“Not only does this chicken noodle soup recipe utilize the crock pot for a set-it-and-forget-it easy dinner, you can also prep all the ingredients ahead of time and store them away in the freezer to pull out on a day where you forgot to plan dinner. That's a meal-prep win! Just make sure you thaw the food before adding it to the slow cooker—otherwise it will remain at an unsafe temperature for too long.”
8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles or other whole-wheat noodles
3 pounds bone-in chicken breast, skin removed
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 sprigs thyme
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups frozen peas
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
2Meanwhile, place chicken, onion, carrot, celery and thyme in a sealable gallon-size freezer bag. Place the cooled noodles in a separate sealable gallon-size freezer bag. Freeze both bags until ready to use. Let the bags defrost in your refrigerator for 1 day before cooking (see Tip).
3Combine the chicken mixture, broth and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker (reserve the noodles). Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours. Add peas during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
4Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken into the soup along with the noodles, dill and lemon juice. Garnish with more dill, if desired.
To make ahead: Freeze the prepared bags (Step 1) for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 1 day before cooking (Step 2).
Tip: Want a faster thaw? Place the frozen chicken mixture (in its sealed bag) in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes. You can also thaw the pasta this way, but be sure to use separate bowls to avoid cross contamination.