Chicken soup is good for the soul, and now it's good for your waistline, too!
When you’re in the mood for a hearty and comforting meal, you probably turn to chicken noodle soup. If you’re feeling under the weather or want a quick-and-easy weeknight meal, chicken noodle soup is there for you. In fact, now that I think about it, there are almost no circumstances where I would ever say, “Nah, I’m not in the mood for that,” if someone offered me a bowl. And now, with this Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, it’s never been easier to whip up a batch.
We all know the best soups are simmered all day long to allow the flavors to meld together. That’s what makes the slow cooker perfect for soups. There’s no chance you’ll burn your ingredients or scorch the bottom of your pot, even if you head out to work for the day or run a bunch of errands. Dinner will be ready for you whenever you are, which really just sounds like something chicken noodle soup would do!
Is Chicken Noodle Soup Good For You?
Chicken noodle soup has long been proclaimed the savior of cold season. And it’s definitely a cure for the wintertime blues, that’s for sure. A piping hot bowl of Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup will warm you up from the inside out. That’s almost guaranteed to make you feel better, even on a gloomy, gray day!
As far as nutrition goes, chicken noodle soup is a perfect balance of vegetables from the carrots, onions, and celery and lean protein from the chicken. It has complex carbohydrates from the whole-wheat pasta (which, may be a bit unique to our version) and volatile oil compounds from the fresh parsley. So, when you look at it from that perspective, it’s definitely good for you!
Will it cure the common cold? Maybe not. But the steam from the soup can relieve congestion, and the warming nature of the liquid will sooth a sore throat. If you’re using good broth, you’ll get health benefits from the bone broth, too. It will almost definitely make you feel better, even if it doesn’t magically cure you.
When To Add the Noodles
Many people–myself included–have encountered the dreaded mushy noodle problem when cooking pasta in the slow cooker. Sometimes, it really depends on the brand of noodles, and other times it depends on whether you’re cooking on high or low. The safest and best way to ensure that your noodles will have the perfect texture is to cook them separately and add them in at the last minute.
I know, I know: This creates an extra dish to clean! But, you don’t have to time everything out perfectly. Many times, I’ll cook my pasta in the morning while I’m in the shower. After dumping my soup ingredients into the slow cooker, I’ll drain the pasta and pop it into the refrigerator. That way, it’s cooked ready to add to the Crock Pot when I get home. Alternatively, you could cook it when the soup is done and toss it right in, which means it won’t take as long to heat up in the soup.
It’s up to you how you want to go about it. If you’re in an experimenting mood, you could also try putting the raw noodles in with the other soup ingredients. In my experience, that usually turns into mushy noodles, but we’d love to hear how it worked out for you in the comments! Make sure to include the specific brand of pasta you used so others can replicate your success.
Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti snapped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 onion medium, diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups chicken stock low-sodium
- 1 tablespoon parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and reserve for later.
- Meanwhile, add the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and chicken stock to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours (or High for 3-4 hours), until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and shred it using two forks. Locate the bay leaf and discard it.
- Add the chicken back to the slow cooker along with the cooked spaghetti. Turn the slow cooker on High and simmer until the noodles are heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley and lemon juice just before serving.
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