How to Make the Best Leftover Chicken Soup

Leftover chicken is a great ingredient to use when making a delicious and comforting soup. It’s a convenient way to repurpose cooked chicken and create a hearty meal. Making the best leftover chicken soup involves using flavorful ingredients and adding a variety of vegetables for added nutrition and taste.

Here’s how you can make the best leftover chicken soup:

  1. Start by preparing all the ingredients. Chop the vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and onion, into small pieces. You can also add other veggies like corn, peas, or kale for extra flavor and texture.
  2. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until they become tender.
  3. Next, add the leftover chicken. Shred or cut it into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pot. This will help to infuse the soup with the savory flavor of the chicken.
  4. Season the soup with your favorite herbs and spices. A classic combination includes thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. You can also add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour in chicken broth or stock to cover the ingredients. This will provide a rich base for your soup and enhance the overall flavor. If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can use vegetable broth or simply water.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to meld together.
  7. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can also add more vegetables or herbs at this point if you prefer.
  8. Serve the leftover chicken soup hot, garnished with fresh parsley or a sprinkle of grated cheese. It pairs well with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.

With these simple steps, you can transform your leftover chicken into a flavorful and satisfying soup that will warm your soul. It’s a great way to make the most out of your leftovers and enjoy a delicious meal without much effort.

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

Leftover Chicken

First and foremost, you’ll need leftover chicken to make this soup. Use any leftover cooked chicken you have, whether it’s from a roast, grilled chicken, or even a rotisserie chicken. Shred or dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces for the soup.

Broth or Stock

Broth or Stock

A flavorful broth or stock is essential for a delicious soup base. You can use store-bought chicken broth or make your own by simmering chicken bones and aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery in water. If using store-bought broth, choose a low-sodium option so you can control the seasoning in your soup.


Add a variety of vegetables to make your chicken soup hearty and nutritious. Common vegetables to include are carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Feel free to get creative and add other vegetables like peas, corn, or spinach to personalize your soup.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are what take your soup from ordinary to extraordinary. Classic options for chicken soup include thyme, bay leaves, and a touch of black pepper. You can also add a pinch of turmeric for additional flavor and a vibrant color.

Noodles or Rice (optional)

If you want to add some extra substance to your soup, consider adding noodles or rice. Egg noodles, rice noodles, or even cooked rice are all great options. Cook the noodles or rice separately and add them to the soup just before serving.

Once you have gathered all your ingredients, you’ll be ready to start making the best leftover chicken soup! Remember to adjust the flavors to your liking and enjoy a comforting bowl of homemade soup.

Prepare the chicken

1. Remove the meat from the bones: Start by taking the leftover chicken and separating the meat from the bones. This can be done by carefully pulling the meat off the bones using your hands or a fork. Discard the bones or save them for making chicken broth.

2. Shred or chop the chicken: Once the meat is removed from the bones, decide whether you want to shred or chop it. Shredded chicken will result in longer, thin strands, while chopped chicken will have smaller, bite-sized pieces. Use a fork or a knife to achieve the desired texture.

3. Season the chicken: To add flavor to the soup, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. This will help enhance the taste of the chicken and infuse it into the soup. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste preferences.

Chop and Sauté the Vegetables

Chop and Sauté the Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Start by peeling and chopping the carrots into small, bite-sized pieces. Then, chop the celery into smaller pieces as well. Next, dice the onions and mince the garlic cloves.

Once the vegetables are chopped, it’s time to sauté them. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add some olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, stirring them for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Then, add the carrots and celery, continuing to stir and cook for a few more minutes until they start to soften.

Vegetable Chopping Method
Carrots Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces
Celery Chop into smaller pieces
Onions Dice
Garlic Mince

Sautéing the vegetables helps to bring out their natural sweetness and flavors. It also adds a nice caramelization that will enhance the overall taste of the soup. By taking the time to chop and sauté the vegetables, you are ensuring that each bite of soup is full of delicious and well-balanced flavors.

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