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Crack Chicken Noodle Soup

This Crack Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is everything you want in a cozy bowl of soup. Made with shredded chicken thighs, tender noodles, crispy bacon, and out-of-this-world flavor!

This crack chicken noodle soup recipe is super easy and packed with TONS of flavor. It’s hard to describe in words just how good this soup is. It’s perfectly creamy, has just the right amount of seasonings, and each bite has the ideal mix of tender noodles, hearty chicken, and crispy bacon. You won’t be able to stop eating it.

I love all the recipes I share on this site, but this one – folks I’m beyond excited to share this one with you. I haven’t been this excited since I posted my apple pie cinnamon buns and I was nearly vibrating with anticipation when I wrote that post. If you’re a fan of chicken noodle soup and want to kick things up a notch, you have to try this recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Crack Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

  • Easy. Your Instant Pot will cook the chicken thighs until they are perfectly tender, then all you have to do is crisp up some bacon and mix a few ingredients in your soup pot. You will be richly rewarded with big flavor for minimal effort.
  • Flavorful. I know I keep referencing how good this soup tastes, but it is just so so so good.
  • Creamy. Cream cheese is added to the soup base and gives the broth an irresistible creaminess.
  • Hearty. With a generous amount of fall-apart tender chicken meat, then crispy bacon bits on top, this soup will satisfy even the hungriest bellies.
  • SO GOOD. I know, I know, I keep saying this – but for real!

Why is it Called Crack Chicken Soup?

Because you can’t stop eating it. With every spoonful of this soup, your brain will be saying: What is this amazingness happening in my mouth? Why have I never tasted this before?

A grey bowl filled with crack chicken noodle soup, with a spoon in the bowl

What You’ll Need

Be forewarned, this is not “health food” but it is “seriously good food.” I’m not saying the two are mutually exclusive – my Instant Pot chicken soup is both incredibly good and good for you.

But this recipe… this recipe is something you make when you’re throwing caution to the wind and just want a big bowl of comfort food that’s going to make your tastebuds sing.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this crack chicken noodle soup recipe. Make sure you scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

For the shredded chicken

  • Chicken thighs – Boneless and skinless. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been cut in half width-wise so they are about the same size as the thighs.
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt – Or you could use sea salt.
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chicken stock – You can also use vegetable broth.

Note: Make sure you keep the broth after your chicken has finished cooking because the liquid will be added to the soup as well.

For the soup

  • Bacon – Preferably uncured, organic bacon.
  • Onion – I recommend using a yellow onion.
  • Garlic
  • Celery and Carrots – You’ll chop both of them up and cook until tender.
  • Chicken stock – You can also use vegetable broth.
  • Cream of chicken soup – We’ll use condensed chicken soup to quickly add flavor without a lot of effort.
  • Ranch mix – Another quick way to add lots of flavor. This method is similar to how I use Maztoh soup mix to make an incredible pot roast in the Instant Pot.
  • Cream cheese – You can use an 8 oz block of light cream cheese or 10 oz of whipped cream cheese.
  • Spaghetti – You can use any kind of noodle, just make sure you adjust the cooking time to account for how long the noodles need to cook until tender.
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Shredded chicken – This will be the chicken thighs you cooked up in the Instant Pot.

Tips for Success

  • Watch the bacon. It is easy to get distracted while the bacon is crisping up so make sure you are stirring frequently and keeping an eye on it. This way you can immediately remove the bacon when it hits the perfectly crispy stage.
  • Mix the cream cheese with hot liquid in a bowl. When you add the cream cheese to the soup you need to first place the cream cheese into a large bowl, and then ladle some hot soup into the bowl. Then you whisk the two things together until you have a creamy liquid. Don’t just add the cream cheese directly to your soup pot or it will be difficult to get it to fully dissolve and combine with the liquid evenly.
A grey bowl filled with crack chicken noodle soup, with a spoon in the bowl

What Goes With Crack Chicken Noodle Soup?

I like to serve this soup with a bready side that I can use to wipe my bowl clean at the end. I recommend these buttermilk biscuits or these sweet potato biscuits. You could also go the cornbread route and serve this meal with cornbread muffins or cheddar cheese cornbread.

How to Store and Reheat Extras

  • Fridge: Crack chicken noodle soup is best right after it is made, but you can store extras in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then ladle it into an airtight container. Note that the noodles will absorb the soup liquid during storage, which is totally normal.
  • To reheat: When you are ready to eat some more soup, ladle your desired amount into a small pot and add some additional broth to account for the liquid the noodles have absorbed. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the soup has reached your desired temperature.
  • Freezer: This soup does not freeze well because the noodles will get mushy in the freezer and the creamy soup base will separate.

More Easy Soup Recipes to Try

Print

Crack Chicken Noodle Soup

A grey bowl filled with crack chicken noodle soup, with a spoon in the bowl
Save Recipe

This Crack Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is everything you want in a cozy bowl of soup. Made with shredded chicken thighs, tender noodles, and out-of-this-world flavor!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the shredded chicken

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For the soup

  • 10 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 celery stocks, chopped
  • 6 medium carrots, chopped
  •  7 cups chicken stock
  • 1 10.5 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1-oz packet Ranch mix
  • 8 oz block light cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces (or 10 oz whipped cream cheese)
  • ½ lb spaghetti
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

Make the Shredded Chicken

Add ingredients to your Instant Pot. To the bowl of an Instant Pot, add the chicken, olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper and chicken stock.

Cook. Close the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.

Natural release. Let the chicken do a natural release while you make the soup base. You will shred the chicken with two forks, then add both the chicken and the cooking liquid to your soup towards the end of the recipe below. Make sure the pressure valve on your Instant Pot is fully down and the seal is on venting before opening your Instant Pot.

Make the Crack Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook the bacon. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon until light golden and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pot.

Cook the onion. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Add the carrots and the celery. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, cream of chicken soup, and Ranch mix. Stir until well combined. If the Ranch mix clumps up, break up any clumps with the back of your spoon and stir some more.

Add the cream cheese. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the liquid from the soup pot and whisk to combine. Add the cream cheese mixture back to the soup and stir.

Simmer. Bring it all to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.

Break the spaghetti in half and add to the pot. Continue simmering the soup for another 10-15 minutes, until the noodles are tender.

Shred and add the chicken. Make sure your Instant Pot has finished doing a natural release. Release the vent and make sure it is fully down. Then shred the chicken thighs with two forks. Add the chicken meat and the broth to the soup and stir to combine.

Add cheese. Remove the pot from the heat and add the shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and combined with the soup.

Serve. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with some of the crispy bacon you set aside earlier.

Keywords: crack chicken soup, crack chicken noodle soup, creamy chicken soup

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This soup is amazing!! I made it for dinner last night and my husband is still talking about it. Pure comfort food with so much flavor.