This Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup is a delicious crock pot meal, comforting and delicious made with whole wheat pasta!

cup of chicken noodle soup with carrots and elbow macaroni

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Perfect for a Sunday dinner or weeknight meal, enjoy a cup of Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup. Serve it with hot crunchy bread. Make a green salad, and invite your neighbors over! 

Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup is comfort soup, right? My friend Cindy recently made this recipe, and reminded me how good it is. The secret is to not over cook the pasta. So good.

cup and spoon of elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Carrots, celery, sweet onion, fennel
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Dried thyme + bay leaf
  • Chicken broth + water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Uncooked elbow macaroni pasta, we use DeLallo brand
  • Fresh chopped basil

a white bowl of Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

Do you cook macaroni before adding to soup?

To ensure you get it just right, make sure the soup is nearly cooked before adding the pasta.

Step 5 says: In the hot broth, add the elbow macaroni pasta and basil. Cooke until the noodles are tender.

Smaller pasta shapes soak up broth quickly, so you may need to add water.

Another option is to cook the pasta separately and add to the soup at the last moment.

Just don’t over-cook the pasta!

When to add macaroni to soup?

Add the pasta at the end. You do not want soggy pasta!

bowls of Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

How do you keep noodles from soaking up all broth?

Cook noodles very al dente, which means a little undercooked.

Sitting around the table

We had company over the weekend and I love our 2 tables pushed together in our home, that makes one epic square table. I just love sitting around the table after we eat. We get to talk … for hours.

2 tables pushed together

I’ve learned to be present around the table (forget the dishes) and enjoy the moment. It wasn’t always this way for me. Early on in our marriage, I’d want to jump up and get the dishes done. Now that I’m more mature (ha), we stack the dishes over by the sink, and then head straight back to the table.

Because I don’t want to miss out.

You, too?

Around the table is where we seat our hearts, calm our minds, and listen and learn. We become authentic and real. This is where true inspiration lives.

Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

Today, for this easy recipe, we always keep DeLallo pasta stocked in the pantry, and chicken in the freezer.

This is a quick, go-to recipe to pull out the slow cooker, grab veggies, chicken and pasta … and start chopping.

The first thing is to add the veggies, chicken breasts, and stock to the crock pot and cook on LO for 3-4 hours.

3 cups of Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

You know that I’m a big fennel lover. I think it adds so much flavor, but of course this is optional if you cannot find it in the grocery store.

Then you remove the chicken (with slotted spoon), and shred it–keeping the broth in the crock pot.

Add the pasta (do not overcook it). Add back in the chicken, and serve!


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Elbow Macaroni Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 6
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  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup  uncooked elbow macaroni pasta, I use DeLallo brand
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil


  • In a large crock pot, add chicken breasts, carrots, onion, fennel, celery, garlic, olive oil, thyme and a bay leaf.
  • Pour chicken broth and water over the chicken mixture and season heavily with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook on low heat 3-4 hours.
  • Remove cooked chicken breasts with a slotted spoon and set aside; shred with a fork.
  • In the hot broth, add the elbow macaroni pasta and basil. Cooke until the noodles are tender, about 8-10 minutes (on low heat).
  • Add the chicken back in; gently mix together. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese!


reposted from July 2016
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

holding a bowl of chicken noodle soup