The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Written by Beth - Budget Bytes

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!

Images and prices updated 2-8-17

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!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
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4.91 from 150 votes

The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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! 
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 8 1.5 cups each


  • 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: 1 ServingCalories: 233.43 kcalCarbohydrates: 21.89 gProtein: 20.18 gFat: 7.13 gSodium: 532.1 mgFiber: 2.78 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Love chicken soup? Then you’ll LOVE my Chicken Stew. It’s like chicken 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 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.