Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving!

This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I haven’t been able to get creamy chicken noodle soup out of my mind for weeks. I went out to lunch last month and had the most comforting, hearty, soul-warming bowl of it. Along with a light kale salad adorned with pecans and dried cranberries, it was the perfect lunch. And I’ve been craving it ever since.

As the snow quietly fell yesterday morning, I whipped up a big pot of creamy dreamy homemade chicken noodle soup. This is, by far, the best soup I’ve ever made. I may never leave the house for lunch again. Especially when my lunch date is this little snow bunny.

Snow Day Jude

If you’re looking for a comforting yet lightened-up meal this winter you’ve come to the right place. One bowl of this soup left me satisfied for hours and I didn’t feel like there was a huge brick in my stomach. You know, as we often feel after eating a heavy cream-based soup. Rather, I felt perfectly satisfied and all warm & cozy inside. Plus plus plus! If you have a smaller family, this crowd-pleasing recipe leaves plenty of leftovers to enjoy during the week. A perfect one-pot meal that keeps on giving.

This incredibly thick, lightened-up soup is all about the flavor. Soup has the tendency to be a little bland if it isn’t spiced right. Taste as you go and add a little more spice if you see fit. Then, adjust any other ingredients as needed when making it a second, and/or third time. There are a few power ingredients you’ll need and I don’t suggest leaving any of them out! They’re where all the goodness hides.

This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Power Ingredients

√ Cooking the veggies in a little butter. Read: little! Only 1 Tablespoon of butter for all the veggies (carrots, celery, onion) in the soup. Once the veggies have lightly cooked and sweat out a little liquid, in go the spices.

 The spices. I use a blend of oregano, fresh thyme, fresh ground pepper, and salt. Paired with 2 cloves of garlic, this soup will be the most flavorful chicken noodle soup you’ve ever tried. Try adding a quick squeeze of lemon during the last few minutes of cook time. Your mind? It will blow. I’ll note this little addition in the recipe notes below.

Fat free half and half. Little calories, no fat, and an over the top creamy consistency. I love fat free half and half and always have it on hand for my coffee. It turns this soup from good to GREAT. Whole or 2% milk works too if you’d rather not use the fat free stuff. If you’d rather leave out the “creamy” from this chicken noodle soup, simply use more chicken broth in its place. So simple.

But in my opinion? Creamy chicken noodle soup trumps regular.

The chicken. I love, and swear by, using rotisserie chicken. Pick up a small rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred it, and throw it into the soup. Or you can roast some chicken breasts yourself. Rub with a little garlic and rosemary, roast until tender, then shred it. Or use leftover roasted chicken in this soup. To save yourself some time, you can shred the chicken ahead of time. If you have leftover shredded chicken from this soup, use it in healthy recipes like my chicken quinoa salad or strawberry almond chicken salad. Or make tacos, healthy wraps, or more soup with it. You get the idea. There are millions of tasty uses for leftover roasted chicken. And this soup is one of them!

This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

To save time, I use store-bought chicken broth. Feel free to use homemade broth or stock, the choice is yours. Leftover chicken broth would be fabulous in my double crust chicken pot pie–> definitely not a lightened-up meal like today’s. But so worth it!

And now, the best part. I calculated the calories (on SparkRecipes) and a 1 cup serving of this incredibly thick soup is only 203 calories with 20 whopping grams of protein. Have a big bowl with 1.5 cups of soup, plus a salad, for a satisfying protein-packed meal.

Calories in Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

This comforting creamy chicken noodle soup will have you yearning for chilly nights all year long. Step by step photos below the recipe!

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (1 and 1/2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme1
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth2
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced (around 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken3
  • 1 cup fat free half-and-half or whole milk4
  • 4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles5

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, heat the butter in a 4 quart (or larger) pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Stir and cook for 6-7 minutes as the vegetables soften up and let out some juices. Add flour, oregano, pepper, thyme, and salt. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Next, add the broth and potato. Give everything a quick stir, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the soup to a boil, without stirring, and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes have softened. Taste the soup. Does it need more seasoning like salt, pepper, etc? Add some. Add the chicken, half-and-half, and noodles. Cook for 10 minutes until the noodles are tender and the soup has thickened. Once again, taste the soup. Does it need more seasoning like salt, pepper, etc? Add some. Sometimes I add a pinch more of pepper. Serve the soup warm.

Make ahead tip: Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 1 week. To reheat, simply pour into a pot over medium heat and cook until warm. Feel free to add more chicken broth to the leftovers as it cooks if it is too thick-- I always do. (It thickens in the refrigerator as the noodles and potatoes soak up the liquid.) Soup freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator the day before eating, then reheat on the stove until warm.

Recipe Notes:

During the last few minutes of cook time, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon. It is so good!

  1. I prefer fresh thyme in this soup. To get the thyme leaves off the sprigs, I hold the tip of the twig with one hand and then slide my thumb and pointer finger of my other hand along the sprig. Ground thyme works too. Use 1/2 teaspoon.
  2. I use regular chicken broth. If using low sodium, make sure you are tasting the soup as it cooks to make sure there is enough salt in the soup.
  3. I recommend using rotisserie chicken. Pick up a small rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred it - both white and dark meat- and throw it into the soup. Or you can roast some chicken breasts yourself. Rub with a little minced garlic and rosemary, roast in the oven under tender, then shred it. Or use leftover roasted chicken in this soup. To save yourself some time, you can shred the chicken ahead of time!
  4. Calorie count is for fat-free half-and-half. If you'd rather something else, regular half-and-half works too! As does whole milk or 2% milk.
  5. Any shape noodle works here. I prefer wide egg noodles in chicken soup.

Updated slow cooker instructions: Prepare the soup through step 1 on the stovetop. Transfer to a slow cooker and continue with step 2. Allow to cook for 2 hours on low, then add the chicken, half-and-half, and noodles. Cook on low for 1-2 more hours.

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First, get the veggies ready. You can chop these up ahead of time. I love carrots, so I use a little over a cup as stated in the recipe above. Add more/less if you’d like.

Making Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Along with a Tablespoon of butter, place these veggies into a large 4 quart (or larger) pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add some garlic and let the veggies briefly cook for about 7 minutes.

I use 2 cloves of garlic. The amount was perfect for me. Start with 2 cloves and if you feel like it could use more, add more with your next batch of soup.

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

Per the recipe instructions above, add the spices. I use oregano, fresh thyme (dried may be substituted), fresh ground pepper, and salt. A little flour helps thicken the mixture and soak up all the veggies’ juices.

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

Next, add 1 medium peeled and chopped potato. The potato adds some heartiness to the soup. I loved biting into the soft potatoes in between all the chicken and other veggies. It also makes the soup a little fuller and thicker too.

A sweet potato instead would be tasty!

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

With the potato, add some chicken broth. As mentioned above, I use store-bought chicken broth. Feel free to use homemade broth or stock, your choice.

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

Bring to a boil, then allow the fragrant mixture to simmer for around 25 minutes or until the potatoes have softened. Cover with a lid, leaving a little crack open for steam to escape.

Lightened-Up Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com Easy, healthy, comforting!

After the simmering step, add the chicken, half-and-half, and noodles. After tasting, I added a little more pepper to the soup. Throughout the recipe instructions above, I urge you to taste the soup as it cooks. Add more spices as you see fit. Allow the noodles to cook and the soup to thicken. Within 10-15 minutes, you’ve got a suuuuper tasty batch of creamy chicken noodle soup with an impressively low number of calories. Bon appétit!

This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving!
This lightened-up creamy chicken noodle soup has only 200 calories per serving!

215 comments

  1. I made this tonight – yum, yum, yum!  We all liked it, even the picky kids. I wasn’t sure about the potato but am glad I included it. One potato for a whole pot isn’t very much and it added some extra heartiness and texture. I’ve never added dairy to chicken soup before. So good! Next time I may cook the egg noodles separately as I think they won’t be as firm as I like when I reheat the leftovers but otherwise wouldn’t change a thing. Will definitely make this again. Thanks!

  2. Hi Sally,
    I made this soup today for the first time and it was a hit! Thanks for the recipe! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

  3. This is BY FAR the best chicken soup recipe I’ve ever made. The first time I made as is, along with a pinch of cayenne. It did not “set well” with my lactose intolerant husband but he said it was so good it was worth it. Now to make it lactose free I simply substitute more chicken broth for the half & half. I think I’ll also start adding a handful of frozen peas to the mix. The last time I made it I didn’t have any fresh carrots so simply used frozen. This recipe is SO easy but so VERY good!

  4. This soup is delicious! Let me just say that my husband is one of the pickiest eaters on earth and he loved this soup! He normally will never eat anything I make that is relatively healthy but this reminded him of the creamy chicken and wild rice soup at Panera a/k/a St. Louis Bread Company so he took a chance and tried it and he loves it. Sally I cannot believe how good this recipe is and how much it makes. It almost reminds me of chicken and dumplings because it thickens up in the fridge overnight. Thank you so much for an unbelievably delicious soup recipe that even I was able to correctly make. I say bring on more of these fantastic recipes so I can stock my fridge and freezer!

  5. This soup is delicious! I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving instead of chicken. Hoping to make a second batch to freeze soon! 

  6. I have been making this for 45 years always a big hit with my family. My mom always made it in the winter month’s.  The only thing I do different is I don’t use flour. Cornstarch is better it’s creamy without the flour taste you can some times get. warming from the inside out

  7. I made this soup today and it was so tasty!! Definitely a keeper!! The only complaint is that it didn’t turn out very creamy for me…I used whole milk. It was still delish!

  8. I tried he crock pot method the potatoes did not cook through and my noodles disappeared.   The soup is so thick I may add peas and corn and make a chicken pot pie this weeekend.  It tastes great though!   

  9. I made this last night – it was so good!!! Thank you for another great recipe!!

  10. Can you replace the half and half with coconut milk?

  11. Sally, I am a huge fann if your baking posts and they always live up to high expectations. I have been making this soup for a few years now and my whole famil6 loves it. I found your recipe on its own before I started following your blog. It was only just now as I was meal planning and checking the ingredients that I realized this is a Sally recipe!  Seriously I never noticed before!  Will, of course, be making your January 2018 bread bowls to accompany. Thanks again!

  12. Could you use whole wheat egg noodles?

  13. Wow!  I love this soup recipe! Easy to prepare and so tasty. I will make this again next week and bake the bread bowls to go with it!

  14. Sally! Happy New Year!
    I made this soup over the weekend and it is AWESOME! And I don’t even usually like chicken!
    Thanks so much!

  15. I made this and it turned out amazing! Would this freeze well?

  16.  Made this soup with just a few modifications—less onion, fewer seasonigs. It was easy and the flavor got even better the next day.  I have my Moms veggie beef soup but always wanted a chicken soup. Thanks. 

  17. I’ve been following your blog, it seems like, forever and I’ve never really commented or wrote a review. That will change now!!! Sally, your recipes have been awesome. Each and every one of them that I have tried have not yet disappointed me yet. My girls even enjoy following your recipes!! My soon to be 9 year old has made a few recipes on her own even. Thank you so much for being awesome!!! I have a pot of these thickening up at the moment and I can’t wait to taste it!!

  18. Wow this recipe is a keeper. I substituted sweet potato and it was delicious. Thank you!

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