This creamy chicken noodle soup recipe is easy to make from scratch in the crock pot or on the stovetop.  This healthy, lightened up version is the best soup for colds, since the homemade chicken broth has immune boosting properties that aid in the healing process.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
person holding a spoonful of creamy chicken noodle soup
Soups & Stews

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

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This post was originally published on November 9, 2017.

A month after my beautiful Bookworm Beth was born, a church friend gave me a big container of creamy chicken noodle soup.  We quickly devoured it all up, and I had to have the recipe. 

Over the years, I have tweaked it by changing some of the spices, omitting the bouillon cubes, adding garlic, sautéing the vegetables, and blooming the spices.  I also prefer to cook the noodles separately, as they tend to swell up if left in the soup.

bowl of chicken noodle soup with spoon

How to lighten up chicken noodle soup?

  • Don’t add any milk or cream.
  • Use evaporated milk.
  • Use coconut milk.

How many calories are in chicken noodle soup?

For 1 1/4 cups of soup, our recipe has 222 calories and 8.4g of fat.  It is also high in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.  For more nutritional information, scroll past the recipe card.

bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup with bread

How do you thicken chicken noodle soup?

Our recipe doesn’t use a thickening agent, as we wanted the broth to be thinner.  If you’d like your soup thicker, here’s some options.

  • Use a roux.  Sprinkle flour over the sauteed vegetables and the spices and let it cook 2 minutes while stirring.
  • Make a slurry of cornstarch or arrowroot in a bowl with 1 cup of hot broth.  Whisk until smooth, then mix into the soup.
  • Add diced potato.  Add 1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced potatoes to the soup.  As it cooks, the starch from the potato will help thicken the soup.

What ingredients are in chicken noodle soup?

  • Broth: homemade is best, but use store bought when in a pinch.
  • Vegetables: onion, carrot, and celery that are sautéed in oil or butter.
  • Spices: keep it simple or go wild.  Some suggestions are oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
  • Noodles: egg noodles are traditional, but feel free to use rotini, mini lasagna noodles, zucchini, or sweet potato noodles.
  • Chicken: use roasted, poached, or rotisserie chicken that’s been shredded or chopped.
  • Garnish:  freshly grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper, or parsley are tasty options.

person holding a bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup

Why cook the noodles separately?

If you know you’ll be eating your soup later in the day or that you’ll have leftovers, it is best to cook the noodles separately.  This way, the noodles will stay fresh and won’t be overcooked or soggy. 

With time, noodles that are in the soup will soak up more broth, swell, and become soggy.  If this doesn’t bother you, then add your uncooked noodles directly to the soup.

How long does chicken noodle soup last in the fridge?

If the soup is stored in an airtight container, it should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Feel free to make a big batch!

person holding a spoonful of creamy chicken noodle soup

Can you freeze chicken noodle soup?

Yes and no, it depends.

  • For best results, freeze the soup without dairy or with evaporated milk.
  • Don’t freeze the soup with milk or cream.  This higher fat dairy can have a poor texture when thawed.
  • Don’t freeze the noodles.  They tend to get soggy when they’re thawed and reheated.

How to Freeze and Thaw Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Seal the soup inside of an airtight container or a zip-top freezer bag.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat over medium-low heat until warm.  Add more grated Parmesan and the cooked noodles.

dipping bread into a bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup

How do you make chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker?

  • Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until soft.
  • Add all the dried spices except the bay leaves to the sautéed veggies and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Stir together the veggie mixture, shredded chicken, chicken stock, and bay leaves in the slow cooker.
  • Cook covered for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  • Skim any fat from the top with a large metal spoon near the end of the cooking time.  Remove the bay leaves.
  • Noodles.  During the last 30 minutes, cook the egg noodles separately according to the instructions on the bag.  Drain the noodles and toss them in a little oil.
  • Milk.  Turn off the slow cooker and mix in the evaporated milk.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  • Serve the soup hot, with noodles on the bottom of each bowl and the soup ladled on top.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth

Gather all the ingredients: a whole chicken, onions with the peel on, celery with the leaves, carrots, and spices.

raw chicken, herbs, and vegetables

Place the whole chicken in a Dutch oven and cover with with 9 cups of filtered water.

raw chicken in a pot of water

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and spices.  Cover the pot with a lid.

raw chicken in a pot of water with spices and veggies

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.

boiled chicken in a pot of broth and veggies

Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and let it cool and drain in a colander.  Keep the celery and carrots to eat later, and remove the bay leaves. 

straining the boiled chicken in a colander

When the chicken has cooled, discard the skin and remove the bones.  Shred the chicken with your hands or with two forks.

shredding cooked chicken on a cutting board

Strain any bits out of the chicken broth with a large metal spider or a large slotted spoon.  If you want it really clear, strain the broth by pouring it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.  When the chicken broth has cooled, skim off any fat with a large metal spoon.

pot of homemade chicken stock

How to Make Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Gather all the ingredients: homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, butter, vegetables, spices, egg noodles, evaporated milk, and Parmesan cheese.

ingredients for creamy chicken noodle soup

Melt the butter over medium high heat, then sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

stirring sauteed veggies in a pot

Add the dry spices, except the bay leaves, to the onion mixture and cook for 30 seconds to bloom the spices.  This will bring out more flavor.

person holding a tray of dried spices

Deglaze the pot.  Do this by pouring in 1/2 cup or so of chicken broth and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the Dutch oven with a wooden turner.

stirring broth into pot of sauteed veggies

Pour in the homemade chicken broth and add the bay leaves.

pouring broth into pot of chicken and veggies

Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

simmering the creamy chicken noodle soup with the lid on

Remove the bay leaves.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

removing the bay leaves from the soup pot

Take the soup off the heat and pour in the evaporated milk and stir with a large wooden spoon.

stirring the creamy chicken noodle soup

If you used homemade chicken broth, you’ll want to skim the fat off the top with a large metal spoon.

skimming the fat off of the creamy chicken noodle soup

Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

adding grated cheese to creamy chicken noodle soup

Cook the egg noodles separately and add them to each individual bowl, then ladle the chicken soup on top.

person holding a ladle of creamy chicken noodle soup

When ready to serve, add more Parmesan cheese as a garnish.

person sprinkling cheese on a bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup

Pro Tips for Making Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Make your own chicken broth for the best flavor and health benefits.
  • Leave the onion skins on for the broth to give the broth more color.
  • Don’t want to use a whole chicken?  Use bone in chicken thighs, brown them first, then cook in broth.
  • Saute the mirepoix (celery, carrots, and onions) for more flavor.
  • Bloom the spices (cook them with the veggies for 30 seconds) for an extra delicious soup.
  • Keep the noodles separate from the soup to keep them from getting soggy.
  • Need the soup to be dairy free?  Use coconut milk.
  • Don’t want to add noodles?  Add 2/3 cup of uncooked rice.
  • Don’t want traditional noodles?  Try zoodles or sweet potato noodles.
  • Want to add more vegetables?  Try spinach, kale, or peas.
  • Want less fat in the soup?  Skim off extra fat while it cooks or while it cools.
  • Want to brighten the soup?  Stir in 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice at the end.
  • Need a short cut?  Use store bought chicken stock and rotisserie chicken.

If you have a sick child in the house, or you are just craving something homemade, make up a big batch.  This soup pairs well with our rustic cob loaf.

bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup with a wooden spoon

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Chicken Noodle Soup

Fighting off a cold?  Try these other healthy soups to help you feel better.

bowl of Moroccan lentil stew carrot ginger soup with two spoons bowl of kale and quinoa stew with garnishes

The pleasure of a 5-star review for this creamy chicken noodle soup would be greatly appreciated.

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person holding a spoonful of creamy chicken noodle soup

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x

Description

This creamy chicken noodle soup recipe is easy to make from scratch in the crock pot or on the stovetop.  This healthy, lightened up version is the best soup for colds, since the homemade chicken broth has immune boosting properties that aid in the healing process.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Chicken Broth

  • 1 whole chicken (45 pounds; 1.82.2 kg)
  • 9 cups water (2.1 liters)
  • 1 1/2 yellow onions, quartered with skin on
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks (155g)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks with leaves (100g)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Soup

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (28g)
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced (232g)
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped (197g)
  • 2 cups celery, chopped (168g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken, shredded (570g)
  • 9 cups homemade chicken stock (2.1 liters)
  • 12 fluid ounces evaporated milk (354 ml)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (reserve two tablespoons for garnish; 40g)
  • 2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked (153g)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Making the Broth (2 hrs 30 min)

  1. Rinse the chicken and remove the giblets.  Place it in a Dutch oven and cover with about 9 cups of filtered water.  Add the yellow onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and parsley.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then let the broth simmer for 2 hours.  Remove the chicken and let it cool in a colander to allow the extra stock to drain out of the chicken.
  3. Strain the broth by using a metal spider or slotted spoon to remove any chunks.  If you want, you can pour it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth to strain out the smallest pieces.  Discard the onions, parsley, and bay leaves, and keep the celery and carrots for another use.
  4. Once the stock has settled for a while, the fat will rise to the top.  Skim off the fat that floats to the top with a large metal spoon.
  5. When cool enough to touch, discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken with your fingers or with two forks.  Measure out 4 1/2 cups (570g) for the soup, and reserve the other cup of chicken for another use.

Stovetop Instructions (1 hr 15 min)

  1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Saute the carrots, onion, and celery for 6 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon.
  2. Add all the dried spices, except the bay leaves, to the Dutch oven.  Cook the spices for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  This is called blooming the spices.
  3. Turn the heat to medium high and deglaze the pan.  Do this by pouring in a little bit of chicken broth and scraping the bottom of the Dutch oven with a wooden turner.
  4. Mix in the shredded chicken back into the pot along with the chicken broth and 4 bay leaves.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Skim off any fat from the top of the soup with a large metal spoon and discard it.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Remove the 4 bay leaves with a slotted metal spoon.
  7. Turn off the heat and remove the soup from the heat.  Pour in the evaporated milk and stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Crockpot Instructions

  1. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the stovetop instructions above.
  2. Mix together the shredded chicken, onion mixture, chicken broth, and bay leaves to a 6-quart crock pot.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.  Remove bay leaves and skim off any fat.
  4. Turn off the crockpot, then pour in the evaporated milk and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Cook noodles separately and serve them with the soup.

Cooking the Noodles & Serving

  1. Cook 2 1/2 cups (153g) of wide egg noodles for 5-7 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally.  Drain the noodles, then toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. To serve, place some noodles in the bottom of an empty bowl, then ladle the soup on top.  Serve warm with a garnish of freshly chopped parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for our creamy chicken noodle soup recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade, from scratch

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6 thoughts on “Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

  1. I did add a bit of milk to the pot once it was blended only because my potatoes seemed to absorb too much of the broth and it became a bit too dry, but the taste didn’t change much! It was so creamy and delicious! This one goes straight into my favorites!

  2. Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite noodle soups. The broth is complimentary to the chicken 🍗 and the carrots 🥕 and the noodles. Super 😋!

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