Nourishing and delicious, this Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe 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 You Will Love This 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.

Ingredients You Will Need

You will need just a few simple ingredients to make the best healthy chicken noodle soup recipe in the world!

  • 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 store-bought or homemade low sodium chicken broth, Instant Pot chicken broth 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 healthy 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 homemade healthy chicken noodle soup beyond the stovetop:

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Veggies: Celery added with carrots, frozen peas or corn added during the final step, all would be delicious!
  • Fresh greens: Spinach or kale at the end for some additional vitamins (and color!).
  • Chicken broth: Homemade chicken broth or Instant Pot chicken broth 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. to make mega healthy chicken noodle soup recipe.
  • 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. I do it with my lemon chicken orzo soup recipe.

Even easier healthy 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 Results

  • 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 recipe 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.
homestyle chicken noodle soup recipe

How to Serve It

  • 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.

How to Store

Storing and reheating soup: Healthy 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.

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?

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.

More Favorite Soup Recipes

two bowls of chicken noodle soup recipe
two bowls of healthy chicken soup

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

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 17 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 298
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients 
 

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.

Video

Notes

  • Store: 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.
  • Freeze: 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.
  • 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. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 647mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I first made this last fall and intended on freezing it to have during the winter and to give to friends. I ended up having it myself as I developed a nasty cold. Chicken soup really is good for you when you are sick, beyond it being a comfort food. This recipe is delicious and quick to make. I’m making it again today to freeze so I have as many fresh meals as possible during the social distancing phase. BTW – vegetarian pea soup, stuffed pepper soup and unstuffed cabbage rolls went into the freezer too! I love your recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Easy and great flavor. It’s my go to favorite when i don’t feel like a big dinner. Paired with a salad and crusty bread, it’s a satisfying meal.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Olena.Being of Ukrainian decent,we enjoy our soups especially in the winter months.
    Yesterday I made your chicken soup,using noodles not pasta.
    My husband enjoyed the soup,giving a # 10 rating !
    Your split green pea soup is next on my list to make.
    Growing up,my father made awesome Borscht with small spareribs,
    as well as Kapusta soup.
    Of course you need lots of smetana in them both!
    Wonderful memories around the family table!

    1. Hi Nancy. I’m so happy your family loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing that with me! Yes, lots of smetana. 🙂 Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make the split pea soup.

  4. 5 stars
    We had a snow day in Calgary. So I made this chicken soup. It was amazing lot’s of flavour my family loved thank you so much for sharing your amazing and yummy recipes ?

  5. 5 stars
    I found this recepie amazing , but i don’t wanna use chicken stocks , does it go tasty without those stocks ?any recommendation ? Also asking about diced potatoes & carrots , does it make a soup thick consistsncy ?

    1. Yes you can. You just have to simmer soup twice longer for more flavor to develop. Veggies do not make soup thick. I mean it is a runny soup with veggies, not thick like chili or smth.

  6. 5 stars
    Oh, boy, that is MOST appealing and gorgeous. Olena, you’re the best thing ever! I’ll come back with a review when I make it!

  7. 5 stars
    This sounds like a winner on a cold winter day! (even though, here in Texas it’s yet to come 🙂 ). I like the way you season it with olive oil, grated garlic and forever Ukrainian dill 🙂 at the end – a nice touch! I already know it would come out well, without even trying – because of the great recipe of a similar soup you gave for Instant Pot a while ago – I’ve made that one many times. Thanks!

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