We are in soup season, which is both good and bad news for parents. The good news is that it's easy to make fast, healthy soups that kids tend to like. I've found soup, especially chicken noodle soup, to be a reliable dinnertime win.
The bad news? If you have little kids, it's especially messy. Do you even know how far a 2-year-old can launch a spoon of broth?! You don't want to know!
How to Make Easy Homemade Chicken Soup
Making an all-day chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy and chilly Saturday, but honestly, who has the time? (I used to have the time. But now I spend my time researching how to get Nutella out of the couch. Wait . . . is that Nutella?)
So, I won't pretend that this weekday version of chicken noodle soup has the deep flavor of a long-simmered, homemade stock soup. But it's on the table in 30 minutes, it has real ingredients, and it's a surefire dinnertime winner during these cool days.
Using a rotisserie chicken means you don't even have to poach chicken for the soup! And it also means you can make stock with the carcass for this soup—or the next day, for future soups or dishes that require it. Bonus!
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup Fast
Want to speed this recipe up even more? Pre-chop the veggies the night before and even cook the noodles in advance if you want. The recipe becomes an "Octonauts" recipe. One episode and dinner is done.
The Dad Add: Poached Egg
I've always wondered why the Asian ramen tradition of serving soup with a soft-poached egg never really caught on with American-style soups. Turns out there is no reason for this!
A soft-boiled egg perched on the edge of your soup is a beautiful thing and adds a welcome richness to this quick chicken noodle soup. The kids can have one too, of course, but mine wanted nothing to do with it.
The Kid Report Card
This recipe is an easy win, as I said. My kids ate it up, although in different ways. My almost 4-year-old ate it like an actual bowl of soup: everything in one bowl. He slurped the broth and scooped out the goodies. Bingo. Winner. High fives all around.
My 22-month-old is more finicky and insists on dividing and conquering, a common kid requirement. So, she got a plate with noodles, chicken, veggies, and a bowl with just some of the broth. A few tablespoons will do the trick so that when she decides she is finished and flings it across the table, I have less to clean up. She tried a little bit of everything though, which is absolutely all you can ask for at the dinner table!
More Kid-Friendly Meals!
How to Use Homemade Leftover Chicken in This Recipe
Rotisserie chicken is convenient for chicken noodle soup because you don't have to cook the chicken, but homemade leftover chicken is just as convenient. If you have plain cooked chicken—stay away from any chicken (like barbecue chicken) that would have flavors that don't work for this soup—simply shred up 2 cups worth and substitute it for the rotisserie chicken.
How to Store and Reheat This Recipe
Refrigerator: Store in a tightly covered container for up to five days. Note: The noodles will continue to soak up tons of broth and get gluey. To prevent this, leave the noodles out and cook them separately, adding them as needed. Reheat over medium heat until the soup is hot, and the chicken is 165°F.
Freezer: Store—without the noodles if you don't want them to get gluey—for up to three months in freezer-safe containers. Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat the soup over medium heat until the soup is hot, and the chicken is 165°F. If you left the noodles out to freeze, boil noodles while the soup is reheating and combine.
More Warming Chicken Soup Recipes
- Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
- Chicken Peanut Curry
- Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Wing Ramen
- Colombian Chicken Soup
Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup
For the soup:
8 ounces egg noodles
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white onion, diced (1 medium onion)
1 cup celery, diced (about 2 stalks)
1 cup carrots, diced (2 medium carrots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken stock, homemade or store bought
2 cups shredded chicken, from a store-bought rotisserie chicken
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Crackers, for serving
For the Soft-Boiled Eggs:
2 large eggs, optional
Cook the noodles:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Strain and toss with butter.
Meanwhile, cook the veggies:
In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until vegetables soften. Then add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute.
Add the stock and chicken:
Add chicken stock and bring soup to a simmer. Stir in shredded chicken and simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper.
Make the soft-boiled eggs (if using):
Add 1/2-inch of water to a medium pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Add the eggs and cover. The water will not completely cover the eggs. That's OK. Return water to a rapid boil and cook eggs for 6 1/2 minutes.
Immediately remove the pot from the heat and remove lid. Run the pot under cold water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking.
Assemble the soup:
Divide the egg noodles among the bowls and spoon in the soup. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them carefully and slide them into the bowl on top of the soup. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crackers.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 33g||42%|
|Saturated Fat 14g||72%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||24%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|