Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

$9.22 recipe / $1.15 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.94 from 15 votes
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Homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Not only is it incredibly easy, but even just the smell of it simmering away is soothing and totally gives me hygge vibes. While I’ve had a stove top version of this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup for years, I thought it was high time to show just how easy and hands-off it is to make with a slow cooker (or crock pot). This is the perfect winter Sunday recipe to have going while you tend to other chores or just catch up on Netflix. :)

Overhead view of a slow cooker containing freshly cooked homemade chicken noodle soup

What Size Slow Cooker Do I Need?

I would suggest using a 6 quart slow cooker. I used a 5 quart slow cooker and it was filled dangerously close to the top, so 6 quart would be a much better fit. If you have a smaller slow cooker you can cut the recipe in half by changing the number of servings in the box next to servings in the recipe card below. This will adjust the amounts of all the ingredients for you. It will still need to cook for the same amount of time.

What Are “Split” Chicken Breasts?

Split chicken breasts are one whole chicken breast that has been split down the breast bone into two pieces (right and left breast) with the bones, rib meat, and skin still attached. Also known as bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Using this type of chicken breast is key to getting the best flavor in your chicken soup. The bones, connective tissues, and dark rib meat are where all the flavor’s at. Bone-in chicken thighs are also a great option.

Can I Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast?

Technically you can, but your soup will have a lot less flavor. You may find that you need to use pre-made chicken broth in place of the water listed in the recipe below to get more flavor in your soup.

Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker chicken noodle soup

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

It’s not recommended to add frozen meat to slow cookers. It takes too much time for the meat to thaw and come up to a safe temperature, leaving it in the temperature “danger zone” where bacteria can flourish for too long. If you have frozen chicken that you’d like to use, make sure to thaw it fully using a safe method before adding it to the slow cooker.

To Use Chicken Skin or Not to Use Chicken Skin

I remove the chicken skin from the split chicken breasts before adding it to the slow cooker, but you don’t have to. There is a lot of fat and flavor in the skin, so if you want an extra rich soup you can leave it on. You’ll just remove the skin at the same time that you debone the chicken meat.

Can I Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?

Yes! This recipe makes a huge batch, so you’ll probably want to freeze half of it. Make sure to divide the soup into single portions just after cooking (so it cools quickly), cool it completely in the refrigerator over night, then transfer to the freezer the next day. You can freeze in quart-sized freezer bags or reusable freezer safe food storage containers.

Overhead view of a ladle lifting chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker

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Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

4.94 from 15 votes
Slow cooker chicken noodle soup is an incredibly easy and soothing winter recipe that will fill you up and warm you from the inside out!
Overhead view of a ladle lifting chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Total 4 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 medium) ($0.30)
  • 4 ribs celery ($0.43)
  • 2 split chicken breasts* (2-2.5 lbs. total) ($6.30)
  • 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1 bay leaf ($0.15)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 8 cups water ($0.00)
  • 6 oz. wide egg noodles ($0.68)
  • 1 Tbsp salt (or to taste) ($0.10)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional) ($0.20)

Instructions 

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, peel and slice the carrots, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to a 6 quart slow cooker or crock pot.
  • Remove the skin from the bone-in split chicken breasts, then place them on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Add the basil, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  • Pour 8 cups of water over the ingredients in the slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • After cooking on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the bay leaf. Add the egg noodles to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and replace the lid, with the heat turned on to high.
  • Use two forks to remove the chicken meat from the bones, shredding the meat as you go. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the soup. The noodles should be tender after about 8-10 minutes of being in the soup (this may take a few minutes longer if the slow cooker was previously set to low).
  • Once the chicken has been returned to the soup and the noodles are tender, begin seasoning the soup with salt. The true flavor of the soup will not be pronounced until it is properly salted. Start with 1 tsp salt, adding more until the soup is bold and flavorful. I use about 1 Tbsp (3 tsp). Finally, stir in a handful of chopped parsley for garnish just before serving.

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Notes

*Split chicken breasts have bones, rib meat, and skin attached.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 235.2kcalCarbohydrates: 20.9gProtein: 27.6gFat: 4.1gSodium: 1349.6mgFiber: 2.5g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up side view of a bowl of slow cooker chicken noodle soup

How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup in a Slow Cooker – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, carrot, celery, and minced garlic in the slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion, peel and slice 1/2 lb. carrots (about four), slice four ribs of celery, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Add all four to a 6 quart slow cooker or crock pot.

Chicken and herbs added to the slow cooker

Remove the skin from two split chicken breasts (leave bones and rib meat attached). Place the chicken in the slow cooker along with 1 tsp dried basil, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Chicken noodle soup ready to cook

Add eight cups of water to the slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Remove cooked chicken from slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board and discard the bay leaf (it usually floats on top).

Add egg noodles to slow cooker

Add 6 oz. wide egg noodles to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and replace the lid. Let the noodles continue to cook on high heat while you shred the chicken.

Chicken meat shredded with forks, bones on the side

Use two forks to remove the chicken meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker. The noodles will be tender after being in the pot for about 8-10 minutes (this may take a few minutes longer if your slow cooker had previously been set to low).

Season chicken noodle soup with salt

Once the noodles are tender and the shredded chicken returned to the pot, begin seasoning the soup with salt. Start with 1 tsp and keep adding more until the soup tastes vibrant and delicious. I use about 1 Tbsp (3 tsp). Finally, add 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish just before serving.

Finished Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

As with any soup or large batch recipe, it helps to divide the soup into smaller portions before cooling in the refrigerator. This helps the food cool faster, which is a better food safety practice.

Front view of a ladle lifting some chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker

Add some crackers on top and enjoy this totally from-scratch homemade chicken noodle soup, just like grandma used to make. :)

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  1. I halved this recipe,  used boneless/skinless chicken breast I’d pre-diced already before freezing, and did half water half chicken broth. I also left out the celery because, yuck and added  extra carrots lol. My 4 year old kept telling me the house smelled yummy while it was cooking and she devoured it at dinner time. It’s a win from me. 

  2. I use 6 chicken drumsticks. In my stainless steel pot. Start with diced bacon, onion, crushed garlic, Italian herbs. Fry until onion translucent. Add boiling water from the jug, place in the chicken, bay leaf, carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, a dollop of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, chilly flakes (optional). Let it brew for a couple hours with lid on. Stir occasionally. Once meat is cooked tender, pull out chicken. Remove bones. Shred chicken and place back in soup. Serve. Can sprinkle with parmesan (optional). Delish!!!! Freeze leftovers.

  3. I added lemon juice and some parmesan at the end. I had to add more salt than was suggested but that’s personal preference.

    I used bone and skin chicken thighs. The broth flavor was definitely slightly different than what I expect from chicken soup. Wondering if the skin had something to do with it. Still very good!

  4. my mom got her covid booster shot and flu shot at the same time, she doesn’t react well to even just the flu shot- gets really sick for a couple days. AND she’s been saying the last week she’s been wanting soup anyway.

    i used this recipe and all i changed was using 4 cups kettle and fire chicken bone broth and 4 cups water, and a whole bag of extra wide egg noodles.

    my mom refused the soup at first yesterday saying she was stuck in bed and didn’t want to eat. while she was working today i brought the soup over and put it in the fridge for her to come home to. she texted me and said she ate all of it, that it was the “best chicken soup she’s ever had besides my grandma’s” (my Italian grandma on my dads side lol)

    she’s so picky, and we have such different taste in the types of meals we like. i thought the soup was fantastic myself. but thanks to your recipe, my first time making homemade chicken soup and my mom actually ate and loved something someone else made.

    going to print out this recipe so i don’t ever lose it, and as a younger millennial, i can’t remember the last time i printed anything.. if that’s any indication of how much i loved it!

  5. This is an easy and versatile soup. I’ve made as-directed, subbed 4 c. broth for half the water when using skinless/boneless breasts, and even altered slightly to give the soup a more Latin flair (add 1 diced jalapeno, sub cumin for basil, add cilantro instead of parsley and the juice of one lime at the end). The soup does require a lot of salt at the end, as noted. I think I prefer the 1/2 broth/water combination to start, and less salt at the end, personally.

    Like others, I prefer to cook the egg noodles (or rice) in some of the broth and water separately, then ladle the soup over the al dente noodles so they don’t get water-logged and mushy.

  6. Looking forward to enjoying this for dinner tonight.
    Simply yet hearty👍🏻
    Thank you😁

  7. I was worried my noodles would be soggy since the broth didn’t really boil, but they were fine after 10 min. This was my first time cooking with split chicken breasts, so I’ll be more careful next time to pick through the dark meat for tiny bones before going crazy with the shredding. 

    Also, thank you for putting actual salt recommendations in your recipes, it’s really helpful. :)

    1. You won’t get as much flavor in the soup that way, so you may want to use chicken broth in place of the water in the recipe to make up for the loss of flavor.

  8. I changed the servings to 4 and noticed some things did not change. The amounts in parentheses did not change and also the amount of water or broth did not change either. I’m glad I read the recipe first all the way through. I’m not sure if this has been addressed before with other recipes but it will be something I look for in other recipes. I only cook for 2 and don’t want a lot of leftovers as I have little space in fridge or freezer. Thanks – it really looks good and can’t wait to make it.

  9. For anyone who doesn’t want to risk soggy noddles but DOES want the extra flavor in your noodles, I like to take some broth and boil my noodles on the stove. Return the broth to the soup and you still have al dente noodles with some flavor :) I sometimes do a cup of broth with a cup of water, or water with a bouillon cube, anything to give those noods some flavor

  10. A little late to the party, maybe, but does anyone have any experience using this recipe with meat substitutes? I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t cook with meat much. My current thought is to make the soup itself (with a premade stock instead of water) and cook & add my chicken substitute before putting it all together. I worry about overcooking the chicken sub leading to a bad texture if I put it in with the rest of the soup

  11. Loved the results. Used low sodium chicken broth for half of the water. Kicked it up a notch. How would I incorporate frozen peas and corn in this recipe.

    Thanks

  12. I have no idea how I ended up here but boy am I ever glad I did. 
    I love the sound of this recipe and it looks so yummy.
    I’m having major dental surgery soon and want to get some healthy soft soups in my freezer.
    It will be filled with this recipe!!
    Look forward to more of your recipes. 
    Thanks so much. 

    1. So glad I ended up here. 
      Love the sound of this recipe and it looks so yummy!  
      Having dental surgery soon and want to get some healthy soup in my freezer 
      It will be filled with this soup!!

  13. What noodles would you recommend instead of egg noodles? :) We have an egg allergy in the family. 

    1. You could honestly use any type of pasta here. Small star-shaped pasta or orzo is always fun with chicken noodle soup. :)