Make this easy chicken noodle soup recipe using leftover chicken. This is a perfect cozy comfort food to make on a cold day!
I love making this chicken noodle soup recipe after making a whole chicken earlier in the week. It is a great way to use up your leftovers! In this post I share how I use a whole chicken for several meals.
This leftover chicken noodle soup recipe is a perfect way to use up the left over chicken breasts from the whole chicken. I also use the chicken stock that I make from the whole chicken.
And the best part is that this classic chicken noodle soup can be made without an extra trip to the grocery store! It is a delicious recipe that the entire family can enjoy.Jump to Recipe
What chicken can I use for this recipe?
This recipe is very versatile and one of the easiest soups you can make. For this homemade chicken noodle soup recipe I have used many different types of leftover chicken. Honestly you could even use leftover turkey in this soup.
We all have loads of leftover turkey after thanksgiving and this is a great way to utilize that turkey! As I mentioned before I have used whole chicken leftovers from when I cook a whole chicken in an instant pot.
If cooking a whole chicken intimidates you, you can even pick up a rotisserie chicken and use the leftover meat from that. I have also bought chicken breasts, cooked and shredded the chicken for enchiladas one day and stored the extra for the next day and used to make chicken noodle soup!
If you find that you are in a pinch and need to throw a dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less and you don’t have leftover chicken, you aren’t stuck yet. I have even used canned chicken and it has come out delicious as well.
Something that I love about using leftover chicken is that you get a great flavor added to the soup when you have used already seasoned leftover chicken.
Sometimes I will make a seasoned chicken for a salad and then use the leftovers to make this soup and it really brings out the best flavor that normally wouldn’t be a part of the soup!
Can you use an Instant Pot to make chicken noodle soup?
Yes! I have used my instant pot for making this soup. With the instant pot you will still saute the onions, add the seasoning, carrots and celery and cook until soft. Then you will add the water, broth, and noodles. You then have two options for cooking this meal.
Either pressure cook the soup or simmer on the saute function. If you are pressure cooking the soup, then you will want to set on the pressure cook function for 6 minutes. Once it is done, then you will quick release it and add the chicken and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken is warmed.
Or you could add the remaining ingredients and keep the pot on saute mode. Then bring the soup to a boil and follow the same instructions for when you cook it in a stock pot.
Should you cook the noodles before adding them to soup?
No and that is what makes this soup more of a quick easy soup. It is also a one pot soup which is my favorite kind! Nobody needs extra dishes to wash at the end of the day! In this recipe and this type of noodles you will put the uncooked noodles right into the broth and veggies to simmer together.
I love cooking the dried noodles with the rest of the veggies and seasonings because it really adds flavor to your noodles. You will cook the carrots, onions, and celery in the butter and seasonings before you add the noodles.
This is because they need a slightly longer cooking time than the noodles. They will finish their cooking with the noodles.
Is chicken noodle soup healthy?
This version of chicken noodle soup is a healthier option when compared to other soups. If you use the chicken bone broth then you will have the added gut health benefits that bone broth contains. If you want to learn how to make your own bone broth click here.
This recipe includes carrots which are packed with vitamin A, calcium and vitamin K, and celery. If you choose to use raw, fresh, chopped garlic which has bacterial fighting benefits then that will be added to your soup. So all in all this recipe is a great healthy dinner idea to feed, fill and comfort your family!
How to make chicken noodle soup using leftover chicken
Let’s get to the “how to” for making this easy soup recipe. This is definitely a 30 minute recipe or less. It can be whipped up on a busy weeknight.
It is also a great recipe for when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen all day, but still want something tasty and comforting. Lets get cooking!
Saute the veggies and seasonings
First lets start by adding four tablespoons of butter to the bottom of a large pot over medium high heat. While the butter is heating up chop up your onions. Add the onions to your pot and saute until the onions have softened and become somewhat translucent.
This could take about 2-4 minutes and you will want to stir them around every thirty seconds or so to keep them from burning on the bottom of the pot. While the onions are cooking, chop your carrots and celery stalks.
You will also mince your garlic if you are using fresh garlic. Add your veggies to the pot with the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Then you will want to add your fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh herbs or fresh parsley that is fine.
You can use dried herbs as well and this soup will still taste amazing. Add the salt, black pepper, parsley, sage, and garlic powder if you’re using garlic powder. Saute the mixture for another 2-5 minutes or until you have tender carrots.
If you want this process to move more quickly, then you can chop your carrots into smaller pieces and they will cook faster.
Now for the broth and noodles
Once your vegetables and seasonings have cooked enough, they are ready for the remaining ingredients except for the chicken. Because you are using leftover chicken, you won’t want to add it until a bit later. This is because the chicken is already cooked.
If you added it with the noodles and cooked it more, then your chicken would be over cooked and taste more dry. So add your water and chicken broth whether you have homemade bone broth, store-bought broth, low sodium chicken broth, or use chicken bouillon, it won’t matter.
There are more health benefits to bone broth and it will need more salt if the bone broth isn’t salted. But otherwise the soup will taste amazing regardless of what broth you use. Then add your wide egg noodles and turn up the heat to get the soup to a boil.
Cooking the soup
Over high heat get your soup to a boil. Once it is boiling then reduce the heat and simmer for eight minutes. Make sure you are stirring the chicken noodle soup occasionally so it doesn’t burn or get stuck on the bottom of the pan.
Once your soup has been boiling for eight minutes then you will add the chicken. Cook your soup for another 5-8 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente and the chicken is warmed up. Sometimes you will need to add up to one cup of water if the soup is too thick.
Taste the soup to make sure you don’t need to add any more salt. As I mentioned before, your salt may vary depending on which broth you use since some chicken broth has a lot of salt while a homemade broth may not have any.
Now you get to enjoy this comforting soup! Serve warm with crackers or just eat plain!
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup-Using Leftover Chicken
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 Whole onion chopped
- 2 tsp garlic minced or garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt more to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp sage
- 4 large carrots chopped
- 4 celery stalks chopped
- 4 cups water more if the soup is too thick
- 4 cups chicken broth bone broth, or chicken bouillon
- 16 oz wide egg noodles uncooked
- 2 lbs leftover chicken chopped or shredded into bite sized pieces
- Put the butter in a large pot and melt over medium high heat. While the butter is melting, chop the onions and add to the pot. Saute the onions for 1-2 minutes until they are soft and somewhat translucent.
- While the onions are cooking chop up the garlic (if you are using fresh garlic), carrots, and celery. Add the vegetables to the pot and saute them for three minutes.
- Add the salt, black pepper, parsley, sage and garlic powder if you are using powder. mix the vegetables with the seasonings and saute for two minutes.
- Add the water, chicken broth and noodles. Stir in with the veggies and bring the soup to a boil. Once the soup is boiling lower the temperature to medium low and simmer the soup for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the noodles don't get burned or stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the chicken and mix. Cook the soup for another 4-6 minutes or until the noodles are cooked to your liking and the chicken is warmed up. You may need to add 1/2-1 cup of water if the soup is too thick. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Pin for later use and share with your family. This really is a quick easy meal to get on the table without sacrificing taste!
Comment below on how your soup turned out or what creative leftover chicken you used. I would love to hear. Let me know if you have any questions.
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