Home - Soup and Stew - Grandma’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

Grandma’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

5 from 33 community reviews

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Skip the can! Make this nourishing, simply delicious homemade chicken noodle soup, chock-full of tender chicken and Italian pasta.

Have you ever made chicken soup from scratch? What are you waiting for!

I think every home cook needs a really good recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup, the ultimate comfort food.

You might think that comfort food is any old food that makes you feel good, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to classic chicken soup.

This recipe is based on a soup my Italian grandma used to make along with her creamy white bean soup and it’s a keeper. It’s full of tasty homestyle chicken broth, chunky vegetables, herbs and my favorite wide pasta noodles — pappardelle.

Just the scent of a pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove is enough to transform your kitchen into a cozy haven.

Cooking time for chicken soup from scratch

  • You can make this classic chicken soup on the stove in less than hour, or just 15 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. I updated nana’s chicken soup by using boneless chicken thighs (instead of a whole chicken with the bones) to save time.
A bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup with carrots, chunks of chicken and fresh dill leaves.

Not to mention, we all know that chicken soup is good for the soul. This recipe will show you how easy it is to make incredibly delicious soup yourself.

The soup cooks with pieces of lemon and a Parmesan rind, both of which add a layer of Italian-style flavor and brightness you will love. Have I convinced you yet?!

It’s really so much better than soup from a can (of course, I grew up eating chicken and stars and loved it 🙂 Have you ever bought prepared hot soup from the grocery store? Making your chicken soup at home is much more economical, and it can be made days ahead and even frozen.

Simple white bowl of chicken noodle soup, with fresh dill.

Chicken noodle soup in a pressure cooker

I’ve fallen hard for my electric pressure cooker. I’m so glad I invested in one a few years ago. Now I use it to make so many dishes I’d usually slow-cook, like creamy pasta fagioli and a rich Sunday-style meat sauce for pasta.

Forget about simmering a chicken all day in a large soup pot. If you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, this soup is even quicker to make.

Chicken thighs are tasty and don’t dry out when they’re slow-cooked or pressure cooked the way chicken breasts can. That’s why they are my first choice to use in soup.

Fresh produce ingredients for homemade chicken soup: onion, celery and carrots.

Basic chicken soup ingredients:

The base of this soup relies on a few simple ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Celery: If your bunch comes with leaves attached, save them to garnish the soup. They have a delicate flavor and lovely wispy texture.
  • Onion: yellow or white onion
  • Garlic
  • Pasta: Look for wide pappardelle, dried egg noodles or fettuccine. I break them into pieces so they’re easier to spoon up.
  • Chicken broth: choose a low-sodium broth to have better control over the seasoning. Next to homemade chicken broth, my personal favorite store-bought brand is this one.
  • Chicken thighs: You’ll need 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The dark meat is very tasty, holds up best in soup and doesn’t become dry. The same quantity of chicken breast meat is good too.

How to spice up chicken noodle soup

Chicken soup is a perfect canvas for different seasonings you can combine with cooked chicken. I tend to keep it simple to allow the pure flavor to shine.

Here’s what I use in this soup:

  • Turmeric: I use this golden spice to add a beautiful, appetizing color to the soup, but since there’s a pretty small amount you won’t really taste it. You can leave it out if you don’t have it.
  • Lemon: A few slices of fresh lemon juice adds some zing to the broth – so good!
  • Parmesan rind: This is totally optional. I’m one of those people who starts to get anxious when there isn’t a hunk of Parmesan in the fridge, and I always save the rinds. They are perfect to use in soups and sauces, adding a layer of umami flavor.
  • Dill – The grassy, fresh taste of dill screams “homemade chicken soup” like no other herb. If you don’t like it, try using parsley or basil instead. A tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves would be good too!
A gray bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, full of chicken, chunky carrots and wide pasta noodles.

Freezing chicken noodle soup

Note: If you intend to freeze the soup, leave the pasta out until after it’s thawed. Cooked pasta will absorb the broth and get soggy.

  • Portion the soup into freezer-proof containers 3/4-full to allow for expansion and allow to cool completely.
  • Fasten the container lids securely. Mark a piece of masking tape with the date and place in the freezer. Store for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on a microwave.
  • Cook the noodles and add to the thawed soup after reheating.
A gray bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, full of chicken, chunky carrots and wide pasta noodles.

Grandma’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Karen Tedesco
A classic homemade chicken noodle soup recipe straight from my Italian grandmother's kitchen. This recipe makes a tasty, nourishing soup loaded with tender chunks of chicken, vegetables and wide noodles to catch all the delicious broth. Easy to cook on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.
Print Pin
5 from 33 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Soup and Stew
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups (240 g) chopped onion (1 large)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ pound (225 g) carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 stalks celery (pick off and reserve the leaves for garnish), sliced into 2-inch chunks (1 cup)
  • 1 ½ pounds (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 5 cups (1183 ml) chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric, optional, but makes a beautiful golden broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 ¼-inch thick slices of fresh lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 small Parmesan rind, optional
  • 8 ounces (225 g) dried fettuccine or egg noodles, broken into large pieces
  • ¼ cup (12 g) chopped parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste


  • Put the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook 5 minutes, stirring, or until the onion is softened.
  • Add the chicken, broth, turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, lemon and Parmesan rind. Stir. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and partially cover the pan. Let the soup bubble gently for 45 minutes. The chicken should be very tender and shred easily with a fork. Remove the cheese rind and lemon slices and discard.
  • When the soup is almost done, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
  • Add the noodles and dill to the soup. Serve warm in bowls, sprinkled with cheese and celery leaves.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Pressure cooker directions:
  1. Set a pressure cooker to the “Sauté” function and preheat on high. When the cooking pot is hot, add the butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Turn the Sauté function off. Add the chicken, 4 cups broth, turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, lemon and Parmesan rind (if using).
  3. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on medium-high 15 minutes. Release the pressure manually.
  4. Stir in the cooked pasta, dill and cheese and serve.
To freeze the soup:
  • Don’t add the noodles if you want to freeze the soup – they will absorb the broth and get soggy.
  • Portion the soup into freezer-proof containers 3/4-full to allow for expansion. Cool completely.
  • Fasten the container lids securely. Mark a piece of masking tape with the date and place in the freezer. Store for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on a microwave.
  • Cook the noodles after defrosting and add to the heated soup when you’re ready to serve.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 732mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6663IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. 5 stars
    This soup was SO good and so easy to make. The Parmesan rind was honestly game changing. Will be making this again and again.

  2. 5 stars
    I was surprised to see lemon slices and a parmesan rind in the list of ingredients. After trying this delicious soup, I won’t make it any other way. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy to make. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Wow, that is a seriously delicious looking chicken noodle soup! I never would have thought to add tumeric for colour or fresh lemon slices. Anything made in my Instant Pot makes me Oh So Happy, so I cannot wait to try your soup!

  5. Mmm, so comforting! I like the idea of using chicken thighs. I go for them quite a bit but haven’t tried chicken soup with them. I tend to make chicken soup with leftovers from a roast chicken night; I like your recipe as a quick option for a good healthy soup.

  6. This is the best chicken noodle soup from scratch! It was easy and delicious.