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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

This Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is destined to become your new favorite chicken noodle soup recipe made without any canned soups! It’s easy comfort food all made in one pot for any night of the week.  You just can't beat juicy chicken, plump noodles, tender carrots and celery, swaddled in a creamy herb and Parmesan laced broth.  This recipe is also extremely versatile and pantry friendly – swap in any of your favorite veggies, your favorite pasta and/or use rotisserie chicken, thighs or breasts. This creamy dream also reheats beautifully for make ahead dinner or lunches!   Serve your Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with sweet cornbread and apple salad for a complete feast!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs OR 2 ½ cups rotisserie chicken (see notes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups celery sliced 3/8-inch thick
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon granulated chicken bouillon, bouillon cubes or better than bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 3 TBS fresh
  • 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme, dried sage, ground cumin
  • pinch -1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups half and half (or evaporated milk + 1/2 TBS cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven/soup pot. Once hot, add the chicken and sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate but leave the drippings.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in the drippings. Once melted, increase heat to medium-high and add onions, carrots and celery; sauté for 4 minutes scaping up the golden bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the flour then cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes (it will be thick); don’t let flour stick to the bottom of the pot or it will burn later. You can add additional oil if needed.
  • Add chicken back to the pot along with chicken broth, bouillon, all seasonings, ½ teaspoon salt, and bay leaves. Cover the soup and bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce and simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is tender enough to shred, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn and replacing the lid.
  • Remove tender chicken to a cutting board and shred when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch with half and half until smooth in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup then stir into the pot. Add the noodles and bring to a boil; simmer until noodles are al dente, approximately 5 minutes (don't overcook noodles!).
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan until smooth followed by shredded chicken. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Stir in additional broth or half and half if desired for a less “chunky” soup.



Tips and Tricks

  • Shortcut Easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup: To make this recipe in a hurry, purchase pre-chopped vegetables and rotisserie chicken and use garlic and onion powder.  You can also use frozen vegetables and add them the last 10 minutes of cooking. Now, almost all of the prep work is done!
  • Rotisserie chicken: Add about 2 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken to the soup at the end when the recipe calls for adding shredded chicken back to the soup.  If using rotisserie chicken, you will have skipped the step of seasoning the chicken thighs with salt and pepper so season to taste at the end of cooking.
  • Chicken breasts: You can use chicken breasts if that is what you prefer but note they are leaner than chicken thighs, so they will not be as juicy or as flavorful, especially if overcooked.  Slice your breasts in half through the equator if they are extra-large, otherwise, the simmer time will be much longer and the veggies can break down too much.
  • Chicken bouillon:  The bouillon adds an even richer, deeply satisfying chicken flavor.  If using cubes, you will need 3 cubes which you crush up and then add directly to the broth, don’t dissolve in water first.
  • DIY Half and half:  Make your own by using half heavy cream and half milk. For a healthier alternative, substitute the half and half with evaporated milk mixed with 1/2 tablespoon additional cornstarch.
  • Pasta options: Aside from egg noodles, other favorite pastas include rotini pasta, cavatappi, fusilli, cellentani or pasta shells.  Some even like to use broken up spaghetti or fettuccine. You will need to cook these pastas longer than egg noodles.  Another favorite pasta of mine in soups is tortellini.  I use it my Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup and the cheesy, melt in your mouth pillows are divine
  • Veggie options:  Green beans, corn, peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, canned tomatoes, or fresh spinach or kale would be tasty. Add green beans, bell peppers and cauliflower the last 10 minutes of cooking so they don’t overcook.  Add leafy greens at the end of cooking to wilt and frozen petite peas at the end just to warm through.
  • Protein options: You can use any of your favorite proteins in place of the chicken – lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, etc. Brown the protein with the onions, carrots and celery, crumbling as you cook. Ham would also be a tasty swap. Add ham at the end of cooking and heat through.  Ham can be quite salty so omit the salt in the recipe and add salt to taste.
  • Gluten free: Use gluten free flour and your favorite gluten free pasta – the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
  • Vegan: Omit the chicken and chicken bouillon, replace the butter with oil, the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and the half and half with plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice whisked with 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch.  You can add mushrooms, tofu or additional veggies in place of the chicken.

How to Make Ahead, Store and Reheat

  • Make Ahead: The flavors of this recipe get better the next day! Take extra care to cook the noodles al dente so they don’t get mushy when reheating OR add noodles cooked separately.
  • Prep Ahead: The chicken can be trimmed, the veggies chopped, the spices measured and the cheese grated ahead of time.  You can even make the soup up to the point of adding the noodles, then pick up from there – just make sure the soup is simmering before you add the noodles or they can become gummy.
  • Storage:  Let the soup cool to room temperature, then cover and store in your Dutch oven or transfer to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze:  See in depth instructions in the post. You will need to omit the noodles and half and half or swap the half and half for evaporated milk.
  • To reheat on the stove: Reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth as needed.
  • To reheat in the microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.