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Chicken Vegetable Soup

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup is an easy recipe that’s both freezer and crock pot friendly! It can be made with chicken thighs, breast, or leftover/rotisserie chicken! Optional additions include rice, pasta, potatoes, and more!

Chicken Vegetable Soup in a green soup pot with a ladle.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

This recipe, without a doubt, is my favorite freezer food of all time. I make it in huge batches and fill up my freezer for easy (and healthy!) lunches during the week.

It makes such a great base that you can serve as-is, but there is plenty of broth to accommodate the addition of rice, tortellini, pasta, potatoes, and more! I like to freeze the soup as-is and customize the portion sizes when I reheat it later. See below for instructions on how I recommend incorporating each of these add-ons!

What Makes My Version Different

My version, unlike most, instructs that you sear the chicken in the soup pot first. This adds a delicious golden crust on the outside, which is super tasty but also adds great texture. Not only that, but it adds a beautiful golden fond to the soup pot, which works its way into the broth, making it SO much more flavorful. The chicken doesn’t even need to cook all the way through, it’ll continue to cook later as it slowly simmers in the soup, which ensures that it’s nice and juicy. (Not tough/chewy.)

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Season chicken with salt/pepper and sear in olive oil for 3 minutes per side. Set aside, let rest for 10 minutes, then shred/dice.

(It’s okay if the middle isn’t cooked yet, it will finish simmering slowly in the soup, which will make it nice and juicy and give the broth plenty of flavor.)

Chicken thighs on a plate before and after being seared.

Melt butter in the same pot and use a silicone spatula to clean the fond from the surface, this will transfer flavor into the broth. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Soften for 5 minutes.

Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Stir to combine, then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the soup and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Adding chicken broth and shredded chicken to a pot of chicken vegetable soup.

Add the frozen vegetables and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, then serve!

Adding frozen vegetables to a pot of chicken vegetable soup.

Crock Pot Method

  • Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, including diced/uncooked chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.
  • Better Yet! If you’re able, sear the chicken first. (This crock pot allows you to do that right on the stove top without dirtying up another pot), then you can add the butter and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot, which makes the broth more flavorful and adds color and texture to the chicken. Then add remaining ingredients and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.

What to Add to Chicken Vegetable Soup

Tortellini:

  • This is my favorite addition to use, I use Rana 5-cheese tortellini, but any variety is really good in Chicken Tortellini Soup. I boil the tortellini on the side and add it directly to serving bowls. It only needs 4 minutes of cooking time! (You can also boil it in the microwave!)

Rice:

  • Chicken and Rice Soup is a classic. I use 2 + 1/4 cups of cooked rice. I cook the rice on the side and add it right to serving bowls to make sure that rice doesn’t absorb all of the broth when I store leftovers.

Pasta:

  • Orzo, acini de pepe, elbows, shells, ditalini, and orecchiette are all small pastas that make a great addition to this soup. (I would use 3/4 cup dry pasta.) I recommend boiling it separately and adding directly to serving bowls, as pasta will absorb the broth during storage.
  • My Italian wedding soup recipe is a great way to incorporate pasta as well as small meatballs!

Potatoes:

  • Red potatoes are always a great candidate for soup because they hold up the best. Yukon golds are also creamy and delicious in this soup. Dice them up and give them about 20 minutes of simmering time in the soup, or until they are fork tender. Be careful not to overcook them as they can become crumbling and fall apart, especially if you plan on freezing leftovers.
  • (Be sure to try my creamy chicken potato soup next!)

Vegetables:

  • Spinach and kale are my favorite vegetable additions to this soup, I add those right at the end as they only need 3-5 minutes to wilt/cook. Peas, squash, and zucchini may also be added when the frozen vegetables are added.

Pro Tips

  • Chicken breast or thighs can be used for this soup. I use Boneless/Skinless chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken has a lot of great flavor too. Use about 2 large chicken breasts or 4-5 small chicken thighs.
  • Leftover or Rotisserie chicken can be used in this recipe as well, you’ll want about 3 cups. Skip the searing step and begin the recipe by softening the onions/carrots/celery in butter, then proceed as outlined.
  • The hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder are flavor enhancers in this soup that can’t be tasted outright. The hot sauce doesn’t make it spicy. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • Top this soup with Ranch Oyster Crackers for even more flavor!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup freezes extremely well, it’s my go-to freezer recipe!

A white bowl filled with Chicken Vegetable Soup with a spoon.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 4.5 Quart Dutch Oven– This is the one I use that’s pictured in this recipe.
  • Food Storage Containers– These are what I use to freeze this in bulk!
  • Better Than Bouillon– This is what I always use for broth in my recipes. It takes very little space and makes it easy to measure out customized amounts of broth.
  • Silicone Spatula– To “clean” the pot throughout cooking, which incorporates flavor into the broth. It’s nice and gentle on the surface of your cookware. 
  • Measuring Spoons– I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
  • Pinch Bowls– For measuring seasonings, etc. ahead of time.
  • Soup Ladle

Try These Next

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Chicken Vegetable Soup in a soup pot with a ladle and fresh parsley on top.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

5 from 5 ratings
Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup is an easy recipe that's both freezer and crock pot friendly! Optional additions include rice, pasta, potatoes, and more!

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs. chicken, see notes
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables, (corn/green beans)

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Pat chicken dry and season with salt/pepper. Heat olive oil in a 4.5-quart soup pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and sear on each side for about 3 minutes, until a golden crust develops. (It’s okay if the middle isn’t cooked, it will simmer and finish cooking in the soup later.)
  • Remove the chicken and set aside. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then dice or shred.
  • Melt butter in the same pot over medium heat. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pot. This will work the brown “fond” into the broth, which adds a ton of flavor.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and soften for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the soup along with any juice from the plate and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Add the frozen vegetables. Cover partially and simmer for 10-15 more minutes. Serve!

Notes

Crock Pot Method
  • Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, including diced/uncooked chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.
  • Better Yet! If you're able, sear the chicken first. (This crock pot allows you to do that right on the stove top without dirtying up another pot), then you can add the butter and use a silicone spatula to "clean" the bottom of the pot, which makes the broth more flavorful and adds color and texture to the chicken. Then add remaining ingredients and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.

Pro Tips
  • See Blog Post for my recommendations on how to add rice, tortellini, pasta, and other vegetables.
  • Chicken breast or thighs can be used for this soup. I use boneless/skinless chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken has a lot of great flavor too. Use about 2 large chicken breasts or 4-5 small chicken thighs.
  • Leftover or Rotisserie chicken can be used in this recipe as well, you'll want about 3 cups. Skip the searing step and begin the recipe by softening the onions/carrots/celery in butter, then proceed as outlined.
  • The hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder are flavor enhancers in this soup that can't be tasted outright. The hot sauce doesn't make it spicy. I use Frank's Hot Sauce
  • Top this soup with Ranch Oyster Crackers for even more flavor!

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup freezes extremely well, it's my go-to freezer recipe!

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per cup. There are approximately 9 cups in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 786mg, Potassium: 285mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 3500IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 1mg
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11 comments on “Chicken Vegetable Soup”

  1. Perfect as always!!! Thank you again and again for your fab soup recipes! This is a staple in our house! Freezes well too!

    • I am SO happy to hear that Natalie, this is definitely one of the soups that I make most often, I always have a big batch in my freezer for quick lunches! 🙂 (I love putting crushed Ritz crackers on top, ha!)- Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  2. Hi,

    This soup is awesome ! For umami, I add a piece of Parmesan or Gruyère rind, as well as 1 tbsp of tomato paste. Combined with your hot sauce, this makes this soup even more delicious than it already is!

  3. Your method / ingredient combo is excellent; the “base recipe” is great on its own and the add-ins or variations are endless! Thank you! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Caroline!! I agree, this is the best base soup ever, and so great to have on hand in the freezer for when you need something cozy! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

    • You’re very welcome Caroline, thanks so much for the great review, I’m so happy you liked it!😃

  4. The chicken soup is by far the best ever! Hubby loves it so much! A keeper in our house! Followed recipe to a tee—I cooked rice on the side and added it to the serving bowl! DELISH 👍

  5. This chicken soup recipe really appealed to me, and I followed it exactly with a couple of changes. I used all of the ingredients verbatim and the flavor was an ‘out of the park home run’!! The minor things I did differently were to pre-nuke the onions, carrots and celery to get them soft, plus I added time to each step of the cooking process because my family likes super-soft veggies. Finally, I wanted more ‘body’ to the soup, so I added just a little chicken gravy to the soup. I cooked Jasmine rice separately. I served just the strained broth for a sister who had same-day surgery today; she loved it!
    I chowed down on the rice and soup. SO good! Looking forward to trying it with pre-cooked pasta tomorrow. Great recipe! Thank you!

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