Put the canned soup down, take two steps back, and never look back again. This Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is immensely better than any store-bought rendition, and it comes locked-and-loaded with tons of flavor, with those comforting, feel-good vibes you can only get from homemade chicken soup! Best of all, it's crazy easy to make, and with just 10 minutes of prep time, there's really no reason not to make it from scratch.
Love chicken soups? You'll also want to try our creamy Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings!
HOW TO MAKE CROCK-POT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
- Par Cook Veggies In Microwave -- Once your carrots, celery, and onions are chopped up, transfer them to a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for about 2 minutes. This small step ensures your vegetables finish cooking at the same time as the chicken!
- Add Ingredients To Slow Cooker - Add vegetables, broth, bay leaves, seasoning, and chicken to a slow cooker; a 4 to 6-quart crock-pot works great. Pop on the lid and cook for 2-3 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.
- Shred the Chicken and Add Noodles - Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the crock-pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Then, return the shredded chicken and the noodles to the cooker. Cook for another 30 to 45 minutes on high. For al dente noodles, cook closer to the 30-minute mark.
WHY MICROWAVE THE VEGGIES FIRST?
Ever found chicken breasts cooked in the crock-pot to be lackluster and dry? Let's fix that.
Chicken breasts are cooked through in the crock-pot after 2-3 hours on high and 5-6 hours on low. When testing this recipe, we found that raw vegetables going into the slow cooker did not soften within these allotted time frames...even when chopped extra small! So, in order to not overcook the chicken, par cooking the vegetables in the microwave is a quick and easy solution!
DO YOU COOK THE CHICKEN BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE SOUP?
No. For this Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe, you do not need to cook the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker. In fact, part of what makes it so yummy is the time the broth, the chicken, vegetables, and seasoning spend together cooking in the slow cooker.
If you were to add already-cooked chicken to a crock-pot and leave it in there for hours on end, your chicken would end up very tough. However, if you have cooked chicken you'd like to use in this recipe, you'll find instructions for using it below!
CAN I PUT FROZEN CHICKEN IN THE CROCK-POT?
Can you? According to the Crock-Pot company– yes. Should you? According to the USDA — No. It’s always best to thaw chicken before adding it to any cooking vessel, as stated in the USDA's “Slow Cookers and Food Safety” write-up.
Point of the story? Safely thaw your chicken breasts before adding them to the slow cooker.
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CHICKEN SOUP INGREDIENTS
- Chicken | This recipe was developed with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and the cooking time reflects that! If you were to use bone-in chicken, it would take longer to cook through. If you are planning to work with either leftover chicken or even a rotisserie chicken, you can find instructions for that below!
- Vegetables | The vegetable mix in this Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle soup is nothing out of the ordinary, yet the flavor of this soup is absolutely extraordinary! You'll need carrots, celery, and onion. This mix of veggies is a classic combination and you might also recognize it as mirepoix. It is perfect for adding tons of flavor to soup without breaking the budget!
- Seasoning | We wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible, and the spice blend reflects that! To season the soup all you'll need salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 1 to 2 bay leaves. This humble mix, along with the vegetables, adds all the flavors you know and love about Chicken Noodle Soup to this recipe!
- Noodles | Last, but not least, the noodles. We used twirly, extra-wide egg noodles, but if you'd prefer to use broken up thin spaghetti noodles, fusilli pasta, or even Kluski egg noodles, by all means, feel free to sub it in!
- Chicken Broth | Note, this recipe calls for unsalted chicken broth. If you only have regular chicken broth on hand, already equipped with plenty of sodium, be sure you leave the salt out of this recipe entirely and rather, salt to taste at the end of the cooking process.
CAN I USE LEFTOVER OR ROTISSERIE CHICKEN?
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is a great recipe for using up leftover chicken or even store-bought rotisserie chicken!
You'll begin the recipe as directed, by par cooking the vegetables in the microwave. Then, add the vegetables to the crock-pot, along with the seasoning and broth. Let the broth and veggies slow-cook together, so the vegetables can get nice and softened up, but wait to add the cooked chicken until you are directed to add the noodles.
If you were to add cooked chicken at the beginning of the cooking process, your chicken will toughen up and develop an undesirable texture.
CAN I USE CHICKEN STOCK?
Yes! The only difference between chicken broth and chicken stock is that the stock has been simmered with chicken bones. This typically results in a darker, more flavorful cooking liquid. Yum. Feel free to sub in stock for broth in this recipe, but you'll want to take care to use a low-sodium stock.
HERBS FOR CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
If you want to get extra fancy with your Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, add in some fresh herbs! Chopped parsley, sage, and thyme are all considered wonderful flavor pairings with chicken, and you can add up to a scant tablespoon of parsley, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of sage, thyme (or both), without overpowering the soup.
IS CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP GOOD FOR YOU?
Aside from the noodles, Chicken Noodle Soup has many health benefits. The vegetable mix contains a good deal of Vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system and helps to fight off viruses. The chicken breasts are protein-packed which also gives your immune system a boost. And, as for that warm and steamy broth, it's great for clearing any stuffy nasal passages!
CAN YOU FREEZE CROCK-POT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP?
This soup freezes extremely well! To freeze Chicken Noodle Soup, allow it to cool down and transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container or a gallon-sized, freezer-safe ziptop bag. If using a ziptop bag, be sure to seal it tightly. Then, place the bag on its side and lay it on a flat surface (like a small baking pan) to freeze. Freezing it on a flat surface will make quicker work of thawing the soup.
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Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup with chicken breasts, hearty vegetables, egg noodles, and a flavorful broth is deliciously soothing and deeply satisfying!
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 ribs of celery, finely diced
- 4 carrots, finely diced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 - 2 bay leaves
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups extra-wide egg noodles
Add the chopped vegetables to a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for about 2 minutes. The vegetables will still be firm, but not raw tasting. Take note, the bowl will be hot coming out of the microwave and you should be careful of the steam as you remove the plastic wrap.
Add the vegetables, along with the chicken, broth, bay leaves, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to the crock-pot. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
Once the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the crock-pot, shred it, and return it to the cooker along with the egg noodles. Cover again and cook for another 30-45 minutes on high.
Remove the bay leaves, serve, and enjoy!