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The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min., Cook: 45 min. + standing
  • Makes
    10 servings (about 3-1/2 quarts)


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


  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.
  • Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate. Remove soup from heat. Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. If desired, adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves.

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup Tips

What can I add to chicken noodle soup for even more flavor?

Cooking your chicken in broth gives it great flavor. But to kick it up a notch, stir in one tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules. Tip: save your chicken bones and vegetable scraps to make broth for your next soup!

How do you keep chicken tender?

To prevent your chicken from drying out, remove it from the broth when tender. Let cool, shred and set aside while you finish making your soup. Then, return the chicken to the hot soup when you're ready to eat. You can also try velveting your chicken to give it extra tenderness!

Can I make this soup with chicken breasts?

Yes! If you prefer, replace the chicken thighs with bone-in chicken breasts. Once they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, set the chicken on a plate, let cool and shred. Use up the rest of your chicken breasts with these easy chicken breast recipes!

Is chicken noodle soup good for you?

Not only is chicken noodle soup a feel-good dish, it’s good for you, too! It’s loaded with protein and vegetables and will keep you hydrated when you're feeling sick. If you're feeling under the weather, warm up with these foods to eat when you're feeling sick!
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.


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  • Terry
    Feb 21, 2021

    I've made this recipe many times just as it is, but also using rotisserie shredded chicken breast meat from Costco (modifying the base recipe slightly). It is delicious every time. It is now a staple in our family. Terry

  • Pam
    Feb 15, 2021

    Thank you. What a wonderful recipe. I had all the ingredients already at home. With -15 degrees and snow falling, this was an excellent soup to make. Thanks again.

  • premierwar
    Feb 12, 2021

    Have made this soup many times and will make it many more ( my grandson’s favorite) and the flavor is top notch- frozen noodles or homemade- this is a soup recipe I’ve sent to family because we love it so much!

  • century
    Feb 1, 2021

    Thanks a lot for such a lovely article and a detailed explanation of the spices and chicken soup. It was really helpful for my today's meal.

  • Neal
    Jan 27, 2021

    This recipe is worded poorly. In the second paragraph, it states, “ . . . return chicken to pan.” In the fourth paragraph it states, “Now that the chicken has cooled, shred and return to the stockpot.” A good cook would have recognized the error but I followed the instructions, leaving me with badly overcooked chicken .

  • Aimee
    Jan 26, 2021

    Such a great chicken noodle soup! The veggies and herbs are very tasteful together! Top notch for sure!

  • Grandmaj2u
    Jan 25, 2021

    Very good. BUT the only change I make is to " enhance the broth first. Simply put 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth in a pot. Add in 1 onion ( yellow or white) halved ( no need to peel, b/c you will be straining off tbe solids thru a sieve) 1 carrot, quartered 1 celery quartered, 1 head of garlic halved thru the middle( equator) plus an extra chicken thigh if you have it. Simmer all for 30 to 60 minutes. Strain. Discard solids ( you can save the thigh meat for the soup, if not over cooked. Use this enhance broth for the soup. DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC I found it VERY helpful to have a lg quanity of dried SHALLOTS on hand (Amazon delivered) Then if I do not have onions on hand, I simply use 2t. Dried shallots, that I soak in warm water for 15 .minutes. then drain off the water, to replace the lg onion. OR (use 1/2 teaspoon dried shallots to replace 1 average size shallot....if you order on line do not get the one with the red flakes in it...the red flakes are the skins and not as flavorful as the shallots. Shallots have a slight hint of garlic taste mixed perfectly with a nice onion flavor.

  • Brett
    Jan 23, 2021

    you lost me at 'discard drippings'. NEXT!

  • Jill
    Jan 16, 2021

    Hands down the most amazing chicken noodle soup I have ever tasted much less made. My boyfriend could not get enough. Don’t deviate from the recipe. The browning of the chicken and what is left behind makes it.

  • Daniel
    Jan 14, 2021

    don't recommend canola oil to anyone. This pesticide oil is not good for anyone.