The Best Chicken Noodle Soup is made whenever I have a leftover roaster chicken carcass. This homemade chicken soup recipe is made in my Dutch oven and it is a keeper!
Everyone should know how to make a comforting pot of soup that's loaded with meat, veggies and tons of chicken flavor. There is nothing better than a nice warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day. It is also one of those great meals that can be made in advance or pulled out of the freezer when you have a sick family member or friend. Plus it's a great way to use up the leftover carcass from chicken.
Ingredients Needed for the Best Chicken Noodle Soup
This recipe is more of a process than a strict recipe. Every time I make chicken noodle soup, it comes out a little different because I may have used different seasonings or I may add in different vegetables.
- Chicken Carcass – This recipe is ideal for using up a leftover chicken carcass from a leftover roast chicken or a store bought rotisserie chicken. You want to have some meat leftover rather than a carcass that has been picked clean. You can also use a leftover turkey which I often use after Thanksgiving.
- Water – The chicken carcass will flavor the homemade chicken broth as the soup cooks so cold water is truly all you need but you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer.
- Vegetables – I love to use carrots, yellow onions and celery. I always have them on hand and they each lend a great flavor to the broth. Feel free to add additional veggies such as mushrooms, potatoes, peas, green beans, etc. as you see fit.
- Seasonings – Add in your favorite seasonings and fresh herbs such as salt, black pepper, fresh parsley, thyme, sage, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, poultry seasoning. My Cuban Roasted Chicken makes a really good chicken soup with complex flavor but you can use any chicken that's well seasoned.
- Noodles – From spaghetti to egg noodles to elbow macaroni you can really use any kind of noodles in this recipe. You can even add wild rice or brown rice if you'd like to make it a chicken rice soup. Use your favorite personal preference.
How to make Chicken Carcass Soup
This delicious soup is totally made from scratch but it's so simple to make!
- Place the chicken carcass into a Dutch oven or large pot along with the vegetables and herbs and cover the leftover chicken meat with enough water to submerge and simmer over low heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat and cool for a few minutes before straining the broth. Reserve the broth and set aside the chicken and the vegtables.
- Chop any chicken meat into small bite sized pieces, discarding the chicken skin and bones. Chop the carrots, celery and onion(if desired) into bite-sized pieces. Discard herbs.
- Return the strained broth to the pot and add the shredded chicken and chopped vegetables.
- Bring the broth to a low simmer, stir in raw noodles and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the noodles are done. Season with more salt and pepper and dried herbs if desired.
The whole process takes about 2 hours to cook but is worth every minute. And it really is passive cooking time because while it simmers, you can be doing other things. You'll have the best chicken noodle soup in a Dutch oven simmering on your stove and your kitchen will smell amazing!
What type of noodles should you use?
The nice thing about chicken noodle soup is that you can use all types of noodles. Sometimes I use spaghetti and other times I'm in the mood for wide egg noodles. They are added at the end so you can basically use whatever you like. Or you could add orzo, elbow macaroni or pastina. Make this a gluten free recipe by using gluten free noodles or rice.
Tips for making the best homemade chicken noodle soup:
- Use a grocery store leftover rotisserie chicken to make this recipe super easy.
- If you have a whole chicken, you can use about ⅔ of the meat for other recipes, reserving ⅓ of the leftover meat for the soup.
- To make a heartier bone broth, bake the leftover bones on a large pan in the oven before making the soup.
- Make the homemade chicken stock a day or two in advance and cook the noodles just before serving.
- Be sure to remove all of the chicken bones.
- Make a really big batch so you can freeze some. You can double the recipe below but make sure not to add the noodles until you reheat the soup.
- The longer the stock cooks, the more flavorful it is. Onions and celery are not the only veggies that can be added to flavor the soup. Some other favorites are parsnips, leeks, garlic and chives. You can also use your favorite herbs.
- To make the soup extra meaty, add cooked pre-chicken just before serving.
- If you don't want to add noodles, you can substitute rice also. Add dry rice to the last 25 minutes of cooking time. It might soak up the broth so make sure to add extra water as needed.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Storing and Leftovers
Store this leftover soup in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can be reheated by the bowl in the microwave or you could reheat in a pot on the stove. This soup can also be frozen in freezer safe containers. I like to freeze it then add the noodles when reheating the soup.
February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day!
I could eat soup all winter. In case you didn't know, February 4th is national homemade soup day. I really don't need a special day to celebrate with homemade soup but for those who do, I have included more homemade leftover chicken soup recipes below.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
- Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Gluten Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Sicilian Soup via Katie's Cucina
- Chicken Lentil Soup via Swirls of Flavor
If you like this leftover chicken soup recipe, please leave a 5-star rating below.
Best Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 leftover roasted chicken carcass
- a large pot of water
- 1 large onion peeled
- 3 large stalks of celery trimmed
- a handful of parsley and dill or other favorite herbs
- 3 large carrots peeled and trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces noodles
- 1 tablespoon dried herbs
- Put the chicken in a large soup pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil on medium heat, add onion, cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Add the celery, herbs and carrots. Cover and cook on low heat for another 30 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat. Cool for a few minutes. Strain the broth and remove the chicken and vegetables. Chop the chicken into small pieces, discarding the bones and skin. Skim the broth for any extra fat. Chop the carrots, celery and onion(if desired). Discard herbs.
- Pour broth in the pot and add the chicken and chopped vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook soup on medium heat and bring the broth to a simmer. Add noodles or pasta and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until noodles are done. Season with more salt and pepper and dried herbs if desired.
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