This homemade chicken noodle soup with egg noodles features a scratch-made chicken stock for more depth of flavor, and is so comforting and so simple to make—you’ll never go back to the canned stuff again!
There truly is no better cure for anything and everything that ails you than homemade chicken noodle soup made with chunky carrots, celery, and always savory chicken stock (aka liquid gold). It’s the ultimate comfort food and incredibly easy to make.
I’m definitely a soup fan, especially during fall and winter, and I’ve got tons of go-to recipes I love, like my broccoli cheese and potato soup, my tomato basil soup, or my French onion soup. I can’t get enough. But when any of us are sick with a cold, I head straight to the store and then to the kitchen to whip up a homemade elixir that makes the BEST chicken noodle soup from scratch, which is hands down better than anything out of a can.
This simple chicken noodle soup isn’t challenging to make. In fact, it’s super easy, and worth every minute.
What’s in Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?
First, homemade chicken noodle soup starts with a homemade stock, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. It’s the same stock I use for my matzo ball soup and is one I’ve adapted (loosely) from Ina Garten and one of the many episodes of The Barefoot Contessa I’ve absorbed over the years. Here’s how.
- Chicken—I use 2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken drumsticks in this recipe for stock, but if you have a 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole bird on hand, go ahead and substitute it. You may need to adjust your cooking time, so just test the chicken for doneness and taste the stock for flavor as you go.
- Yellow onion
- Parsnip—this root veggie isn’t traditionally used in chicken noodle soups, but I love the unique flavor and bit of sweetness it adds
- Italian parsley
- Fresh thyme
- Chicken bouillon cubes—my secret ingredient is adding 3 chicken bouillon cubes for a bit of extra chicken-y-ness.
- Bay leaves
- Kosher salt—seasoning the broth with kosher salt is important as that is what provides the pronunciation of its flavor.
- Black peppercorns—like the fresh herbs and bay leaves, these add great aromatics to your homemade broth.
- Egg noodles—I always use egg noodles in my soup, but go back and forth between the shorter, fatter, extra wide egg noodles from Manischewitz and these thicker and toothier egg noodles from Montana’s Country Pasta.
Herbs You Can Use in Homemade Chicken Soup
If you’d like to play around, consider adding these herbs for different flavor combinations:
- Lemongrass, for a fresh, citrusy bite
- Marjoram, similar to oregano but more subtle in earthiness
- Tarragon, adds a mellow licorice flavor
- Ginger, adds a spicy, aromatic sweetness
- Fennel, adds a sweet, fragrant, anise-like flavor
- Dill, added right before serving it gives the soup a bright flavor
How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Why make homemade soup when you can just pry open a can? Duh! Because it’s exponentially better tasting and better for you! Making homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch is one of the easiest recipes to prepare and master. Even the homemade chicken stock is amazingly simple.
Start With the Chicken Stock
Build your soup, because like Meghan Trainor once sang, it’s all about that base. Add your chicken pieces, onion, head of garlic, two unpeeled and halved carrots, two halved ribs of celery, and parsnip halves to a large stockpot and tie your parsley and thyme together with some kitchen twine and add to the pot.
Cover everything with cold water. You want the water to go 1-2 inches above the chicken and veggies, about 14 cups or so. Add 3 chicken bouillon cubes, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and kosher salt.
Simmer away. Bring your stock to a boil, then reduce to a lightly rolling simmer (uncovered) for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and stock is well flavored. Give it a taste and add another chicken bouillon cube or more salt if needed.
Build Your Soup
Once the chicken stock is ready, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate to cool. Remove the vegetables from the stock and discard.
Place a strainer over a large bowl and strain the stock. Then return it to the stockpot and add the chopped carrots and celery. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes or until veggies have softened.
Add your noodles. Once those are cooked (about 8 minutes or so), stir in the shredded chicken and cook until the meat is warmed through.
Shred your chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken and shred it with two forks. Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, start by adding 3/4 of the shredded chicken to the soup, then add more if you have enough stock (or reserve for another use).
Taste and season. Add more salt and pepper if needed, and stir in 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.
Chicken Noodle Soup Variations
There’s so much versatility with chicken noodle soup. You can make swaps (grains instead of noodles), try different herbs, or throw in some extra veggies. Here are some ways you could easily switch this soup up:
- Whole grains such as farro, wild rice, or quinoa
- Matzo balls
- You can make it creamy by adding cream, half and half, or even coconut milk.
- Switch out the parsley with rosemary, cilantro, or tarragon for a totally different flavor.
Do I Have to Make Homemade Chicken Stock?
Not necessarily. Sometimes there’s no time to make homemade stock and maybe you’ve run out your freezer stash too.
What to do? Doctor up the store-bought variety. Here’s how.
Choose a quality chicken stock. At this point you’re going to want to choose stock over broth to get that deeper, chicken flavor. When you buy the stock, purchase twice as much as the recipe calls for.
Doctor the store-bought stock with vegetables and herbs. Boil the stock with vegetables and herbs (leave out the peppercorns) for at least 30 minutes to deepen the stock’s flavor. Strain, and continue on with the recipe.
Do You Boil Noodles Separately For Soup?
While you can cook your noodles directly in your chicken stock or soup, I prefer to boil my noodles separately from the chicken stock, then add to the soup. Otherwise, they absorb up all of the delicious stock as they cook.
Can I Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?
Yes, but I recommend freezing the homemade chicken noodle soup sans noodles. I’ve found that freezing noodle soups makes for soggy noodles once they’re reheated.
Keep a package of egg noodles on hand and add a handful to the frozen chicken soup each time you reheat it to avoid soggy soup.
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
If by chance you accidentally simmer away too much of your stock, have a high-quality boxed chicken stock on hand to spread the soupiness a little further.
As I mentioned above, this is a fairly flexible chicken noodle soup recipe, so feel free to add in whatever extra herbs and veggies you have hanging out in your produce drawer.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
THE BEST Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 split chicken breasts , with ribs and skin on
- 2 chicken drumsticks , with skin
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 head of garlic , unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
- 6 carrots , leaving 2 of them unpeeled and cut into halves, and the remaining 4 peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
- 6 ribs celery , two of them cut in half and the remaining cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 parsnip , unpeeled cut into 3-inch chunks
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 ounces extra wide egg noodles
- Add the chicken pieces, onion, head of garlic, two unpeeled and halved carrots, two ribs of celery halves, parsnip halves to a large stockpot. Tie 15 stems of Italian parsley and 15 stems of thyme with a bit of kitchen twine and add to the pot.
- Cover with cold water 1-2 inches above the chicken and veggies or 14 cups of water. Add 3 chicken bouillon cubes, bay leaves, black peppercorns and kosher salt.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a lightly rolling simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through and tender and stock is well flavored. If the stock tastes weak, add another chicken bouillon soup and a bit more salt.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool and remove the vegetables from the stock and discard.
- Place a strainer over a large bowl and strain the broth. Return the stock to the stockpot and add the chopped carrots and celery. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes. While veggies are cooking, fill another large pot up with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add your egg noodles and cook for about 8 minutes, or until they are tender but chewy. Add the noodles to the soup.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the chicken with two forks. Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, start by adding 3/4 of the shredded chicken to the soup then add more if you have enough stock or reserve for another use.
- Season with more salt and pepper if desired and stir in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley and serve hot.
More Homemade Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Soup
- How to Make the Best Minestrone Soup
- The Best French Onion Soup
- Ginger Carrot Soup
- The Best Cheeseburger Soup
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