How to Make Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Nothing says "simple" like using a slow cooker to make Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup! Prep your ingredients, set the slow cooker and wait for magic to happen.
This Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup recipe has deep, slow-cooked flavor without a ton of pot watching. You can live your life and still come home to a dinner your whole family will love.
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
This slow-cooker recipe was inspired by Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, originally shared with us by Norma Reynolds of Overland Park, Kansas.
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 celery ribs cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 5 carrots, bias-cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to start); later, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound thin boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 32 ounces regular chicken broth
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 package (9 ounces) boxed or refrigerated noodles
- Chopped cilantro
- Sliced green onion
- Chopped parsley
JENNIFER SCHWARZKOPF FOR TASTE OF HOME
Step 1: Prep ingredients
Chop your vegetables and measure out your seasonings. (This is called mise en place and it’s a wonderful culinary school cooking secret.) Make sure you have all of the chicken set aside; package, date and label any extra portions to store in the freezer.
Step 2: Fill the Crock-Pot
In a large slow cooker, add the vegetables, seasonings, chicken and broth. Set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Step 3: Shred the chicken
Once the soup is done cooking, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with your hands or a couple of forks. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker.
Step 4: Add noodles
Put your noodles of choice into the slow cooker and set on high. It will take approximately half an hour for the noodles to become tender. (If using boxed noodles, cooking time will be a bit longer.)
Editor’s Tip: If the noodles stay much longer, they will absorb too much of the liquid, leaving you with less broth for the soup. Keep this in mind! To avoid the broth displacement, boil the noodles separately in a large pot of generously salted water until barely al dente; drain and set aside; then mix in just before serving.
Step 5: Serve
For each serving, make sure you have a good balance of chicken, broth and noodles. Top with some chopped cilantro, parsley and/or chopped scallions. Serve hot with fresh homemade bread on the side.
Tips for Making Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
JENNIFER SCHWARZKOPF FOR TASTE OF HOME
What’s the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock?
Chicken stock is made with bones and other bone/cartilage-type parts (e.g., chicken feet, backs). As a result, stocks are richer in mouthfeel and flavor due to the gelatin released during the slow and gentle simmering.
Chicken broth, on the other hand, is made with chicken meat. There may be some bones included, as well, along with mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots), seasoning (salt, perhaps pepper) and chicken meat.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
Of course! In my book, any herb is better than no herbs. While fresh herbs add a vibrant flavor and texture to fresh dishes, I generally find that dried herbs hold up better in longer cooking scenarios, like soup.
You will notice I only listed fresh herbs as a garnish. The cilantro and/or scallions will be lovely pops of color and flavor for the finished dish but will wilt if included for the full cooking time.
Do I cook the chicken before putting it in the soup?
I do not recommend cooking the chicken through before adding it to the soup. You don’t want to prevent the development of that signature chicken broth flavor.
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes—but be sure the chicken reaches a temperature of at least 165° before you shred it. Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness.
How do I add even more flavor to Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup?
To add more flavor, use one—or all—of the following tricks:
- Sear the outside of the chicken in a frying pan with butter, then add it to the crock
- Add a strong fresh herb to the butter as well, like rosemary or oregano
- You can add chicken bouillon, but watch the salt levels
What should I serve with slow-cooker chicken noodle soup?
You can also make a delicious sandwich, whether you prefer grilled cheese, a baguette with melted brie and jam or a whole grain bread with hummus and fresh veggies. You really can’t go wrong! Check out our most popular sandwich recipes for inspiration.
How long will this Crock-Pot soup last in the fridge?
This soup will last for approximately 3-4 days, as long as it’s stored properly in an airtight container.
Can I freeze this chicken noodle soup?
You can freeze your soup in an airtight container (make sure to press plastic wrap to the surface of the soup before putting on the top of the container), or a plastic bag (with all of the air squeezed out before sealing); freeze the soup as soon as it has cooled. You always want to avoid having food for any amount of time in the “danger zone” between 40° and 140° F.
Stored properly, your slow-cooker chicken noodle soup will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
How do I thaw and reheat slow-cooker chicken noodle soup?
For best results, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator. This will ensure the soup is safe to eat for another 3-4 days if it is kept in the refrigerator. If you decide to defrost in the microwave, heat and serve immediately.