easy as chicken noodle soup

Last winter I discovered how easy it is to make hearty chicken noodle soup in the crock pot. Since we’ve had such cold temperatures lately I thought it was a perfect time to make it again. The basic recipe I used the first time is from Cooks.com, but I have since altered it a bit to suit my preferences.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

My recipe:

2 large chicken breasts, frozen
2 packages of diced/cubed ham
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen cut green beans
1 teaspoon chopped chives
12 oz. whole wheat noodles
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt (season to taste)
64 oz. water

Excluding the noodles, put all ingredients into the crock pot.
Cook on high for 4.5 hours.
After this, use a wooden spoon to stir it up, taking care to break the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
Add noodles and continue cooking for an additional 1 hour.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

If I had thought to get broth/stock ahead of time, I might substitute that for the water, as I think it would enhance the flavor (I could probably cut out some or all of the salt if I did that). I’m thinking that next time, I’ll add some frozen carrots, too. As you can probably tell from these photos, this soup is really hearty and does not end up with much liquid/broth – just a little bit. These ingredients really fill up our 6 quart crock pot, or else I’d add a larger portion of liquid at the start. As it is, when you add the noodles, it is a little precarious trying to get them mixed in without splashing liquid over the edges.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This time I made the soup with ham instead of bacon. I found that with bacon, it tasted delicious the first time but ended up feeling too fatty on subsequent reheatings. I think that by substituting ham, that issue has been fixed. Huzzah! This recipe makes enough for K and I to share several meals – I’m guessing maybe four or five, possibly six? It makes a lot, anyway, and it’s really easy to reheat in the microwave. It’s so filling and delicious! I love that chopping the potatoes is the only real work involved – the rest is just dump and let cook. Given how easy and satisfying it is, I really should use the crock pot more often. What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

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crockpot experimentation

I once again forgot to thaw any meat for dinner on Friday, so when I realized this around noon I decided to try an experiment.

crock pot chicken with potatoes and green beans

I threw a couple of frozen chicken breasts into the ninja crock pot (click here to see some ninja 3-in-1 crockpot reviews) along with a bunch of herbs and salt and pepper. I chopped up a few redskin potatoes and threw in some frozen green beans for good measure. Finally, I added a couple cups of water and some lemon juice, set it for 6 hours on low, and crossed my fingers.

It came out pretty well! The potatoes were cooked perfectly, which meant that the green beans were a little overdone in my book (just about right in K’s opinion – he doesn’t like his veggies to crunch). The chicken was tasty, but a little dry. I wonder if that is because of starting it frozen? Any sciencey folks care to speculate?

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chicken bacon noodle soup

It has been bitterly cold this week and I decided that it was about time to try making some soup in the slow cooker. Of course I hadn’t planned ahead or anything, so all the chicken I had on hand was frozen, but lo and behold, Doctor Google says that there are recipes where that’s not a problem! I found this one, and even though we didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, I was able to make it work. And it turned out SO GOOD.

chicken bacon noodle soup

Seriously, I could not get over how tasty it was.

Here’s the official ingredients list and how I changed it:
2 large chicken breast, frozen
8 slices 1 package center cut bacon, chopped
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 pepper (personal preference for spice)
1 can 1/2 bag frozen corn
1 can 1/2 bag frozen cut green beans
1 cup finely cut chives (did not have on hand)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (K dislikes mushrooms)
12 oz. egg most of a 12 oz bag of whole wheat noodles
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (season to taste)
64 oz. water

I had a package of bacon that was more than 8 slices, but since it was only about half-thawed, I just cut it all up into smallish pieces and threw it in, hoping for the best. You can’t go wrong with more bacon, right? I was a bit worried at the adding-the-noodles stage, because it seemed really watery and sort of like some ingredients floating in non-broth, but I diligently shredded the chicken with my crock pot spoon and hoped for the best. As it turns out my concern was unfounded because it turned out to be awesome and with barely any broth at all! The noodles really soaked it up, I guess, and what was left was flavorful and delicious. I’m happy to report that it stayed awesome for leftovers, too, though after being refrigerated overnight there was literally no broth left whatsoever. I definitely recommend this recipe and will be making it again without a doubt.

chicken bacon noodle soup

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