The coziest bowl of gluten-free chicken noodle soup is comforting and filled with perfectly cooked noodles. The best noodles for soup are ones that will hold up without turning to mush. Information on the best brands and types of noodles is included.
Table of Contents
- The Best Gluten-Free Noodles for Soup
- When to Add Noodles to Soup
- Bone Broth or Chicken Broth?
- Best Seasoning for Chicken Soup
The Best Gluten-Free Noodles for Soup
The trickiest thing about this soup is the noodles. Gluten-free pasta and noodles can get mushy, grainy and not so perfect after sitting in liquid for too long. So knowing which noodles to use and when to add them is the key.
I tested several different types noodles and several different brands. I cooked most of them less than the recommended time so that they were a little firmer than al dente. Then I added them to the cooled soup, refrigerated and reheated. Two of the brands I tested worked very well.
If you want a flat wide noodle, Jovial Foods tagliatelle (brown rice flour and egg noodles) is an excellent option. Cook the noodles 1 minutes less than the 10 minutes recommended on the package. They stayed firm and kept a nice texture after refrigerating 2 days and re-heating. The Jovial Foods penne did absorb quite a bit of liquid and swelled, but were still pleasant to eat.
Barilla is another brand of gluten-free pasta that stays al dente. even when cooked too long. It holds up better than any gluten-free pasta I have tried. I was not able to find a wide noodle, so I tested the Barilla elbow and rotini and they held up to the testing. I cooked them both 1 minute less than the time on the package. The rotini was my favorite after 2 days in the fridge.
When to Add Noodles to Soup?
- If you are using all of the soup immediately, add the cooked noodles to the hot soup.
- If using just some of the soup, add a portion of the noodles to the soup you are using right away. Cool the remaining soup, then add the noodles and refrigerate.
- If you plan to freeze the soup, I recommend adding in the noodles after the soup is thawed.
Bone Broth or Chicken Broth?
Equally as important in chicken noodle soup is the soup part. How do you get a yummy rich broth? You have two options.
The first and longer one is to make your own slow-cooked chicken stock/bone broth. Bone broth and stock are the same thing – bone broth has just become the more commonly used term these days. This slow cooking method extracts the rich collagen from the bones for a wonderful nutritious and flavorful soup base. The bone broth, if cooked long enough (at least 6 hours) will turn to gel when refrigerated.
To make your own chicken bone broth for this soup, see my recipe for turkey stock/bone broth and simply use chicken bones in place of the turkey.
The quicker option for a yummy base for your chicken soup is to cook some boneless skinless chicken in the pot and capture the flavor that it leaves. Then use a store-bought low-sodium chicken broth or bone broth for the rest of your liquid. This way you can make a delicious chicken soup in just 30 minutes.
Chicken Soup Seasoning and Flavors
Regardless of which broth, stock or bone broth you use, the soup will be simmered with fresh herbs. The best herbs for a savory, wintery, comforting soup are parsley, thyme, sage and bay leaves.
Dill is a very traditional flavor for chicken soup, If you enjoy dill, simmer the soup with a few fresh sprigs then remove and add a few fresh sprigs to the hot soup before serving. It will remind you of the chicken soup from the deli.
I have not included an exact amount of salt in the recipe. Since broths, stocks and bone broths vary in salt level, you will taste and add salt as needed. I usually start with about 3/4 tsps Diamond Crystal kosher salt. This is equal to approximately 1/2 tsp table salt. Then I taste and add more, a few pinches at a time, until I am satisfied with the flavor.
Homemade Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2-3 Tbsp oil (your choice, any kind will work)
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 1 medium sized stalk of celery (1/4 c diced)
- 1/4 of a medium sized onion
- 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast
- 1/2 c water
- 4 c low sodium chicken broth, chicken stock or chicken bone broth*
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley (do not chop)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 pinches dried thyme
- 1 sprig fresh sage (optional)
- fresh dill (do not chop)
- salt to taste
- 6 oz gluten-free tagliatelle, rotini, elbow noodles or penne
- Mince the celery and onion.
- Peel and slice the carrot into ⅛ inch rounds.
- Place a 4 quart pot over high heat with a very light coating of oil. Heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the water to the pot (still over high heat) and scrape the bottom with a spatula to remove any stuck on chicken. When the bottom of the pot is clean, strain the liquid into a glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside for later. This liquid contains flavor that will be added back later!
- Run a towel over the inside of the pot to dry.
- Place the pot over medium high heat and lightly coat with oil. Cook the onion, celery and carrot, stirring often for 3 minutes.
- Add the stock/broth, the strained liquid. parsley, bay leaf and dill or thyme.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering:-If using dry pasta, cook it now and be sure to add at least one tablespoon of salt to the cooking water. This will give the noodles flavor. Cook 1 minute less than the recommended time on the package. Fresh noodles can cook in the soup.-Shred the chicken into small bite-sized pieces.
- Remove the parsley, dill/thyme and bay leaf from the soup. Add the shredded chicken.
- If you are planning to use all of the soup at one time, add all of the noodles. Otherwise, add some of the noodles to the portion of soup you are using. Cool the remaining soup, then add the noodles and refrigerate.If you plan to freeze the soup, I recommend leaving out the noodles and adding them once the soup is thawed,
- Since broths, stocks and bone broths vary in salt level, you will taste and add salt as needed. I usually start with about 3/4 tsps Diamond Crystal kosher salt. This is equal to approximately 1/2 tsp table salt. Just be sure to add a little at a time ( a couple of pinches) and taste after each additions
- This soup will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a week or frozen for at least 3 months.