11 Best Spices And Herbs For Chicken Noodle Soup: Flavorful Twist

Chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food. When you’re feeling under the weather or just want something warm and soothing, this classic soup really hits the spot. But while the standard ingredients of chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, and onion make a tasty soup, it’s the spices and herbs that really bring this dish to life.

The array of spices and herbs used in chicken noodle soup recipes across cuisines is astounding. From earthy cumin in Indian-style soups to fragrant lemongrass in Thai versions, these flavor boosters transform the soup from basic to spectacular.

If you want to take your chicken noodle soup game to the next level, read on for the 11 best spices and herbs to incorporate. Your tastebuds will thank you.

1. Black Pepper

No chicken noodle soup is complete without a sprinkle of black pepper. The sharp, earthy flavor of cracked black pepper is a must for bringing out the flavors of the broth and ingredients. Add it near the end to preserve its pungent aroma. Whole peppercorns can also be simmered in the broth to infuse their piney, woody notes into the soup.

Freshly ground black pepper has the most potent flavor. But even pre-ground pepper will provide that little kick that chicken noodle soup craves. Black pepper’s heat pairs perfectly with the soothing nature of this soup.

2. Garlic

Is any savory dish really complete without garlic? This aromatic bulb adds incredible depth of flavor to chicken noodle soup. Chopped or minced garlic can be cooked with the vegetables to mellow its bite. Or for a more intense garlic presence, add a paste or powder near the end. Slow-roasted whole garlic cloves are also a delicious addition.

Garlic’s sweetness, combined with its pungency, gives chicken noodle soup a warmth and complexity. It brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. A little garlic goes a long way in infusing the broth with flavor.

3. Ginger

The spicy kick of ginger is a fantastic complement to chicken noodle soup. Fresh ginger can be grated into the broth or minced and cooked with the garlic and vegetables. For convenience, ginger paste or powder can be used instead. Even just a pinch adds a lovely gingery heat.

Ginger also aids digestion, making it ideal for this comforting soup. The zestiness brightens up the dish, cutting through the richness of the chicken broth. Ginger pairs especially well with classic Asian-inspired chicken noodle soups.

4. Onion Powder

Onion powder adds savory depth to chicken noodle soup without the chunky texture of onions. It can be added while cooking the vegetables or sprinkled into the finished soup. Onion powder concentrates the sweetness of onions into an umami bomb.

When paired with garlic powder, these two ingredients make a dynamic flavor duo. The combination enhances the base flavors of chicken noodle soup without overpowering. Onion powder also allows the flavors of herbs and spices to shine through while underscoring the soup with its savoriness.

5. Turmeric

Give your chicken noodle soup a brilliant golden hue and an earthy flavor with turmeric. This aromatic spice commonly used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking has a slightly bitter, musky flavor. It adds both color and antioxidants to this soothing soup.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it a great addition to chicken noodle soups meant to nurse colds and flu. Simmer the spices in the broth for the most flavor extraction. A pinch of black pepper boosts the bioavailability of turmeric as well.

6. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are a versatile herb perfect for infusing chicken broth with subtle flavor. Tuck a few bay leaves into the simmering soup and remove them before serving. As the leaves slowly release their minty, pine-like notes, it enhances the broth without overpowering it.

Dried bay leaves work just fine, making them an easy way to add interest to chicken noodle soup. They pair well with other robust herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. The complex flavor of bay leaves adds intrigue without much effort.

7. Thyme

Earthy, lemony thyme is a natural fit for chicken noodle soup. Its grassy, herbal flavor brightens up the broth. Fresh thyme is ideal, lending vibrancy, but the dried herb works too. Add sprigs of fresh thyme to the soup or sprinkle in dried thyme at the end for the best results.

Thyme plays well with other Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, oregano, and marjoram. It provides a lovely background note to the chicken and vegetables. Thyme’s versatility makes it a must-have for homemade chicken noodle soup.

8. Parsley

Don’t relegate parsley to just a garnish. Add it to chicken noodle soup for a burst of fresh herbiness. Chopped fresh parsley sprinkled on at the end keeps its vibrant flavor intact. Dried parsley flakes can also provide flavor, but lack the brightness of fresh.

Parsley’s grassy, peppery flavor cuts through the richness of the chicken broth. Flat-leaf or Italian parsley has the best flavor for soups and stews compared to curly parsley. A dash of bright green parsley right before serving gives a fresh finish.

9. Rosemary

With its pine-like aroma and woodsy flavor, aromatic rosemary infuses chicken noodle soup with character. Whole sprigs can be simmered into the broth and removed later. Minced fresh rosemary is also an excellent addition to the soup vegetables.

The complex flavor profile of rosemary features hints of eucalyptus, lemon, and sage. These nuances enhance the savoriness of the broth. Hearty rosemary pairs especially well with potatoes or other root vegetables in the soup.

10. Oregano

Warm, earthy oregano is a natural complement to chicken noodle soup. This aromatic herb has a bold flavor that enhances the rest of the ingredients. The minty hint of oregano brightens up the chicken broth.

Both fresh and dried oregano work well in chicken noodle soup. Add fresh oregano at the end for the best flavor. For dried, add it early so the flavors have time to develop. Oregano combines especially beautifully with robust flavors like garlic, chili flakes, or smoky paprika.

11. Basil

Finish off your chicken noodle soup with some fresh basil for a pop of herbaceous flavor. Stir in torn basil leaves at the end to retain their sweet, peppery flavor. The anise-like aroma lifts up the entire dish.

For chicken noodle soup, sweeter basil varieties like Genovese are best. The flavor complements chicken and carrots beautifully. Thai basil also pairs wonderfully with Asian-style chicken noodle soups. Just don’t add the basil too early or it will lose its vibrancy.

Tips for Balancing Herbs and Spices

When it comes to seasoning chicken noodle soup, restraint is key. Here are some tips for achieving balanced, complex flavor:

  • Start with a flavor base of onion, garlic, and savory herbs like bay leaves, parsley, and thyme
  • Layer on warming spices like black pepper, ginger, and turmeric
  • Finish with a sprinkle of brighter herbs like basil, oregano, or rosemary
  • Taste as you go and adjust seasonings – you can always add more!
  • Briefly simmer herbs to infuse flavor; spices may need more time to develop
  • Keep salt on the lower side since the chicken broth provides savoriness
  • Let the chicken and vegetables shine through rather than overpowering with spices

The beauty of chicken noodle soup is that it’s highly adaptable to work with your taste preferences. Play around with herb and spice combinations until you find flavors that make your mouth water. With the right blend of seasonings, this classic soup will become your ultimate comfort food.

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipes from Around the World

Chicken noodle soup takes many forms around the world. Here’s a taste of how some cultures put their own spin on this hearty soup:

Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup – Fragrant lemongrass and ginger flavor this Vietnamese take, with fish sauce and lime juice for a delicious tang. Rice noodles are the perfect match.

Matzo Ball Soup – Fluffy Jewish matzo balls are drizzled with schmaltz (chicken fat) and simmered in chicken broth with dill and parsley for a traditional Passover treat.

Caldo de Pollo – This Mexican chicken soup is packed with veggies like corn, zucchini, and avocado and spiced up with chili peppers, cumin, and oregano. Fried tortilla strips add crunch.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup – Flour or buttermilk dumplings make this American soup feel like a warm hug. Thyme and parsley season the hearty chicken broth.

Avgolemono Chicken Soup – A Greek classic, this soup gets its signature tang from lemon and egg. Rice or orzo is often used instead of noodles.

The possibilities are endless when you think about cultural spins on chicken noodle soup. Now that you know the best herbs and spices to use, you can create your own world-inspired chicken noodle soup masterpiece.

Ready to Create Your Own Chicken Noodle Soup?

Homemade chicken noodle soup warms the belly and the soul. With the right blend of spices and herbs, you can transform this feel-good classic from basic to spectacular.

Follow your senses as you layer in fragrant flavors like garlic, thyme, turmeric, and ginger. Taste the soup as you go, keeping balance in mind. Before you know it, you’ll have a customized chicken noodle soup made just the way you like it.

The next time you need some nourishment and comfort, look no further than your own kitchen. Put those noodles in boiling broth, sprinkle in the spices, and simmer up a pot of magic. Your unique chicken noodle soup is sure to become a favorite you’ll crave again and again.

Featured image for an article about 11 Best Spices And Herbs For Chicken Noodle Soup: Flavorful Twist

Best Spices And Herbs For Chicken Noodle Soup

Discover the 11 best spices and herbs to elevate your chicken noodle soup, from aromatic ginger to earthy oregano. Create a comforting, flavorful twist with these delicious additions.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course herbs and spices
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Onion Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil


  • In a large pot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil.
  • Add bone-in chicken pieces or breasts along with aromatic veggies like onion, celery, carrots. Simmer until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove cooked chicken and shred or dice the meat once cooled.
  • Add dried herbs and spices to the broth – 2-3 bay leaves, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp each of sage, rosemary, oregano.
  • Later, add chopped fresh herbs – 1/4 cup each parsley and dill. Simmer 10 more minutes.
  • Taste and season broth with salt, pepper and more herbs if desired.
  • Add egg noodles and cooked chicken and cook until noodles are tender, 5-7 minutes.
Keyword Best Spices And Herbs For Chicken Noodle Soup

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating