5 ingredient chicken soup is one of those quick and simple recipes that taste like it's been cooking all day long. It's made with boneless chicken breast, chicken broth, and fresh vegetables. It's a healthy meal that takes very little effort to put together which makes it perfect for a busy night, and the entire family will love it.
Don't let the words quick and 5 ingredients keep you from making this comforting soup! Even though it's one of those quick and easy recipes, it's not short on flavor. Cooking the chicken and vegetables in a combination of water and chicken broth makes a deliciously rich broth.
This recipe was inspired by my Instant Pot spicy chicken tortilla soup recipe. The chicken is cooked in water in an Instant pot which locks in the flavor to achieve a rich-tasting broth. Since this recipe is made on top of the stove, I found that using a mix of chicken broth and water gives this soup just enough flavor.
Why you will love this recipe
- It's quick and easy to make with only 5 simple ingredients.
- It's versatile - serve it as is or add more ingredients. See the variation ideas below.
- It's healthy, it's made with less salt and healthy ingredients and the perfect comfort food.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this 5-ingredient recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Chicken broth or chicken stock
How to make chicken soup from scratch
Prepare: Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.
Step 1. Cook the chicken
Place the chicken breast into a 2-quart saucepan with water. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Step 2. Add the vegetables and broth
Add the chopped vegetables to the pan along with the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 30 minutes longer.
Step 3. Shred the chicken
Remove the chicken from the pan and shred it.
Step 4. Add the shredded chicken back
Place the shredded chicken back into the pan with the vegetables. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
NOTE: You can use all broth to cook the chicken or all water and adjust the flavors with sea salt and black pepper.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Boneless chicken breasts - I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I make this soup. They cook fast and are easy to shred. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Broth - I like to use low-sodium chicken broth and adjust the flavor at the end. If you don't have chicken broth or chicken stock, it can be replaced one-for-one with vegetable stock.
This chicken soup recipe is a blank slate and versatile! Here are some suggestions to make this soup your own from a hearty soup perfect for a cold night or a lighter soup for when you are under the weather.
Add carbs - Just before serving the soup, add egg noodles, ramen noodles, pasta, orzo, rice, wild rice, barley or your favorite whole grain.
Add more vegetables - During the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking the soup, add any combination of chopped zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach or kale.
Add herbs - Add up to a teaspoon of dried herbs such as oregano, garlic, herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning.
Add pesto - Stir in a tablespoon or two of pesto sauce at the end of the cooking process.
Squash noodles - just before serving add uncooked zucchini or butternut squash noodles to the hot soup.
Add beans - Stir in a cup of white beans just before serving the soup.
How to store and use leftovers
Store leftover chicken soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Freeze leftover soup in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheat leftover soup on top of the stove or in the microwave.
Serve leftover 5 ingredient chicken soup garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a few sheds of parmesan cheese for a quick meal.
Add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread or crackers for a complete meal.
- Depending on the size of your saucepan, the chicken may not be completely covered in water, which is okay.
- Make sure the vegetables are cut in evenly sized pieces for even cooking.
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You can easily make quick homemade chicken soup using cooked rotisserie chicken. Instead of cooking the chicken in water, cook the vegetables in 3 cups of chicken broth until they are tender. Add 1 to 1 ½ cups of shredded rotisserie chicken and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
You can use bone-in chicken breasts to make this chicken soup too. You may need to increase the cooking time to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees before shredding it.
Once the soup is cooked and ready to eat, taste the soup. Adjust the flavors to your taste with a little bit of sea salt or kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder or dried herbs and even a splash of lemon juice.
You might also like these easy soup recipes
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast
- ¾ cup celery chopped about 2-3 stalks
- 1 cup carrots chopped about 3 to 4 carrots
- 1 cup onion chopped 1 small or ½ large
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Prepare: cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.
- Place the chicken into a medium saucepan and add ¾ cup of water. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped vegtables to the pan with the chicken along with the broth. Cover and cook over for 30 minutes longer.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and shred it.
- Place the shredded chicken back into the pan with the vegetables. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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