Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup Slow Cooker Recipe

This is complete and utter comfort food. There is nothing more soothing than a bowl full of chicken noodle soup.

I love how you can use a rotisserie chicken carcass to make the broth -- what a great way to use up the bones and leftover meat!

I sat down at the computer and tried to write this post about 47 times in the last few days.

 Sorry to leave the icky chicken and sweet potato fiasco up for so long!

I made some yummy soup the other night that the kids adored and they each had THIRDS.



I think my head may have exploded.

The Ingredients.

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken carcass, or 1 1/2 cups already cooked chicken meat
6 cups water
1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (check for gluten, this was clearly labeled gluten free)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt to taste (probably a good 1 teaspoon, since the base is water)
50-cent piece size, or so, handful of raw spaghetti noodles to add at the end (I used Trader Joe's brown rice)
1 large handful raw spinach leaves to add at the end
Parmesan and Asiago cheese, optional garnish

The Directions.

If you're going to use a chicken carcass, cook it on low overnight in the water. 

In the morning, unplug the crock and let it cool before digging in with CLEAN hands to pick out the bones. 

Strain through a colander (retaining liquid!) if desired.

Or, start with a slow cooker with 6 cups of water, and add chicken. 

Add all vegetables except for the spinach leaves. 

Stir in the bouillon and vinegar. 

Salt to taste. 

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender and the onion is translucent.

15 minutes before serving, put in raw spaghetti noodles and a large handful of spinach. 

Cover and flip to high.

Garnish with parmesan and asiago cheeses, if desired.

The Verdict.

This is such a wonderful, comforting soup. 

The balsamic vinegar does two things: 

1, it really darkens the broth which provides a nice color, 


2, it brings the chicken flavor out so nicely while providing a touch of a tang. 

The tang is nice, because it fools your tongue into thinking it's tasting salt----which is mostly what you taste in canned chicken noodle soups.

Absolutely delicious. This fed our family of four for dinner, with just a bit leftover (and the kids were able to have 3rds!)

Make homemade chicken and noodle soup in your crockpot slow cooker the easy way.  There is nothing more soothing than a bowl full of chicken noodle soup.  I love how you can use a rotisserie chicken carcass to make the broth -- what a great way to use up the bones and leftover meat!

what about Turkey Noodle Soup?
Yes! you can do the *exact* same thing with your leftover Turkey bones and carcass.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 06, 2016

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What they say about this article

  1. Wow! I love the idea of using balsamic vinegar! I just roasted a turkey on monday, so I may make this with turkey meat instead. I hope my kid has thirds lol!

  2. This soup looks awesome. I will be trying soon for lunch!!

  3. I've been wanting to make homemade chicken soup for forever. I'm gonna get the ingredients next grocery shopping trip. I hope it turns out like yours.

  4. Anonymous5/06/2009

    Why not substitute white balsamic vinegar for the dark balsamic vinegar? It wouldn't darken the broth...I'll have to try that for a different taste in my homemade chicken soup! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous5/06/2009

    I have recently started a love affair with balsamic vinegar, therefore, I am anxious to try this soup! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Anonymous5/06/2009

    Can't wait to try this! It sounds delish!

  7. Mmmmm...this looks delish

  8. i've been reading your blog for a few weeks now. it certainly motivates me to use my crock pot more. :) thanks for the ideas!

  9. Well, since my fridge took the big nose dive today and my neighbor didn't have room for my frozen chicken in her freezer...me thinks I have found a solution!

    Nice. And thanks!

  10. That looks so delicious! I love the greens in there! And I can imagine the Balsamic made it taste just that much more excellent!

  11. That looks INCREDIBLE! Can't wait to try it out.

  12. Oh, I love the flavor balsamic vinegar adds! Your kids ate thirds! That is monumental ... seriously. :-) I've got not one, but two chicken carcasses in the freezer. ;-)


  13. Anonymous5/07/2009

    This soup looks great!

    I have read that adding vinegar while making broth helps to leach out the vitamins and minerals for more nutrition.

    I have started adding vinegar to almost all of my soups. They just don't seem to taste right without it.

  14. This sound so great! But . . . for me Chicken Noodle Soup has to have . . . Noodles! Can you guestimate about how much a 50 cent size bunch of spaghetti noodles would translate into regular flat noodles?

  15. Anonymous5/07/2009

    After working where I work, I actually get the accentuation of CLEAN hands. Nice. With swine flu, crockpot chicken noodle soup will really help.

  16. Anonymous5/07/2009

    love the recipes... hate the recently added, annoying pop-up ad.

  17. Definitely giving this a try. I love chicken noodle soup. Thanks for sharing.

  18. This looks good. I love soup! It's not soup season anymore where we live though so I'll have to wait. I am dying to try this coconut galangal soup recipe that I saw.

  19. This sounds really good! Thanks!

  20. Anonymous5/10/2009

    I'm new to your site...is everything gluten free?

  21. OMGoodness! We must have been seperated at birth. A crockpot is the only way I CAN cook! I'm so excited to have come across your blog!

  22. I made this soup the other night. It was delicious! I did tweek it just a little to my own personal taste. I added carrots, and several sprigs of fresh thyme. I served the leftovers two nights later and added a little cream to the soup to change it up a bit. It was wonderful! (how could it not be with cream in it?)

    My only complaint was that my vegetables were done after about 4 hours, so I just turned it off and removed the crock from the base. I guess my crock-pot just cooks at a much higher temp. I'll have to remember that the next time I make any kind of vegetable in it.

    Thanks for this recipe!

  23. I loved this. Made my own stock in the crock and then made this soup with just a few changes ( carrots and sweetcorn instead of spinach and sweet potato)and it is yum, yum, yummy. I'm so glad i made loads and have plenty of it portioned up in my freezer!

  24. Steph,
    Here is a tip that you can probably use on either blog. I started doing after being inspired by things I'd read in Martha Steward Living, Matthew Bitman's NY Times column, and your crockpot blog.

    Instead of buying boullion or ready made stock, I save cuttings from other meal prep: carrot and celery tops, onion outer layers, wilted herbs go in one bag; chicken bones in another; shrimp tails; beef bones each in their own zip lock bag in my freezer. I regularly prepare vegetable stock (and others as needed) in the following manner:

    Place two or three generous handfuls of cuttings in crock pot. Fill with water, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Strain out solids and keep refrigerate or freeze for a later use.

    I love having a jar of vegetable stock in my fridge for sauteing vegetables, adding to my rice cooker, or making a quick soup.

  25. Anonymous5/17/2009

    I just want to make sure that I read the correct....
    The chicken is to be cooked prior to adding it to the crockpot?
    Will this overcook the chicken??


  26. hi there, the chicken I used was already cooked. If you prefer to use raw, it'll be just fine, but you'll need to cook it longer to tenderize the chicken. Cooking the already-cooked chicken doesn't run the risk of over-cooking---the chicken gets nice and shredded that way.


  27. Juliann5/27/2009

    The smell in my house is divine!!!!
    I just tasted a small bowl even without the noodles and it was quite delicious. Never thought to add the balsamic and it adds a really nice flavor. To me once I add the noodles its going to be more of a noodle bowl....and much more acceptable in May when its 70+ degrees outside. I also love the different veggies to spice it up a bit over the celery/carrot combo.
    Its a keeper

  28. Anonymous5/28/2009

    Hey, this was tasty, and my kids liked it too. Thanks, Steph!

  29. I made this this week and used rice noodles, (Trader Joe's rice sticks) and they worked very well. My 3 teenage boys wolfed it down I had to double the quantity of liquids just to get by LOL I reckon if tou added mushrooms and dried mushrooms it would really enhance the flavor.
    Thanks for this one!

  30. This was delicious!! And so very economical .... considering it uses a rotisserie chicken carcass which we all just toss. I was surprised how much chicken there actually was to work with. The balsamic vinegar really took this over the moon. What a great flavor for soup! I also tossed in 2 small zucchini, which I needed to use up, and also 1 clove of garlic because I was concerned this would be too bland for my tastes. I'll be making this soup and freezing it anytime I have a chicken carcass from here on out. Thanks. Love your blog.

  31. Anonymous10/06/2009

    Be careful on the chicken - check with the store . . WalMart/Sam's rotisserie chicken is not gluten free . .

  32. Kristen Bolander5/24/2010

    I make this at least once a week. It's awesome! My kids love it!

  33. Elizabeth S.11/01/2010

    I love all of these recipes. I only discovered this blog several weeks ago but have already made 6 recipes (which is a lot for a busy single gal). I was avoiding several recipes because they didn't have the correct cooking time frame. The ideal recipes require 9+ hours or less than 3 hours so I can start the Crock before work and eat when I get home (10 hours later) or so I can make it as soon as I get home and enjoy dinner before I die of starvation.

    My solution: I bought a Digital Outlet Timer. I turn on the timer, plug the Crock (while on high or low) into the timer and when I get home I have a perfect meal waiting for me, no matter how much time was needed to cook it.

  34. Anonymous12/01/2010

    Elizabeth S. - that is such a good idea! I haven't used my crock pot in forever because I have the same problem. My crock pot burns everything by the time I get home, even though it goes to "warm" after I set it. I'll have to use your solution with the outlet timer next time!

  35. I just made this chicken noodle soup and it is definitely one I'll make again. I tried to stretch it by adding more liquid, and I didn't have potatoes, so it was too watery, but the egg noodles I used made up for that. Next time I'll use the measurements you said. Was still very good--an easy and forgiving recipe. Thank you!

  36. I made this yesterday and it was YUMMY! I pulled it out of the fridge today to have leftovers and almost all the liquid was gone! Looks like it was absorbed by the spaghetti noodles (I used regular noodles). It's still delicious, but now more of a savory, turkey and potato noodle dish!

  37. I stumbled upon this website, not sure what led me here (you know how that goes, one link leads to another, on and on) ... I decided I was going to give recipe a try. One person said "Sweet potatoes? In chicken noodle soup? That's so weird!" while another said "You can't use spaghetti for soup!" but I like the idea that it doesn't come from a box or a can. And I'm so tired of either eating out or having hamburger helper all the time. This was a test, and everyone who complained ended up loving it. Tomorrow, I'm trying the black bean soup. Between this site and a "slow cooker for diabetics" cookbook I picked up, I think I might actually get my family used to eating good food, not just fast food!

  38. Anonymous7/13/2022

    As is your norm...super duper recipe for the Chicken Noodle. Been diy for this dish for eons. Tks for the vinegar tip...who knew. Will volunteer a few tips I've learned...yes, do cook the carcass, de bone, then use the liquid as you do; in addition to ingredients a la Steph, try tossing in a few pieces of celery (I dry leftover celery and use that all year long), also do the same for sweet pepper and the dried flake-like pieces add flavor and look terrific in the soup....THEN....I take those chicken bones...put them BACK in the crock...fill the 5 qt crock and cook on low 10-12-14 hrs. Presents with scads of collagen to use in my next batch of whatever.....chicken noodle soup included.