Basic chicken noodle gets a serious upgrade in this hearty recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s a simple family dinner that will comfort, nourish, and warm you to your toes!
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The Coziest Chicken Noodle Soup Ever!
Everyone knows that chicken soup is one of those simple, homespun foods that are just plain good for you. Made with tender chicken, a few healthy veggies, and some noodles (or rice, or potatoes) for good carbs, homemade chicken noodle soup is always a hit. I really like to serve it in the colder months, to help warm everybody up after a long and cold day up here in good ol’ Indiana.
But, this creamy chicken noodle soup is a revelation. I’m serious, you guys – this may just be my new favorite soup. And that’s saying a lot, because I am a major fan of my original Chicken Noodle Soup!
BUT, there’s just something about the milky, creamy soup base with its velvety blend of noodles, carrots, celery, and juicy chicken… If you try it once, you’ll make this soup all year long. 🥣
What Makes This Soup Creamy?
There are lots of ways to thicken and cream-ify soups, stews, and gravies. You could make a roux, for one thing – and in this soup, I do add some flour to my buttery sauteed ingredients for a quick, light version.
Throwing a handful of rice in your soup and letting it simmer for a long time also adds a certain amount of creamy thickness. And of course, some people just stir in a can of condensed “cream of this-or-that” to make a creamy soup. For me, however, a really good creamy chicken noodle has to include heavy cream! 🤷♀️
Specifically, I add a generous amount of milk and an almost equal amount of heavy cream (or half and half) to the soup broth. It adds a buttery, sweet, richness that can’t be equaled.
Along with the cream and milk, you’ll need your basic chicken soup ingredients. Here’s the list in more detail:
- Butter: For sauteing and adding a little flavor. You could also use olive oil.
- Onion: Dice up a yellow onion.
- Carrots and Celery: I like these thinly sliced, or you could dice them, whichever you prefer.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh, or use some dried parsley.
- Garlic: Minced or pressed fresh garlic cloves are my favorite. But garlic powder would work in a pinch!
- Flour: A small amount of flour helps thicken the soup.
- Salt and Pepper
- Dried Herbs: You can use any herbs that you like. I go with oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Basil, sage, dill, and other dried green herbs work well, too.
- Broth: Typically, I just use low-sodium chicken broth. If you like, you can use homemade stock or broth, bone broth, or even vegetable broth.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to.
- Milk and Cream: Feel free to substitute half and half for the cream.
- Noodles: Dry egg noodles are great in chicken noodle soup, but broken-up fettuccine or linguine would be delicious, too!
How to Make Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
While some soup recipes take a long time to put together, this one is actually pretty quick! Here’s how to make it, step by step.
- Saute the Vegetables, Flour, and Seasonings in Butter. First, set a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the pot is heated, add the butter and let it melt. Then saute the onions, carrots, celery, and parsley together for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and let that cook for a few seconds, and then stir in the flour and seasonings (except bay leaves). Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring to keep the mixture from scorching.
- Add the Broth, Chicken, and Bay Leaves. When the three minutes are up, stir the chicken broth into the flour and veggie mixture, making sure to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Toss in the bay leaves, add the chicken breasts, and simmer for about 25 minutes with the lid partially covering the pot.
- Shred the Chicken. At this point, the chicken should be fully cooked. Take it out of the pot and cut it in half – if there’s no pink inside, let it cool on a cutting board for a few minutes, and then shred it with two forks or meat claws. Return the shredded chicken to the soup.
- Finish the Dish. Last, you’ll need to stir in your milk and cream, along with the noodles. Increase the heat so that the soup boils for about 7 minutes, until the noodles are cooked. Remove the bay leaves and toss them. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more if needed.
Helpful Hints and Variations
So there you have it, a creamy chicken noodle soup that’s sure to be a hit with your family! But if you’d like to change the recipe a bit, don’t be shy – in fact, here are a few easy changes you can make:
- Chicken Thighs Instead of Breast: Chicken thighs are extra moist, and work very well in this recipe. Using boneless, skinless thighs, you can follow the recipe just the way it’s written. Make sure to check any chicken you cook for doneness.
- Instant Read Thermometer: To make extra sure the chicken is cooked through, you should always use a meat thermometer. Instant read thermometers are ideal, because they give a quick digital read-out. Chicken is done at 165°F.
- Noodle Options: Egg noodles are great, but don’t hesitate to swap any pasta that you like. Some will take longer to cook than others, so be sure to check the package to see how long you need to boil them. You can also swap diced potatoes or rice for the noodles, carb-free noodles, too, just keep in mind that these alternatives might affect the texture of the soup.
- Add Veggies: Speaking of potatoes, this soup is great with extra veggies, too. Green beans, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, and corn are all great ideas.
Side Dish Inspiration
What should you serve with this creamy chicken noodle soup? Almost anything! Here are a few cozy-healthy sides that work really well with cozy-healthy chicken soup. But feel free to make whatever you like – the sky’s the limit here.
- Biscuits: A fluffy biscuit on the side would be just right with this soup, adding exponential coziness! And, with this simple recipe for Garlic and Cheddar Drop Biscuits, you can skip the rolling and cutting.
- Grilled Cheese: Soup and grilled cheese is a classic combo. A regular grilled cheese sandwich with plenty of butter would be scrumptious, or you could try a Caprese Grilled Cheese for a little taste of Italy. It’s SO good!
- Salad: Take a page out of your favorite bistro’s book, and serve your creamy soup with a hearty, crisp salad! Apples and Cheddar Chicken Salad is a healthy, autumn-appropriate garden salad that’ll carry you through the whole winter.
How to Store and Reheat this Soup
Soups are great, not only for one meal, but for several (if you make enough). They’re easy to store and easy to reheat. Here’s how to keep this creamy chicken noodle fresh for another meal:
- Refrigerate Covered: Tightly cover the soup, or better yet, put it into an airtight container before refrigerating. It will keep for about 3 days or so.
- Reheat Carefully: With creamy soups, you want to reheat until they’re steaming hot. I recommend reheating it over medium heat, stirring now and then, until it’s piping hot all the way through.
Does Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Freeze Well?
- Yes and no. If you’d like to make this ahead, or double the batch and freeze half, then the important thing to know is this: dairy and noodles won’t freeze well in this soup. Leave those out of the batch IF you intend to freeze.
- Why? If you freeze the soup with the cream, milk, and noodles in it, then the noodles will be mushy and the dairy will separate into grainy bits once you thaw it out and reheat it. Adding the dairy and noodles after you thaw and reheat is the way to go!
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups milk
- 1½ cups heavy cream, or half and half
- 10 ounces dry egg noodles
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot set over medium heat.
- Add in the diced onions, carrots, celery, and parsley; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic; cook for 20 seconds.
- Add in the flour, salt, oregano, thyme, and black pepper, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the bay leaves and chicken breasts, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a steady simmer; partially cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
- Remove chicken breasts from the soup and transfer to a cutting board; let cool for a couple minutes, then shred the meat.
- Return shredded chicken to the pot.
- Stir in the milk, heavy cream, and noodles; bring to a steady boil and cook for about 7 minutes, or until noodles are cooked al dente.
- Remove from heat.
- Discard bay leaves.
- Taste the soup for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.