Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Soup Recipe

Ah, the wonders of chicken soup. The broth's lightness makes it easy on the stomach if you're sick and don't have an appetite. It also contains lots of minerals like iron, according to WebMD.

Besides its health attributes, chicken soup just makes you feel better. What's better on a cold, rainy night when your nose is stuffed up? Chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge feels that the dish uplifts her after daily drudgery. "When I have had a long day, this soup works as a treat," she commented.

Her version is easy to make because it uses leftover rotisserie chicken. Just add some onion, extra virgin olive oil, chicken stock, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and pasta. Then, presto, you have a hearty, tasty soup in a little over a half-hour. Vegetarians or vegans can get in on this comfort food, too. Just forego the chicken, use a vegetable broth, and add beans for protein.

Prep your ingredients for this chicken soup

What's nice about this recipe is you should have most of the ingredients in your cupboard. If you're lukcy, you already have the rotisserie chicken since it was yesterday's lunch or dinner. You will use two cups of the meat, which can include some pieces of bone as well. You'll also need extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, chicken stock, and pasta. 

The dish also requires two celery stalks, one carrot, one onion, three cloves of garlic, and four sprigs of fresh thyme. "This meal is so easy, it's hard to make mistakes," said Olayinka. "Just make sure to include enough chicken, as that is where the flavor will come from ... also the texture will be thickened by the bones."

Debone and cut the chicken

After you have all the ingredients, it's time to prep the chicken. You'll want to take the chicken meat off the bone, but don't throw those bones away. Instead, keep them for the soup because the bones will help thicken it by releasing collagen. A meat fork will help with this process and secure the chicken in place as you carve it.

If the wishbone still remains, try removing it from the chicken first. This will help ease the breast meat off of the carcass with little effort. Slice all the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.

Combine the chopped vegetables and meat

Next, you'll prep the soup stock. Get a pot and pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into it. You'll need to chop two celery stalks and dice a carrot and an onion. All this then goes into the pan. Mix the ingredients until the oil coats all of the vegetables.

Mince three cloves of garlic and add them into the mixture along with the chopped chicken pieces and chicken bones. You'll sauté all of these ingredients on medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. You don't need to be overly attentive with the spoon, but nothing should burn as everything becomes soft and flavorful.

Spice up your soup

Now it's time to make the soup. Take four cups of chicken broth and add it to the pot. Then put in all those delicious spices: You need four sprigs of fresh thyme leaves (be sure to store these in the refrigerator) and an eighth of a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. 

Give the dish a good stir. Olayinka recommends using tongs to stir the soup and grab bigger items from the bottom of the pot. This way, you can easily ensure everything is mixed fully. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the soup to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave the pot lid off.

Make noodles, remove chicken bones, and add pasta

While the soup is simmering, you can make the pasta according to the packet instructions. Then, drain the pasta and set the noodles aside. Shell pasta is pictured here, but other varieties such as egg noodles work well in soup too. You want to make sure the variety you choose will soak up the broth without getting too mushy.

After 25 minutes of cooking the soup, you should remove any chicken bones — the tongs are perfect for this. Then add the prepared pasta to the dish and continue to cook it for five more minutes.

A few finishing touches

The best part comes next ... get your soup bowls ready and serve immediately. This dish makes a great meal since it provides several vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates all in one. If you're feeling hungrier than usual, you can also add a side salad or some toasted, buttery bread.

Olayinka recommends eating the dish fresh. "I find that pasta always goes very soggy when frozen," she said. If you want to make a pot for a rainy day, try omitting the pasta step and freeze just the chicken broth, meat, and vegetables. Later, you can make fresh pasta and add it before your meal. 

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Soup Recipe
4.9 from 35 ratings
Besides its health attributes, chicken soup just makes you feel better. What's better on a cold, rainy night when your nose is stuffed up?
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of chicken soup
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 2 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of uncooked pasta
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  1. Take the chicken meat off the bone, reserving the bones for the soup. (The bones will thicken the soup by releasing collagen.)
  2. Slice the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Get a pot and pour into it extra virgin olive oil, followed by the chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Add the chopped chicken pieces and the chicken bones. Sauté on medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chicken broth, fresh thyme leaves, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave the pot lid off.
  6. While your soup is simmering, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain it and set aside.
  7. After 25 minutes of cooking, remove any chicken bones from the soup.
  8. Add the pasta to the soup and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 423
Total Fat 20.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 59.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 6.8 g
Sodium 495.0 mg
Protein 23.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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