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Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe: Step by Step Instructions

Updated on October 16, 2012

Doctor Mom: Chicken soup will solve all ailments

My mother loved to cook, especially when it came to making soup. Her favorite, which she believed solved ALL of the woes of the world, whether it was health related, a pick me up, or a sympathy soup, was Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup . Mind you, the word, ‘homemade’ has to be included in the process because not every soup would do. Even the esteemed ‘Campbell’s’ company, and all of their chubby cheeked cherubs touting the ‘mmm-mm good’ slogan, was no contender for my mother’s soup.

Many a cold, icy winter day in Fairbanks, Alaska, or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I would crave my mother’s soup and wish she were in my kitchen cooking away. Well, it’s been many years since I’ve tasted her version; she died on Christmas morning 2003, but I can always feel her presence and the recall fond memories whenever I make a batch of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

Today was one of those perfect Fall Saturday’s-the sky was sunny, the weather was warmish, and the yard was being prepped for winter-and NOT by me. I escaped that duty this year because I was cooking. I’d been wanting to cook up a batch of soup for a couple of weeks now and finally got around to making sure the ingredients were in the house…mostly, that meant that I had fresh veggies and a roasting chicken.

I start my soup with a big pot and cold water. I like to plop the chicken in the pot, once its been rinsed thoroughly, and bring to a gradual boil. While the bird is in the pot I start chopping the vegetables: carrots, celery, and onion. Once the water has come to a boil I turn it to simmer, add the seasonings and after about an hour, I add the veggies, continuing to simmer for about another hour-the longer, the more tender the chicken.

Today the bird simmered in the pot, the house smelled yummy with the fragrance of thyme and chicken, and by the time I pulled it out of the pot at 5:30 p.m. it was falling off of the bone. I served steaming bowls of soup to all of the yard hands with stacked sandwiches of ham and turkey. What chicken escaped going back into the soup will be used for another meal.

Rate this Soup Recipe

5 stars from 6 ratings of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: 12

Pictures of Chicken Soup

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The final product:  Better than Campbell's in a canStep 1:  rinse the chicken and put it in the pot.Add carrots, celery and onionBe sure to use the leafy part of the celery for flavor, too.Carrots sliced thinNoodles-any kind will usually doThe final productLarge pieces of chicken are removed and refrigerated for another meal.
The final product:  Better than Campbell's in a can
The final product: Better than Campbell's in a can | Source
Step 1:  rinse the chicken and put it in the pot.
Step 1: rinse the chicken and put it in the pot. | Source
Add carrots, celery and onion
Add carrots, celery and onion | Source
Be sure to use the leafy part of the celery for flavor, too.
Be sure to use the leafy part of the celery for flavor, too. | Source
Carrots sliced thin
Carrots sliced thin | Source
Noodles-any kind will usually do
Noodles-any kind will usually do | Source
The final product
The final product | Source
Large pieces of chicken are removed and refrigerated for another meal.
Large pieces of chicken are removed and refrigerated for another meal. | Source

Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 chicken, whole, roaster or stewing
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, fresh (or 6 peppercorns)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves attached, leaves help flavor the soup
  • 1-2 celery stalks, sliced medium
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C onion, chopped
  • 12 C water, more or less to meet your needs
  • 6 oz uncooked noodles or rice, any type or width

Step by Step Instructions for Chicken Noodle Soup

  1. Fill a large pot with 12 C of cold water. Thoroughly rinse chicken under cold water and place in the pot of water. Set temperature to High and bring to a boil. Once water starts to boil turn Temp setting to simmer.
  2. Add thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste preference. Add celery leaves and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Add chopped celery, onion and carrots and continue to simmer for another hour or until vegetables are tender and chicken is falling off of the bone, (usually within 2 hours).
  4. Remove chicken from the pot and place in a large serving bowl to cool slightly before beginning to remove meat from bones.
  5. Place large pieces of chicken, (breasts, thighs and legs) in a container and refrigerate for another meal. Remove meat from bone and cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup pot. You should have at least 1 C of 'tidbits' from the bones, but if not, take one of the chicken pieces and cut into pieces and place in the soup pot.
  6. Add one 6-8 oz package of thin soup noodles or 1/2 C rice if making chicken rice soup. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked.
  7. Serve with Italian or French bread.

Helpful Hints:

If you refrigerate the soup for several hours until chilled thoroughly, (overnight works best), you can easily skim the fat off the top because it will rise; and if overnight, it will harden.

Remember to stay flexible with your recipe for your family. If the noodles have soaked too much of the broth overnight add a cup or two of chicken flavored stock or soup broth.

Prep Time

Note: There is an initial prep time of about 15 minutes to rinse the chicken and chop the vegetables. Then there is a second prep time following the chicken being removed from the soup and the meat picked off of the bones. Be sure to keep the tiny bones from going back into the soup as it may get caught in someone's throat if swallowed.

Remove the larger pieces of chicken and place in the refrigerator for a future meal. Take the smaller pieces and chop into bite sized pieces and return to the soup-about one cup.

Please take this poll

Now that you've read the instructions how likely will you be to make this easy soup recipe?

See results


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      I do that often myself, Sherry. Either way, it is so good, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      7 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I make a similar chicken soup, but usually I roast a chicken first and then use the carcass and leftovers to make the soup.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Vacation Trip, nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting this recipe hub and being inspired to try it. Please let me know how it turns out. :)

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Wow. A great recipe hub, will definitely add this to the list of my recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Alecia-thanks for the pin. It has been so chilly now, I'm about due for more soup.

      Stephanie-I agree-it is so nice to have at least two meals planned from one pot. Thanks for commenting.

      Jennifer-I had to smile at your comment, "culinary expertise'. It wasn't always like that and if you were to ask my daughters they would break out in laughter! Thanks so much for your lovely comments and votes. :)

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 

      8 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Chicken noodle soup is my son's absolute favourite, so I will definitely be trying this recipe out! It looks delicious so I actually can't wait... thank you for sharing your culinary expertise, voted up and all sorts, Jen

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      Homemade soup is a wonderful comfort food anytime, and homemade chicken soup is the best! I like the fact that you can cook the whole chicken, have your soup and still have chicken left for another meal! Yummy!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      8 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This is a tasty recipe, I'm definitely going to pin so I can try it. Homemade soup tastes so good during this time of year. Voted up and shared!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Vinaya-I would love to read your version of this recipe. Thanks for reading. :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal

      Aha, I can make this. However, I don't use some of the seasoning ingredients you have mentioned here.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi justateacher-LOL how coincidental. I'll check out your recipe as well. Thanks for commenting.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      8 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      This sounds so good that I will have to try your version the next time I do soup! I just made my chicken and noodles tonight, but didn't add the veggies you did...It's kinda funny, too, that I wrote my first recipe today and it was my chicken and noodles!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Deborah, I'm so sorry you've been ill--YUK! Eat plenty of soup, drink lots of water and other fluids, take tylenol or another pain reliever and REST! I'm sure it will pass, but it sure isn't fun while it's around. Thanks for sharing. :)

      Hi Lisa...Mine too, and unfortunately, mom isn't around anymore to make any soup. Thanks for the vote UP. :) Enjoy mom when she arrives.

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Denise Denise Denise! One of my favorite soups in the whole wide world is Chicken Noodle... but homemade is the ultimate. My mom makes a wonderful Chicky-noodle, but since she's not here to cook for me (yet), I am so thankful that you posted this recipe. It looks so yummy and with Fall and Winter fast approaching.. you can be sure this recipe will be hanging on my fridge for easy access! Thumbs up!!!! Lisa

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Denise I have been so sick lately.. and even after all the medicine from the pharmacy nothing worked as good as chicken noodle soup.. HOMEMADE.. lol




    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi divacratus-thanks for your comments here. It is probably the number one comfort food in my home.

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 

      8 years ago from India

      Chicken noodle soup is absolutely yummy and I have it whenever I'm down and out. It's such a comfort food.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Leslie-what a bummer that you have the bug! I hate feeling flush (and foolish...aka 'Kim' LOL ) I hope you are feeling back to your old sparkly energy soon.

      Boy, I wish I could package this up and airmail it to you STAT (that's nurse talk for immediately). That was sweet that Vincent cares enough about his buddy in poetry to send you the antecedent to the flu and other life's miseries. I'll have to shout a thank you out to him up in that vast, cold (and wet) north. I don't envy him that weather when I still have blue skies and warm temps.

      I hope you feel better soon...thanks for dropping by and yes...learn to cook up a batch of soup and keep it in the freezer for those down times. :) Take care, Leslie.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      8 years ago

      Hi, honey! Vincent just posted this recipe to my fb page cause i have the flu..

      It looks soooo yummy and reminds me of my grandmother!

      I asked him what time you'd be arriving to whip it up for

      Being upright is not a happy place right now...

      (lol..just read your comment above mine...)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Alocsin-oh, it is much better than Campbells. You're right - too much sodium. I would like to suggest that you make this soup BEFORE you get ill. (Who feels like trying a NEW recipe when they are ill?) Get a handle on how easy it is to make and enjoy it while you are well.

      That way, when you are ill, you can just put the soup together on 'automatic pilot' and not have to concentrate too hard. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I imagine this tastes better than the Campbell soup variety, which has always been too salty for me. I'll save this recipe for when I get sick next. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Carter-if you can make it here to NC ANYTIME, I will certainly cook up a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup and anything else you would like, haha. I just finished off the very last bowl for lunch today. :) Thanks for your comments and votes.

    • carter06 profile image


      8 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      I love this recipe Denise, and loved your story even more...and so look forward to trying it...and it's so wonderful that you can pass on one of your mum's favorites, that's pretty special, thank you for sharing it...let me know when you cook up the next pot and I'll drop bye :)voted U U A B & shared...cheers

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Dianna-you better believe it hit the spot up there in Alaska. It was sometimes minus 40 degrees! Thanks for your feedback.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      I'll bet chicken soup as even more wonderful in such a cold place as Alaska. I love the way you shared your cooking experience. Love your version here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      White slime, Billy? Gee, was that part of their secret ingredient? Thanks for sharing that and I'll read your hub about this. Reminds me of the other 'slime' food that was put into ground beef...

      Danette-LOL I should add that little anecdote to this hub, except I swear it would make mom sound so crazy!!! LOL Thanks for THAT memory, how could I have forgotten. You're right about the noodles soaking up the broth. I should add that into the notes. Thanks for the rating. :)

      Donnah75-wise family, your in-laws, and good for you for not resorting to the canned soups. I can hardly stand the taste of canned anything now, since I've gone to so much fresh or frozen. Thanks for your comments.

      Kat-you crack me up! Boy, between writing and cooking (and eating) there really is no time for much else, is there? Certainly not for work! I guess I'll have to call in tomorrow, haha. Thanks for the votes

      Hi Ruby-sorry to hear of your condition HOWEVER, my suggestion: make it chicken soup and skip the noodle and / or pasta part all together. It's just as tasty and probably a whole lot healthier. Thanks for reading.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I know this has to be really good. I used to make chicken noodle soup and we loved it. I have developed celiac disease so the good noodles are out. The gluten-free noodles are not very good . They do make a pancake mixture that is good, so i might try using it for noodles..You made me hungry..Ha.. Cheers

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 

      8 years ago from USA

      Excellent job! This is very similar to the way I make mine :)

      Very delicious hub ~ voted up, interesting, & useful.

      Thanks for sharing it with us ~ now I want to make some... ugh, I'll have to cook our chicken tomorrow night (I already took beef out for dinner tonight)...

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 

      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Since I got married, I haven't had soup out of a can. My husband comes from a family that doesn't understand canned soup, and now I know why. Home made soup is so much better. This looks great. Voted up and sharing. People will need this recipe as the weather changes and germs begin to spread!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Oh, yes, I do remember mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. I think I got the talent for making soups from her as I make many soups (just made an awesome clam chowder and of course my Brunswick stew which is more soup than stew).

      Anyway, I have a chicken soup I make that we really like, got the recipe from a store. They used barley which I used the first time and that was fine. Then, when we substituted noodles, I found out that I have to have 2x the amount of broth because the noodles absorbed so much more of the liquid than the barley did. No matter, we like our chicken soup brothy and the recipe I have is so good! Voted up and 5 stars, for it's good directions and also for the memory of mom :)

      (and remember when the chickens had to be STEWING hens? No other hen would do. I don't think you can find those anymore)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      After I wrote about Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and told people about the "white slime" you should get a lot of readers for this hub. Great recipe and I, for one, will be trying it as soon as we have chicken again.


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