Soup is delicious all year long, but there is something about soup on a cold day that makes it even more enjoyable. One of my favorites has always been chicken noodle soup, but I must confess that most chicken noodle soups leave me under-whelmed; either the noodles are rubbery or the broth lacks any true flavor.
This Insat-Pot and Slow Cooker friendly Chicken and Spaetzle soup is easy and is truthfully the best chicken and noodle soup I’ve ever had. The noodles are full flavored and easily hold up – even days later in the fridge -and the broth is absolutely incredible. The secret to the broth is relatively simple – bay leaves and lemon juice. Bay leaves provide deep flavor and the acidity of the lemon juice really keeps the soup fresh. If you really want to take this soup to the next level, toss some rolls in the oven or purchase a loaf of French bread – it’s a great way to soak up the remaining broth!
The recipe below has insta-pot directions AND slow cooker directions if you have not yet made the jump (you really should). A major time saving hack is to use leftover chicken (or turkey – here’s looking at you, thanksgiving), shred it by hand and add it the soup right before serving – it’ll save you time, mess and money.
Instant Pot Chicken and Spaetzle Soup
- Instant Pot
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz Spaetzle egg noddle is also acceptable
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves alternatively, 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 juice of one lemon
For Pressure Cooker
- Mix all ingredients, except for the spaetzle and lemon juice, into the instantpot. Set the Instant Pot to "Soup" for 7 minutes.
- Once the pressure has naturally released, take the chicken out of the pot and shred it with a fork. In addition, remove the bay leaves from the pot.
- Place the shredded chicken back into the pot and set it to "Suaté". Add the Spaetzle at this point, and cook based on the directions of the Spaetzle package (usually 10-12 minutes). If using egg noodles, the time will be less ~ 4-6 minutes.
- Turn off instant pot and add lemon juice.
For Slow Cooker
- Mix all ingredients, except for the spaetzle, broth and lemon juice, into a skillet and sauté for 6-8 minutes, until the onion has begun to brown. I would recommend using 1 tbsp of butter if using the skillet.
- Place sautéd mixture into your slow cooker, add the broth and cook on low for 3 hours.
- As the slow cooking is almost done, cook the Spaetzle on your stove top for 10-12 minutes.
- Shred chicken and combine.