Chicken Spaetzle Soup

Chicken Spaetzle Soup is a perfect comfort food for a chilly day. Classic chicken soup with onions, carrots and celery is topped with homemade spaetzle (German noodles) to create this twist on a classic. Makes 4 servings.

Looking for comfort classics? Don’t miss Chicken Pot PieShiner Bock Beer Chili and Instant Pot French Onion Soup!

Three bowls of chicken soup with homemade German noodles sit on top of a blue towel next to spoons and glasses of wine

Our daughter and I were down and out for most of last week with the plague. AKA a double ear infection for her—made super fun because her original antibiotics did not work and gave her a rash—and an upper respiratory infection for me.

It was kiiiiiind of miserable.

Also, if you have a kid and you’re also sick, well, you know how it goes, and our entire week was shot.

Last week, Lady A and I really needed something comforting, easy and delicious.

Why I love this recipe:

My grandmother was German, and whenever I make these German noodles, I think of her, even though I have no recollection of her making spaeztle for me.

Chicken Spaetzle Soup is classic chicken noodle soup made with thicker, homemade egg noodles. It’s comforting, tasty and perfect for a cold winter’s day… or perfect for a winter day that’s somehow in the 70’s if you’re feeling under the weather.

This recipe comes together fast, too, so if you’re cooking for yourself (and/or your sick child), it won’t take much time or fuss.

Classic chicken soup is so comforting and when we add these little squishy German noodles, they take it to another level.

Other comfort food recipes you need to try this winter: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup | Shepherd’s Pie | Chicken and Sausage Gumbo | Slow Cooker Beef Stew | Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Need dinner inspiration, but don’t know where to begin? Check out my Dinner Recipe Index for some ideas!

Chicken breasts, vegetables and other soup ingredients on a blue towel on a marble countertop

What you need to make homemade Chicken Soup and German noodles

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What are the ingredients for chicken soup?

Homemade chicken soup has very basic ingredients, and hopefully, you’ve got these on hand in your home for when you’re ready to make this soup.

I’m making notes of some substitutions here for y’all, as well, in case you don’t have something on hand.

  • Extra virgin olive oil—or another lightly flavored oil like avocado oil, canola or vegetable oil
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts—though you can thighs, too, if you’d prefer those
  • Onions—yellow or white onions are perfect
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Unsalted chicken stock—you’re going to need 2-32 oz. containers of this! If you’ve got salted or lightly salted chicken stock, COOL. Just be sure to taste as you’re cooking because you don’t want to oversalt the soup.
  • Kosher salt and pepper

What are the ingredients for homemade spaetzle?

Depending on how you stock your pantry and fridge, you should have the ingredients on hand to make these simple, yet delicious, German noodles.

  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Water
  • All-purpose flour—I always have unbleached AP flour on hand, but you can use the regular ‘ol kind if that’s what you have
  • Kosher salt
Collage of eight images showing how to make chicken spaetzle soup

How to make Homemade Chicken Soup

In a large saucepot or a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Season your chicken with salt and pepper while the oil heats. I like to do about 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken, so you’ll use a little more than a teaspoon here, but salt it to the level you feel comfortable. You can always add more salt to the soup, but you can’t take it out once it’s there.

When the oil is hot, cook the chicken breasts on all sides until golden brown. Don’t fret about them not being cooked through—it’ll continue cooking when we add it back in with the broth.

When the chicken is golden brown, remove it from the pan, and set on a plate for later.

Add the chopped onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Cook until softened. Be sure to stir the veggies constantly because this will help them pull up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. These browned bits, leftover from the chicken, have a ton of flavor!

When the veggies have softened, pour in the unsalted chicken stock. Add the whole chicken breasts back in, too.

Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken pulls apart easily. I check mine using a fork and can tell if it’s ready if the chicken essentially breaks down when I try to pull it out of the soup.

Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred. (I generally use two forks or a pair of tongs, but you can shred chicken in a stand mixer if you don’t want to get your hands dirty.)

Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper, if needed, and add the shredded chicken back in.

Collage of eight images showing how to make spaetzle (German noodles)

How do you make spaetzle from scratch?

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When it’s at a rolling boil, add a tablespoon of salt to season the water.

In a bowl, whisk the egg until the yolk is broken, then pour in the water and milk. Whisk until the wet ingredients are combined.

Measure the flour and salt on top of the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Place your spaetzle maker or a colander right on top of the pot of boiling water. Use a rubber spatula to push the dough through the spaetzle maker to create the egg noodles. They will fall directly into the boiling water.

Boil the spaeztle for 3-4 minutes, or until the noodles float to the top of the pot. They will be soft (but not falling apart) and squishy to the touch.

A note on cooking the spaetzle: The spaetzle maker will get hot as it sits over the boiling water. You might have to do the German noodles in batches so you don’t overcook them. That’s OK!

Use a spider strainer to pull them from the water, and drain in a colander over the sink. Keep them separate from the soup until you’re ready to eat so that they don’t become soggy.

How to serve the Chicken Spaetzle Soup

When you’re ready to eat, add the cooked spaetzle to the bottom of a bowl. Pour a helping of the chicken soup on top of it and top with additional spaetzle.

Enjoy warm!

Close up of a bowl of chicken soup with German noodles on marble with a spoon in it

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store the homemade soup and homemade German noodles?

Store them separately in food-safe storage containers. They’ll keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, but I bet they won’t last that long!

To reheat the soup and spaetzle, place a serving of both in a bowl and microwave to your optimal temperature.

How do you make spaetzle without a press?

You use a colander! (Preferably a metal one because you’ll be placing it over a pot of boiling water, and the plastic could melt or warp.)

Be sure that yours has large holes in the bottom so your dough can fit through it.

Is spaetzle pasta?

Yes. Spaetzle is a German egg noodle, which has a different texture than the classic Italian pasta we all know and love. These noodles are more squishy and have a dumpling-like texture.

They can be served in this soup, but you can also take your extras and throw them into a pan with butter and sear them to perfection!

How do you add flavor to chicken soup?

We get the flavor in this homemade chicken soup from the chicken itself, as well as the onions, celery and carrots. This recipe calls for unsalted chicken stock, so be sure to taste as you go and season the broth as it cooks.

How long do you cook chicken soup from scratch?

This soup simmers for about 30 minutes once all the ingredients have been seared. The total time is about 45 minutes, but a lot of it is not hands-on time.

Can you put raw chicken in chicken soup?

The chicken for this soup starts out raw, but we sear it first to get extra flavor into the chicken and soup. However, if you wanted to skip that step, you could put them chicken into the pot with the stock raw and let it cook until it shreds.

Can you make soup with just water?

If you don’t have chicken stock on hand, you could use water. Be prepared to add some extra seasonings to it, though, to add more flavors to the soup.

A bowl of soup on a table, with Chicken and Noodle

Quick tips and tricks to the best homemade Chicken Soup with German Noodles

  • Use the ingredients you’ve got on hand. You can make this soup recipe using any cut of chicken.
  • Invest in the correct tools. Yes, you can make spaetzle with a colander, but a spaetzle maker* (affiliate link) is a wonderful invention that’ll make your life easier. Especially if you like this soup and want to make it more often.
  • Cook and store the soup and the noodles separately. The spaeztle soaks up all the chicken goodness when it’s put in the soup, which is awesome, except if you want leftovers, your spaeztle gets soggy. 

We’ve also been fans of this Spicy Tomato Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Cheddar Soup and Turkey Taco Soup this week, too.

Here’s how I made it:

Two bowls of Chicken Spaetzle Soup sit next to a silver saucepan holding more soup on a dark tabletop
Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Spaetzle Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Chicken Spaetzle Soup is a perfect comfort food for a chilly day. Classic chicken soup with onions, carrots and celery is filled with spaetzle, German egg noodles, to create this comforting twist on a classic.

Ingredients

Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs. chicken breasts
  • 2 onions, diced (2 cups chopped)
  • 4 celery stalks, diced (1 ¼ cups chopped)
  • 2-3 carrots (1 cup chopped)
  • 8 cups (64 oz.) unsalted chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Spaetzle

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Make the Chicken Soup

  1. In a large saucepot or a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Season all sides of the chicken with salt and pepper while the oil heats.
  3. Add the chicken breasts to the pot when the oil is hot. Cook until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the chopped onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Cook until softened, about 4-6 minutes. Stir them constantly, pulling up browned bits from the bottom of the pan because that is flavor.
  6. Pour in the unsalted chicken stock, and add the chicken back in.
  7. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken pulls apart easily.
  8. Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred with forks or a stand mixer before placing them back into the soup.
  9. Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Make the Spaeztle

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt to season the water.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the egg until the yolk is broken.
  3. Pour in the water and milk, whisking until the wet ingredients are combined.
  4. Measure the flour and salt into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  5. Using a spaetzle maker or a colander with a rubber spatula pushing the dough through to create the egg noodles. Let them fall directly into the pot of boiling water.
  6. Boil the spaeztle for 3-4 minutes, or until the noodles float to the top and are cooked through.
  7. Use a spider strainer to pull them from the water, and drain in a colander. Keep them separate from the soup so that they don't become soggy.

Make a bowl of soup

  1. Add spaetzle to the bottom of a bowl, then pour the chicken soup on top.
  2. Top with more spaeztle.
  3. Enjoy warm!

Notes

If you have leftovers, store the spaeztle separately from the soup.

To reheat, pour the desired amount of soup in a bowl and top with spaeztle, then heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 674Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 183mgSodium: 1210mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 63g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to make spaetzle, now I really want to. My colanders are all wire mesh though. I guess I better go buy one with holes!

    1. Spaetzle is one of our family favorites, and I totally support you making it! A spaetzle maker isn’t too bad to get, either, if you like this stuff! Or a new colander. 😉 You’ve got this!

  2. I hope you and your daughter are feeling much better! This soup looks fantastic. Just the thing to get you on the road to recovery. 🙂

  3. This soup looks amazing!!! I have such a soft spot for spaetzle, too! There is something so warm and special about it!!

  4. Love your recipe. How did you get the broth to be so dark and rich? Mine looks more like caned soup.

    1. Hi Allan! Thanks so much! I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe.

      That’s a really good question, and it might just be the brand of broth I’ve purchased. Unsalted Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock (that’s an affiliate link) is one of my favorites. I’ve also used their vegetable stock in this recipe before successfully, as well as homemade chicken stock that I make with a TON of veggies, which leads to a deeper color.

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