Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

published Aug 28, 2022
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe

There's a reason why the slow cooker works so well for chicken noodle soup: the countertop appliance takes care of the simmer, so all you have to do is set it and forget it.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes

Cook4 hours 20 minutes

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A photo of chicken noodle soup in a slow cooker, with a turquoise cooking spoon resting inside the slow cooker starting to lift up a spoonful.
Credit: Laura Rege

A long simmer in the slow cooker creates the tastiest broth for chicken noodle soup and is a more hands-off way to enjoy this classic comfort food. It also results in an extra-big batch that can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a rainy day.

What Can I Add to Chicken Soup for Flavor?

Chicken soup starts and finishes with a robust broth. Two factors make your broth super delicious: A long, slow simmer and the ingredients you put in it. That’s one reason why the slow cooker works so well for this soup. It takes care of the simmer without you having to pay attention. 

Ingredient-wise, our recipe starts with broth and water. Chicken thighs with the bone and skin intact add big flavor, and herbs (like parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and dill) make an impact. Two other heavy hitters, peppercorns and lemon juice, are also musts for the perfect flavor.

Credit: Laura Rege

Should the Noodles Be Cooked Before Adding to Soup?

In this recipe, no. Typically in stovetop chicken noodle soup recipes, the noodles are cooked before adding them in, as they absorb the broth when they cook. We factored that in by adding extra broth and water, so no extra pot is needed. Plus, this way, the noodles are infused with chicken broth flavor. 

Can You Overcook Soup in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can! Once the broth is flavorful and the chicken is cooked, there is no reason to keep cooking. Chicken, noodles, and vegetables can all overcook to mush, so adhere to our timing and don’t keep the slow cooker going just for the sake of it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

There's a reason why the slow cooker works so well for chicken noodle soup: the countertop appliance takes care of the simmer, so all you have to do is set it and forget it.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 4 hours 20 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 4

    medium carrots (about 12 ounces total)

  • 2 large stalks

    celery

  • 6

    bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

  • 3 large sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 1

    dried bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)

  • 4 cups

    room temperature water

  • 6 ounces

    dried spaghetti

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to a 5-quart or larger slow cooker as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 2 cups). Peel and cut 4 medium carrots crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds (about 2 cups). Cut 2 large celery ribs crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces (about 1 1/2 cups).

  2. Add 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in an even layer, 3 large fresh parsley sprigs, 2 large fresh thyme sprigs, 1 dried bay leaf, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Pour in 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth and 4 cups room temperature water. Cover and cook on HIGH until fragrant and the chicken is cooked through, about 4 hours.

  3. Remove and discard the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Break the 6 ounces dried spaghetti in half with your hands and add to the slow cooker. Stir to separate the strands. Cover and cook on HIGH until the noodles are al dente, about 20 minutes more. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces with 2 forks, discarding the skin and bones. Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 tablespoon. Pick the fronds from 2 large fresh dill sprigs and coarsely chop (about 1 tablespoon).

  4. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, add the lemon juice, and dill, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The soup can be prepared and cooled then stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

Storage: The soup can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.