by Olena

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 14 votes

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Nourishing and delicious, this Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup will definitely hit the spot when you need a comforting meal that is easy to make. Juicy chicken, tender noodles, and fresh dill just like my Ukrainian Grandma made.

Other favorites that Grandma made were meatball soup, chicken stew recipe, and borscht.

two bowls of healthy chicken noodle soup

Good healthy chicken noodle soup takes hours to make; it begins with a whole bird and ends with a tired housewife, JK (maybe). But that is how my, and I am sure your, grandma used to make chicken with noodles soup.

And it is comfort food good! But in the 21st century life is busy and dinner needs to be on the table fast. Or if you are sick, this easy chicken soup just “fits the bill”, and it’s ready within the hour!

Why Make Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe?

  • Family friendly: Kids love chicken noodle soup!!! Your dinner will go so well.
  • Easy: And ready in under an hour!
  • Simple ingredients: That are budget friendly, too! 
  • One pot meal: Protein, veggies and carbs make this a satisfying and nutritious meal.
  • Healthier than from the can: Because you can control the sodium levels. Plus, you can add additional vegetables for even more nutritional value.
  • Immune boosting: Carrots contain vitamin A, chicken contains zinc and a brothy soup keeps you hydrated, which is important in the winter.

As a Ukrainian who grew up eating soup every single day, you better trust me when I say “this homestyle chicken noodle soup is good!”.

healthy chicken noodle soup in a bowl for serving

Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Boneless or bone in chicken thighs: I recommend to use skinless thighs or remove skin to avoid very fatty soup. You can leave skin on a few if you wish. Chicken breasts do not have enough flavor for quick soup.
  • Veggies: Onion, garlic, carrots and potatoes. Truth be told, you can use what you have on hand and like.
  • Chicken broth: Use low sodium chicken broth from a carton or bouillon cubes.
  • Fresh herbs: Parsley, dill, onion or chives add a lot of flavour at the end with little calories. Just try and your classic chicken noodle soup will go from just good to great!
healthy chicken noodle soup ingredients

How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup

Detailed recipe card for how to make chicken noodle soup is located below.

  • Make soup base: Cook chicken thighs with chicken broth, bay leaves, peppercorns, whole onion and 2 garlic cloves for 20 minutes. Keep lid on while bringing broth to a boil and then move to the side for all further cooking.
  • Skim foam: As broth is cooking, foam will rise to the top. You will want to skim it a few times with a mesh strainer. Also this is the time I dice carrots, potatoes, and chop dill and grate garlic. No idle or waste time.
  • Cook veggies: Add diced carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Smaller pieces – faster cooking.
  • Cook pasta: Add pasta and you want to stir a few times to make sure pasta is not sticking to the bottom of the pot or each other. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Discard onion, peppercorns and bay leaves with a mesh strainer.
  • Add garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and dill. This last step makes how to make chicken noodle soup the best recipe you will ever make. You can also shred the chicken right in the pot during this final step.

How to make homestyle chicken noodle soup beyond the stovetop: Slow cooker: If you would like to start soup in the morning and come back to ready dinner check out my slow cooker chicken noodle soup. Instant Pot: Got magic pot? I absolutely love making soup in it. Here is my grandma’s Instant Pot chicken noodle soup.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Veggies: Celery added with carrots, frozen peas or corn added during the final step, all would be delicious! You may also like chicken noodle vegetable soup.
  • Fresh greens: Spinach or kale at the end for some additional vitamins (and color!).
  • Homemade chicken stock: Homemade chicken stock if you have it in the freezer would be amazing.
  • Make low carb: Use zucchini noodles instead of regular pasta, because these cook quickly, add during last step.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten free noodles, chickpea, lentil, brown rice etc.
  • Umami flavor: Fish sauce, soy sauce or a dash of Worcestershire.
  • Other seasonings: Poultry, fresh or dried thyme, rosemary.
  • Heat: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes! Gets those sinuses running 🙂
  • Creamy: At the end of cooking, stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half.
  • Lemon: Add a squirt of lemon juice at the end of cooking to brighten all the flavors.

Even easier homestyle chicken noodle soup?! It can be done with leftover chicken! My preferred choices are using leftovers of Instant Pot whole rotisserie chicken or Instant Pot shredded chicken, although I am sure you could use oven baked chicken breast leftovers, too. Add at the same time as the dried noodles.

Tips for Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Do not use chicken breasts: Breasts are lean and your chicken soup will lack major flavor.
  • Keep onion whole: To keep onion whole, peel it but do not trim off the ends.
  • Make sure broth stays clear: Cooking chicken noodle soup covered will make it more murky. Instead, cook soup with lid half open and pot not completely covered.
  • For more flavour: Keep bay leaves, peppercorns and onion cooking till the end to make broth flavorful.
  • Pasta that works: Use any short pasta like corkscrew, elbow, orzo or penne. Or broken up spaghetti, linguine or even soba noodles.
  • Budget friendly broth: I use organic bouillon cubes mixed with water. Cheaper and I always have stock on hand.
  • Let soup ‘rest’: If you have time, let soup sit for 5-10 minutes. Flavors develop more and pasta absorbs liquid and makes soup more hearty.
  • You can serve soup with whole chicken thighs: Frankly, I always do that. Or for the looks, shred meat right in the pot or on a cutting board. I hold a piece of meat with a spoon on a side of the pot and shred with a fork in my other hand.

FAQs

What can I add to chicken soup to make it even more flavorful?

Many things! Additional dried herbs such as rosemary or thyme, savory seasonings such as garlic or onion powder and adding the recommended fresh herbs of dill, parsley or green onion at the end before serving.

How to thicken chicken noodle soup?

Chicken noodle soup is usually a broth based soup, but if you would like to thicken it you can make a cornstarch or flour slurry. Mix 2 Tbsp of either with cold water, add to the soup and let thicken for a few minutes.

What kind of noodles to use for chicken noodle soup?

Egg noodles or any small shaped noodle work! Look in your pantry and find what needs to be used 🙂 Use gluten-free if necessary.

Can I make vegetarian healthy chicken noodle soup?

Sure! You could omit the chicken and add cooked chickpeas when you add the noodles. Use a vegetable broth, too.

Do I need to use potato in chicken soup?

No, but it does make it heartier! Try winter squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower or if you just want a more brothy soup, omit it.

homestyle chicken noodle soup recipe

How to Serve Chicken Soup with Noodles?

  • Fresh bread: In Ukraine, we traditionally serve chicken soup with fresh rye bread. Now we toast a slice of whole grain bread.
  • Crackers: Another popular option is with whole grain crackers, croutons, and kids can never resist small (whole grain) fish crackers.
  • Soup and sandwich: Serve with grilled cheese or your favorite wrap!
  • Soup and salad: Spinach salad, massaged kale salad or arugula beet salad.

Appetizers are another way to add additional variety to soup night! A charcuterie board, healthy spinach artichoke dip with whole grain crackers or cucumber appetizer bites would go over so well.

How to Store Chicken and Noodles Recipe?

Storing and reheating soup: Chicken noodle soup lasts for up to 5 days if refrigerated. It is normal for noodles to expand with each day. Reheat in a small pot by simmering and stirring on low heat.

Freezing soup with pasta: If you want to make this recipe for freezing, do not add pasta. It just doesn’t freeze well. Add cooked pasta after thawing and warming up. Or even cooked rice would be so good.

More Favorite Soup Recipes

You may also love these other recipes I grew up eating! Ukrainian syrniki (cheese pancakes) or Ukrainian sweet lazy pierogi (vareniki) are both delicious and a nod to my roots. 

two bowls of chicken noodle soup recipe
Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

Nourishing and delicious, this Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup will definitely hit the spot when you need a comforting meal that is easy to make. Juicy chicken, tender noodles, and fresh dill just like my Ukrainian Grandma made.
5 from 14 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1.5 lbs chicken thighs bone in or boneless (skinless)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 peppercorns whole
  • 1 small whole onion peeled, hairy end intact
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 12 cups chicken stock low sodium
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 2 cups potatoes diced
  • 1 1/2 cups egg noodles or any short pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, parsley or green onion finely chopped

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven or pot, add chicken thighs, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, 2 garlic cloves and stock.
  • On high heat, bring soup to a boil covered and then move lid to the side a bit to keep soup clear. Cook for 20 minutes, removing foam as it rises to the top with a mesh strainer, occasionally. Meanwhile dice potatoes and carrots. Chop dill and grate garlic.
  • Add potatoes and carrots, stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook with half lid open for 5 minutes.
  • Add pasta, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. I would stir a few more times to prevent pasta from sticking.
  • Discard onion, bay leaves and peppercorns with a mesh strainer.
  • Add salt, olive oil, grated garlic clove, dill and ground black pepper to taste. You can also shred chicken right in the pot now.
  • Stir and adjust any seasonings to taste. If you have time, let chicken noodle soup sit covered for 5 minutes. Serve hot with a slice of toasted bread.

Storing and reheating soup: Chicken noodle soup lasts for up to 5 days if refrigerated. It is normal for noodles to expand with each day. Reheat in a small pot by simmering and stirring on low heat.

    Freezing soup with pasta: If you want to make this recipe for freezing, do not add pasta. It just doesn't freeze well. Add cooked pasta after thawing and warming up. Or even cooked rice would be so good.

      Video

      Notes

      • Do not use chicken breasts: Breasts are lean and your chicken soup will lack major flavor.
      • Keep onion whole: To keep onion whole, peel it but do not trim off the ends.
      • Make sure broth stays clear: Cooking chicken noodle soup covered will make it more murky. Instead, cook soup with lid half open and pot not completely covered.
      • For more flavour: Keep bay leaves, peppercorns and onion cooking till the end to make broth flavorful.
      • Pasta that works: Use any short pasta like corkscrew, elbow, orzo, penne or broken up spaghetti or linguine.
      • Serving soup: If you have time, let soup sit for 5-10 minutes. Flavors develop more and pasta absorbs liquid and makes soup more hearty. 
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 647mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

      Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

      36 comments on “Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

      Our “happiness" software automatically deletes any rude or inappropriate comments, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.

      Recipe Rating




      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      1. Can I use low sodium chicken BROTH? What would the difference be?
        And 5 peppercorns… just 5 little tiny peppercorns like I put in my pepper mill to grind, right?

        1. Correct on the peppercorns and yes low sodium chicken broth is fine! You might have to do a ‘season and taste’ test at the end and adjust salt, but that is preferred usually!

        1. The best is when our families (especially our kiddos) love what we cook! Sounds like this chicken noodle soup is a winner!

      2. 5 stars
        This was the best chicken noodle soup I’ve had since I was a kid!! It was so easy too! My hubby and I loved it! ❤️

      3. I love your recipes, but want to know why you use a whole onion and then pull it out. I have the whole small onions can I use those instead?

      4. 5 stars
        I have had homemade chicken soup before. It’s awesome. But I never thought too much about making it from scratch. My plan was always to have a few cans of chicken soup in the cabinet in case of a cold.
        I will never rely on a can of chicken soup again. This recipe is so easy to make and tastes fantastic. The soup freezes well. If you are keeping some servings in the fridge for a few days, you might make the pasta separate and add when you reheat. That way the pasta won’t absorb so much liquid that it gets mushy and you won’t have to worry about having too much veggies and chicken and not enough broth.

      The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

      This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!