Five bowl of chicken noodle soup

I Tested Five Popular Chicken Noodle Soup Recipes and the Winner Was Pure Comfort

I’ll be making the winning recipe even when I’m not under the weather.

Chicken noodle soup might just be the most comforting food in the world. It's the soup we turn to whenever we're feeling down; it's a balm for frigid winter nights and a dish that just feels cozy. But making chicken noodle soup is a project that takes time, and layering each ingredient to build the perfect soup is a process that can't be rushed. This is why I decided to test out five chicken noodle soup recipes from Allrecipes in search of the best one, because if you're going to commit an hour (or more) to making soup, the results better be worth it.

Which Chicken Noodle Soup Recipes Did I Test?

Five chicken noodle soup recipes stand out as reader favorites on Allrecipes, so I decided to make them in a side-by-side taste test. All of the recipes represent different takes on classic chicken noodle soup, changing up the methods or ingredients to achieve different results: Some use vegetable stock, some make their own chicken stock, and some rely on bouillon cubes to build their depth of flavor. But the one thing the recipes all have in common is thousands of glowing reviews and a loyal group of readers who have dubbed the recipes their go-tos. The lineup includes a quick and easy chicken noodle soup that can be whipped up in less than an hour, a completely from-scratch version that calls for homemade broth, one that uses leftover rotisserie chicken, one that ditches the carrots and ups the amount of broth, and one that calls for bouillon cubes in place of broth.

How I Judged the Chicken Noodle Soup Recipes

Each soup recipe was made on the same day using the same ingredients whenever applicable (in other words, one soup wasn't made with premium celery while another used wilted stalks). I followed each recipe to the tee and didn't make any changes. I also grabbed a friend to taste the soups with me to make sure I wasn't relying too much on personal preference. After we tasted each soup we both aligned on which one we thought was the best and it has now become my new go-to. Here's what I found.

A bowl of chicken noodle soup
Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Szewczyk / Sarah Maiden

1. Best for Broth Lovers: Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

There are those who like their soup with tons of mix-ins and those who prefer a big bowl of broth—this recipe is for the latter. While Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup does contain all of the classic add-ins, it skews more broth heavy than the other recipes, calling for a whopping 12 cups of chicken broth. It also calls for cornstarch being added in the form of a slurry, giving the broth a thicker, more luscious texture. The broth isn't thick enough that you would know there's cornstarch in there; it's just slightly more velvety.

If you're looking for a lighter chicken noodle soup to make when you're feeling under the weather, this recipe would be a great choice. It's not too heavy and feels extremely nourishing. Plus, you can always start with half the amount of broth and add more to taste if you're looking for a slightly more substantial soup.

Get the recipe: Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

A bowl of chicken noodle soup
Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Szewczyk / Sarah Maiden

2. Best If You Prefer Less Broth: Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Fast Facts: Developed by Michelle Molina, has 23 reviews with a 4.4-star rating
  • Community Review: "Easy to make and loved the flavor from the oregano and Italian seasoning. Will definitely make it again!" – Nancy Fearon

If you like your chicken noodle soup with tons of add-ins and just enough broth for it to technically be a soup, this is the recipe for you. The recipe uses shredded rotisserie chicken, a clever use of a grocery store staple that gives it new life. The chicken imparts a roasted, richer flavor to the soup that makes it taste like it was cooking for hours. But the thing that makes the soup unique is just how little broth it uses. Unlike the other recipes that call for up to 12 cups of broth, this recipe calls for just 4.

Do note that the recipe does suggest adding more broth "to taste" to adjust the brothy-ness to your liking. I suggest starting with the written amount and adding more as you go so you don't start out with too much broth from the start.

Get the recipe: Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

A bowl of chicken noodle soup
Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Szewczyk / Sarah Maiden

3. Best Nostalgic Recipe: Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

For anyone who loves a classic canned chicken noodle soup, this recipe is for you. It's like the popular version we all love and know, only better. The combination of veggie broth, chicken broth, oregano, and basil gave the soup a nostalgic, familiar flavor in the best way possible. It reminded me of something I would eat as a child when I was feeling under the weather.

The soup also comes together in about 30 minutes, making it one of the quickest chicken noodle soup recipes I tested. The broth was light but flavorful with just the right amount of add-ins.

Get the recipe: Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

A bowl of chicken noodle soup
Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Szewczyk / Sarah Maiden

4. Best for Leisurely Weekend Cooking: Chef John's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Fast Facts: Developed by Chef John, has 284 reviews with a 4.8-star rating
  • Community Review: "We loved the soup, and the roasted chicken broth, as well. It is very comforting, and I will be making it again very soon!" – Rhonda Ran

Unlike all of the other soup recipes that call for store-bought (or bouillon-based) stock, this recipe is made with a homemade roasted chicken broth that gives the soup a deep, complex flavor that takes it to a whole new level.

Flavor-wise this recipe wins points for savoriness, richness, and overall deliciousness. It's an elevated version of chicken noodle soup that takes the time to build multiple layers of flavor, which means it's certainly not quick. The homemade chicken broth takes several hours to make, so carve out enough time before starting this recipe. I suggest making a big batch of the stock and storing it in your freezer so you can quickly make this soup without having to take hours out of your day.

Get the recipe: Chef John's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

A bowl of chicken noodle soup
Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Szewczyk / Sarah Maiden

5. My Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Fast Facts: Developed by Sherry, has 783 reviews with a 4.7-star rating
  • Allstar Review: "Great flavor with very little work. A perfect combination. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!" – wamsmom

This recipe was hands down my favorite. Not because it was fancy or used any unexpected ingredients, but because it was exactly what I think of when I imagine classic chicken noodle soup: comforting, simple, and hearty. It strikes the perfect balance between being brothy and hearty, is loaded with a generous amount of chicken (four cups to be exact), and comes together in less than an hour. A combination of bay leaves, marjoram, and parsley gives the broth an herby complexity that makes it taste like it was simmering for hours.

Tip: The broth is made with nine whole cubes of chicken bouillon, creating a rich, savory flavor. While I loved the richness of the broth, you can use reduced-sodium bouillon to mellow it out a bit.

Get the recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup

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