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Recipes » Soups & Salads » Ultra Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe (30-Minute Meal)

Ultra Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe (30-Minute Meal)

This quick and easy chicken noodle soup recipe uses last night’s chicken dinner leftovers to becomes today’s scrumptious meal, all in just about 30 minutes.

a white bowl and gold spoon, with chicken noodle soup

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

What Can I Make with Leftover Baked Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken?

I love to use the whole bird, and by that, I mean picking it clean and making stock from the carcass and using the picked meat for chicken salad, a batch chicken and dumplings, or this comforting homemade chicken noodle soup.

a white bowl and gold spoon, with chicken noodle soup

Ultra-Satisfying 30-Minute Chicken Noodle Soup with Leftover Chicken

If you’ve got leftover chicken of any kind, a Dutch oven, and just about 30 minutes, allow me to introduce you to my fail-proof classic chicken noodle soup. It’s chock full of all the good stuff including tender chicken and a flavorful broth and is hard to beat on those days where the weather gets the better of us.

My family and I enjoy a rotisserie whole chicken almost weekly. My local big box store makes it REALLY HARD to walk right by them without placing one in my buggy.

Previously, I shared what to do with what remains of that rotisserie. Together with vegetable scraps, fresh parsley and other fresh herbs, and a bay leaf, that leftover rotisserie (or leftover turkey) is a great way to yield stock.

This easy chicken noodle soup recipe employs homemade stock and leftover chopped chicken meat. Chicken soup is comfort food 101, folks, so let’s get cooking…

Do You Have What You Need to Assemble my Chicken Noodle Soup with Leftover Chicken? Check the List!

  • unsalted butter or olive oil
  • a large onion
  • large carrots
  • celery stalks
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • bay leaves
  • bouquet garni of fresh parsley, fresh thyme, and a branch of fresh rosemary
  • leftover chicken, light or dark meat
  • chicken stock, homemade if you have it
  • cream of chicken soup
  • egg noodles, orzo, or other macaroni product
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • fresh parsley

How This Recipe Came About…

This is a hack versus a recipe really, at least in my mind. My former housekeeper brought me a vat of this stuff once when I was sick along with a sleeve of Saltines.

I remember emerging from what seemed like three whole days’ worth of agony and I was very hungry. I heated Stephanie’s creamy chicken noodle soup and toasted the last slice of some homemade bread I had.

WHAT A MEAL! Great flavor with a super flavorful broth, an unusually extra broad type of noodles, and lots of chicken breast meat. I absolutely knew then and there I needed that homemade chicken noodle soup recipe from her.

a white bowl and gold spoon, with chicken noodle soup

Recycling Leftover Chicken in Fresh Recipes

I look forward to what I refer to as Thanksgiving sandwiches the day after a turkey dinner. Slices of white bread lathered with mayonnaise and heaps of black pepper play host to bits of turkey meat, a layer of cold stuffing, and thin slices of cranberry sauce.

And with a rotisserie chicken dinner, the next day brings at the very least, homemade chicken stock. I pick the chicken clean, discard the skin, and place the chicken carcass in a pot with scrap vegetables and fresh herbs and let ‘er rip over medium heat until it’s reduced and very aromatic.

What will become of that chicken stock in my kitchen is anybody’s guess. I freeze it to use it at a later time as it saves me from having to spend out for canned or boxed broth and it’s soooo much richer than anything store-bought in my local grocery store.

I do chicken in some form or another at least twice weekly. If I am baking chicken breasts or even smoking legs on the smoker, I always make a point of making extra so I can make chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, or this recipe, my ONLY, my BEST chicken noodle soup recipe.

a red pot, filled with noodles and chicken in soup

What Are the Best Packaged Noodles for Chicken Noodle Soup?

The type of noodle you chose to use in this wonderful recipe of comforting chicken noodle soup is up to you. I have two German dried noodle brands I like and a fresh frozen egg noodle I like.

Use what you have on hand or shop the selection at your grocery store. One tip I always offer; peruse the frozen foods isle for fresh frozen noodles or dumplings, or the foreign foods isle for a variety of ‘real deal’ dried noodles.

Most are imported from Germany or hand made in Pennsylvania Dutch country. In my opinion, no brand who also makes a zillion other pasta varieties matches something cut and frozen or dried by hand. It’s worth poking around to see what is available to you.

a red pot, filled with noodles and chicken in soup

Is This Recipe Really 30 Minutes?

Yes. With the use of leftover chopped chicken, prepared homemade or store-bought chicken stock, and my secret weapon for flavor and instant creaminess, canned cream of chicken soup, this is a hastened version of a simple recipe for chicken noodle soup.

If you need to shave more time off from the preparation side of this recipe, look for a pre-chopped mirepoix (celery, carrot, and onion) in your grocers refrigerated produce section. I love when the work is done for me and embrace shortcuts like this whenever I can justify taking them.

Also, and if you are a big box store member, look for their fully cooked, pre-chopped/pre-pulled all white meat rotisserie chicken breast meat. It comes vacuum packaged and clean of bones. I like to pull the package apart, separate it by 1-cup increments, and re-vacuum package it for my freezer.

This makes any soup, casserole, or salad that requires chicken soooo much quicker because it’s right in the freezer and already chopped/shredded and ready to go. The best part is only having to pull the number of bags equivalent to the number of cups you require to assemble the recipe.

a red pot, filled with noodles and chicken in soup

How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup with Leftover Chicken?

Great meals begin in the home kitchen, and this delicious recipe is one your entire family will embrace.

Sauté the Mirepoix

To the bottom of a large Dutch oven, melt some butter over medium-high heat. I go unsalted but you may use salted or even olive oil versus butter if preferred.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrots first. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the onion and the celery. The vegetables will soften after about 3 minutes.

chopped onion, celery, carrot

Add the Aromatics

With the side of your knife, heavily smash each of the cloves of garlic. Move the garlic to the pot along with two bay leaves and the bouquet garni, tying the end to a handle on the pot. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.

Add Chicken Stock and Cream of Chicken Soup

Not required, but a seriously amazing addition to this dish is the use of homemade stock. For real, if you have it, use it.

Add 6 cups of stock to the pot and stir scraping up any of the browned bits which may be sticking to the bottom of your Dutch oven. Next, add the contents of a can of condensed cream of chicken soup and whisk to incorporate.

Simmer the soup liquid over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. How does your kitchen smell right now, kinda like Grandma’s??

ProTip: taste the broth at this point. If you feel the liquid requires additional richness, consider adding EITHER an additional can of condensed cream of chicken OR 1 additional cup of chicken stock. I tend to go additional can of condensed soup, one can regular and the other lower sodium, and add stock at the very end only if I feel it’s necessary. Keep in mind that the noodles will usurp a lot of the liquid, so you’ll need to eyeball it for added stock if it looks like it needs it. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

featured image for Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup
…and for those ‘other days’ when you’ve got oodles of time, do not miss my Slow Cooker Cheddar Soup! Hearty and delicious.

Add In the Noodles

Stir the noodles into the soup. Depending on the type of noodles used their cook time may be anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes so simmer for at least that long before adding the chopped chicken.

Simmer with the chicken for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and the bouquet garni using a slotted spoon and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in some chopped fresh parsley and ladle into wide bowls to serve.

If You Like This Recipe…

…you might also like:

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Ultra-Satisfying Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Last night's chicken dinner becomes today's ultra-satisfying chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken, all in just about 30 minutes.
No ratings yet
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 518 kcal

Equipment

  • large Dutch oven

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter may substitute olive oil
  • 1 large onion rough chopped
  • 2 stalks celery rough chopped
  • 3 large carrots rough chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic fresh; smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 bay leaves
  • bouquet garni tied off; 1 branch fresh rosemary, fresh parsley, fresh thyme
  • 2 cups chicken chopped
  • 6 – 7 cups chicken stock NOTE: this recipe specifies the use of 6 cups with the optional additional 1 cup only if you feel the soup requires more liquid
  • 1 – 2 cans low sodium condensed cream of chicken soup NOTE: if you like a thicker, creamier soup you may opt to use 2 cans; note that condensed soups are typically salty so if you do add 2 cans, consider making at least one of them lower sodium
  • 5 ounces egg noodles may substitute orzo or other macaroni product of choice
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup parsley fresh; chopped

Instructions
 

  • To the bottom of a large Dutch oven, melt some butter over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrots. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the onion and the celery. The vegetables will soften after about 3 minutes.
  • With the side of your knife, heavily smash each of the cloves of garlic. Move the garlic to the pot along with two bay leaves and the bouquet garni, tying the end to a handle on the pot. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.
  • Add 6 cups of stock to the pot and stir scraping up any of the browned bits which may be sticking to the bottom of your Dutch oven. Next, add the contents of a can of condensed cream of chicken soup and whisk to incorporate. Simmer the soup liquid over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Taste the broth. If you feel the liquid requires additional richness, consider adding EITHER an additional can of condensed cream of chicken OR 1 additional cup of chicken stock. I tend to go additional can of condensed soup, one can regular and the other lower sodium, and add stock at the very end only if I feel it's necessary. Keep in mind that the noodles will usurp a lot of the liquid, so you'll need to eyeball it for added stock if it looks like it needs it. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  • Stir the noodles into the soup. Depending on the type of noodles used their cook time may be anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes so simmer for at least that long before adding the chopped chicken.
  • Simmer with the chicken for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and the bouquet garni using a slotted spoon and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in some chopped fresh parsley and ladle into wide bowls to serve.

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Store Leftovers in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
 
To Freeze add soup by the 1-cup measure into freezer-safe bags labeled and dated. Lay bag almost flat on counter while zippering closed and pushing any air pockets out. Freeze flat. Soup will keep frozen for up to 4 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 518kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 24gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1871mgPotassium: 927mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 6807IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 4mg
Keyword 30 minutes, soup
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