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Classic chicken noodle soup recipe

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup is the epitome of the “cure all soup”. It is comforting and delicious, it reminds us of childhood, it is what we crave when we’re under the weather and knowing how to make a good pot of soup from scratch is a good skill to have in your arsenal.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my easy lentil soup and my minestrone soup recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my soup recipes in one place.

pot of soup with ladle

Once you master the basics of making a good pot of soup, it opens up infinite possibilities to all of the variations you can make.

Homemade chicken noodle soup isn’t exactly groundbreaking, earth-shattering, cutting-edge haute cuisine, but something everyone should have in their arsenal. When it’s good, it’s really good and it possesses inexplicable magic.

A good bowl of classic chicken noodle soup can make you feel so much better when you’re not feeling your best. It satisfies your soul and can warm you to the core on a bone-chilling day.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Egg Noodles

There are more variations of this soup out there than one could ever imagine.

Certainly there are faster versions than this, and when I don’t have the time to let my stock simmer all day I put everything in the pot and go from there… but, that being said this is how I prefer to do it as it makes the most intensely “chicken-y” flavored broth. I also like my soup with plenty of noodles and veggies.

ladle of soup over red pot with chicken noodle soup
Ladle of Chicken Noodle Soup

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

For me, this is one of those “base” soups that you can play with. Once you nail down the basic procedure you can start swapping out ingredients, changing up seasonings, vegetables, etc.  

pot of chicken noodle

Add a few stalks of lemongrass to perfume it with a wonderfully fragrant citrus flavor. Then add Asian greens, some shiitakes, swap out egg noodles for small dumplings or udon noodles and you’ve just created a completely different soup.

How to make Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch

The broth (stock) of your soup is the key. It needs time, so don’t rush it. If you give it time to develop there will be a major payoff when it’s done. Season it properly and let the flavors deepen and that soup will banish the memories of any bland, colorless, sad excuse for chicken soup you’ve ever had. 

wide bowl of chicken soup

This is a great task to do ahead of time.  Put the stock on the stove in the morning and go about the day. While the stock is simmering, you can get the laundry done, catch up on episodes of your favorite show, etc. As long as you give it a little attention here and there, you really don’t have to babysit the stock pot. 

The best part of making your stock ahead of time is this – when you want a pot of good soup, you’re already halfway there.  Because you’ve made a good, basic chicken stock, you can make hundreds of different soups with it, like classic chicken noodle soup.

golden chicken broth

What pasta should I use for Classic Chicken Noodle Soup?

This is entirely personal preference.  Some people, like myself, prefer egg noodles, but I’ve had chicken soup with orzo, ditalini, pastini, fideo (spanish-style noodles), vermicelli, etc. Use whatever pasta makes you happy, or whatever you have in the cupboard.  There really isn’t a wrong answer here, as long as you like it.

Essentials for this Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe:

red pot with chicken soup
Pot of Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

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overhead shot of bowl of chicken soup

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Cheryl Bennett
Classic chicken noodle soup from scratch – the perfect comforting, cure-all meal.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 8 hours
Course Soup and Stew Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cups
Calories 642 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Stock:

  • 3 – 4 lbs chicken carcasses necks & backs included, skin and excess fat removed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 onion rough chop
  • 3 carrots rough chop
  • 2 stalks celery rough chop
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic peeled & smashed
  • 1 small bunch thyme

For the soup:

  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 lbs chicken If you are using boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz egg noodles
  • 1 TB canola oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions
 

Make Stock:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer uncovered for 4 – 6 hours.  Stock should not boil, it should be kept at a gentle simmer. Longer is better, you can simmer up to 8 hours if you have the time, but 6 hours will give you a rich, deep stock.
  • Skim the top every 15 – 20 minutes for the first couple of hours, then you will only need to do it a few more times for the remainder of the cooking time.   Skimming the stock will result in a cleaner flavor and clearer broth.  Add hot water to pot as needed to keep chicken and vegetables submerged.
  • Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids.  If not using immediately, cool down and refrigerate.  After it has cooled completely, remove solidified fat from top and discard.

Make Soup:

  • In a large stock pot, heat canola oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute 2 -3 minutes.  Add chicken to pot and saute until lightly browned. Add carrots and celery and saute 2 -3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add stock and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
  • If you are using chicken on the bone, remove from soup and let it cool until you are able to handle it, then remove meat from bone and cut into bite size pieces.
  • Add egg noodles and cook according to package directions, usually 6 – 8 minutes.  Serve & eat!

Notes

Here's a shortcut version:
Heat canola oil in stock pot and sauté onions until they just begin to turn golden brown.  Add chicken pieces and saute until it is nicely browned.
Add 8 cups water and bay leaf.  Let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, skimming the surface as needed.  Remove chicken pieces and let them cool until you are able to handle them.
Add celery and carrots to broth. While they are simmering, take the meat off the bones and cut into bite sized pieces. Add the chicken meat back into the soup and add noodles. Cook another 6 – 8 minutes until noodles are done.
Here's an even QUICKER version: Buy stock at the store and a rotisserie chicken. Pull the meat from the chicken and add it to the soup at the very end, just to warm it through. Super speedy, which is what you need if you're feeling under the weather.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 642kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 173gFat: 94gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 58gCholesterol: 661mgSodium: 841mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day!

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Questions? Send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’d love to send you weekly tips and recipes, so you can get updates about what’s happening in the kitchen!

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2 Comments

  1. My mom wanted chicken noodle soup and cannot have canned soup so I pulled up this recipe. I was short on time so I used the short version— I bought stock and Rotisserie chicken.. the cook time is perfect for a busy schedule. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing Pook’s Pantry!!

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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