Our Favorite Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Our favorite creamy chicken noodle soup! We took our popular chicken noodle soup recipe and tweaked it to make it deliciously creamy. Bonus, you can make this soup from scratch in under 45 minutes! Jump to the Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Since sharing our original chicken soup with you, so many of you have made it and commented on how much you love it. So many of you have shared your love of that classic, brothy soup that we want to share a creamy version with you.
This luscious and creamy soup is just as straightforward to make as the original, and it tastes just as wonderful. The broth is ever so slightly thickened, making it silky, and we add a generous pour of cream towards to end. It’s mouthwatering.
Our Tips for the Best Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Use good-quality chicken broth. While I wish we had homemade chicken broth in our freezer all the time, we don’t. So when reaching for store-bought broth, we go for low-sodium. We also look for a store-bought broth that’s darker in color (usually means more flavor), and since I know it usually has more of a backbone, I like to buy boxed bone broth (we use homemade bone broth sometimes, too). I also enjoyed the broth made with a jarred bouillon base; make sure you use the low sodium option.
Use chicken thighs. We talked about this in our article for making the best chicken soup. Chicken thighs have more fat and flavor than chicken breast, making them perfect for this soup. I also prefer the texture of thigh meat in soups since it is impossible to prevent overcooking the chicken as it simmers away on the stove.
Don’t thicken the broth too much. Some creamy chicken soups are so thick that they remind me of pudding. If that’s the soup you are after, we will have to agree to disagree. For this creamy soup, we thicken the broth with a mixture of butter and flour until it’s silky and ever so slightly thicker than plain broth. Then to add richness, we use cream to finish the soup.
Use cream. I’ve made the mistake of using milk instead of cream in this soup, and I’m here to tell you that it isn’t a good idea. Milk has less fat than cream, so it has an increased risk of breaking (or curdling). This happened to me when I ran out of cream and reached for milk instead. I was careful not to boil the milk (which leads to curdled milk), but the milk curdled anyway, ruining my soup. Milk also fails to add the richness of the cream. If you don’t have cream, the next best option is half-and-half (a 50-50 blend of cream and milk).
Make-Ahead and Storing Tips
The soup can be made and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and frozen for three months.
If you are not planning on enjoying the soup straight away or plan to freeze it, you might want to hold off on adding the noodles. As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the broth. You can deal with this in two ways:
- When reheating the soup, add more broth/stock to the pot. Water is fine, too. As long as you don’t need to add a lot, it won’t thin the soup’s flavor too much.
- When making the soup ahead of time, leave the noodles out for the freshest, least soggy noodles, then refrigerate or freeze the soup. When ready to reheat, bring the soup to a low simmer and add dried noodles. Cook until they are done and enjoy.
Our Favorite Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Our favorite creamy chicken noodle soup! We took our easy chicken noodle soup recipe and tweaked it to make it deliciously creamy. Bonus, you can make this soup from scratch in under 45 minutes!
Note: Some creamy chicken soups are so thick that they remind me of pudding. If that’s the soup you are after, we will have to agree to disagree. For this creamy soup, we thicken the broth with a mixture of butter and flour until it’s silky and ever so slightly thicker than plain broth. Then to add richness, we use cream to finish the soup.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
3 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)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)
6 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock
5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch or two crushed red chili peppers, optional for heat
Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook while stirring it around the pan for about 2 minutes.
Add the thyme and bay leaves, then, while stirring, pour in the chicken stock. Bring the soup to a low simmer, taste it, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add one or more teaspoons of salt.
Submerge 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. (If, during this time, the broth seems low, add a splash more stock or a bit of water and reduce the heat a little.)
Transfer 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.
While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot with the parsley and cream. Taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed (we enjoy this soup with a generous amount of pepper or a pinch of crushed red peppers stirred in).
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Refrigerating the 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 the 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 dash of fish sauce (we use this trick for store-bought stocks and broths often) or Worcestershire sauce.
- Gluten-free option: Skip the flour all together and at the end of the recipe, just before you stir in the chicken, parsley, and cream, whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, and then whisk into the soup. Bring the soup to a simmer and when it has thickened slightly, continue with the recipe as normal and add the chicken, cream, and parsley.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.