Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup — Classic and comforting chicken noodle soup with loads of juicy chicken, tender noodles, carrots, celery, and seasoned to perfection so that it tastes just like grandma used to make it! But this recipe is made with EASE and convenience in mind by using your Crock-Pot. Just add the ingredients, set it and forget it, and your soup will taste AMAZING!
Table of Contents
- Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- What’s The Flavor Like in this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe ?
- Why I Love This Crockpot Chicken Soup Recipe
- Ingredients in Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup in a Crock-Pot
- What to Serve with Chicken Noodle Soup
- Storing Extra Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Thirsty Noodles + Broth Ideas
- Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Recipe FAQs
- More Easy Chicken Soup Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Over the years, my Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup has been well-loved and made by thousands of readers. It’s of course easy and very fast to make on the stovetop in just a half hour.
It has all the flavors of my grandma’s classic chicken noodle soup which took all day to make, but I adapted it for the busy lives we all have now. Where none of us have the time or desire to spend all day in the kitchen standing over a hot pot of soup!
That soup has spawned so many spinoff versions, including super popular Chicken Tortilla Soup, plus Creamy Sweet Potato Chicken Soup, Chicken Vegetable Soup, Mediterranean Chicken Soup, Thai Chicken Curry Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, and more. Make sure to consult the Related Recipes underneath the recipe card for more ideas!
However, over the years I’ve had requests for my classic homemade chicken soup to be adapted to a slow cooker. I am thrilled to finally present this easy slow cooker chicken noodle soup now!
It turns out, that it was pretty much as easy as adding all the ingredients including chicken breasts, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and herbs into a Crock-Pot all at once, pouring in broth, and simmering for 4 hours. Add noodles, simmer a bit longer, and serve!
What’s The Flavor Like in this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe ?
The flavor of the soup turns out the same using whichever method you use to make it stovetop method or slow cooker method.
And it’s pure comfort food, complete with classic, home-cooked flavors just like my grandma made her chicken noodle soup.
There are nice chunks of juicy chicken, oodles of tender noodles, and just the right amount of carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and seasonings.
Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty and comforting bowl of chicken soup on a chilly winter or rainy day, looking for something to serve to a sniffly or sick family member, or bring it to a friend who could use a meal on her doorstep in a time of need, this is easy Crockpot chicken soup recipe is perfect.
Why I Love This Crockpot Chicken Soup Recipe
Slow cookers don’t always mean “easier” and that’s because sometimes there are some pesky steps that are time consuming.
And quite frankly, if I have to start something on the stove and dirty a skillet or a pot, I’d rather just finish it there too and not dirty another!
What I love about this slow cooker chicken soup recipe is that there’s:
- no need to sear the chicken on the stovetop first
- no need to saute and tenderize the veggies in a skillet ahead of time
- no need to transfer food from a skillet on the stove to the slow cooker
- no need to boil noodles separately
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
To make this easy chicken noodle soup recipe, you’ll need the following basic and easy to find fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs)
- Sweet Vidalia onion or yellow onion
- Bay leaves
- Fresh thyme
- Dried oregano
- Chicken broth
- Wide egg noodles
- Lemon juice
- Fresh parsley
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs for Chicken Noodle Soup?
Yes you sure can. Some people love the richer flavor and juicier nature of dark meat versus white meat.
If you’re one of those people, you can use chicken thighs. I suggest boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Everything will be the same except you likely won’t need to remove the thighs and shred them on a cutting board or outside of your Crockpot.
Because they’re fattier, they’ll fall apart easier on their own. Actually, sometimes just from stirring the pot the thigh meat, after it’s properly cooked, will start to fall apart right in the broth.
You can nudge the self-shredded along by pressing a plastic or soft-tipped spatula (so you don’t scratch your slow cooker) into the thighs if needed, but likely not much real effort to actively shred the meat will be needed on your part!
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup in a Crock-Pot
When I say this is one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make, I truly mean it!
There’s nothing to saute or sear ahead of time on the stovetop, no transfering food, no need to separately boil the noodles, it’s a true one pot, or one Crock-Pot, recipe!
Step 1: To a large 6-quart to 7-quart slow cooker, evenly drizzle the olive oil over the bottom of your slow cooker so nothing sticks, add the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Pour the broth over the top.
Step 3: Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low about 6-7 hours.
Step 4: Remove the cooked chicken breasts, place them on a cutting board, and shred the chicken using two forks. Or put on a pair of dish-washing gloves because the chicken is hot and shred by hand. I know some people use a hand mixer to shred chicken but I think it’s overkill for such a quick and easy little task.
Step 5: Add the shredded chicken back into the broth, add the noodles, cover, and cook on high for about 20 minutes, or until done.
Step 6: Remove the bay leaves, add a squirt of lemon juice, taste for seasoning balance, adjust if necessary, and serve immediately!
What to Serve with Chicken Noodle Soup
If you’re in need of some bread, salad, or side dish ideas to serve with slow cooker chicken noodle soup, I’ve got plenty!
Some great homemade bread and rolls include:
- Classic Skillet Cornbread
- No-Knead Make-Ahead Rolls
- Honey Dinner Rolls
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Parker House Rolls
- Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread
- Herb Garlic Rolls
If you’re of the “soup and salad” mentality, try these complementary salads:
- Classic House Salad with Vinaigrette
- BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Easy Chopped Salad (has chicken but you can omit)
- Fall Harvest Salad
Storing Extra Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
Extra chicken noodle soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
I like to store leftover soup in single-serve containers so that I can just grab, heat, and go. And I’m not fumbling with ladling out leftover soup from a big container in the refrigerator, which is also a space waster.
Thirsty Noodles + Broth Ideas
Noodles of any type, but especially egg noodles which I use in chicken soup recipes, can really soak up a lot of broth as they sit. Meaning, don’t be surprised if when you go back to your leftover soup a day or two later and open up the container that was sitting in the fridge, that it may appear there’s less broth. That’s because the noodles are like thirsty sponges and may soak it up. The broth didn’t literally disappear; rather it was absorbed into the noodles.
-Storing noodles in a separate container isn’t very practical and I don’t do it. If it bother you though, you can.
-Or, you can add another splash of chicken broth, although this will change the flavor balance a bit since this broth from a carton or can didn’t simmer with the original broth.
-Instead, you can add an extra 1 cup broth from the start, noting that initially the soup may seem too brothy, but the leftovers will be just right.
–Or you can just forget about all of this and not get too worried about broth levels which is what I do!
Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Fresh vs. Dried Herbs: For the herbs in this soup, I tend to use fresh thyme – it’s pretty to look at too – and fresh parsley for garnishing because the vibrant color and flavor of fresh parsley is the way to go for me. However, I use dried oregano and dried bay leaves because I always have them in my pantry.
If you want to use all dried, or all fresh, that’s certainly fine. In general, dried herbs are a bit more potent than fresh, so if a recipe says 1 teaspoon fresh you’ll want to use 1/2 teaspoon dried, give or take.
Short on Herbs: There are a variety of herbs used including thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and parsley. If you don’t have them all on hand, don’t want to buy a bunch of thyme for just 1 teaspoon, or aren’t fond of a particular herb, you can likely omit it. Your soup won’t taste exactly like mine, but it’ll be close.
Salt: Make sure to salt your soup to taste and that generally means adding a bit more than you think you need to add. If your soup tastes at all flat, boring, or like it’s missing something, it likely needs more salt. That’s the reason canned soups or soup in restaurants taste great – they are (over)loaded with salt!
I use low-sodium chicken broth and add salt to my soup at the end so I can control the overall salt level. The saltiness of low-sodium broth varies among brands as does everyone’s personal preference for salt varies, so salt to taste.
Lemon Juice: You may be wondering why it’s added and that’s because a little touch of acidity really wakes up a dish and balances the flavors.
Please don’t skip it and I wouldn’t substitute lime juice either. Save that for my Easy 30-Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup! In an absolute pinch you could use a bit of apple cider vinegar, not ideal, but probably better than nothing.
Slow Cookers Vary –> and So Do Cook Times: Slow cooking is definitely not an exact science the way it is when you are baking cookies for 9 minutes at 350F on the middle oven rack. Nope, not with slow cooking.
All machines vary in their heat output, if you live in a cold climate and are making this the winter, if you used closer to a pound of chicken rather than three-quarters of a pound, all these little details count. So when I saw slow cook on high for about 4 hours, that means about.
Depending on all the variables, you may need to cook for more time, or less. The one thing you need to make sure is the chicken is done and cooked through to 165F as measured by an instant read thermometer.
I recommend a 6 to 7-quart Crock-Pot or slow cooker. This is the exact 6-Quart Crock-Pot shown in the photos. Anything brand or similar size is fine.
Don’t use the round smaller ones though which tend to only be about 4 quarts. That’s too small.
You sure can! Make my famous Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on the stovetop. It’s the recipe that inspired the Crockpot chicken noodle soup and has been loved by thousands over the years!
I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, as I mentioned above.
For this crockpot chicken soup, I use 3 average-sized chicken breasts (about 5 ounces a piece). Somewhere in the range of 12 to 16 ounces total (3/4 to 1 pound) of raw chicken is what I recommend.
If the chicken breasts are very thick, halve them with a knife before adding them.
I mix and match as I mentioned above. I use fresh thyme and fresh parsley, but dried oregano and bay leaves because I always have those in my pantry. Do what’s easiest for you. Whether you use fresh or dried herbs in a slow cooked soup like this one won’t appreciably change the flavor.
Yes you can. As I mentioned above in my herbs tips, if you want to use all dried, or all fresh, that’s certainly fine. In general, dried herbs are a bit more potent than fresh, so if a recipe says 1 teaspoon fresh you’ll want to use 1/2 teaspoon dried, approximately.
I use wide egg noodles in chicken noodle soup. It’s like my grandma’s chicken noodle soup that way! I suppose you could use another type of noodles or experiment with other pasta shapes including bowtie pasta, small shells, or elbow macaroni. You can add rice as well. Or just skip the noodles and add extra veggies like I do in my Easy 30-Minute Chicken Vegetable Soup recipe.
Lemon juice really brightens up the overall flavor profile in soups, stews, and many dishes from French to Italian. While chicken soup in a slow cooker certainly isn’t a “fancy” recipe, it tastes so much better with just a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice!
I promise, it doesn’t make the soup taste lemony! But if you want that, I have a great Double White Bean Lemon Stew that’s bright and lovely, yet hearty.
Pin This Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 to 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 medium/average chicken breasts; chicken thighs may be substituted)*
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 large carrots)
- 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (likely you will need more)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (about 2 to 3 fresh sprigs thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano)
- 64 ounces (8 cups) reduced sodium chicken broth, plus more if desired
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles (or your favorite noodles or pasta)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional but highly recommended
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely minced; optional for garnishing
- To a 6-quart to 7-quart slow cooker, evenly drizzle the olive oil over the bottom, and then add the chicken breasts, carrrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, evenly pour the chicken broth, and stir.
- Place the lid on top and slow cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, or until chicken is done. Alternatively, you can slow on LOW for about 6 to 7 hours, or until chicken is done. Tip - All slow cookers vary in their heat output and it's not an exact science, and if yo'ure using closer to a pound of chicken rather than three-quarters, or your kitchen is very cold because it's winter, it could take longer. Always cook until the chicken is cooked until 165F as measured by an instant read digital thermometer.
- Remove the cooked chicken breasts, place them on a cutting board, and shred the meat with two forks, or wear rubber gloves for washing dishes because the chicken is hot, and shred it with your hands. You can also shred it with a mixer if you prefer although I don't bother.
- Add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, add the wide egg noodles, stir, cover with the lid, and cook for an additional 20 minutes on HIGH, or as needed so that the noodles are tender and done.
- Squeeze the lemon juice, stir, and taste the soup, and make any necessary seasoning adjustments, as desired. Tips - If your soup tastes as all flat, boring, or just not quite there, it likely needs more salt, so don't be afraid to add it. Because I use reduced sodium chicken broth, I usually add another 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt. I realize it may seem like a lot, but when you consider you're working with and seasoning about 4 pounds of food in the slow cooker, it's not really 'that' much.
- Remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme sprigs if you used fresh, whole sprigs of thyme.
- Add the parsley, to taste, stir, and serve.
- Extra soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat gently in the microwave, as desired. Tip - I store leftover soup in freezer and microwave-safe individual-sized containers for ease so you and just grab and heat; plus by stacking them I find they take up less refrigerator space than a big container.
*You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts if preferred. You won't need to take them out to shred them because the meat is fattier and more tender, it will likely just start falling apart on it's own as you stir the pot, or gently nudge it along by prodding it with a soft-tipped spatula.
I use 3 average-sized chicken breasts (about 5 ounces a piece). Somewhere in the range of 12 to 16 ounces total (3/4 to 1 pound) of raw chicken is what I recommend.
If the chicken breasts are very thick, halve them with a knife before adding them.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 7723mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 33g
More Easy Chicken Soup Recipes:
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – Classic, comforting, and tastes just like grandma made but way easier and faster! This soup is AMAZING and it’ll be your new favorite quick and easy stovetop chicken noodle soup recipe!
Easy 30-Minute Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup — Why have regular chicken noodle soup when you can have CREAMY instead? Pure comfort food at its finest! Ready in 30 minutes, an instant family favorite, and PERFECT for chilly weather!!
Easy 30-Minute CREAMY Chicken Noodle Soup — Why have regular chicken noodle soup when you can have CREAMY instead? Pure comfort food at its finest! Ready in 30 minutes, an instant family favorite, and PERFECT for chilly weather!!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup – Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!
Chicken Pot Pie Soup — All the comfort food feels of pot pie, but in soup form! Rich, hearty, creamy and ready in just 30 minutes! Use canned biscuit dough to save time on busy weeknights when you’re craving a hot homemade meal!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortellini Soup – An fun spin on classic chicken noodle soup using cheese tortellini! Fast, easy, comfort food that just hits the spot! You’ll make it over and over again!
Chicken Kale Soup — This white bean and kale soup soup is easy, hearty, and healthy. It’s packed with flavor, texture, and is a full meal in itself!
Chicken Poblano Soup — All the familiar flavors of chicken tortilla soup but with the addition of roasted poblanos and tomatillos to give extra heartiness and depth of flavor! An EASY soup, ready in 30 minutes, and a guaranteed family favorite to put on rotation especially for busy weeknights!
Easy Chicken Stew – You don’t need to wait all day for this one-pot comfort food chicken stew recipe that’s ready in 45 minutes! It’s chock full of juicy chicken, buttery potatoes, tender carrots, celery, green beans, and seasoned to perfection with a variety of herbs and spices! EASY and great for busy weeknights, lazy weekends, chilly weather, or when you’re craving hearty COMFORT food!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili – Hearty, healthy, loaded with tender chicken, and packed with bold flavor! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves! It’ll be on rotation all winter!