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Comforts in Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

Comforting Crockpot Chicken and Noodles Recipe

Introduction

There’s something uniquely comforting about a warm bowl of chicken and noodles, especially when it’s made effortlessly in a crockpot. This recipe combines tender chicken, flavorful broth, and hearty noodles, making it a perfect meal for busy weeknights or cozy weekends. With minimal preparation and maximum flavor, this crockpot chicken and noodles dish will quickly become a family favorite.


Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces egg noodles

Optional Garnishes

  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preparing the Ingredients

  1. Chop the Vegetables: Start by chopping the onion, celery, and carrots into small, uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.

Assembling the Crockpot

  1. Add Chicken and Vegetables: Place the chicken breasts or thighs in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots on top of the chicken.
  2. Add Liquids and Seasonings: Pour the chicken broth and cream of chicken soup over the chicken and vegetables. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Cook on Low: Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  2. Shred the Chicken: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the crockpot and shred it using two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot and stir to combine.

Adding the Noodles

  1. Cook the Noodles: About 30 minutes before serving, add the egg noodles to the crockpot. Stir to ensure the noodles are submerged in the broth. Cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.

Finishing Touches

  1. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  2. Serve: Ladle the chicken and noodles into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Tips for Perfect Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

Choosing the Right Chicken

  • Breasts vs. Thighs: Both chicken breasts and thighs work well in this recipe. Breasts are leaner, while thighs offer a richer flavor. Use your preference or a combination of both.
  • Frozen Chicken: If using frozen chicken, ensure you increase the cooking time slightly. It’s best to thaw the chicken first to ensure even cooking, but in a pinch, you can add it frozen.

Maximizing Flavor

  • Browning the Chicken: For an added depth of flavor, sear the chicken in a skillet until browned on both sides before adding it to the crockpot. This step is optional but enhances the dish.
  • Homemade Chicken Broth: If you have homemade chicken broth, use it for a richer and more wholesome taste.

Handling the Noodles

  • Pre-Cooking Noodles: If you prefer a firmer texture, you can cook the egg noodles separately according to package instructions and add them to the crockpot just before serving.
  • Preventing Mushy Noodles: Stir the noodles gently into the broth to avoid breaking them, and check them frequently to prevent overcooking.
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Vegetables and Add-Ins

  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables such as peas, green beans, or corn. These can be added during the last hour of cooking to retain their texture.
  • Creamy Variation: For an extra creamy dish, add a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of sour cream just before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken. Simply add it to the crockpot in the last hour of cooking to heat through. If using rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and bones before adding.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Absolutely. Substitute the egg noodles with gluten-free noodles or pasta. Ensure your cream of chicken soup is also gluten-free by either purchasing a gluten-free variety or making your own.

How can I make this dish dairy-free?

To make the dish dairy-free, use a dairy-free cream of chicken soup and ensure any garnishes, like Parmesan cheese, are omitted or substituted with a dairy-free alternative.

Can I cook this on high?

Yes, you can cook this on high for 3-4 hours instead of on low. Ensure the chicken is fully cooked and tender before shredding and adding the noodles.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of broth if needed to maintain the desired consistency.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, you can freeze crockpot chicken and noodles. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Note that the texture of the noodles may change slightly upon freezing and reheating.

What if my dish is too thick?

If your chicken and noodles turn out too thick, you can thin it out by adding more chicken broth or water. Stir well to combine and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Can I add cheese to the recipe?

Yes, for a cheesy twist, stir in shredded cheese (such as cheddar or mozzarella) just before serving, allowing it to melt into the dish. This adds a rich and creamy texture.


Conclusion

This comforting crockpot chicken and noodles recipe is not only easy to prepare but also incredibly satisfying. With its tender chicken, flavorful broth, and perfectly cooked noodles, it’s sure to become a staple in your household. Whether you’re serving it on a chilly evening or as a quick weeknight meal, this dish brings warmth and comfort to any table. Enjoy experimenting with different variations and make it your own!

By following these tips and FAQs, you’ll be able to create the perfect crockpot chicken and noodles every time. Happy cooking!