A simple farmhouse classic, these old-fashioned Chicken and Noodles are total comfort food! The affordable, easy dinner recipe is perfect for busy families -- prepare a big batch in advance and serve a warm bowl whenever you need a quick and hearty meal.
The ingredients in this pot of homemade Chicken and Noodles are about as basic as it gets, but the classic flavors come together beautifully in a nourishing, cozy dinner. This is one of those great meals that you can let simmer on the stovetop on a quiet Sunday afternoon. It's relatively low-maintenance and hands-off, but you need to allow a couple of hours for the chicken and broth to cook.
Amish Chicken and Noodles
You get the flavor of chicken noodle soup, but each bowl of this homemade chicken and noodles includes less broth and way more noodles and chicken than your average bowl of soup. A variety of vegetables and herbs season the chicken and broth, while tender noodles are added at the end to thicken the dish and provide satisfying texture. The noodles are infused with the flavor of the chicken, so every component of the meal tastes decadent and delicious.
A traditional Amish Chicken and Noodles recipe is made in a similar manner, but uses egg noodles (often homemade), while I've shown cut spaghetti here. You can use any noodle that your family prefers; the cut spaghetti just happens to be my kids' favorite!
How to make Chicken and Noodles
The process is very easy -- just make sure that you allow plenty of time for cooking the chicken and making the broth. This isn't a last-minute 30-minute meal for busy weeknights, unless you prep it ahead and just reheat the dish when you're ready to serve.
- Whole chicken
- Bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- Noodles (I use cut spaghetti, but any shape will work)
- Lemon juice
Step 1: Cook Chicken
Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven and add the celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf and thyme. Pour in the water and season with salt and pepper.
Cover the pot and cook for 1 - 1½ hours, or until the chicken is practically falling off the bone. Turn off the heat and let the chicken rest in the broth for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Shred Chicken
Remove the chicken from the broth and shred into medium-size pieces. Discard the skin and bones.
Step 3: Strain Broth
Strain the broth through a mesh sieve and return it to the pot. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
Step 4: Cook Noodles
Add the chicken to the broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
Step 5: Add Lemon Juice
Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve!
What to serve with Chicken and Noodles
The old-fashioned dish is delicious served with any of these easy sides:
- A simple green salad dressed with Buttermilk Dressing or a Wedge Salad
- Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon
- Garlic Roasted Broccoli
- Southern Collard Greens
- Amish Green Beans with Brown Butter
- Sauteed Spinach with Garlic
- Kale with Bacon
- A crusty loaf of homemade No-Knead Bread, dinner rolls, biscuits or beer bread
- Cornbread or corn muffins
- Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
To prepare this recipe in a slow cooker, cook the chicken, vegetables, herbs and water in a Crock Pot on LOW for about 8 hours (or until the chicken is fall-apart tender). Strain the broth and shred the chicken, as instructed, and then transfer to a pot on the stovetop to boil the pasta.
You might also like this Creamy Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles recipe, in which the egg noodles cook right in the slow cooker with the chicken and broth.
Preparation and Storage Tips
- Make Ahead: You can cook the recipe in advance, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You might notice that the broth has a gelatinous texture when it's chilled. This is completely normal, so don't worry! When you simmer a fresh chicken — complete with bones, skin, and meat — you extract the collagen from the bones. This collagen in the bones causes the broth to gel. It’s completely natural, and it only happens in rich, well-made chicken stock. The broth will become smooth again when it's reheated.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- To reheat: Place in a saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat, just until warmed through (about 5 minutes).
What seasoning for Chicken and Noodles?
This dish is classically seasoned with celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper and lemon juice. You can feel free to add any other seasonings that you like, such as parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary and garlic.
Which noodles to use?
I've shown cut spaghetti (or fideo spaghetti tagliati) because it's the shape that my boys love most. You can substitute with another small pasta such as ditalini, orzo or orecchiette. For a more traditional Amish Chicken and Noodles recipe, try using a 12-ounce bag of egg noodles instead. If you're really feeling ambitious, make homemade egg noodles to use in this recipe!
When you substitute with a different pasta shape, you may need to adjust the cooking time. The cut spaghetti is very thin, so it's al dente in about 5 minutes. A larger pasta shape (such as egg noodles) will require a longer simmering time. Just check the package for your pasta to know how long it will take.
More recipes that you might enjoy:
- Creamy Chicken and Noodles
- Chicken and Noodles Casserole
- Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
- Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo Pasta
- Chicken Ramen Noodles in Peanut Sauce
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken Paprikash and Noodles
Farmhouse Chicken and Noodles
- 1 large whole chicken, gizzards removed (about 5 ½ - 6 lbs.)
- 1 celery rib, cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 large carrot, cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 quarts cool water (or just enough to barely cover the chicken)
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb. cut spaghetti (or other noodles of choice, such as egg noodles)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Optional garnish: chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme
- Place the chicken breast-side up in a 6-8 quart Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot. Arrange the celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf and thyme around the chicken. Add cool water to just barely cover the chicken. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper.
- Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 1 - 1 ½ hours, or until the chicken is falling apart. Turn off the heat and let it rest in the broth for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and shred the meat into medium-size pieces. Discard the skin and bones.
- Strain the broth and return to the pot. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
- Return chicken to the pot with the broth. Bring to a simmer; add the noodles. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente (cooked, but still slightly firm). Turn off the heat; stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.