Chicken Noodle Soup

$9.10 recipe / $1.14 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 159 votes
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When my body is tired and achy, or I’m feeling a bit under the weather, I always throw together a big pot of this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. The aroma that fills my house as it cooks is absolutely soothing to the soul, and the “from scratch” flavor just can’t be beat. There’s no bouillon here folks, because this chicken broth is the real deal. But don’t worry, despite being made from scratch, this surprisingly simple and easy recipe makes the BEST homemade chicken noodle soup with very little hands-on time!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

What’s In Chicken Noodle Soup?

To make chicken noodle soup from scratch, you really only need a few simple ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables (onion, garlic, carrots, celery)
  • Bone-in chicken breast
  • Herbs and spices (basil, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper)
  • Water
  • Noodles

These ingredients cook together to make an incredibly flavorful homemade broth. No bouillon or soup base is needed for this homemade chicken noodle soup! 

Why Bone-In Chicken Better For Chicken Noodle Soup

By using chicken breasts that still have the bones and rib meat attached, you’re getting all of the flavor and health benefits of the chicken bones and connective tissue. If that sounds strange, just trust me. The bones provide an incredible depth to the broth’s flavor and the connective tissues break down and give body, or a slight richness to the broth. If you use boneless chicken breasts instead, your soup will definitely be lacking. And don’t worry, all those bones and connective tissue get taken out before the soup is served. ;)

Make it in a Slow Cooker

Yes, this recipe adapts very easily to the slow cooker. Click here to see the instructions for my Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup (with step by step photos).

Freeze the Leftovers!

This recipe makes a big batch, so I always freeze about half of it for those days when I’m really under the weather. A quick reheat in the microwave or in a pot and this soup instantly makes me feel better. To freeze this soup, first divide it into single portions, make sure it is chilled completely in the refrigerator, then transfer it to the freezer, for up to about three months.

A ladle full of chicken noodle soup held over the pot.

Pairs perfectly with homemade No-Knead Focaccia Rolls!

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The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

4.91 from 159 votes
This Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is made 100% from scratch, with plenty of chunky vegetables, herbs, and a homemade broth, just like Grandma used to make! 
Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 medium yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots ($0.49)
  • 1/2 bunch celery ($0.83)
  • 2 split chicken breasts, bone-in ($6.64)
  • 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1 whole bay leaf ($0.15)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 2-3 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 6 oz. egg noodles ($1.00)


  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, wash and slice the carrots and celery. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more.
  • Pull the skin and any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Add the breasts to the pot along with the bay leaf, basil, parsley, thyme, some freshly cracked pepper, and eight cups of water. Cover the pot, bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour. Make sure the pot continues to simmer for the whole hour. If the heat is turned down too low and it is not bubbling away, the chicken will not shred easily.
  • After an hour of simmering, remove the chicken from the pot. Using two forks, pull the meat from the bone and shred it slightly. Season the broth with salt. Begin with one teaspoon and add more to your liking. I used 2-3 teaspoons. The flavor of the broth will really pop once the salt is added.
  • Add the noodles to the pot, turn the heat up to high, and boil the noodles until tender (about 7 minutes). Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Taste and season again with salt if needed (I didn’t need to). Serve hot!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 233.43kcalCarbohydrates: 21.89gProtein: 20.18gFat: 7.13gSodium: 532.1mgFiber: 2.78g
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Love chicken soup? Then you’ll LOVE my Chicken Stew. It’s like chicken noodle soup’s heartier, more rustic cousin!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch – Step By Step Photos

Sautéed onion and garlic in a soup pot with a wooden spoon.

Begin by dicing one onion and mincing three cloves of garlic. Place them in a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Carrot and celery added to the soup pot.

While the onion and garlic are cooking, clean and slice 1/2 lb. carrots and 1/2 bunch celery (3-4 stalks). Add them to the pot. Continue to sauté the onions, carrots, and celery together. You’ll only use half of a one-pound bag of carrots and half of a bunch of celery, but the rest doesn’t need to go to waste. You can clean and slice the rest and freeze them to make another batch of soup later. I do it every (other) time. It takes just a few more minutes and is super convenient later!

Two split chicken breasts on a cutting board.

Remove the skin from two split chicken breasts (2.5-3 lbs. total). Split chicken breasts come with bones and rib meat, both of which add a LOT of flavor to the broth. They will also sometimes be labeled “bone-in chicken breast with rib meat”.

Chicken and herbs added to the soup pot.

Add the chicken breasts to the pot along with 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Water added to the soup pot.

Add eight cups of water, cover, and bring up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for one hour. Make sure that you don’t turn the heat down so low that it stops simmering. It needs to simmer the whole time.

Simmered chicken soup in the pot.

After an hour, it will look something like this. Pull the chicken out of the pot…

Shredded chicken with two forks on a cutting board.

Use two forks to pull the chicken from the bone and shred it into bite-sized pieces.

A bag of egg noodles.

Add 6oz. egg noodles to the pot while you’re working on the chicken, turn the heat up to a boil, and cook until tender (about 7-10 minutes). You can use any noodle that you like, but I really like egg noodles for this soup. They have a nice firm texture and they don’t disintegrate in the soup. Season the broth with salt, beginning with one teaspoon and adding more until the flavor of the broth really pops (2-3 teaspoons).

Chicken and noodles added to the soup pot.

Add the shredded chicken back to the soup, stir to combine, and you’re ready to eat! It’s never a bad idea to give it one last taste and adjust the salt if needed.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup with a gold spoon on the side.

This chicken noodle soup recipe makes about 12 cups, so it’s not a bad idea to freeze some for later. Always refrigerate the soup fully before transferring it to the freezer. When making big batches, it’s a good idea to divide it up into smaller portions before refrigerating. This helps the hot liquid to cool down faster once in the refrigerator. 

Side view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
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  1. I have been using this exact recipe for years and it honestly is the best chicken noodle soup ever. I use a Tbsp of italian seasoning instead of the dried herbs and it is perfect (and I don’t have to buy the herbs separately). I just wanted to leave my comment as I am very grateful for this recipe!

  2. So classic, and so easy! Really pleased with this recipe. I’d never used bone-in breasts before but definitely will be buying again for this, and other shredded chicken needs.

  3. My identical twin sister is the one who made your recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup and said it was extremely easy to make. Thank you for making it easy for most of us! Scrolling down I see many more recipes and I can hardly wait to try each one of them! It is very much appreciated by myself and I dare say all that look into your website! Thank you for making it easy peasy for us and also on a budjet friend way! God bless you for sharing!

  4. I’ve made this before and this recipe is great! I want to make some but the only thing I have on hand is frozen bone-in chicken? Can I add frozen chicken to the boiling water or do I have to thaw first?

    1. I would definitely thaw it as much as possible first to ensure a successful outcome. If you have an instant-read kitchen thermometer, you can give it a shot and just keep cooking until it reaches 165*F in the thickest parts. Otherwise, I’d say…if it’s still a little icy in the center, it’s will be fine…but if totally frozen, it likely won’t cook properly. ~ Marion :)

  5. Delish. So all I had were 2 boneless breasts. I put 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth. Seasoned it to my liking and it was spectacular. Otherwise I followed the recipe. Thanks! Also added a teaspoon of better than chicken for extra flavor.

  6. Do I need to do anything differently if I use bone in, skin on chicken thighs instead of breasts?

  7. Hands down the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had! My father and my boyfriend are obsessed! I’ve only ever used chicken breast (couldn’t find bone in chicken breast where I live) and I use bone broth as well.

  8. I live in the UK and I haven’t been able to find wide shaped egg noddles like in the US. Would you use regular pasta for this instead?

    1. Hi, Christina! You can definitely use regular pasta! I would just consult the package directions for a suggested cook time since egg noodles cook a bit faster than regular pasta. — Marion :)

  9. I made this today and it was delicious. The only substitutions I made was that I used chicken thighs instead of breasts, as I’d already had them on hand. Also, kosher salt instead of iodized or sea salt. I’ll definitely make this again and try it with the breasts next time.

  10. Do you think I could make with chicken breast’s the same way? That’s all I have on hand.

  11. Can I use boneless chicken breast if that’s what I have on hand? I’ve made this before using bone in but that’s what I have

  12. Holy cow! (Or chicken?) I don’t even consider myself a fan of chicken noodle soup but this was so flavorful!

    1. I added one can of creamed chicken soup one can of cream of celery soup and it was fire. I’ve made chicken before but these spices in it are amazing thank you