What’s a meal you could make over and over again and never get tired of? Something you’re always happy to see on the table, no matter your mood, or the weather? For me, it’s this vegan chicken noodle soup. It’s so simple to make, and the chewy noodles and tender chicken make it addictively hearty. Let’s get into it!
Why Is Chicken Noodle Soup the Go-To Sick Food?
Chicken noodle soup has long been considered the quintessential American sick food because it’s warm, comforting, and relatively easy to chew and digest. The brothy classic is hydrating and a complete meal, with protein, carbs, and vegetables. In short, it’s safe, non-offensive — a hug in a bowl. Here, I recreate the popular dish without the meat for a soup that’s just as delicious.
Key Ingredients in Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
There’s nothing fussy about this recipe — just wholesome ingredients you probably already have laying around!
Mirepoix: Diced carrots, onions, and celery make the classic flavor base of this soup.
Vegan chicken seasoning: My vegan chicken seasoning recipe is a flavorful shortcut that’s cheaper to make than store-bought vegan chicken broth or bouillon (although you can certainly use those if you have them on hand).
Vegan chicken: Here are some popular options you’ll see in recipes (any of which you can use in this recipe):
- Mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms
- Cubed or crumbled tofu
- Chickpeas or white beans
- Vegan chicken products
The latter is my favorite, especially given the quality improvements in recent years. Gardein, Morningstar Farms, and Daring brands all make unbreaded chicken that’s widely available, delicious, and full of protein.
Noodles: You can use whatever you like here, but after testing many, many versions, I recommend wide lo mein noodles (without eggs). They’re chewy and a delight to slurp up!
Fresh parsley: The pop of bright green added at the end of cooking makes for a beautiful presentation and delicious fresh flavor.
How To Make Chicken Soup Without Meat
A successful vegan chicken noodle soup comes down to the broth. The broth needs to be really flavorful, with the same savory, umami characteristic of a meat broth. Because of this, I advise against using vegetable broth — it’s too light and won’t give you the depth you need. Instead, add umami ingredients like miso, nutritional yeast, or mushrooms.
This recipe uses my vegan chicken seasoning mix. It’s a broth powder with nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, paprika, celery, and herbs. It mimics chicken flavor so well while staying 100% plant-based!
First, sautee your mirepoix in some extra virgin olive oil on medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
Next, add your vegan chicken seasoning, water, and chicken pieces. Bring that to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook 15 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, boil your noodles in a separate pot. You do this separately so that the noodles don’t overcook and get soggy. The soup will also store better with the noodles separate.
Taste the soup and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and stir in some fresh parsley.
Serve hot ladled over the noodles and enjoy!
Serve this soup piping hot, ladled into bowls or a large mug. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, freshly cracked black pepper, and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Leftovers save well in the refrigerator for up to five days. Make sure to store the noodles separately, or else they’ll soak up all the broth and turn into a sad, soggy mess. 🙁
More vegan chicken recipes:
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (diced)
- 2 tbsp vegan chicken seasoning (find the recipe at https://karliecooksplants.com/vegan-chicken-seasoning)
- 1 13.5-oz package unbreaded vegan chicken (diced)
- 6 cups water
- 8 oz wide lo mein noodles (see note)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
- Heat a dutch oven or similar heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and sautee until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegan chicken seasoning and cook for 2–3 more minutes to toast the spices.
- Add the vegan chicken pieces and water, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, bring a second pot of water to boil and cook your noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside — do not add to the soup.
- Once the soup is done simmering, take it off the heat and add the parsley. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if desired.
- Serve the soup hot over the noodles, garnished with extra parsley and a crack of black pepper, if desired.