This Creamy Italian Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup is even better than the original! With garlic, spinach, roasted red pepper and a touch of cream and Parmesan it is hearty and flavorful!
September is HERE, friends, and we’re back to soup season!
School starts up tomorrow (I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry), and we will be getting back to routine after two months of going wherever we want, whenever we want, camping and staying up late.
I love September (hello Birthday month!), I love fall, and I love back to school.
I think it’s the teacher in me that still gets a thrill out of fresh school supplies and our lives ticking along like clockwork again. Even though I haven’t been teaching for a few years now, I always pick up a new pack of cool pens or stickies or something just because I can’t resist.
But September also means that the husband is working from about 6:45 am until 8:30 pm or later, and often the kids don’t even see him for days at a time. This means that I am mostly on my own when it comes to meal prep, and sometimes healthy and homemade just doesn’t happen.
I’m learning to stop beating myself up when dinner ends up being cheese and crackers, but I’m also learning that the more I can prep ahead (on the weekends when we are a two-parent family is even better!), the easier it is to get a healthy meal on the table without any added stress.
I also know that when you scroll through social media it can feel like every other mom has got it together and all of the other kids have Pinterest-worthy lunchboxes, but that’s because so often we feel like we can only put our most perfect “feet” forward. It’s time to get real with each other again, because real feels good.
Probably every time you see a soup recipe over here, I have to proclaim my undying love of soup all over again, but I just can’t help it.
Reasons I love this soup:
- It’s healthy, but it tastes indulgent. The “Italian” flavors in here (I’m not Italian, so I’m not going to claim this as authentic of any other culture) make it feel homey and rich but it’s still got lots of good stuff packed in here (I’m looking at you Catelli Bistro Fusili — which packs a solid amount of iron without any trans fats or added perservatives — and it doesn’t hurt that my girls love the fun colours!).
- It’s easy to prep ahead, which means you can make supper when you actually have time, and not in that moment at 5:00 when everybody needs a piece of mom (or dad!) and there’s not enough to go around.
- It’s familiar meets a new twist — the kids aren’t going to look at their bowl and wonder what on Earth it is, but you might introduce them to some new flavours (maybe spinach is a hard one to get into them?) by adding them to an old favorite.
- Leftovers make great lunches — sometimes after I make supper there is not a lot left in me to pack a healthy lunch (or assist in packing — my daughter usually does a lot herself!). Any time we have a dinner that doubles as lunch the next day is a total win!
Things to note when making this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup:
- I say this every time, but all slow cookers and crockpots are different, and they cook differently. For this recipe, I recommend a 3-4 quart slow cooker (the one you see pictured here is 2.5 quart and I love it, but a larger one would be easier to stir it up in). Larger slow cookers usually take longer to heat up and may need additional cook time.
- Watch the clock once you add the pasta — the other ingredients aren’t going to be affected much by extra time in the slow cooker, but for best results you need to catch the pasta right at the point of al dente, otherwise it can quickly become overcooked.
- All chicken broths and stocks will have a slightly different flavour and salt content, so you may need to adjust the seasonings to your tastes after cooking. It’s always easier to add later, so if you’re sensitive to the amount of salt please use a sodium-reduced broth and start with a minimal amount of salt.
- I tried to find the right balance between healthy and indulgent with this recipe so I opted for light cream (coffee cream or half and half). You can certainly use heavy cream for a richer flavour. If you opt for 1% or 2% milk, you risk the milk curdling when you add it to the hot liquid.
How to prep this Italian Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup ahead:
The night before you want to cook this soup, prep all of your vegetables. You can chop the spinach and roasted red peppers in advance, and throw them into the slow cooker.
Then you can add the broth and all of the seasonings, along with the chicken. Cover it and store it in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before cooking.
When you’re ready to cook, simply place the inner pot into the slow cooker and cook as per the instructions.
Tips for adjusting cook time on this Chicken Noodle Soup:
If you have a long work day and don’t want to overcook the chicken, you can add frozen chicken breasts to the broth, and cook for 8-10 hours on low.
When I was a working mom out of the house, I often used this trick when I needed to cook something all day. I’ve done it with whole roasts, whole chickens, and chicken breasts and it’s always worked well for me!
Variations of Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup:
- Dairy free: to make this soup dairy-free, you can simply substitute the cream for a dairy-free milk or cream, or you can skip the cream and Parmesan altogether. It will still have great flavor!
- Gluten-free: to make this soup gluten-free, simply swap the Bistro Fusili for one of Catelli’s gluten-free pasta varieties (be aware that they may require less or more cook time)
- Vegetarian: you can certainly skip the chicken in this chicken noodle soup if you prefer, but I recommend bumping up the veggie content if you do so. Try adding mushrooms, sliced zucchini, broccoli, green beans — start with the things your family enjoys and go from there!
*This post is generously sponsored by Catelli — thank you for supporting the brands that make The Recipe Rebel possible!
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Creamy Italian Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (or two small)
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup light cream or whole milk
- 1 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 cups Catelli Bistro Fusili pasta
- 1 cup fresh spinach finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- Add chicken broth, chicken breast, roasted red peppers, parsley, garlic, salt, oregano, basil and pepper to a 2.5-4 quart slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours until chicken is cooked through
- Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Place back into the slow cooker.
- Whisk together the cream or milk and corn starch. Add to the slow cooker with the pasta and spinach.
- Turn to high and cook for 15-20 minutes until pasta is al dente or cooked to desired tenderness (this can take up to 30 minutes). Turn off, stir in cheese and serve immediately.
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