This Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is pure comfort food in a bowl. This classic soup gets a boost in nutrition with the addition of kale. It’s simple to make and will warm you from the inside out!
Growing up, when we were sick, there were a few things that were a given. You were going to have to drink a ton of Gatorade and eat some form of chicken soup. Oh, and maybe have a little 7 Up to settle your stomach. The chicken soup would either be Campbell’s Chicken and Stars or Chicken Noodle. Either way, I hated it and have never bought any as an adult.
In fact, chicken noodle soup never even sounded good to me until more recently. I’ve been craving more foods like that, so I decided to make a pot of it. I wanted it to be a super hearty chicken noodle soup that was full of vegetables.
With a super simple soup recipe like this, you really need good quality ingredients. You want either a homemade chicken stock or good quality store-bought one. I recommend the Imagine brand of organic low-sodium chicken stock if you’re buying some.
Also, it’s totally worth the effort of using bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for this Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. I normally buy boneless and skinless chicken breasts at the butcher shop, but I picked up a couple of bone-in packages the last time we went. So glad I did and will be buying more for other future recipes.
What Herbs to Add to Chicken Noodle Soup
Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon, and Parsley are commonly used. Italian seasoning, Thyme, and fresh Parsley are also good seasonings for this soup.
What Vegetables to Use in Chicken Noodle Soup
Again, this is really up to you. Carrots, onion, celery are all standard. Kale and spinach are also great additions and really help to bump up the nutrition level.
Egg noodles are more traditional in homemade chicken noodle soup, but I used some gluten-free rotini in mine. The shape is similar, so they work just as well. Since I knew we’d have leftovers, I cooked the pasta separately. That way they the noodles didn’t swell overnight. Just cook the pasta, place what you need into your bowls and ladle the soup over top. Then, place the rest of the pasta into a bowl, drizzle a little of olive oil on top and stir to coat the pasta. This will help to prevent it from sticking together. You can cook the noodles right in the soup, but you would need more stock or water.
Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup
Packed with vegetables, this Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe is a nutritious and delicious comfort food meal!
- 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin on split chicken breasts
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 large stalks of celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock (homemade or good quality store-bought, such as Imagine Organic)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dried rotini or egg noodles (use gluten-free noodles such as Jovial Foods Rotini for GF )
- 1 pound of lacinato (Tuscan) kale, stemmed and chopped into 1/2 - inch pieces
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper.
In a 5-quart dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Reduce the heat if the pan starts to scorch. Remove the chicken from the pan and set on a plate.
Add the carrots, onion, and celery and 1/2 tsp of sea salt to the pan. Cook over medium-low heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the Italian seasoning and thyme. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook until a meat thermometer placed into the thickest part of the breast reads 160 to 165 degrees, 10-15 minutes.
Take the chicken breasts out of the pot and place onto a clean plate or cutting board. Let cool enough to where you can handle it, then remove the skin, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Bring a separate pot of water up to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and set aside. While the chicken is cooling, bring the pot of soup back up to a simmer, add the chopped kale and let cook until kale is tender, 10-15 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Add the noodles to soup and stir together. (If you know there will be leftovers, do not add the noodles to the pot. Place some pasta into your bowl, then ladle the soup over it.) Stir in the parsley, check seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary, then serve.
If you have leftovers, it's best to store the soup and noodles separately to avoid them swelling. Place into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil over the pasta and stir to coat the noodles. This will help keep them from sticking together.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Best Chicken Recipes
Estimated Nutrition Facts: