This Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup is our FAVORITE, easy chicken noodle soup. Tender egg noodles are simmered in a creamy broth with chicken, carrots, celery and plenty of spices. So comforting, and comes together in no time!
Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
This chicken noodle soup is the ONLY chicken noodle soup you will need this winter. Trust me.
My favorite soup growing up was an almost identical version as today’s, my Mom made it countless times over the course of every fall and winter I can remember, and while I follow the original recipe pretty closely, there’s one ingredient purposefully absent – cream of chicken.
You know it, you may love it, you may hate, but it was secret ingredient in virtually all delicious casseroles and soups from the 90s, and still lingers in old family recipes and church cookbooks to this day. While I don’t find it completely appalling, I really strive to develop recipes that have as many unprocessed ingredients as possible. A few years back, after I had a serious craving for chicken noodle soup on a crisp, fall day, I set out to recreate the soup, sans the can, and I’m happy to say, I’ve created a winner.
How to make homemade cream of chicken
After a little bit of trial and error, I found the best way to mimic the thick, creamy texture of canned cream of chicken was a combination of a quick roux and the addition of a little bit of whole (or low-fat) milk to the broth. The combination of chicken stock and milk create the perfect balance of broth and creaminess, and I could honestly slurp it up sans the veggies, noodles and chicken and be completely content.
What is a roux?
A roux is basically a thickening agent. It’s typically an equal amount of fat to flour, in this case butter and flour. It’s whisked together and cooked until the flour taste is no longer present and then mixed into liquid to thicken it. Here, it coats the vegetables, we then add the chicken stock and milk, and bring the mixture to a boil to thicken.
Ingredients in Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Vegetables: carrots, onion, celery, and plenty of garlic
- Dry sherry: I LOVE to add this to my chicken noodle soup. It adds this subtle sweet nuttiness that I just adore.
- Herbs: Dried (or fresh if you’ve got it!) thyme and bay leaves. Two essential items in a rich, flavorful chicken noodle soup.
- Low-sodium chicken stock
- Flour + milk + BUTTER = roux
- Thick egg noodles
- Chicken tenderloins
- Plenty of salt and pepper!
How to make Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Sweat onion, carrot, celery and salt in a little bit of butter until slightly softened.
- Add thyme and garlic, cook another minute. Add flour, stir to coat veggies, and then addd sherry, chicken stock, milk, bay leaves, remaining salt, and egg noodles. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then add chicken tenderloins. Simmer until chicken has cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Once chicken has cooked through, remove from pot and cool slightly. Continue to simmer the soup.
- Once the chicken has cooled slightly, cut into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Continue to simmer the soup until the egg noodles are cooked, about 10-15 more minutes. They should be soft and plump.
- Add chicken back to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What are the best noodles to use for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup?
If you’ve never had homestyle egg noodles, you’re in for a treat! These noodles MAKE the soup. The texture is kind of in between a pasta noodle and a dumpling. They’re much heartier than the egg noodles you typically find in chicken noodle soup, and because they soak up liquid like a sponge, the flavor of the broth is almost infused into each bite. I ADORE them. The only downside is they take a while to cook, but I think the longer the soup simmers, the better they get.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes yes yes! In fact, I find that it’s even better the next day. Because this is a thicker soup, you may have to add a little bit more liquid the day.
Does this freeze well?
It does! Very well. Cool completely and place in a freezer ziplock baggie. Lay flat on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. When ready to use, pull out the day before and defrost in the fridge.
Substitutions and Trips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Even though we’re using quick-cooking chicken tenderloins, poaching them in the broth as opposed to cooking them beforehand adds even more complex flavor without any additional ingredients. I try to be careful of overcooking the chicken, so once they’re all done, I pull them all out, cut them into bite-sized pieces and then pop them back in just before serving the soup.
- If the noodles soak up too much liquid, add a little bit more water or chicken stock to loosen it up. Be sure to season after each addition.
- Don’t be shy with the salt! One of the key factors in a perfect chicken noodle soup is an adequate amount of salt. Taste for seasoning at each step, and of course, a final seasoning taste at the end.
Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
The BEST Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup - full of hearty eggs noodles, TONS of veggies, tender chicken and a sherry-infused chicken broth that's comfort in a bowl.
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 28 oz low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (you can also use low-fat)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups frozen homestyle egg noodles see note
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
Heat a large stock pot to a medium heat. Add butter. Once butter has melted, add onion, carrot, celery and 1 teaspoon salt. Sweat the veggies until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Add thyme and garlic, cook another minute. Add flour, stir to coat veggies. Add sherry, chicken stock, milk, bay leaves, remaining salt, and egg noodles. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then add chicken tenderloins. Simmer until chicken has cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Once chicken has cooked through, remove from pot and Cool slightly. Continue to simmer the soup.
Once the chicken has cooled slightly, cut into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Continue to simmer the soup until the egg noodles are cooked, about 10-15 more minutes. They should be soft and plump.
Add chicken back to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I use these egg noodles!