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. Heat the butter in a 4 quart or larger large pot or dutch oven (4 quart or larger) over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for around 7 minutes as the veggies let off some juices and become soft. 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!

204 Comments

Comments

  1. Maryann on September 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Hubby has a sinus infection,so I thought soup would be good for dinner. This was great! As others said I did not add the potato’s. Just didn’t seem to go with chicken soup. Also did not add oregano. It was delish ,fast and easy. Will definitely make again.

  2. Moriiha on September 13, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Made this tonight for dinner because it was rainy and it turned out amazing. I added a few of my own modifications though. Skipped out on the potato because I’m a type 1 diabetic and didn’t want the extra startch. I added some fresh Swiss Chard. Also added extra celery, garlic and while cooking it in the broth I threw in some Everglades seasoning (it’s a super yummy all purpose seasoning).
    Will definitely be making this again soon! Thanks for the yummy recipe! 

  3. Terri Sherer on September 29, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Sounds wonderful! Haven’t made it yet, but when I do, I think I’m going to add corn instead of the potatoes. Or maybe some of both!

    • Sally on September 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Sounds perfect. My husband would love the addition of corn! I’ll have to try it.

  4. Amie | B on October 11, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I made this soup the other night and it was fabulous! I cooked my chicken in an electric pressure cooker instead of using rotisserie, and it worked perfectly. The leftovers are versatile too–it was thick enough that I ate it over mashed potatoes. Comfort food at it’s finest!

  5. Nancy on October 17, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Tonight I made a double recipe of this soup. I followed the directions and added everything.  It was absolutely delicious!!!  I can’t wait for a bowl tomorrow!  Thanks!!!

  6. Summer on October 31, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    How much is one serving ?

    • Merrily on November 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

      I believe one cup is a serving.

  7. Kelsey on November 6, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Just wanted to tell you how much I love this soup! I have a standing “Soup Sunday” routine- I love spending Sunday night relaxing in the kitchen with a pot of soup on the stove, and I love having lunches ready for work all week even more! This soup is one of my favorites in the rotation! Comforting, creamy, and easy to make! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Sally on November 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      You are welcome, Kelsey! SO glad to hear it’s a regular in your rotation. And I love the ritual of Soup Sunday!

  8. Melissa Kopaczewski on November 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Is this the same soup you made on Snapchat where you substituted tortellini’s instead of egg noodles?

    • Sally on November 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Yes! I love it. Make it quite often!

  9. Merrily on November 10, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Hey Sally,

    I made this two days ago, and it disappeared in a little over 24 hours! My husband is not a huge soup lover like I am, but he said this is better than my homemade chicken pot pie (which is an all-time favorite of his). I am headed to the store for more ingredients to make another batch today! Thank you, so very much, for bringing such inspiring and delicious recipes to our lives. Since I’ve been following your blog over the last several years, my confidence and skills in the kitchen have increased, and I’m grateful for it (and I think my family is too!).  My best to you.

    Merrily

    • Sally on November 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Merrily, I absolutely LOVE hearing that your confidence has increased!! Enjoy the next batch of soup and here’s to many more wonderful meals! 🙂

  10. Janet on November 14, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    This was AMAZING.  I used chicken breast that I cooked right before the veggies, and I used cauliflower instead of potatoes….  my 8 yr old asked if we could have it tomorrow night too.   The base is so versatile, I’m going to add broccoli to it next time too….  yummy!  Thank you for sharing!

  11. Andrea Gray on November 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is supper tonight, using left over turkey…. mmmmm gonna be good.

  12. Vicki Jessup on December 8, 2016 at 7:09 am

    How does the fat free version of half & half hold up during cooking? I’ve always believed you couldn’t boil the stuff.

    • Sally on December 8, 2016 at 7:41 am

      I’ve never had any issues.

  13. Brian on December 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Made it, and im a guy. I felt like a hero.

  14. Holly on January 7, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Made this last night & my husband and I both loved it! So delicious, definitely a ‘keeper’ recipe. Love the addition of the potatos to a classic recipe 😉

  15. Colleen on January 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Used this exact recipe but cooked in the crockpot for 4-5 hours on low . Delicious !

    • Lisa on February 3, 2017 at 11:34 am

      When did you add the noodles?

  16. Kathleen C on February 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Once again, a big hit! I definitely recommend adding the potato–it breaks down a bit and makes the texture even creamier! My whole family gave it a big thumbs up 🙂 Thanks so much!

  17. Annie on March 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    My first time to your site.. I was intrigued by the picture of your creamy c chicken soup. I am a good cook, but I am famous for making lousy chicken soup! I had most of the ingredients on hand, I was missing celery, but I had some organic spinach leaves…hmmm. I made the soup as written, minus the celery. I added a few large handfuls of spinach at the end and a little more salt. The soup looked beautiful with the bright green addition of the wilted spinach. My family loved it! I plan on sharing it with the neighbors next. Thanks for the great recipe.

  18. Leslie on April 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I am SO not a soup eater but this soup may have just changed my mind. I made the recipe exactly as Sally wrote and it was fantastic. I went back to the store the same day to buy more ingredients so I could make another pot. Thanks for making a soup for non-soup lovers, Sally!

    • Sally on April 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      This is great! So happy you liked it!!

  19. Tierra on August 29, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I recommend the soup recipe.Very good! Made this soup last night & my family love it! I added the sweet potatoes and it was delicious! 

  20. Ronnette Nolff on September 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    This was awesome. I was going to leave the potato out but didn’t and I’m glad.

  21. Rachel on September 13, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I would love to make a large batch of this and freeze the leftovers, but I’m not sure how to freeze this or how to reheat this. Anyone have some pointers for a newbie cooker?

    • Sally on September 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Freezing/thawing instructions in my make-ahead tip. Enjoy!

  22. Lesley on September 14, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner and it’s soooo good! I was happy because I had all the ingredients on hand, but for the chicken, I used sautéed chicken tenders. It came together quickly and simmered while I set the table and heated up a baguette. The whole family enjoyed it and we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks Sally!

  23. Pam on September 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Has anyone tried using almond milk or another substitute other than dairy? Thanks!

  24. Elysse on October 4, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Just made this for the first time tonight and my husband and I had to restrain ourselves from eating the entire pot!! Planning on making a triple batch for the freezer within the next few days. Yummmmmmm! Your recipes never disappoint Sally!!

  25. Debbie on October 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Sally, thank you for this recipe. I needed comfort food today (even though it was the high 80’s), so I made this tonight. So simple and delicious!  

    • Sally on October 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      So happy you enjoyed it, Debbie!

  26. Michelle on October 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Made this soup exactly as the directions state, and my family loved it!! My husband’s favorite part was the potatoes and he requested more in the next batch. The potatoes are really amazing in this, I couldn’t imagine leaving them out! I made a double batch to freeze, since I’m due with baby #2 in just a few weeks! My family loved the old version of chicken noodle that I used to make, which is very similar to this without the cream and potatoes, and the cream and potatoes really throw this soup over the top. It’s just SO good, this is everyone’s new favorite! Thank you so much, Sally!!

  27. Amanda on November 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Love, love, love this soup! I use frozen mixed veggies instead of celery and carrots – works perfectly.
    For freezing, I’ve also adjusted to scoop out the freezer portion before adding the noodles (everything else is added). I found the noodles to get a tad too soft after thawing and reheating. Now I just add the noodles when heating the frozen batch. 
    I can always count on your recipes, thank you! 

  28. Catherine on November 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    When I lived I Russia my host mom made chicken soup with potatoes. I loved it but never could replicate it at home. This is fantastic! My kids were not happy with the potatoes but I love this soup. This is hands down my favorite version of chicken noodle. I added tarragon and sage at the end. So good.

  29. Carol on November 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I am really into soup lately and this one sounds great.  I’m going to get the ingredients tomorrow! Have you discovered the deliciousness of Reames Egg Noodles?  They are in the freezer section of the grocery store and are the big fat homemade-looking noodles! They are so good and might make this soup even more fantastic!!

  30. Dustin on November 15, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    im not sure where i went wrong. I used Al’dente brand fettuccine egg noodles and 2 cups would not submerge.

    I followed the directions to a T and ended up with what i considered to be very thick soup. I figured when i put the half and half in it would even out but before that it looked like beef stew. And that was before the chicken went in which took out more of the soup and then i added teh cream and it was a little better. but trying to add the noodles was like impossible. i had to let them sit under the soup and kind of steam them because the soup was not runny enough to fully cover the noodles to cook them,

    Next time i will be using 6 cups of broth instead.

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