When it’s cold out or you’re feeling under the weather, there’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup! Loaded with good-for-you ingredients and full of flavor and comfort, this easy chicken noodle soup is a Panera Bread copycat recipe that you are going to love! Instructions included for making this chicken noodle soup recipe on the stovetop, in the slow cooker or in the Instant Pot.

Chicken noodle soup with spoon in a white bowl and a lemon slice on the side

This post was originally published on 12/31/2015. It was republished on 3/14/20 with new content.

This tasty soup recipe is on constant rotation at my house year round – my kids love it and request it all the time! It uses simple ingredients, takes just minutes to prep, and is on the dinner table in just over 30 minutes. This hearty and comforting meal is loaded with shredded chicken, vegetables and pasta, all simmered to perfection. An easy dinner option your whole family will enjoy!

What Noodles For Chicken Noodle Soup?

I really appreciate a good chicken noodle soup recipe with classic ingredients. Panera Bread makes a super tasty all-natural chicken noodle soup and after enjoying a cup, recently, I decided to come home and recreate the deliciousness. I kept my version gluten-free by using quinoa rotini pasta from Trader Joe’s and honestly no one in my family could tell a difference. I really favor the texture of the rotini noodles as opposed to using long noodles or even egg noodles, but any favorite pasta noodle will work just fine in this recipe.

ingredients for chicken noodle soup on a wooden cutting board

How Do You Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?

You’ll definitely agree with me, when I tell you that my version of Panera Bread’s chicken noodle soup turned out even tastier than the original. I like my soups to be nice and chunky, with a bold, flavorful broth. I only used 4 cups of chicken broth and really packed in the chicken and veggies. Feel free to use another cup or two of chicken broth or even water, if you prefer more liquid to your soup. Chicken noodle soup is one of the easiest soups to whip up in a flash (especially when you use shredded rotisserie chicken), the ingredients are inexpensive and it feeds a crowd.

When I’m really in a hurry, sometimes I even buy pre-chopped vegetables along with the rotisserie chicken. It’s the fastest way to make this chicken noodle soup recipe, and it always turns out SO good.


I typically make this recipe exactly as written, but sometimes I add other ingredients to the mix that I happen to have on hand.

  • Beans: Canned beans are a great addition to this soup, I often use cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.
  • Vegetables: You can add other veggies to this soup such as corn, green beans, peas, tomatoes or potatoes.
  • Noodles: Try bowtie pasta, egg noodles or small shell pasta instead of the rotini.

two bowls of chicken noodle soup in white bowls and served with crusty bread and garnished with fresh parsley

Slow Cooker Method

  • When I make this in the slow cooker, I use 1 pound of raw chicken breast or I add the rotisserie chicken into the soup at the very end of cooking. Add all ingredients except for the pasta to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove the chicken and shred, then return to the slow cooker with the cooked pasta and serve with fresh parsley for garnish.

Instant Pot Method

  • When I make this in the Instant Pot, I use 1 pound of raw chicken breast. Turn on the sauté function and add olive oil with onions, celery, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, broth, bay leaf and other seasonings.
  • Cook on manual setting on high for a total time of 10 minutes, then release naturally.
  • Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and take out the chicken breast, remove and discard the bay leaf. Shred chicken with a fork.
  • Set Instant Pot to sauté. Once broth begins to boil, add noodles and allow to simmer 6-8 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh parsley for garnish.

chicken noodle soup in a white bowl on a white plate served with bread

Storage Recommendations

In the refrigerator, homemade chicken noodle soup will last about 5 days in a covered container.

Freezing Suggestions

Chicken noodle soup is perfect for making ahead or making a double batch and freezing. Just make the recipe as written except for adding in the noodles. Cool the soup down completely, seal tightly in a container, and freeze.

When you’re ready to defrost, refrigerate the day before. Reheat on the stove in a saucepan and add cooked noodles at that time. Homemade chicken noodle soup will last in the freezer for about 4 months.

You just can’t go wrong with this easy chicken noodle soup recipe and once you try it, you’ll find yourself making it on repeat. It’s so simple, yet filled with plenty of delicious flavors and textures. Serve it as-is or with some bread or crackers on the side. Your family is sure to love this one!

Recommended Tools 

Programmable Slow Cooker – I love that this slow cooker is affordable and can be programmed. It also holds 6 quarts, which is a great size for most things that I make.

Ladle A good ladle is a must when you make soup as often as I do! It’s the best way to fill your bowls and storage containers with soup.

Dutch Oven – If you decide to make your soup over the stovetop, you’ll need a large soup pot or a dutch oven. This one is a favorite of mine.

More Favorite Soup Recipes

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Taco Soup

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Healthy Taco Soup {Easy to Make}

If you try this easy chicken noodle soup recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Chicken noodle soup with carrots in a white bowl with a side of bread

Watch the video, below, to see how easy this delicious chicken noodle soup is to cook up!

Chicken noodle soup with spoon in a white bowl and a lemon slice on the side
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Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Loaded with good-for-you ingredients and full of flavor and comfort- you guys are going to love this copycat Panera Bread chicken noodle soup!
Author: Kim


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion,, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 stalks celery,, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 5 medium carrots,, sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves,, minced
  • 4 cups (32 oz.) carton low-sodium organic chicken broth*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 cups pasta, (for gluten-free, try quinoa or rice pasta)
  • 3 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken breast,, boneless, skinless
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional for garnish)


  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion, celery and carrot to the large pot; cook, stirring frequently, for about 9 minutes or until carrot is tender. Add garlic and cook one minute more.
  • Add broth and seasonings, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add pasta and chicken, reduce heat to low; gently boil for 10 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and fresh parsley before serving. Taste and add additional salt, if needed.


*If you like more liquid in your soup, add an additional cup or two of chicken broth or water.
**Ingredients are a guide, use as little or as much as you prefer of each ingredient.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.
Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 39.9g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 14.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.8g, Cholesterol: 72.3mg, Sodium: 154.3mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2.8g

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