The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup is a quintessential comfort food, perfect for chilly weather or when you need a warm, nourishing boost. This classic soup combines tender chicken, aromatic vegetables, and hearty noodles in a rich, flavorful broth, making it a favorite for all ages.

Choosing Ingredients:

  • Chicken: Bone-in chicken thighs are ideal for a flavorful broth, but you can substitute with chicken breasts for a leaner option or use a whole chicken for more depth.
  • Vegetables: Opt for fresh carrots, onions, and celery. Freshness is key to a vibrant taste.
  • Herbs and Seasonings: Fresh garlic and thyme enhance the soup’s aroma. While fresh thyme is preferable, dried thyme is an excellent substitute. Lemon juice adds a bright note, and parsley provides freshness and color.
  • Noodles: Kluski or egg noodles add texture and heartiness. Substitute with any egg noodle or broken pieces of pasta like fettuccine if kluski noodles are unavailable.

Preparation and Cooking Tips:

  1. Meat Preparation: Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear until golden brown for added flavor.
  2. Vegetable Sauté: Cook onions until soft, then add garlic for aroma.
  3. Broth Making: Combine seared chicken with vegetables and herbs. Simmer until the chicken is cooked and flavors are infused.
  4. Noodle Cooking: Add noodles towards the end to maintain their texture.
  5. Final Touches: Shred the chicken and return it to the pot. Add lemon juice and parsley for a refreshing twist. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Gluten-Free Option: Replace noodles with rice or gluten-free pasta.
  • Creamy Version: Swirl in cream or sour cream before serving.
  • Vegetable Variations: Add mushrooms, peas, spinach, or other preferred vegetables for extra nutrition and flavor.

All I wanted to eat during my first Wisconsin winter was homemade chicken noodle soup. This is my favorite chicken noodle soup recipe out of all the ones I’ve tried, and it’s on repeat from November to April. It has a large number of ardent fans.

Prep: 15 min.

Cook: 45 min.

Servings: 10 (about 3-1/2 quarts)


1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups uncooked kluski or other egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: Additional salt and pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
10 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes, in batches, skin side down. Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the skin. 2 tablespoons of the drippings should be saved and discarded.

Cook and toss the onion in the drippings until it is soft, about 4-5 minutes. Cook for a further minute after adding the garlic. Stir in the broth to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a boil. Put the chicken back in the pan. Celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme are added to the pot. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

Place the chicken on a plate. Take the soup off the heat. Cover and let aside for 20-22 minutes, or until noodles are cooked.

Meanwhile, remove the meat from the bones when the chicken is cool enough to handle; discard the bones. Meat should be shredded into bite-sized pieces. Put the meat back in the stockpot. Combine parsley and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if required. Bay leaves should be discarded.

Nutrition Facts:

1-1/3 cups: 239 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 1176mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 18g protein.


1. What can I add to chicken noodle soup to make it taste even better?

Cooking your chicken in broth adds a lot of flavor to it. Add one tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules to boost it up a notch. Saving your chicken bones and vegetable scraps to prepare broth for your next soup is a great idea!

2. What’s the best way to keep chicken tender?

Remove the chicken from the soup when it is tender to avoid it drying out. Allow it cool before shredding and setting aside while you finish your soup. When you’re ready to dine, return the chicken to the heated soup. You may also velvet your chicken to make it even more tender!

3. Can I use chicken breasts in this soup?

Yes! Replace the chicken thighs with bone-in chicken breasts if desired. Set the chicken on a plate to cool and shred once it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. These simple chicken breast dishes will help you use up the remains of your chicken breasts.

4. Is chicken noodle soup healthy?

Not only is chicken noodle soup delicious, but it’s also healthy! It’s high in protein and vegetables, and it’ll keep you hydrated if you’re feeling under the weather. Warm up with these foods to eat when you’re sick if you’re feeling under the weather!

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