One of my favorite meals as a kid was my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. I remember helping make the dish many times and is some of my fondest memories. It is also the recipe that I first started learning kitchen knife skills and how to keep the vegetables cut uniform in size.
The recipe itself does not require a lot of ingredients and takes changes well. My dad does not like the onion in the recipe, so we always left it out as kids. My mom always makes the egg noodles from scratch to go in the dish as well. I think it tastes better with fresh noodles as well.
I have adapted the recipe in two formats, a stovetop version, and a pressure cooker version. Both recipes work well and depend on the time you have available to make the meal.
Pressure Cooker Version
Start with a whole chicken. Remove any guts and clean outside from any feathers as needed. Place in 6QT pressure cooker. We use our 6QT instant pot, which works great. Add 1.5 cups of water. Cook on high pressure for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the bird. 4-6lb birds work great. Allow to completely natural release.
Remove chicken and strip all bones, skin, and fat. You can either shred the chicken by hand or chop it into 1” pieces with a knife. I prefer to let it cool some in the fridge, so it is easier to handle.
Strain liquid from pressure cooker to remove any remaining bones, etc. Measure the amount and add water until you have 9 cups total. Clean the pot and return to the cooker.
Put the cooker in sauté mode on medium heat. Add butter and then onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onion starts to brown. Return liquid to the pot, then add chicken and seasonings, tasting as you go.
Continue simmering until vegetables are tender, or you can pressure cook for 2 minutes on high and full release after 10 minutes of natural release. Add cooked egg noodles and serve hot with fresh bread.
I have tried cooking the egg noodles in the pot with them and it does work. However, the pot is very full, and the starch off the noodles can change the flavor.
Start with a large stockpot and place the chicken inside along with 9 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked to 180 degrees and meat is tender. The longer you simmer, the easier the meat will come off the bones.
Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool long enough to strip the meat from the bones. You can either discard the bones or turn them into some bone broth later. Strain liquid and top up to 9 cups as needed.
Clean pot and return to stove. Add butter and vegetables. Sauté on medium heat until onion starts to brown. Return broth to the pot and add chicken. Add seasonings and taste. Adjust as needed.
Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add cooked noodles and serve.
As above, you can cook the noodles in the soup. Sometimes it makes the soup starchy, especially if you make homemade noodles.
My notes and substitutions
I have tried the following substitutions and they seemed to work ok. If you are short an ingredient or want to swap something out, I recommend trying it. This recipe is very forgiving.
If you want to swap this out and remove it, you can use chicken stock instead of water. This does reduce the salt content and may need other seasoning adjustments.
Chicken VS Turkey
In my opinion, the turkey changes the recipe some. It’s just not the same as chicken to me. But it does work. Unless you get a very small turkey, half of a turkey would probably work best here.
Homemade vs Store Noodles
Homemade noodles as a sense of freshness and more depth to the recipe in my opinion. I strongly recommend you make your own. But store noodles work fine. I am not fond of the cheaper egg noodles and prefer this brand: Mrs. Millers Old Fashioned Wide Noodles. They remind me more of the homemade noodles, without the time.
You can adjust the amounts to your liking and how hardy you like the soup. I like a thick soup with lots of vegetables and meat. My wife likes the broth more. Find the balance that works for you.
Growing up, we used to throw the ingredients for homemade bread into my mom’s bread maker and serve the fresh hot bread with the soup. I don’t have a bread maker, so I make my own. We rarely purchase bread from the store and make our own of everything. The bread is optional but great for sucking up the broth.
While I can’t say this soup will help you kick a cold, can you go wrong with some fresh homemade soup? I feel better after a bowl of soup. And you can’t beat homemade for good ingredients. So much better than the “stuff” from a can.
Organic VS Non-organic
We deal with Crohn’s disease in our family. Eating more organic items and watching what is in our food is critical for us. Considering celery is one of the top “dirty” fruits and vegetables when it comes to pesticides, we always buy organic. The choice is yours and how healthy you want to be, or are worried about.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Homemade chicken noodle soup – so much better than a can.
Whole chicken (4-6lbs)
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
Small onion (diced)
1.5 cups carrots (sliced 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick)
1.5 cups celery (sliced 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 3 garlic cloves minced
9 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1lb egg noodles
- Boil chicken in a large stockpot with 9 cups of water until chicken is cooked and meat is tender.
- Remove chicken and cool until you can strip the meat from the bones. Strain broth to remove any leftover bones or fat. Set aside.
- Place butter in the pot and saute vegetables until onion begins to brown. Return broth and chicken.
- Add seasonings and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Cook noodles in a separate pot, then drain and add to soup pot.
- Serve while hot, with fresh bread if desired.