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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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Average Rating:
  • 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.

  • Eleanor
    Jan 10, 2021

    I add a bit of curry powder for a bit more taste and flavour

  • Carol
    Jan 9, 2021

    What ever happened to homemade noodles???

  • mumsay
    Dec 28, 2020

    Yummy! This soup is really good but I did make some changes. I used low sodium broth, 2 C. frozen peas and carrots, 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. I think this will be my go to for Chicken noodle soup now,

  • kolate
    Dec 16, 2020

    No comment left

  • Katy's mom
    Dec 9, 2020

    Very fast and easy. If you're in a hurry you can use a rotisserie chicken, which is almost as good. It's never been easier to make homemade broth if you have an Instant Pot. Much better than the boxed stuff.

  • Mona
    Nov 27, 2020

    This is a great recipe . After Thanksgiving , you can use the dark meat and the broth from the turkey . Really good .

  • Pam562
    Nov 15, 2020

    Love this recipe, have been making it since it was first published. Wanted to add that we do add more broth for personal preference, and that prior to adding the noodles I divide the chicken, broth and vegetables in to 2 freezer containers and freeze (or eat half, and freeze one). Freezes well. We just add the noodles when it is reheated and cook until noodles are done!

  • michelle
    Nov 3, 2020

    Yummy! I used boneless chicken thighs because that’s what I had in. I found that I needed to cook the soup a little bit longer as the carrots were not tender. Also omitted the lemon juice as I didn’t have any fresh lemons in. Other than that everything was perfect. My husband loved it!