Eating Fresh and Cheap: Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve been down with the most ridiculous cold ever for the last two weeks. It’s lasting forever and will not go away, regardless of my arsenal of get-better teas, cough drops, sinus rinses, and nebulizer treatments.


So naturally, I wanted to make chicken noodle soup. 

Normally, I would have made the Pioneer Womans’s Chicken and Noodles, which is one of the most divine comfort foods on the face of the earth. However, I already had baked chicken breasts in the fridge, and while PW’s recipe is fairly easy, my throat hurt and I was tired and hungry and I just wanted to eat.

So instead, I made Martha Stewart’s Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup. It isn’t as hearty as Chicken and Noodles, but it was ready in about ten minutes, and I was happily munching away about two minutes after that.

If you have this infernal cold, or are just in need of something comforting, quick, and cheap, look no further. MStew has you covered (does anyone else call her that? No? Just me then?).

You can get all the ingredients for under $15, and since it serves about six generous bowls’ worth, that means it’s only $2.50 per meal. Not too bad!

Cooking the noodles in the pot with the rest of the soup, rather than in water separately and then adding them in, really gives them a nice, rich flavor. You could also use instant rice instead, which would also be gluten free. Just put the bags in with the soup to cook.

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP, adapted from Martha Stewart

Shopping List

1 tablespoon olive oil – $0.05

2 stalks celery, diced small – $1

2 medium carrots, diced medium – $1

1 medium yellow onion, diced small – $1

Salt and pepper – $0.05

4 cups chicken broth – $2

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $7

12 ounces gluten free noodles – $2.50


If your chicken breasts are not already cooked, just lay them in a pie plate or on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, cover with tinfoil, and bake for about an hour at 350• Fahrenheit. Internal temp should be 160• when they’re done (aka no pink in the middle). Then cut them into bite-sized chunks.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion and cook until celery and carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add broth and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook about 10 minutes. Add pasta to pot and cook until tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

I used macaroni noodles because that’s what I had on hand, but it could have been even better with spaghetti noodles broken up into short sticks. YUM!

What food makes you feel better when you’re sick?

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