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Homemade Chicken Soup is full of chicken, veggies and herbs in a flavorful semi-homemade broth. My grandma’s Chicken Soup Recipe is nostalgic comfort food that’s warm and soothing and ready in about an hour.

We are huge fans of soup in our house. I have 4 or 5 that I make on at least a monthly basis, like my Turkey, Kale and Rice SoupHamburger Soup Easy Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup and my grandma’s Homemade Chicken Soup recipe.

A pot of chicken and carrots in broth with minced parsley

Easy Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken soup is often the “prescription” most people offer when you’re not feeling well. It’s comforting and soothing and sentimental. There are plenty of canned options out there when you need a quick soup fix, but my preferred method is this from scratch chicken soup recipe you can make at home in under an hour.

My grandma’s chicken soup recipe was almost always accompanied by Matzo Balls, and was always made from scratch. These days, when I make her recipe, I take a few liberties purely to save a little time, but the results are just as delicious.

My secret shortcut when I make my grandma’s recipe from scratch is to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs in store-bought chicken stock. This helps to flavor the chicken without taking as much time or effort. No hours of simmering, no deboning! You could definitely make your own chicken stock if you have the time, but I never think that far ahead. I do however always have chicken stock or chicken broth on hand.

Ingredients for the Best Chicken Soup

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs – you can use bone-in chicken if you like, it will just need to be cooked longer, and then the meat picked off the bones.
  • Chicken stock/broth – I cook the chicken in a mixture of 4 cups broth and 4 cups of water, then use this broth for the base of the soup, adding more boxed broth as needed.
  • Salt – Normally I don’t add salt to the ingredients list since it’s such a common ingredient, but it’s so important for the flavor of your soup.
  • Veggies – Onions and carrots, both peeled and chopped. Sometimes I add celery and you can add other veggies like peas or mushrooms.
  • Garlic
  • Herbs – Fresh thyme sprigs (dried also works; about 1-2 teaspoons), dried oregano, bay leaves and fresh parsley for the finishing touch.
Chicken soup in a large white pot

How to Make Chicken Soup (Almost) from Scratch

When I say almost from scratch, I use fresh ingredients but I use a store-bought chicken stock to save a little time. There aren’t a ton of preservatives in the store-bought box stuff so I don’t worry about feeding it to my family.

  1. Saute the vegetables. I always cook the veggies and herbs in a little olive oil before for a few minutes to soften them and bring out their flavor before adding the leftover stock.
  2. Simmer. The veggies, chicken and herbs simmer together in the chicken stock for about 20 minutes (or longer for an even richer flavor), and then you’re ready to serve! Simmer on high heat to bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce to low.
  3. Shred chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, shred it and add it back to the soup.
  4. Final ingredients. Stir in fresh chopped parsley and lemon juice and serve.
an overhead image of a large pot of chicken soup

Flavoring Your Soup

The herbs that you use are what is going to really impart the most flavor to your soup. That, and salt. I used fresh thyme and parsley, dried oregano, bay leaves, garlic and black pepper. Salt is also an important component to the flavor profile, as it will heighten the flavor. I tend to not add much salt until the soup is finished to avoid over-salting it.

If you have access to fresh herbs, use them! You can leave them whole and pick them out before serving.

How to Store Your Chicken Soup

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator and eaten within 3-4 days. In the freezer, it will remain fresh for 4-6 months.

Reheat soup on the stovetop. If you add rice or pasta to your soup, store it separately if possible to avoid mushy soup.

Expert Tips and Storage

  • I always use low sodium chicken broth so I can control the saltiness of the soup. While I often choose what’s on sale, I avoid the generic brands. Swanson is an all-around great stand by.
  • For the ultimate shortcut, use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped, for a super simple soup that only takes 20 minutes.
  • For a burst of freshness, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the finished soup.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup or Chicken Rice Soup: You can add some cooked pasta or rice but I don’t think it’s always necessary. If you do, be sure to cook the pasta or rice first and don’t just dump it all uncooked into the soup. If you have leftovers, store the soup and the pasta or rice separately or it will get mushy and soak up the broth as it sits. As the pasta or rice releases starch, it will also thicken the soup which you probably don’t want.
What chicken is best for soup?

Chicken thighs offer the best flavor, but chicken breasts cook quicker and are better for you. Bone-in chicken will add a little more flavor wile boneless is a lot faster, and cooked in broth will still have great flavor.

What can I serve with Chicken Soup?

I love serving bread with soup because it’s perfect for dipping! Try my simple Garlic Cheese Biscuits, Sour Cream Cornbread, Beer Bread, or Homemade Parker House Rolls. Or for something more hearty, serve with a Club Sandwich or Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

chicken broth in a large pot filled with chicken and vegetables with thyme leaves on top

More Chicken Soup Recipes You’ll Love

A bowl of Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup

4.54 from 13 votes
This Homemade Chicken Soup is fresh and hearty and flavorful – it’s the cure for the common cold and will heal whatever ails you.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 3 celery stalks sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs I like to use a pound of each
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or water
  • Salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


  • cooked egg noodles or rice if desired


  • Heat olive oil and butter in a 5-quart stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, until softened; about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Stir in minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme leaves and bay leaves and saute for 1 minute.
  • Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the chicken. Bring back to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for about 20 minutes, or util chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Pro tip – keep a meat thermometer handy so the breasts don't overcook.
  • Remove chicken from the pot and transfer to a cutting board. Shred with two forks or cut into large, bite sized pieces. Skim off any foam or bits of fat from the broth and return the chicken to the pot.
  • Stir in fresh chopped parsley and lemon juice and serve hot.
  • *Optional: while the soup is simmering, cook 1-2 cups small pasta or rice in a separate pot to add to the soup when you serve it. Store rice or pasta separate from the soup.


I like my chicken soup with LOTS of chicken. If you prefer, you can use less.
If you want to skip cooking the chicken altogether, use a rotisserie chicken. Simmer the chicken and veggies in stock for at least 10-12 minutes. 


Calories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 34gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 375mgPotassium: 634mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3569IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken soup

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. This soup is AWESOME! We’ve made it a couple of times now, and it’s a perfect winter dinner. We buy French bread to make garlic bread to eat with the soup. It’s just my husband and I, so we have enough extra to put some in the freezer for another easy meal soon. Oh and also, the last time, I put a handful of egg noodles in it. It was glorious! Thank you for this fantastic recipe!

  2. EXCELLENT recipe. If I am reading the recipe correctly you need 2 32 oz Containers of Chicken stock, one listed as step 1, when you cook the breasts/Legs and another when you put everything together, step 5. Can I suggest that in the ingredient list you list 2-32 OZ containers?

    This my new favorite Chicken Soup recipe and I have been making Chicken Soup for almost 40 years!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I adjusted the recipe because the additional stock at the end is really optional and based on personal preference for how much broth you want to end up with. But I did note 64 ounces in the ingredients.

  3. Just made this last night and had it with a French baguette from Panera. It was delicious and is a new weapon in my dinner

  4. I made this for my boyfriend when he was sick and he and his daughter loved it! I’m making more… they’re sick again. Also, I use golden potatoes in place of pasta. I didn’t add salt as they do not like salt. I am a vegetarian so lucky for me this is a great recipe! Thank You!

    1. Sure! If you cook the potatoes with the broth keep in mind the starch is released and will thicken the soup a bit.

  5. I have made this twice for my family & can’t wait to make it again. It’s sooo amazingly good. It’s an easy recipe to follow & cook.

  6. How many servings does this recipe make? I was thinking of cutting it in half as it sounds like too much for two people.

  7. I made this Chicken Soup and yes, it IS SO GOOD! I used cooked rotisserie chicken, barbeque flavored, from the local grocery store, instead of cooking a raw chicken. It is MUCH faster and you are assured that the chicken is cooked. I just took the chicken off the bones and put in the cooked vegs. with chicken broth and water mixture. I also used Orzo pasta, a whole 1 lb. box, and put it dry, right in with the broth and chicken to cook that way. It softened up just fine and delicious! I also used small baby carrots packaged instead of slicing up large whole carrots. That was delicious too because by the time the little carrots were soft, the pasta was cooked. It is so delicious and is my FIRST TIME EVER making homemade chicken soup. Yummy! And Thank You so much for this recipe! 5 Stars

  8. Yumm, Chicken soup is my husband’s favorite. I added a little fresh lemon juice, it perks up the soup a little and sneaks in a little Vitamin C!

    1. I go the cooked rotisserie route, too. One added game changer, add 1/4th cup of fresh dill weed chopped at the end when you add lemon zest and juice. Sometimes I add a handful of fresh kale or other greens at the end, too. I don’t add in wide egg noodles anymore. I found this freezes better without pasta and it does freeze very well. I cook this for my two adult children and they love it. One question: if you don’t have fresh thyme sprigs, would you use the ground thyme and if so, how much? Thanks.