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It is cold. Dang cold. When it’s cold I want soup and this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is a very favorite of mine. My mom made this soup often for us when we were children. I always thought it looked so hard. I’m happy to tell you it isn’t at all!
Before I get to the recipe I want to talk about prepping the chicken. I have used a variety of different methods for preparing the chicken for this soup and they all work well. I’m listing them in order of my favorite which in this case isn’t necessarily the easiest.
Option 1 – Boil whole chicken.
I am a dark meat fan so this is my favorite way to prepare the chicken. Take a whole chicken, place it in a pot of water (covering the chicken fully) and season your water. I use celery seed, salt, pepper, and garlic. Boil until the meat is easily pulled away from the bone. I save the water from the chicken, it’s chicken broth! Remove the chicken from the pot and then work on deboning. We like a nice meaty soup so I get everything I can out of the chicken. I let the broth cool a bit and then get as much *fat* skimmed off as I can.
Option 2 – Rotisserie Chicken
Because I am a dark meat fan this is my 2nd favorite way to get chicken in my soup. You don’t end up with the broth but you get the delicious dark meat. Stop at the store, pick up a rotisserie chicken, get all the meat off of it you can.
Option 3 – Boil boneless skinless chicken breasts
This is without a doubt the quickest way to make the soup. Boil 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts with the same seasonings you boiled the whole chicken. When they’re done remove them from the water (I don’t save this water) and cut into bite size pieces.
Now that I’ve educated you on things you probably already knew I can get to the actual Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Chicken (one of the options from above)
3 Bay Leaves
Carrots (this is up to you, I use a lot, we like hardy soups)
Celery 3-4 stalks
Bow Tie Pasta
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 cans Chicken Broth (unless you boiled a whole chicken)
Put 3 bay leaves, chicken, salt & pepper (to taste), 2 cans chicken broth, and 2 cans cream of chicken into large pot (if you boiled your own whole chicken use that instead of chicken broth). Add 4 cans of water. Bring to a boil. While those are coming to a boil chop your carrots and celery and add to pot. Once you have everything in your pot check your liquid level. We like our soup nice and creamy (not like a straight chicken broth type soup which is why I add the cream of chicken) so I don’t add too much water. I like to keep my soup at a low constant boil until the carrots and celery are tender. In a separate pot cook your bow tie pasta. Because it’s going into soup be sure to not over cook the noodles, you don’t want them soggy. Drain noodles and add to soup. At this point you may need to add more water, it will depend on how much you started with and if any has boiled away. It’s up to you how much more to add, if any.
I LOVE to double this recipe so I can freeze 1/2 of it. The only note is if you’re planning on doing that – split the soup in half BEFORE you add the noodles, you don’t want noodles sitting cooked in the freezer (soggy mess!).