This easy chicken soup with spaghetti squash noodles is light but satisfying, loaded with protein and veggies. Ground chicken makes it easy to make anytime without waiting for leftover roast chicken.
If you want cozy, savoury chicken noodle soup vibes in a quick and simple recipe that’s filling but not heavy, look no further.
I love soups for lunch in the fall and winter, but often this time of year (which is Christmas recipe testing szn for me), I crave a veggie-loaded, brothy soup that’s light on carbs (because I’ll get enough of those from Caramel-Rippled Apple Cake).
I’ve had a sad spaghetti squash giving me neglect energy for weeks and I had a sudden burst of inspiration to replace the starchy noods in my chicken noodle soup today with some lighter, squashy ones.
Spaghetti squash strands, it turns out, have a shockingly similar texture and appearance to the noodles in Lipton noodle soup. The recipe really has that classic chicken soup flavour that is so nostalgic and cozy. I feel this was totally meant to be.
How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup with Spaghetti Squash Noodles
- Layer seasoning and aromatics. We start with a saute of onions, celery and carrots with a good lashing of salt. This draws out the moisture, helping them to soften more quickly, and seasons everything right to the core. It’s a beautiful start.
- Add the ground chicken and cook mostly undisturbed to coax out some maillard reaction (a.k.a. browning), which adds additional deliciousness.
- Pour in the broth, add the squash, and simmer until tender.
- Break apart the squash, add some parsley and crumble some crackers over a steaming bowlful.
Here’s what you need:
- Onions, celery and carrots. The basic soup-starting veggies.
- Chicken. I find it really convenient to keep ground chicken and turkey on my grocery list. It comes in vacuum-sealed packaging that makes it last a surprisingly long time in the fridge, making for healthy, quick meals like this. If you have leftover roast or rotisserie chicken, feel free to swap in 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken and just add it when you add the broth.
- Broth. I like the convenience of boxed broth but often I use the Better than Bouillon, which is also perfect. If using the latter, I use 1 tbsp bouillon concentrate per cup of water (not the 1 tsp per cup they have on the label which I find pretty watery and bland).
- Spaghetti squash. I peeled it, halved it, discarded the seeds and cut it flat-side down on a cutting board into long strips. Once it softens in the soup, it shreds almost completely on its own, but you can break up any remaining chunks with a fork.
- Parsley. If you don’t have fresh, use dried and add it when you add the broth.
Chicken Soup with Spaghetti Squash Noodles
- 6 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 2 medium onions diced
- 1 large stalk celery sliced
- 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided use
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 6 cups salted chicken broth (if you use unsalted, add about 2 more tsp salt)
- 1/2 spaghetti squash peeled, seeds removed and sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots plus 1/2 tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.Break up the chicken with a spoon and cook, stirring only occasionally*, until chicken is cooked through and golden in spots. *Reduce heat if onions are getting dark.
- Add chicken broth and spaghetti squash. Cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Use a fork to shred any chunks of squash (much of it will break into strands on its own when you stir). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.