In today’s post: This creamy chicken noodle soup is bursting with flavor and so comforting, but it’s lighter because there’s no heavy cream!
My husband hates chicken noodle soup. Weird, right? I mean, how can you hate the most comforting soup ever? Now, in his defense, sometimes chicken noodle just isn’t done quite right. The veggies might be undercooked and hard, or so overcooked they turn to mush. Or there’s way too many noodles and not nearly enough of everything else, including the chicken. Finally, I’ve had chicken noodle soups where the broth tastes like…well, plain old canned chicken broth, which can be lacking in flavor.
To convince my husband this soup CAN be amazing, I’ve developed a creamy chicken noodle soup recipe that takes all the best parts of chicken noodle soup and makes them even better. It’s tied with this creamy chicken and rice soup for my favorite soup of all time!
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Here’s what makes my creamy chicken noodle soup so delish:
- It has a high “stuff” to broth ratio, with lots of tender chicken and plenty of perfectly cooked carrots, celery and onion, along with just the right amount of noodles
- The broth is perfectly seasoned with poultry seasoning, which gives you great flavors from dry herbs you might not always keep on hand, like thyme, sage, marjoram, and rosemary
- It’s CREAMY!! I don’t know why, but a creamy broth is so much more satisfying than a watery one. But there’s no heavy cream in the recipe, so it’s not so calorie laden that you feel guilty eating it.
Plus it’s easy to make! Win, win, win.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped onion 1 small
- 1 cup sliced carrots 2-3 carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery 3-4 ribs
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 cups cooked cubed chicken OR 2 raw chicken breasts, about 1-1.25 lbs total weight
- 8 cups chicken broth 2 quarts or 4 cans
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 oz egg noodles
- 4-8 oz cream cheese softened
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- Begin by chopping all the vegetables. If using raw chicken, cut into bite size pieces.
- In large pot, melt butter and add vegetables, garlic, and raw chicken (if using). Cook and stir over high heat 3-5 minutes, until onion starts to soften and chicken starts to look white, but vegetables are not starting to brown.
- Pour in the broth. Stir in poultry seasoning and black pepper and bring to a gentle boil.
- The soup should boil 20-25 minutes total. If you are using country style egg noodles that take 20 minute to cook, add them after soup simmers for about 5 minutes. If you are using traditional egg noodles that take 10 minutes to cook, allow soup to simmer for 15 minutes before adding noodles.
- When noodles have softened, reduce heat to medium and stir in cream cheese. If using precooked chicken, add it now. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is completely melted and incorporated. It can be helpful to use a whisk.
- Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers. You may want to add additional broth when rewarming leftovers, as the noodles will absorb liquid as the soup sits.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup FAQ
Q: Should I use raw chicken or cooked chicken?
A: Lots of chicken soup recipes call for precooked chicken. I love grabbing a rotisserie chicken and pulling off all the meat to use in a soup recipe like this one. It’s easy and the chicken is super tender. However, using raw chicken breasts is cheaper and not that much more work! So I wrote this recipe so you can use either one. If you use raw chicken, it goes in the pot along with the vegetables. If you use precooked chicken, add it to the pot after the noodles are cooked when you add the cream cheese.
Q: Cream cheese in soup? Does this soup taste like cream cheese?
A: No, the soup doesn’t taste like cream cheese. The cream cheese DOES make the soup very creamy AND give it a richer flavor. If you prefer the traditional flavor of chicken noodle soup, use less cream cheese (4 oz). If you want your soup very creamy and you like the richness of cream cheese, use 8 oz. The soup in my photos today has 6 oz of cream cheese. Also, it’s MUCH easier to melt in the cream cheese if it’s quite soft before you put it in the pot.
Q: What kind of noodles are best in this soup?
A: Technically, you can make chicken noodle soup with any type of noodles you want, even just plain old spaghetti noodles. But I think this soup tastes much better with egg noodles, and I prefer using a “country style” noodle like you see below. This is a dry pasta that you’ll find in the same section as spaghetti and other egg noodles, but it’s so good in soup!
Please notice that the recipe card says the soup should simmer about 25 minutes. If you use country style noodle below, that take around 20 minutes to cook, you’ll want to add them after the soup has simmered for 5 minutes. But if you choose to use a different kind of noodle that has a different cook time, you’ll need to adjust when you add them in accordingly.
Q: Do I have to use poultry seasoning? I don’t have any.
A: No, you don’t. You can use any mix of herbs you like in this soup. I just use poultry seasoning because I think it’s easier to buy one container of poultry seasoning than to buy each of the herbs it contains separately.
Enjoy! And find more comforting main dish recipes here.