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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!

Be sure to pair this with my crusty, airy, No Knead Bread!

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.
  • Parmesan: Feel free to serve this with Parmesan sprinkled on top. Better yet! Add a Parmesan rind to the soup while it simmers, it adds so much savory flavor!
  • 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, or pair this with my crusty, airy, No Knead Bread for dipping!
  • For a creamy spin on this recipe, try my Creamy Chicken Soup!

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
  • 16 oz. storage containers I use these to store/freeze my soups. They have 8 oz. sizes as well. They’re stackable, leak proof, and dishwasher/microwave safe.

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

Chicken Vegetable Soup

4.97 from 32 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 EACH: Dried basil, oregano, 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.
  • Parmesan: Feel free to serve this with Parmesan sprinkled on top. Better yet! - Add a Parmesan rind to the soup while it simmers, it adds so much savory flavor!
  • 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
  • For a creamy spin on this recipe, try my Creamy Chicken Soup!
  • Top this soup with Ranch Oyster Crackers for even more flavor, or pair this with my crusty, airy, No Knead Bread for dipping!

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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71 comments on “Chicken Vegetable Soup”

  1. Just made this soup, and I added chopped bacon. Yum!

  2. I love the soup – the addition of mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, adds a delicious undertone.  This time, when I made it, I used more veggies: two sweet onions, four stslks of celery because I never know what to do with the leftover celery , carrots, red pepper, zucchini, all of which was subbed for the frozen vegetables.  I always throw a can of chickpeas for more protein. Another modification I made was to add one packet of low sodium chicken bouillon and one box of chicken stock. And then the last thing I did was my favorite change: I made a slurry of melted butter and flour, and added it to the which turned it into a creamy stew. I knew the basic recipe was delicious, but I was aiming for more of a stew and it was amazing. I know this seems like a lot of change, but without the basic recipe configuration, I couldn’t do this on my own.  

    • I’m so glad that you loved it Jean!! This recipe makes a fantastic base to play around with! You should definitely try my Chicken Stew recipe sometime, you would love it!!

    • For what it is worth Jean, when I buy a bunch of celery, I always chop it all up and freeze. Then when I next need it I can just add a little. Obviously doesn’t work for a salad, but works well as a base in soup, bolognese etc

  3. This is another wonderful soup recipe I have made.  I am in love with the hot sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and mustard powder that you have in many of your recipes.  It adds so much flavor.  I am so grateful to have learned this trick from you.

  4. Stephanie, in love this recipe!  The flavors from the chicken, vegetables, and seasonings all work together to create a fantastic taste.  While on sick leave, made this recipe, and had to make it again in 3 days.  Have enough now.

  5. I only tweaked a bit for our taste buds by putting some tomato paste and Rotel in for the tomatoes. We are tomato lovers and it needed to us a bit of acidity. But all in all its delicious. 

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