This Classic Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is not only delicious, it takes a fraction of the time to make!
The ingredients are simple and can be customized to what you have on hand or what you like in your chicken noodle soup. It's so easy to make and doesn't require a huge time commitment either!
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One of the things I love the most about using an electric pressure cooker is that after the ingredients are in the pot, it is hands-off cooking! Simply let the pressure cooker make the magic happen.
In this recipe, I start with raw chicken and cook that first to develop the broth and then, when you are ready to make the soup, add in the veggies and noodles, and in less than 15 minutes, soup's on!
This makes it super easy to start dinner earlier in the day without having to watch anything, and then in about 15 minutes your soup is ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have an 8qt pressure cooker, you may be able to double the recipe, but I don't recommend doubling in anything smaller. You can 1½ the recipe in a 6-6.5qt, but keep an eye on the max fill line and make sure you are a good inch or two below that before pressure cooking the noodles because as they expand, the volume in the pot will rise. You will also want to do a longer natural release to avoid sputtering from the valve (see section below for more information), so I would decrease my PC time to 2 minutes and do a 10 minute natural release.
Absolutely. Make sure to let the soup cool completely before transferring to freezer containers and leave room for expansion.
Yes, but I would only use about ⅔ cup of rice in this recipe and I would increase the chicken stock to 7 cups because rice will absorb more than the egg noodles do. You can always add extra broth at the end, so it's fine to start with 6 cups and add more, if needed. I would increase the PC time to 2 minutes for any type of white rice. If you want to use brown rice, it takes much longer to cook, so I would PC the brown rice without the vegetables for about 15-20 minutes and then add the vegetables and PC for 1 minute.
Absolutely! If you are using frozen bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts, I would increase the PC time by 5 minutes. If you are using a whole chicken, I would increase the PC time by 10 minutes.
What is the Best Cut of Chicken for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?
This is a hard question to answer because it's one of those personal preference things. However, if you want a super flavorful broth, you need to use bone-in skin-on chicken.
In this recipe I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and the flavor in the broth is unbelievably delicious! That is my top pick for the cut of chicken to use, but if you prefer white meat only, then bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts will also work.
You can even use a whole chicken, that would work just fine. You will end up with more broth, so if you are using a whole chicken, reduce the chicken stock to 4 cups. You might find you need to add a little more after the noodles are cooked, but that will be different in every case based on the size and the amount of juices your whole chicken produces.
I don't recommend using skinless boneless chicken breast or even thighs because you aren't going to get the depth of flavor in the broth and the broth is what sets apart a "just okay" homemade chicken noodle soup from a "fabulous" homemade chicken noodle soup!
Can I Make this Recipe with Cooked Chicken or Turkey?
Sure! Especially if you have leftover Rotisserie Chicken, a whole chicken that you cooked, or leftover turkey bones with meat on them.
Remove the meat from the chicken or turkey; you will want at least 2 cups of cooked chicken.
Throw the bones and skin in the pot with with seasonings and vegetables that I used to make the broth and PC for 15 minutes. This will develop the flavor in the broth.
Then strain the broth, add the cooked chicken, noodles, and cut vegetables and PC as instructed in the recipe.
If you have a large turkey carcass and want to make bone broth, this recipe is incredible! Just make sure you have enough bones or decrease the liquid in the recipe. I made the mistake of trying to skimp on the amount of bones and ended up with a flavorless tan liquid that wasn't good for anything but the trash.
What are the Best Type of Noodles to use for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?
Traditionally, chicken noodle soup is made with egg noodles, which come in various sizes. You can even get fine egg noodles which are thin like angel hair pasta.
Common sizes for egg noodles are extra wide, wide, and medium. You can use any size you want in this recipe, but I might consider cutting back to 2 cups of extra wide and 2½ cup of the wide egg noodles.
I used a medium size egg noodle in this recipe and thought they were the perfect size. You could also use wide or extra wide egg noodles if you prefer a thicker noodle.
You can also use any type of pasta that you like, but keep in mind cooking times will vary.
If you wanted to use spaghetti noodles, I would keep the PC time at 1 minute. For angel hair pasta, I would probably PC the vegetables for zero minutes and then add the angel hair pasta and use the sear/sauté to cook the pasta because it hardly takes any time.
For thicker pastas, like rotini or penne, I would increase the PC time to 2-3 minutes and cut the vegetables bigger so they don't overcook.
Do I have to Strain the broth?
No, you don't have to, but it will help with removing any particles that look unsightly, and you will have a clearer broth if you strain it.
If you skip this step, your homemade chicken noodle soup will still be delicious, but the broth might be cloudy and have dark particles in it.
Personally, I strain mine through a fine mesh strainer which catches everything that I don't want in my soup. A fine mesh strainer has very small holes, so even the spices get trapped. If your strainer is not a fine mesh and has larger holes, your spices might not get filtered out and that's perfectly okay.
The strainer I use is similar to this Fine Mesh Strainer
Before adding the additional pepper and thyme, give the broth a taste and see if it needs it. It's always better to add more seasonings after the soup is done then to over season and have to add more liquid to balance it out.
What do I do if the Soup is Sputtering out of the Valve During Pressure Release?
I've made this soup 4 times and only once did I have this happen and, of course, it was during filming of the video. Which isn't a bad thing, because I always like to show the mishaps that can happen when cooking with a pressure cooker and this is one of them.
If you see foam or thicker liquid sputtering out of the valve when you release the pressure, simply turn the valve back to seal. Wait a minute or two and release the pressure again. If it happens again, turn the valve to seal and wait another minute or two. You don't want to wait too long or your noodles might overcook, so keep checking by turning the valve to vent and when all you see is steam coming out, keep the valve open to release the remaining pressure.
There are a few reasons why this happens and in my case it was a few pieces of dried thyme that partially clogged the silver cap under the valve.
Here is a quick video showing what happened to me.
It can also happen when the level in your pot is too full and the soup is boiling inside and being released through the valve.
This is more common when cooking foods like pasta and potatoes because they tend to create a foam as they boil. The only thing you can do, if it happens, is wait for the pot to cool down a little by extending the natural release.
You can try to prevent it, though.
In my case, I could have (most likely) prevented it if I removed the silver cap on the underside of the lid after I PC'd the chicken and cleaned it. I simply didn't think about it because it had never happened in the previous batches I made.
The other way to prevent it is to not fill your pot more than halfway full, so if you decide to increase the recipe to 1½ the amount of ingredients, I would decrease the second PC time to zero minutes and do a full 10 minute Natural Release.
Can I make this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on the Stove or in the Slow Cooker?
Yep! It will just take longer.
The directions are pretty much the same for cooking on the stove, except you will want to simmer the chicken with the vegetables for 60-90 minutes. There will be evaporation, so I would start off with 8 cups of liquid.
Once the broth is made, strain and put the clear broth back into the pot. Add in your vegetables, pasta, extra seasonings, if needed, and bring to a boil for about 7-10 minutes or until the pasta and vegetables are done to your liking. Stir in the chicken and serve.
In a slow cooker, I would cook the raw chicken and vegetables on high for about 6 hours. There will also be some evaporation, but not as much as cooking on the stove, so I would start out with 6 cups of liquid and add more if needed.
Once the chicken is completely cooked, remove it and strain the broth. Add it back to the slower cooker with the cut veggies and slow cook on high for about 1-2 hours or until the carrots are ¾ of the way cooked. Add in the chicken and pasta and slow cook on high for another 30-60 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to your liking.
If you want to try a heartier slow cooker chicken stew, this one is incredible!
How to make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup in the Ninja Foodi or Electric Pressure Cooker
This recipe is broken down into two steps. Making the broth and then making the chicken noodle soup. You can complete the entire process in about an hour or start by making the broth and finish making the soup several hours later or even the next day or two.
You can even start dinner early in the day and let the broth do a complete natural release and then switch over to keep warm where it can sit for several hours until you are ready to make the soup.
If you want to remove as much fat as possible from your homemade chicken noodle soup, you will want to make the broth and then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours for the fat to rise to the top and solidify. This makes it very easy to remove the fat.
There are also kitchen tools that help do this even when the soup is warm, so if you have one of those tools, you don't have to chill the soup first.
Just remember the fat really gives this chicken noodle soup a lot of flavor and there has never been enough fat in the soup for me to worry about removing it.
Making the Broth
For the broth, you will need 2-3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1½ teaspoons of fine grind sea salt or kosher salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, 2 bay leaves and ½ teaspoon of dried thyme leaves or 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Dried thyme leaves are very different from ground thyme, so if you have ground thyme it is much more powerful and I would only add a pinch.
Cut the celery in half and cut the ends off of the carrots. You don't need to peel the carrots, but you certainly can. Cut the onion in half and cut off the stem and root ends. Remove the peel and chop into large chunks.
Add the vegetables to the pot and pour in 6 cups of chicken broth/stock. Add in the spices, the chicken thighs and put the pressure lid on. Turn the valve to seal and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release at least 5 minutes (longer is fine) and manually release the remaining pressure.
Carefully remove the chicken from the broth and set on a cutting board to cool. Remove the solid vegetables and bay leaves. I like to use this large Scoop 'N Drain from Pampered Chef because it is a nice big scoop and saves time. You can use any slotted spoon though.
Then strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove any particles and unwanted stuff from the chicken thighs. While this isn't completely necessary, it will give you the nicest looking broth.
Here is a similar strainer to the one I use: Fine Mesh Strainer
I like to ladle the broth out until I'm left with just a few cups, because I learned the hard way that pouring a full pot of HOT broth can be dangerous. I had it splatter and burn me.
Once the broth is strained or at least out of the pot. Rinse the pot out and remove any residue. This is also a good time to rinse the pressure lid and remove the silver cap on the underside and see if anything is clogging it. See section above where I go over what happened to me or watch the video!
Making the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Pour the broth back into the clean pot. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of ground thyme or another sprig of thyme and ½ teaspoon of black pepper IF you like a peppery soup. If you don't, then don't add the extra pepper.
Add the cut up vegetables and the egg noodles and give it a stir so the noodles are under the broth.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 1 minute.
While the pressure cooker is cooking the vegetables and the noodles, remove the skin from the chicken thighs and remove the meat from the bones. You can put the skin and bones into a freezer bag and use them again to make a pot of chicken stock.
When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 7 minutes. Then release the remaining pressure. If the pot is sputtering out foam or particles of food, close the valve and wait another 1-2 minutes and release the pressure.
Add the chicken and give the pot a good stir. Taste and add salt/pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley if using.
Serve & Enjoy!
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup ~ Pressure Cooker Recipe
- Instant Pot
- Other Electric Pressure Cooker
- 2.5 pound chicken thighs, bone-in & skin on
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 small Vidalia onions or yellow onion
- 4 stalks celery divided in recipe
- 4 carrots divided in recipe
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ tsp sea salt fine grind
- 1 tsp pepper divided in recipe
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh thyme divided in recipe
- 6 ounces medium egg noodles
- 1 Tbsp fresh or dried parsley optional
- Remove the skin and cut one of the onions into chunks. Cut the end off of 2 of the carrots, you don't have to peel them. Cut 2 stalks of celery in half. Add these vegetables to the pot with 6 cups of chicken stock and the chicken thighs.
- Add in 2 bay leaves, 1½ tsp of fine grind sea salt or kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, and ½ tsp of dried thyme leaves OR 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Select high pressure and set the time for 20 minutes.
- While the broth is being made, peel and cut the remaining 2 carrots into about ½" slices. Cut the celery into ½" slices and peel and dice the onion into ¼-½" dice.
- When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 5 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure. Carefully remove the chicken and set on a cutting board to cool. Ladle out the cooked vegetables (I discard them, but you could chop them up and add them back in, they will just be very soft) and broth and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse out the pot to remove any residue. I also suggest rinsing the pressure lid and removing the silver cap to make sure nothing is blocking the venting valve. See post for details.
- Return the chicken broth to the inner pot. Add in the remaining ½ tsp of dried thyme or another sprig of fresh thyme and the remaining ½ tsp of pepper if desired. Add in the cut vegetables and 3 cups ( about 6 ounces)of medium egg noodles. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Select high pressure for 1 minute. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 7 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure. If you see any sputtering from the valve, return it to the sealed position and wait 1-2 minutes and then vent the pressure.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and pull off the meat in chunks. Add the chicken meat back to the pot and stir. Add salt and pepper if needed and stir in the parsley, if using. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.