Creamy chicken noodle soup is cold weather comfort food at its finest. My easy recipe takes less than an hour to make in one pot and is deliriously soothing and satisfying. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Your New Favorite (Creamy!) Chicken Noodle Soup
According to the noses of my two toddlers, we’ve just kicked off cold & flu season. While there are a number of home remedies I jump to as soon as the sniffles start, this recipe is one of my favorites (and the silver lining to any dreary day).
Why you should make it:
- The chicken gets cooked right in the pot, so there’s no need to pick a rotisserie chicken or make sure you have leftover chicken to make it. A favorite technique of mine also used in my chicken and rice soup.
- Not too rich with a subtly creamy, velvety base. It’s not anywhere near as thick as my potato soup, so technically it doesn’t have to be cold weather food. Think of it like classic chicken noodle, just a splash more rich.
- Includes lots of fresh veggies, but you can always add more! I include a few suggestions below.
- Filling and protein packed, thanks to the chicken, but feel free to add some biscuits or crescent rolls on the side if you want to make it even heartier.
- One-pot dinner! This makes it a great weekday option, especially if you prep your veggies in advance.
Sniffles or not, this is truly just a great cold-weather option to keep on hand.
What You Need
Most of these ingredients are pretty standard, but let’s go over a few before we get into the recipe.
- Chicken. Raw chicken breasts or chicken thighs may be used here, but I personally recommend a blend of both. Chicken breasts are a leaner/less fatty meat, while the thighs have a lot of flavor, so tossing a few into the pot helps the flavor immensely. Once they are cooked, we’ll remove them from the pot, shred them (an electric mixer works well for this!), and return them to the pot.
- Veggies. Including the classic mirepoix veggies, aka celery, carrots, and onions. Frozen corn or peas or even small diced potatoes would also be good here; you can add them when you remove the chicken from the pot.
- Chicken stock. I recommend using homemade chicken stock if you have it, but of course you can always use store-bought if that’s all you have on hand.
- Egg noodles. Use your favorite brand or make my homemade egg noodles. If you make your own, note that you will likely need to increase the amount of chicken broth/stock in the recipe (and perhaps the salt and pepper as well, always taste-test), since homemade egg noodles usually retain more flour than the store-bought version.
- Spices. Including black pepper, paprika, thyme, and parsley.
SAM’S TIP: The noodles will soak up the broth quite quickly, so if you have any leftover soup, you will likely need to add more broth (and salt and pepper) when reheating.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
I started my favorite basic chicken noodle soup base (handed down to me from my mom) and gently enhanced it to make it subtly creamy. The end result is hearty and satisfying without being too heavy. Here’s how you do it (and in one pot, at that!):
- Cook the onions, celery, and carrots in melted butter over medium heat until softened, then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more.
- Sprinkle the flour, salt, and spices over the veggies and stir to coat. Cook until the flour is absorbed and slightly toasted (by cooking about 30-60 seconds longer after it’s absorbed), then slowly pour in the chicken broth.
- Add the chicken, then bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for another 15-20 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the cooked chicken, shred or cut into bite-sized pieces, then place back in the pot.
- Stir in the egg noodles and cook until they are tender and cooked through, then reduce the heat to low.
- Stir in the cream until incorporated, then taste test. If needed, add additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: Always, ALWAYS taste test before serving! Your soup shouldn’t taste at all bland, but if it does, it just needs some more salt. I can’t give a precise amount to add here, since different chicken broths have different sodium levels. So just start small and add more as needed until the soup tastes good to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
I think this soup will freeze well when prepared up through step #7 in the recipe card below. I don’t recommend freezing after you’ve added the noodles or the cream, as neither tend to thaw nicely.
When you’re ready to thaw, you can follow the advice in this guide on how to freeze soup from Food52. Then pick up with the recipe at step #8, and enjoy!
You don’t have to, but if you don’t, then you technically won’t be making a creamy chicken noodle soup! The cream adds a slight richness and flavor to the soup without making it overly creamy or indulgent. I recommend adding it, but if you don’t want to, you can just use more chicken broth instead.
This soup isn’t designed to be super thick; instead, it’s supposed to be creamy and somewhat light (It’s not as thick as my chicken corn chowder). You can make it thicker by substituting a cup and a half of the broth with heavy cream. Keep in mind that the soup will definitely thicken as it cools, too, and the noodles will absorb much of the liquid.
Give my creamy chicken pasta a try next! It’s a bit richer and creamier than this soup, but still so flavorful and comforting on a cold night.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- ⅓ cup (75 g) salted butter
- 1 (140 g) heaping cup onion diced
- 2 cups (290 g) carrots cut into coins
- 2 cups (220 g) chopped celery usually 4 stalks
- 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
- 3 Tablespoons (23 g) flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 ½ lbs (680 g) uncooked chicken see note
- 6-8 cups (1.4-1.9 L) chicken broth see note
- 8 oz (226 g) uncooked egg noodles
- ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- Melt butter in large soup pot over medium heat.⅓ cup (75 g) salted butter
- Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until softened and onions are translucent.1 (140 g) heaping cup onion, 2 cups (290 g) carrots, 2 cups (220 g) chopped celery
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).1 Tablespoon garlic
- Add flour, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and parsley in and stir together, coating veggies with flour and spices. Cook until flour is completely absorbed and then cook another 30 seconds longer to toast the flour.3 Tablespoons (23 g) flour, 1 teaspoon table salt, ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- Slowly, while stirring, drizzle 6 cups of chicken broth into pot.6-8 cups (1.4-1.9 L) chicken broth
- Add chicken to the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer (usually medium-low heat). Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked through (typically around 15-20 minutes).1 ½ lbs (680 g) uncooked chicken
- Once chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot.
- Add egg noodles and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Once noodles are cooked, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream until completely incorporated.8 oz (226 g) uncooked egg noodles, ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- Taste test and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy.
BrothI always start with 6 cups. If the liquid is quickly absorbed by the noodles, add the additional broth as needed. It’s also a good idea to keep the extra broth on hand for heating up leftovers.
ChickenBreast or thighs will work, but I personally prefer a blend of both. If cooking both, it is helpful to cut the breasts in half/to be close in size to the thighs so that the chicken cooks at the same rate. It’s easy to tell when the chicken is finished cooking because it shreds easily with a pair of forks, but you can also use an instant read thermometer and check that it has reached 165F (74C).
NoodlesUse your favorite brand of egg noodles or make your own.
StoringStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Note that the noodles will absorb most of the broth as the soup sits, so you will need to add more broth or water (and likely some salt and pepper, too) when reheating leftovers (unless you like a very thick soup).
FlavorIf the soup tastes anything other than abundantly flavorful, you simply need a bit more salt! Add more salt to taste to bring out the flavors of the soup. A precise amount is difficult to predict given the varying sodium content of broths, so I start with a baseline amount and you will need to taste-test and add more as needed.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.