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Learn how to make homemade chicken noodle soup from a whole chicken. This from scratch chicken soup is easier than you think!
It had been quite awhile since I’d made homemade chicken noodle soup. I often make chicken and noodles, Bob Evans style…but chicken noodle soup from scratch? It’s a good one that I shouldn’t have set aside for so long.
Is chicken noodle soup really good for you?
Chicken soup is a well-known comfort food, especially when you are sick. So is chicken noodle soup really a good fix when a cold hits? The answer is yes! And here’s why:
The warm broth can help with congestion. Plus if you use a whole chicken you get some of those nutrients from the bone as the broth simmers.
The salt can soothe a sore throat.
You’ve got protein from the chicken and some nutrients from the veggies.
Chicken Soup with a Whole Chicken
Chicken isn’t one of my favorite meats to work with, but for some reason when I buy a whole chicken and boil it down for that delicious fork-tender meat, it isn’t so bad. This homemade chicken noodle soup starts with a whole chicken, about 4-5 pounds. I find whole chickens to be one of the cheapest ways to buy chicken. And the meat is soooo good because you get both that dark and white meat.
Stock up on those whole chickens when they are on sale. They are great for so many things!
**Pro Tip: Look for a chicken that is labeled “roasting hen” or “stewing hen”. They have more fat and will make a more flavorful broth.**
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup
We cook our soup in a large dutch oven. Choose a pot with a cover so that you can simmer with the cover on. Place the chicken in the pot.
Pour about 8 cups of water over the top. This will depend on the size of your dutch oven or stock pot, but be sure to cover the chicken at least about ¾ of the way.
Add the onion, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat.
Simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender. Ours took about 90 minutes. You want it to be fork-tender.
Remove the chicken from the broth and allow it to cool.
Measure the broth to make sure you have at least 6 cups of liquid. If you don’t, add additional chicken broth to make 6 cups. (We had to add about 1 cup, but this will vary, so just measure it out.)
Add the carrots, celery and onion to the broth. Bring it to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, add the noodles and cook about 8 minutes until the noodles are tender. (Check the back of the bag of noodles you chose. We used egg noodles so they took about 8 minutes to cook.)
While the noodles are cooking, remove the meat from the bones. You should have about 4 cups of meat. Discard the bones and skin. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces.
After the noodles are cooked, stir in the chicken and fresh parsley.
Do you cover chicken soup while cooking?
We covered the whole chicken while it was cooking to help it to cook more quickly, but while the noodles and veggies are cooking, there is no need to cover it.
What can I add to my chicken noodle soup for flavor?
We like adding just a sprinkle of parsley, onion,s salt and pepper for a very mild flavor. If you’d like more of a kick, here are a few other spices or additions to try:
Minced garlic. Garlic is always a good idea, right?
Thyme can give a warm, deeper flavor.
Basil gives an Italian flair.
Cayenne pepper adds a little heat.
Rosemary can bring a comforting taste.
Can you freeze chicken noodle soup?
Noodles can become mushy if you freeze the soup after you’ve cooked it all. If you want to freezer prep some soup for future meals, I recommend putting the soup together EXCEPT for the noodles. When you want to cook the soup, allow the soup base to defrost, then add in the noodles and serve. This method will yield the best results.
How do you make chicken noodle soup in the crockpot?
If you’d like to make this soup in the slow cooker, you can! You’ll need to plan a full day and be there to remove the chicken & add other ingredients. It’s not exactly a “fix and forget” meal in the slow cooker, but it will work!
Place the whole chicken in the slow cooker and cover with water. Add the salt, pepper and onion. Cover and set on high to cook for at least 2 hours or until the meat is fall off the bone tender.
Remove the chicken from the broth and allow it to cool. (Shred the chicken once it is cool. Then cover and refrigerate it until later.)
Measure the broth to make sure you have at least 6 cups of liquid. If you don’t, add additional chicken broth to make 6 cups.
Add the carrots, celery and onion to the broth. Cook for 3-4 hours on low.
Add the noodles and shredded chicken back into the soup slow cooker.
Allow the soup to heat through and the noodles to cook on low for about 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
I tried this recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup and it’s the best I’ve ever had. I used breasts & thighs I had on hand rather than roasting a whole hen. This one is a keeper!
My husband and I just LOVE this recipe. He’s a fantastic cook and he simmers his stock slowly and painstakingly, but he says my soup (made from this recipe) is better! One question for you: I see a bay leaf in the ingredient list, but I don’t see any mention in the instructions for when it goes into the pot. I’m thinking it’s probably right at the beginning, to give that distinctive flavor to the stock, but if that’s not right, please let me know. Thanks for this great recipe!