How to Make Rao’s Chicken Noodle Soup at Home

One of the best versions of chicken noodle soup is the Rao’s soup which you can purchase in the store. Usually, it is easy to just grab a few of these cans and toss them on the stove if you aren’t feeling well or are in a hurry. However, not every store sells Rao’s chicken noodle soup, so you will have to get creative if your market is out or you are somewhere that doesn’t have it in stock.

I have actually been on vacation and needed a couple of jars of this for kids who felt under the weather but had to improvise. This is where I developed this recipe, and quite honestly, allows me to make the same great-tasting soup in larger batches for a more affordable cost.

What Makes Rao’s Soup Different?

When it comes to canned or jarred soups, there are different variations, but the flavor in Rao’s is much better than the classic cans you will find in other canned soups. The ingredients in Rao’s are more natural and fresh when they are cooked down in the soup.

It is also cooked down in chicken fat, with chicken boiled to make it’s own broth and chicken fat as the base of the soup. This is important to note because this is something that you will add back to your own soup when you make it.

Gather Your Ingredients for Rao’s Soup

If you are looking to match that Rao’s Chicken Noodle soup flavor in your own pot of soup at home, you need to gather the ingredients below so that you have a fulfilling soup that comes with all the healing properties you need and that hearty flavor that you love.

  • One pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Eight cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • Two tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Two bay leaves
  • One cup of Rao’s fusilli pasta
  • One tablespoon of dried Italian seasonings
  • Four stalks of diced celery
  • Four medium carrots chopped
  • Two diced onions
  • Two cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

You can use chicken breast if you prefer white meat chicken over dark meat, however there will not be as much chicken fat in the soup. The perfect blend is maybe mix the chicken, with half dark meat and half white meat chicken.

I prefer using dried seasonings when I am cooking down the chicken, but you can opt for fresh if you have some on hand and need to use them. The bay leaves are a must though when you are simmering the chicken together to pull all the flavor together.

Start Building Your Soup

This is the long and slow method, so give yourself an hour or two to properly prepare this soup.

1. Boil Your Chicken

In your large soup pot, add in half of your chicken broth, your uncooked chicken, and a tablespoon of the dried Italian seasonings. You also need to mix in one of the tablespoons of mixed garlic.

Bring this to a boil by turning the burner to medium-high. Go ahead and dice up one of your onions and toss it in with the chicken to help it tenderize as it cooks. Once it starts boiling, set the timer for about 40 minutes and watch the chicken. If it starts to lose too much liquid, add water until the chicken is covered.

2. Prepare Your Veggies

While your chicken is boiling dice up the other onion and sit it back in the fridge to keep it from collecting bacteria, I learned a long time ago that letting onions sit out for more than ten minutes can be dangerous.

Go ahead and what your celery and carrots, getting off all the excess dirt. Chop them up into similar size pieces, so that they will cook down at the same rate.

3. Shred Your Chicken

Once your chicken has cooked through, turn the burner down to low and pull out the chicken. I like to take two forks and shred them apart. Usually, after boiling chicken for at least a half hour, it will start to shred on its own. After a couple of minutes, the chicken should be shredded and you can add it back to the pot.

4. Add Your Veggies

It is now time to add in the chopped veggies and the bay leaves to the soup. Check your liquid levels and see if you need to add in more broth. I usally add in the other half, and let the veggies start to cook down for about 15 minutes. Raw carrots need a few minutes at boiling temperature to get tender.

5. Add in the Pasta

By this time, you should only have the pasta left to add, so add it to the boiling soup and any other seasonings you have lying around. Let the soup get to a rolling boil, and then turn it down to a simmer for ten minutes. Don’t forget to cover your soup so that your liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly.

Serve and Store

Once your soup is ready and your pasta noodles are at your preferred tenderness, make sure that you fish out those two bay leaves. You do not want to accidentally serve them to your diners when you are plating the soup.

Toss them in the trash and start ladling your soup into bowls. Your copycat Rao’s soup recipe is now ready and you can enjoy it. This would be ideal to serve with sandwiches or even a side salad if you want to make a full meal.

If you have any leftovers you want to keep for the next couple of days, go ahead and add it to a safe bowl after it is cooled. It can stay in the fridge up to four days, and will heat up well on the stove when you are ready to serve it again.

I do not recommend freezing this soup, though, because the pasta texture doesn’t hold up well after being frozen and then reheated later on.

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