HarvardHomemaker

By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the best chicken noodle soup ever.  Yes, ever.  (My husband says that sometimes I'm too enthusiastic and then things can never live up to the hype--but for the record, I really don't think I'm doing that in this instance!)  :)  I've been having this for my birthday dinner ever since my mom discovered the recipe.  (One more side note: my birthday is big time in my book, people--so you know I must really like this soup if it gets birthday status!!)  It makes the house smell so good all day long, too, as it cooks in the crockpot... perfect for a chilly day.  It's hearty and thick, so it's easily a meal in and of itself when paired with a crusty, warm bread.  Our girls also love to scoop it with saltines.  Even the baby can enjoy this one.  

(For anyone out there with a baby who is beginning to be a self-feeder/crawling age, this soup is great! He/She can pick up the soft peas, carrots, and noodles and eat this even without teeth.  You could also grind some of it up with a hand-mixer or even mash it by hand and spoon-feed your little one.  This soup has always been my go-to when my girls have been transitioning into eating "people food"...)

This is a meal you make in the slow cooker, but it does take a little chopping beforehand.  If you're really organized, you can have everything ready to go the night before, and then you simply need to plug in the crockpot before you head out the door.  Later that night when you get home, you'll have to add the noodles, and then it will be ready about one hour later.  

I have two crockpots (doesn't everyone?!), and I often have them both going at the same time.  I always double this recipe because I can freeze all the extras, and then I have dinner made for another night or two... just thaw and reheat!   

Give it a try--I bet it will be a hit!  :)

You put everything except the noodles in the crockpot to start. The chicken goes in raw. I trim off all visible fat and rinse with water.

  • I am a huge fan of using crockpot liners. So easy to clean up!!

  • I have tried this with skinless chicken breasts. It definitely wasn't as good. You need a little of the fat to come from the skin to make it taste better.

Mid-day, this is what it looks like... making the house smell so good!

When the chicken is cooked (after 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low), you will lift it out and then shred it.  It's hard to get the entire chicken out because it falls apart.  I usually do my best to lift it out with two slotted spoons or spatulas and then I "comb" the crockpot with a slotted spoon to find all the loose pieces and bones that may have broken off.  

I use two forks to shred the chicken, and I'll admit that I only use the white meat.  My parents would totally cringe if they saw "all the great meat" that I toss, but what can I say... we like white meat in our house.

After shredding the chicken, you will return it to the slow cooker.  You will also add the noodles at this point.

You can use any noodles that you like, but the ones shown below are by far the best in my opinion.  Any wide noodle will taste good the first time around, but if you plan to freeze the extras, the Alberto's brand holds up perfectly in the freezer.  Other noodles almost seem to disintegrate if you freeze and reheat--it can come out a bit mushy.  But if you use the noodles pictured below, it will taste just as good the second time around!

* I'm not sure if you'll be able to find these noodles, however.  :(  The only place down south I could find them was Target, but then they stopped carrying them.  Now my mom actually brings me a few bags when she comes to visit.  I might have to talk to someone at our nearby Target and see if I can get them to stock these again, come to think of it!  :)

Once you put the chicken back into the crockpot, you will then add the noodles and turn the temperature up to high for one hour.  Don't be tempted to add more noodles than the recipe calls for.  It might not look like much, but if you add too many noodles, they will absorb too much of the liquid.  (speaking from experience here...)

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

2 onions, chopped (or 1 large)

2-3 carrots, sliced (if you're in a hurry, you can dump in a bag of mini carrots)

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

2 t. salt

1/2 t. basil

1/4 t. thyme

3 T. dry parsley flakes

1 10 oz. package of frozen peas

1 fryer chicken (about 3 lbs or so)  Trim visible fat, remove insides, and rinse with water.

4 c. water + 1 chicken bouillon cube  (Sometimes I add an extra cup of water if the chicken is on the larger side.)

1 c. wide noodles

 

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker except the noodles.  Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.  (If you have the time, I think it comes out better on low.)  One hour before serving, remove chicken carefully from the crockpot (it may fall apart, so just do your best).  Shred the meat from the bones, and return the chicken to the crockpot.  Add the noodles and cook on high for one more hour.  

Serve with crusty, warm bread.  Freezes well, especially with the Alberto's noodles as described in this post.  Hope you like it!

And there you have it.  A bowl of the best chicken noodle soup ever!  Yes, ever.

Please let me know if this lives up to the hype!  :)

Until next time,

HH

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Comments

  • This looks wonderful! I think I may try it with bone-in, skin on chicken breasts though..., that way I can still get the flavor from the fat and bones and I won't end up wasting the dark meat (which I'm not a fan of either). Thanks for the recipe!

    Great idea! Let me know how it turns out... maybe I should try that too!! :)

  • It turned out great using the bone-in, skin on chicken breasts - really good chicken flavor! I also added a clove of garlic. Yummy, yummy soup! So simple; I'll definitely make it again!

    Awesome! So glad it got a good review in your house!

  • Well the vote is in... Jay just said, "This soup is so good. I think that you could sell it!" He always makes me laugh. The only thing that wasn't perfect were my noodles. I couldn't find the same brand that you recommended, so they were a little mushy. I wonder if I could use rotini or something a little sturdier? Have you tried that before?

    I just came across this note--no idea how I missed it?! Sorry! Love Jay's comment! Glad he approved. Good call on the rotini--I think that would be a great idea. Or maybe you should get my mom to bring you some of our favorite noodles, too! :) She could start a side business--ha! xo

  • When making your soup or similar soups that the noodles take on a life of their own when refrigerated....I make the noodles separately and add to the soup when serving. No mushy noodles. Yummy recipe. Thanks.

    I agree, that's a good method! For some reason, the Alberto's noodles do okay when put right into the soup and it saves a step--but for most noodles, I think that might be the way to go for sure!! :)

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