This chicken soup with noodles recipe is an easy meal you can throw together any night of the week. It’s the epitome of quick comfort.
This recipe was actually a bit of a backup dinner. I was in the process of making tuccu alla Genovese but misjudged how long the roast would take to cook. I had a pack of drumsticks in my fridge, and since my ragù needed a few more hours, I pivoted to chicken soup as a backup.
At first, I was worried that this wasn’t the most practical way to eat chicken noodle soup, but I’ve since seen many beautiful soups with drumsticks, like caldo de pollo or this gorgeous noodle soup with stewed chicken. While it was new to me, serving drumsticks atop soup–with or without noodles–certainly isn’t a new concept.
You’ve probably noticed that I don’t post too many drumstick recipes. Since I was a kid, I’ve had somewhat of an aversion to them. When my dad would barbecue them, I’d wrap each end with napkins because I hated getting my fingers dirty. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less finicky, but they haven’t become my go-to choice for chicken. That may change for me after eating this soup and comparing the price of drumsticks to other parts of the bird; they’re so much more economical, at least at my grocery store. Double bonus!
At any rate, if you’re not keen on a soup that requires a knife, fork, and spoon, you can always pick the meat from the drumsticks and add it back to the soup before serving. Otherwise, tuck a napkin into the front of your shirt and dig in!
How to make this chicken soup with noodles:
As I mentioned from the outset, this was a backup recipe that I threw together at the speed of light. I almost wasn’t going to share it, but so many of my followers requested it. This does not need to be a fussy dinner; I think you’ll love how little effort you need to make with it.
What you need
- Drumsticks: Feel free to use leg quarters or bone-in, skin-on thighs instead.
- Carrots, celery, and onion: I roughly chopped everything; they’ll simmer in the broth for a while, so don’t feel like you need to chop them perfectly!
- Thyme: I used a few sprigs of fresh thyme, but you can add a few shakes of dry thyme instead.
- Chicken broth: I had a box of chicken broth that I didn’t use from Thanksgiving. I usually make soup with just water, so don’t feel like you need to go out and buy broth. Just use water and add a little extra salt.
- Lemon and dill: I finish the soup with freshly chopped dill and the juice from a lemon for some brightness. You can throw in some freshly minced parsley if you don’t have dill. Finishing with just lemon juice is totally fine, too. I just find with rich broths, I like the acidity at the end.
- Noodles: I used fine egg noodles, but broad ones work just fine. If you don’t have noodles, you can peel and chop a couple of potatoes and add them straight to the soup. It’ll save you the additional pot, too!
How to make it
- Step 1: Fry up the drumsticks in a bit of olive oil to brown them on all sides.
- Step 2: Now, you could remove the chicken from the pot, but this recipe is all about being no-fuss, so throw your onion, carrots, and celery right on top of the chicken. Add the thyme sprigs on top.
- Step 3: Cover with 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and rapidly simmer for 30–40 minutes or until they reach 165ºF. You want the liquid to reduce by almost half, so keep the simmer actively bubbling, but not boiling. You may need to be just a hair or two above low heat. Adjust the heat as needed if the liquid evaporates too quickly. Of course, if you want more broth, simmer on low heat, and don’t worry about cooking off half the liquid.
- Step 4: Boil up the noodles. Drain and rinse them.
- Step 5: Take the chicken out of the pot and add the noodles, dill, and lemon juice to the broth. Return the chicken, and you’re ready to serve! You can transfer everything to a tureen or serve it straight from the pot.
I hope you love the recipe as much as I did! If you make it, please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below.
Chicken Soup with Noodles
- Large soup pot
- Medium pot
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds chicken drumsticks, about 6 total
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-moons
- 4 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme, bundled together with kitchen twine; or use 2 teaspoons dry thyme
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water, plus more if needed
- 6 ounces fine egg noodles
- ½ cup roughly chopped dill or parsley
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
Brown the chicken:
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the drumsticks to the pot and cook without moving for 5–6 minutes per side until browned all over. Depending on the width of your pot, you may need to cook the drumsticks in batches. Once you finish browning all the drumsticks, return them all to the pot.
Simmer the soup:
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot around the drumsticks. Place the bundle of thyme on top. Pour in the broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30–45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165ºF. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. See note.
Cook the noodles:
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Finish the soup:
- Remove the chicken drumsticks from the broth and transfer them to a plate. Add the cooked egg noodles, dill, and lemon juice to the broth and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
- Transfer the soup to a large serving bowl or tureen. Arrange the drumsticks on top. Enjoy!