Instant Pot Chicken Noodle with Crispy Skin
- 3 skin-on chicken leg quarters 1.5–2 lb; or enough chicken thighs to make up the same weight
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced 1 cup or 150 g; can add up to one extra cup if desired
- 4 celery stalks, sliced 2 cups or 300 g
- 1 tsp fine salt or 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme optional
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary optional
- 7–8 cups chicken stock water works as well because the chicken flavour will be quite strong regardless
- 3 cups egg noodles 120 g; add up to 1 extra cup (40 g)
- Remove skin from chicken and set aside in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. (The skins will release a lot of grease, so it's important for the baking sheet to have a rim to catch the drippings.)
- Remove all the visible fat from the chicken. Don't sleep on this step unless you want your soup to be very greasy!
- Add chicken to the bottom of the Instant Pot inner pot, followed by all the other ingredients in the order listed, except the egg noodles.
- Set the Instant Pot to HIGH PRESSURE for 10 minutes.
Now for the noodles, you have three cooking options:
- Add them into the pot along with all the other ingredients in step 3, and pressure cook them together. This will result in soft, mushy, fall-apart noodles. (This is actually the texture I prefer… further down the post I'll explain why.) If you choose this option, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes after it turns off, before quick releasing the rest of the pressure.
- After the 10 minutes of pressure cooking, quick release the pressure immediately. Take the lid off and switch the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode on HIGH. Add the egg noodles and cook for 8–10 minutes or as directed on your pasta package. This will result in al dente noodles that gradually soften as they sit in the broth.
- After the 10 minutes of pressure cooking, quick release the pressure immediately. Meanwhile, cook the noodles separately. Drain and rinse with cold water, then toss with a little oil to keep the pieces from sticking together. Keep the pasta in its own container, and add portions as desired. This option keeps the noodles at the perfect texture throughout the week (if you have leftovers), and allows you to add as little or as much pasta to each bowl of soup as desired.
Meanwhile, roast the crispy chicken skin:
- Bake or roast the chicken skin you set aside earlier at 350 °F, for 30–45 minutes, or until they look crispy and a deep golden brown (but not too dark).
- After taking them out of the oven, immediately transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the extra grease.
- While the roasted chicken skin is cooling, remove the cooked chicken pieces from the Instant Pot and shred using two forks. Add back to the pot.
- Break the crispy chicken skin into pieces, and add to each bowl.
- Ladle chicken noodle soup into bowls and enjoy! (Remember to remove the bay leaves, they will gradually turn the soup bitter if they're left in for a week.)
Although any cut of meat works for this Instant Pot chicken noodle recipe (actually, even bone-in pork loins work!), I prefer bone-in chicken thighs or legs. They add a lot more of that chicken flavour to the soup. So much so that you don’t even have to use chicken broth; you can just use water because you’re essentially making the broth in the same recipe!
The step for making roasted chicken skin is optional. You can just use skinless chicken pieces for the soup, which saves time in the preparation step. It will still taste great without the crispy chicken skin topping. Further note: if cooking this for meal prep, store the skins separately. Otherwise, they will get soggy as they sit in the broth.
As I mentioned in step 2 of the recipe, if you do use skin-on chicken, be very, very thorough in removing all the fat! Otherwise, the soup will be very greasy.
Lastly, you can adjust the water level as desired. Use 7 cups for a chunkier chicken noodle soup, and use 8 or even 9 if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Another Idea for Garlic Lovers
Are you a garlic lover? For an extra lil something, drizzle an entire garlic head in olive oil, wrap tightly with foil (no need to peel), and pop it into the oven along with the chicken skin to roast together (30–45 minutes at 350 °F).
My bf enjoyed this addition a lot, which was no surprise since he loves garlic so much he just eats them whole, like in this picture here. For less hardcore fans, mince and them and throw into the soup just before serving. The garlic gets soft and caramelized while in the oven, so it will just melt into the soup.
Nutrition Information for Chicken Noodle with Crispy Skin
449 cal per bowl. Full nutrition facts can be found here.
Tim Hortons Chicken Noodle Soup, Anyone?
Earlier, I mentioned that one of your options for cooking the egg noodles is to dump it in with all the other ingredients and pressure cook them. Wouldn’t this disintegrate the noodles? Well, they won’t dissolve into the soup into one mushy mass, but they will end up very, very soft. Many of you may balk at the thought of pasta so overcooked it’s falling apart, but tbh this is a special pleasure of mine when I eat chicken noodle soup.
So why do I love uber soft noodles? One word: TIMMIES.
I grew up near Banff and as a kid we’d drive out to the mountains a lot. The best part of those weekend trips was the lunch at Tim Hortons on our way back into the city. I don’t think the location exists anymore, but it was a lifesaver back when it was open. This little Tim’s in the middle of nowhere seemed to be the only place to get food for miles, and it was always jam-packed with people decked out in winter gear. It felt sooo good to relax after a tiring day of skiing or hiking, and sit down with a club sandwich and a paper container of chicken noodle soup.
Man, I loved that chicken noodle soup. As a dumb kid with no sense of fine cuisine, the salty soup, the savoury taste of the chicken, and the soft bits and pieces of pasta and veg was everything. So yeah, Tim Hortons may not be setting the standard for haute cuisine, but their chicken noodle soup is still my favourite.
Please note, if you choose this option for cooking your Instant Pot chicken noodle, let it natural release ten minutes. This allows the pasta starch to settle. If you quick release immediately after the Instant Pot turns off, you’ll spray hot starchy water everywhere.
Of course, if you like your noodles more al dente, go with the second or third option for cooking your noodles, which allows you to adjust their doneness to your preference.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is Perfect for Meal Prep
My bb was sick over the weekend, so that’s why we went with an Instant Pot chicken noodle recipe for this week’s meal prep. (The Instant Pot does it faster and with less babysitting than the stovetop!) He’s getting better now, but I’m still intent on feeding him lots of soup this week. Maybe it’s just placebo, but I feel that drinking some nice hot soup just makes you feel better when you’re ill. Plus, the placebo effect can be a powerful medicine on its own, so might as well try it, right?
Even if you aren’t sick this week, chicken noodle soup is a welcome comfort at any time of the season. Nothing better than settling down for lunch or dinner with a steaming bowl of delicious soup in the winter!