How to Make Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing says "cozy" like a hot bowl of homemade soup. Nothing says "easy" 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.

There’s nothing more comforting or reminiscent of a mother’s love for a sick child than chicken soup. It also happens to be the home remedy for colds doctors love.

With this Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup recipe, we get the same deep, slow-cooked flavour without a ton of pot watching. You can live your life and still come home to a dinner your whole crew will love.

How to Make Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe was inspired by the recipe for Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, originally shared with us by Norma Reynolds of Overland Park, Kansas.

Ingredients

  • 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 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (to start); later, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp 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

For your garnish:

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sliced green onion
  • Chopped parsley

Instructions

Vegetables before cuttingJennifer Schwarzkopf for Taste of Home

Step 1: Prep your ingredients

Chop your vegetables and measure out your seasonings. 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 your 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 Crock-Pot chicken noodle 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 Crock-Pot 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 Note: 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 3-minute homemade bread on the side!

Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Tips

In case making this recipe brought up some questions, we are happy to offer answers in this helpful FAQ section.

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 flavour 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 flavour 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 colour and flavour for the finished dish but will wilt if included for the full cooking time.

(Psst: Here are the health benefits of fresh herbs.)

Do you 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 flavour.

How do I add even more flavour to Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup?

To add more flavour, you can try a few different tricks—or all of them!

  • Sear the outside of the chicken before adding it to the pot, using butter or olive oil.
  • Add a strong fresh herb to the butter as well, like rosemary or oregano.
  • Finally, you can always add chicken bouillon, but watch the salt levels. You want flavour, not just a ton of sodium.

What should I serve with Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup?

I find the best accompaniment to a fresh, hot bowl of soup is a delicious loaf of fresh sourdough, focaccia or a rustic Italian loaf or baguette. Offer salted butter with the bread for a hearty meal.

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.

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 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); however, make sure to freeze it 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 Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

How do I thaw and reheat Crock-Pot 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.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home