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5 Clever Ways to Spice Up Chicken Noodle Soup

woman seasoning a big pot of chicken noodle soup
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Whether it be homemade or canned, there’s nothing wrong with basic chicken noodle soup. But why stop there when, with just one of our clever tricks, you could experience a truly gourmet dish?

Doctoring up basic chicken noodle soup is an easy way to create an exciting meal with items you already have on hand. There’s no need for a trip to the store, no need to read a lengthy recipe. Whether you use a canned option or want to freshen up home-cooked leftovers, these five easy ways can make your chicken noodle soup exciting.

Add Extra and Unique Proteins

Yes, we know, it’s called chicken noodle soup for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop at chicken. Try adding in cooked shrimp or shredded turkey. For a meatless take, try using white beans as an additional protein source.

Try Coconut Milk

Who needs take-out when you can turn plain chicken noodle into Tom Kha Gai? For a taste of Southeast Asia, replace some of the broth or water in your regular chicken noodle soup with coconut milk. While you’re in the kitchen, might as well add in a bit of red curry paste, lime juice, Sriracha, and coconut sugar to taste. We think you’ll find your basic chicken noodle soup has pulled a complete transformation.

Add Fresh Herbs

It doesn’t matter what kind of herbs, any of your favorites will do. We like oregano or thyme for a traditional flavor. But, you can always mix things up with more robust flavor additions like garlic or even chopped onions.

Regardless of what you choose, sauté the chopped herbs in oil or butter before adding them to the soup. Heat the soup to your liking, or prepare according to the can’s directions, and enjoy!

Go Spicy

If you’ve ever had chicken tortilla soup, this is a similar concept. To your chicken noodle soup, add a diced and sautéed jalapeño, roasted corn (frozen or canned works), shredded cheese, and tortilla chips. For the extra bold, replace some of the water or broth with a can of stewed tomatoes.

Load Up on the Veggies

Adding vegetables is a great way to enhance chicken noodle soup. Use zucchini, carrots, celery, and dark leafy greens to make an extra healthy version of this comfort food classic. Harder vegetables like carrots should be sautéed or steamed before adding them to the soup, but leafy greens can be added directly to the hot broth.

It doesn’t matter what you decide to do. Boring chicken noodle soup is a dish of the past. Whether you’re adding in a few extra ounces of protein or really taking things up a level with coconut milk and curry paste, you’re going to be happier than you would have been settling for just the microwave and a bowl.

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »

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