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Chicken noodle soup

Serves    6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 10-15 mins

The King of comfort foods, this homemade chicken noodle soup is a favourite of home cooks across New Zealand. Our yummy recipe is a delicious way to use up your leftover chicken!


chicken noodle soup




  • Chicken bones / carcass (from roasted chicken) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste 
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 
  • 8 cups water (2 litres) 
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced including the green top
  • ¼ cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ packet spaghetti
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • Leftover gravy (optional) 
  • 2 chicken stock cubes 
  • 2 teaspoons mixed herbs

Cookware: large pot.


1. Make the chicken broth for the soup by placing the chicken carcass, salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf (if using) and water into a large pot. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for at least 60 minutes.

2. Once the broth is ready, sieve the broth, making sure to catch the liquid in a bowl. Discard the chicken bones.

3. Return the chicken broth to the pot and add the carrots, leek, cabbage, spaghetti, chicken, frozen mixed vegetables and cannellini beans. Stir in leftover gravy (if using), chicken stock cubes and mixed herbs. Simmer the soup for 10–15 minutes, until the spaghetti is cooked. If you find the soup is too thick, you can add more water.

4. Season the soup with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe notes:

Chicken – If you’re craving chicken noodle soup, but don't have leftover chicken or can’t be bothered roasting an entire chicken, this recipe is fantastic with rotisserie chicken. It’ll have the same great taste but none of the preparation!

This recipe will work equally well with chicken drumsticks and skinless chicken thighs.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts could also be used as the shredded chicken component.  

Pasta – You can use any type of noodles or pasta for chicken noodle soup. We suggest either spaghetti, fettuccine, short twisted egg noodles or even pasta shapes. If you’re using spaghetti or fettuccine, we recommend breaking them into 3 or 4 pieces for ease of eating. 

Broth – if your broth is looking a bit murky, try either scooping the scum off the surface or letting the broth settle on the base of the pot. Then gently pour the broth into your soup pot. 

Vegetables – Feel free to substitute any of your favourite vegetables or use whatever you have handy in your fridge or freezer. The beauty of homemade chicken noodle soup is that it’s versatile and heartwarming, no matter what you choose to add.


How do I store chicken noodle soup?

Because noodles bloat, it’s best to separate the noodles and veggies then store them separately from the soup. It will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. If you just want to keep the broth, this can be frozen for months. 

What can I add to chicken noodle soup? 

There are so many great homemade chicken soup add ins. Feel free to add in fresh or dried herbs, like basil, thyme, oregano or rosemary while the chicken is simmering. Other great options are black cracked pepper or chilli flakes (these will add a bit of heat!)

Can this be made vegetarian?

Technically, yes, but the key to the flavour of this soup is the chicken itself. We would suggest trying a different recipe like our Vegetable soup or Spicy leek and potato soup

What should I serve with chicken noodle soup?

Chicken noodle soup is great served by itself, but even better served with fresh bread. We love this Rosemary focaccia