 5:47 pm

      So happy to read that, Michael.

      Reply
  • Robin March 8, 2024, 1:40 am

    Very tasty 😋 and so simple to make!! I followed the recipe almost exactly 😏 except instead of pasta I precooked 1/4cup if Pearl Barley and added it in. Loved it! Will definitely be making it again soon. Thank you 😊

    Reply
    • Joanne March 11, 2024, 3:17 pm

      Love your addition of barley! Thanks for coming back and sharing!

      Reply
  • Robin March 6, 2024, 11:33 pm

    Delicious tasting! Easy to follow instructions! Followed the recipe as is except I cooked 1/4cup of pearl barley in a side pot Th added it in instead of pasta and it’s so good! I can’t wait to bless my unwell in-laws with this some soup 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanne March 11, 2024, 3:18 pm

      Wonderful! We are so happy you enjoyed the recipe.

      Reply
  • kim March 2, 2024, 3:05 pm

    I follow this to a “t”, I hand it out to everyone when I can (including wedding gifts), I swear it cures illnesses, and my kids love it. I do rinse noodles because I let them sit a bit before putting them in so they don’t “mushify”. I eat it cold and hot. Probably my fave recipe ever.

    Reply
    • Joanne March 11, 2024, 3:19 pm

      Wow, such an amazing compliment! Thanks, Kim!

      Reply
  • Lorraine Runstedler February 29, 2024, 3:29 pm

    Hey you guys – wonderful soup – just finished making it – it is to die for! Instead of using noodles, I had some Gnocchi in the freezer – it is an Italian potato dumpling (sounds like Knock EE) (lol) – thanks for your delicious recipe – from Canada!

    Reply
    • Joanne March 11, 2024, 3:19 pm

      I love that you added Gnocchi! We actually have a recipe for Homemade Gnocchi if you ever want to try making it yourself.

      Reply

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