Nothing is more delicious and comforting than a perfectly steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup—especially when you’re feeling under the weather!
Since food is my love language, when someone I love is feeling yucky, I always try to make them a great big batch of old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. Not only is it comforting, but it also has some added benefits to help with healing (more on that in a sec), and it’s just darn delicious! I always make sure to save back enough to have a bowl for myself.
Is chicken noodle soup really good for you?
Chicken noodle soup made with fresh ingredients is packed full of nutrition and is a great way to nourish someone who is feeling under the weather.
But maybe more importantly than that (especially if you’re caring for someone sick), chicken noodle soup can bring comfort to someone who isn’t feeling well. Don’t underestimate the power of comfort food! Nourishing your soul with food is just as important as nourishing your body with nutrients.
Some folks choose to avoid gluten during illnesses because it can cause an inflammatory response in certain bodies. If gluten bothers you, you might want to try our Chicken Zoodle Soup for a grain-free (but still totally delicious) version of this sick-day classic.
Does chicken noodle soup really help when you’re sick?
Chicken soup has been a classic home remedy for cold and flu season for ages, and thankfully, there is a lot of science out there that backs it up! Here’s some of the most prominent benefits (hat tip to UCLA Health Integrative Medicine for collecting these).
- Warming the body may help with immune response (source) : Scientists from Yale University have found that there is a reduction in antiviral signals during colder conditions.
- Anti-inflammatory properties (source): A 2000 study suggested that chicken soup’s mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one of the reasons why soup helps relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
- Helps movement of nasal fluids (source): Chicken soup was observed to be superior to hot water in increasing the movement of nasal mucus, which can help clear the airways and ease congestion.
This is all beyond the proven scientific benefits of the individual ingredients in the soup like garlic and onions, which have powerful antiviral compounds that have been shown to reduce the amount and severity of colds. (Source | Source | Source)
What ingredients do I need for homemade chicken noodle soup?
The ingredients list for this soup may look long, but I promise that everything is pretty straightforward. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- A whole chicken. Can’t have chicken noodle soup without the chicken!
- Water. Yup, no stock—but this will honestly be the most flavorful chicken noodle soup you’ve ever had. We’ll talk more about that in a sec!
- Onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. These will both give you some vitamins and minerals, and add more flavor to the soup.
- Bay leaves, dried sage, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried marjoram. These are all there for flavor. If you are missing one or two, don’t fret—you’ll still get a delicious soup!
- Salt and black pepper.
And then for the homemade noodles (yes, homemade noodles! They are easier than you think!), you’ll need flour, salt, eggs, and water.
How do you make soup from scratch without stock?
There are two parts of this recipe that really make it “from scratch”—the first is using a whole chicken to create the stock, right in the same pot that you cook the soup in. It gives you so much incredible flavor that you’ll never be able to recreate using a store bought broth. You can make some darn good soup using the boxed stuff (and the stuff you make at home), but for the best ever chicken noodle soup, make it fresh using a whole chicken. You’ll be happy you did.
Uh…homemade noodles? That sounds like a lot of work.
The other from scratch aspect is the egg noodles. If you’ve never made your own egg noodles before, my one big piece of advice is to roll them as thin as you possibly can. Like, paper, see-through thin. They will expand like those growing dinosaur sponges you used to get from the dollar store as a kid (just me?).
What can I add to my chicken noodle soup for flavor?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—this homemade chicken noodle soup has SO MUCH more flavor than anything you’d buy in the store. That’s thanks to making the stock right in the pot with the soup, the aromatic veggies, and all the herbs. Delicious!
How do you make egg noodles?
It is so easy, you might never buy egg noodles again! To make egg noodles:
- Mix together the flour and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center, and add in the egg yolks and egg.
- Using clean fingers, mix together until it is lumpy and yellow (it should look a bit like scrambled eggs).
- Add in water a few tablespoons at a time, kneading after each addition, until the dough comes together to form a ball.
- Flour a work surface, and roll out the dough until paper-thin. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut into 1/4″ x 2″ pieces.
That’s it. You’ve made noodles!
Homemade noodles are delicious and a breeze to make, but if you aren’t up for it, you can sub in store bought wide egg noodles for an equally delicious soup.
Can I make the noodles ahead of time?
Sure can! Let the noodles dry for two hours on a baking sheet at room temperature (you can cover with a loose kitchen towel). Then place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for up to three days.
How do you make homemade chicken noodle soup?
First up, you’re going to make the chicken stock. Drop the chicken in your soup pot, cover it with water, and then sit down on the couch and rest while it simmers for about an hour. Take the chicken out of the pot to remove the meat from the bones.
Then you’ll add all your vegetables and herbs, and simmer for about 15 minutes. While they simmer, you can make your noodles! Stir the noodles and chicken in to the soup, boil for 3-5 minutes, and you’re done! Dish out a big bowl of soup for yourself, and enjoy.
Can I make this soup with chicken breasts?
We recommend you stick with whole chicken here, because a lot of the flavor of the broth comes from the dark meat and connective tissue found in the whole chicken. If you want to use chicken breasts, check out our Chicken Zoodle Soup recipe.
What is the difference between stock and broth?
Some folks use these terms interchangeably, but the classic difference is that stock is made from meat bones, and broth is made from meat and vegetables only. This results in broth being thinner and less flavorful, whereas stock is rich and thick and packed with collagen.
So yes, that means that bone broth is actually technically a stock, not a broth. So why is it called bone broth? Some marketing person probably just liked the alliteration!
Can you freeze homemade chicken noodle soup?
Sure can! We recommend freezing the soup without the noodles, because they do tend to break down a bit during the freezing, thawing, and reheating process.
How long is homemade chicken noodle soup good for?
And the best part about chicken noodle soup—it makes a ton. So you can eat on it through an entire illness, or have enough to give to someone feeling under the weather and save some back for yourself. It’ll last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.