Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is pure comfort food! A hearty broth with vegetables, bite sized chicken pieces, and egg noodles (or zoodles) make a soothing meal when it's cold out or you are under the weather.
Some of the recipes I share with you here, I've loved since childhood - this Beef Vegetable Soup is a good example. Other classics, like today's Chicken Soup I've come to love in recent years through my in-laws.
Getting to know my husband's family, meant realizing how big of a deal chicken noodle soup has been growing up Mennonite. And how much they love it to this day.
Because the noodles are always made from scratch, this meal is a labor of love that is often made for holidays. My recipe version today is adapted to be a little quicker. It is made in the pressure cooker with store bought noodles.
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How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch
Making chicken noodle soup in the Instant Pot starts with a mirepoix. The mirepoix flavor base in this soup are onion, carrot, and celery, as well as garlic.
Turn on the Sauté setting of your pressure cooker, and add olive oil. Then sauté the chopped onion first, before adding in diced carrot and celery. At the very end, also add in the minced garlic.
Cancel the Sauté program and add the chicken on top of the sautéed veggies.
Which chicken parts?
My mother-in-law uses at least one whole chicken to make her traditional chicken soup. I am making it a little bit easier and faster by using 2 pounds of already cut up chicken parts.
I am using 2 chicken breasts and 2 whole legs (divided into thighs and drumsticks). The legs are bone-in, skin-on. The breasts just bone-in.
I highly recommend using some parts with bones and skin. These impart great flavor and texture to the soup thanks to fat (not a bad word!) and collagen.
Then pour in 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and 4-5 cups of water. Use only enough water to fill the pot to PC MAX. This is the safe maximum fill line for pressure cooking and is about ⅔ up from the bottom.
How to season Instant Pot chicken noodle soup
Some of the great flavor in this soup comes from the chicken bones & skin (see above). But we are also helping the flavor along by using half broth and half water.
The remaining seasonings are salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. After cooking, we are further brightening up the flavors with fresh chopped parsley and lemon juice.
Once the seasonings are added, we are ready to cook the Instant Pot chicken soup. Set the pressure cooker to 10 minutes on high pressure. Before the timer starts to count down, the Instant Pot has to come to pressure.
The pressurizing time will depend on the temperature of your ingredients. For me it has taking 16 minutes one time, and 25 the next.
Once the cook time is up, you can do a staggered quick release (turn pressure valve to venting, if water/broth escapes together with the steam, turn valve back to sealing and wait a little bit before repeating.)
Otherwise, do a natural pressure release (NPR) for 15 minutes before quick releasing remaining pressure.
Which noodles and how to cook them?
Unless you are making noodles from scratch, I highly recommend egg noodles. Any shape will work. I used Pappardelle this time.
Because I don't like the texture the noodles get once you reheat leftovers, I recommend cooking the egg noodles separately on the stove. Then divide them into serving bowls and serve the hot chicken soup over top.
If you think you are going to eat the entire soup in one sitting, or don't mind the texture in reheated leftovers, then you can cook the noodles right in the broth.
Egg noodles don't take a long time. So simply add them to the hot soup right after pressure cooking. Close the lid again and let the noodles soften.
It took only 6 minutes for the shape I used, which was 2 minutes more than the recommended cook time on the package when made in actively boiling water. Thinner noodle shapes will be even faster.
How to make paleo/low carb/gluten free chicken soup?
For a low carb chicken soup or gluten free version you don't need to use any noodles at all. Make this Instant Pot chicken soup paleo by using spiralized zucchini zoodles. It's really delicious too!
You'll end up with a Chicken Vegetable Soup, but because of the zoodle shape it will still seem like you are eating noodles.
There is no need to pre-cook the zoodles. Just add them to a bowl and serve the hot broth on top. The heat of the broth will be sufficient to warm up and slightly soften then zucchini noodles.
Can this soup be made on the stovetop?
Yes, absolutely. You can find a stovetop version of this recipe in this post.
Can you Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?
Yes, chicken noodle soup can be stored frozen in a freezer-safe container for several months. However, I recommend freezing the soup without noodles, because the thawed & reheated texture of the noodles isn't great. Cook the noodles separately when thawing and reheating.
In the fridge, this soup will last 4-5 days.
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More comforting Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled + diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 lb chicken breast + leg pieces some bone-in skin-on
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 4-5 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 oz egg noodles (I used Pappardelle) or 2-3 spiralized zucchini
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ lemon juiced
- Turn on pressure cooker on Sauté function. Once HOT, add the oil and saute the chopped onion until it starts to turn translucent. Then add carrot, celery + garlic and saute another couple of minutes.
- Now press cancel to turn off the Sauté function. Add your chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Pour in the broth and water. Use only as much water as need to reach PC MAX (the maximum safe fill line for pressure cooking). Finally add seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, oregano), and also 2 bay leaves.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 15-25 minutes (depends on temperature of your ingredients) to pressurize before the timer starts to count down.
- When cook time is up, do a staggered quick release*. Or let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before quick releasing remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and take out the chicken with tongs. Remove skin + bones, and cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Unless cooking the egg noodles separately (recommended) add them to the hot soup now. Close the lid and let them ‘cook’ in the hot liquid until softened.
- Then add the chicken back in. Also stir in chopped parsley, lemon juice, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- If you cooked the noodles separately, or are using zoodles, divide them into bowls. Then pour the hot soup over top. Serve with a little more parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
The soup setting on the Instant Pot is specifically designed for cooking soups and broths. It optimizes the temperature and pressure for efficient soup preparation.
Once the cooking process is complete, it's advisable to remove the soup from the Instant Pot and transfer it to a different container. Leaving it in the Instant Pot for an extended period can affect the texture and flavor of the soup.
The simmering time for soup in the Instant Pot varies depending on the recipe and ingredients used. It typically ranges from 5 to 30 minutes, ensuring that the flavors meld and the ingredients are fully cooked.
While the Instant Pot can expedite the cooking process, it's still possible to overcook chicken if it is left in the pot for an excessive amount of time. It's essential to follow the recommended cooking times for chicken recipes to achieve the desired texture and flavor.