This warm and cozy Dutch oven chicken noodle soup is an ideal cool-weather camping meal, made with tender shredded chicken thighs, carrots, celery, onion, and egg noodles in a flavorful broth. You can make it over your campfire or on your camp stove, or stovetop at home.
Few things are better than a steaming bowl or mug of soup when it's cold outside, and chicken noodle is always a favorite at our house. Since this cast iron Dutch oven chicken noodle soup recipe was designed to be made at camp, I've streamlined the recipe so that everything is done in your Dutch oven, including shredding the boneless chicken thighs into tender pieces. This makes it very easy to prepare, and even easier to clean up!
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- You can prep all of your veggies and your seasoning before heading out to camp to get ahead.
- The Dutch oven chicken soup is prepared in a single pot, so there are no extra dishes.
- It's a hearty and satisfying one-pot meal, perfect for cold days.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Carrots, celery, and onion--This combination of vegetables adds flavor to the soup. If you like lots of vegetables in your Dutch oven soup, feel free to add more. If you do, you may need some extra chicken stock.
- Boneless chicken thighs--I prefer to use chicken thighs for this soup, since they have more flavor than breasts, and are easier to shred. You can use boneless chicken breasts if you prefer, but I recommend cutting them in half or in thirds before adding them to the soup.
- All-purpose seasoning--My homemade all-purpose seasoning blend is an ideal combination of spices to elevate the flavor of the soup, and since it includes garlic, there's no need to fuss with chopping garlic at camp. You can use your own favorite seasoning blend, if you prefer, but I recommend choosing one that has garlic in it, or sauté a couple chopped cloves of garlic with your vegetables, if it doesn't.
- Chicken broth--Keep a little extra broth on hand in case you prefer to thin your finished soup.
- Egg noodles--These are traditionally used in chicken noodle soup and are ideal because they are so tender, but you can substitute another type of short pasta, such as fusili or rotini. To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup in a Dutch Oven
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the carrot, celery, and onion, and sauté until tender.
- Season the chicken thighs with the all-purpose seasoning, then arrange them in a single layer in the Dutch oven.
- Pour the broth into the Dutch oven.
- Cover and bring to a simmer. Let the soup cook until the chicken is very tender.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and use two forks to shred the chicken thighs.
- Return the Dutch oven to the heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the egg noodles, cover, and cook until they are tender.
You can make the soup through the step where you shred the chicken up to 3 days before serving. Cool completely before storing in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge. When you're ready to serve it, bring it to a simmer, add the noodles and cook until they are tender.
You can, but you will need to remove it from the soup after cooking so that you can remove the chicken from the bones. The cooking time for the chicken may be a few minutes longer, as well.
I don't recommend freezing leftover chicken noodle soup because the noodles become mushy when reheated. However, you can prepare the soup through the step where you shred the chicken, then cool and freeze it for up to 6 months. After thawing, bring the soup to a simmer, add the noodles, and cook until they're tender.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- To get ahead, chop your carrots, celery, and onion and mix up your all-purpose seasoning before heading out to camp.
- This soup can be stored in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days after making. Reheat in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-low heat. The noodles will break down a bit, and you may need to add extra broth to the soup when reheating.
- If you're making this Dutch oven soup with leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken, add it to the soup when you add the noodles.
- This recipe is suitable for dairy-free diets. To make it gluten-free, use gluten free pasta instead of egg noodles.
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Dutch Oven Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium (7 oz | 200 g) onion diced
- 2 large (5 oz | 143 g) carrots peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend
- 1½ pounds (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
- 6 cups chicken broth plus more if needed
- 6 ounces (170 g) dried egg noodles
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- If cooking over a fire, prepare a fire for direct cooking.
- Set a Dutch oven over medium heat over the fire, or on a camp stove or stovetop. Add the oil and let it heat for 1 minute.
- Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. If the vegetables are starting to brown, reduce the heat or move the Dutch oven to a cooler part of the fire.
- Sprinkle the seasoning blend over the chicken thighs and arrange them in a single layer in the Dutch oven. Pour in the chicken broth.
- Cover the Dutch oven and bring the soup to a simmer. Let it cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and use two forks to shred the chicken thighs directly in the pot.
- Return the soup to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the noodles, cover, and cook until tender, according to the package directions.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste, and thin with extra broth, if desired. Serve immediately.
- Get ahead--Chop your carrots, celery, and onion and mix up your all-purpose seasoning before heading out to camp.
- Making ahead and freezing--The soup can be prepared without the noodles and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
- Storage and reheating--Store in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-low heat. The noodles will break down a bit, and you may need to add extra broth to the soup when reheating.
- Using leftover chicken--If you're making this with leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken, add it to the soup when you add the noodles.
- Dietary--This recipe is suitable for dairy-free diets. To make it gluten-free, use gluten free pasta instead of egg noodles.