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Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup With Soy Curls

My warm and comforting Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup can be made on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot, or Crockpot in just 30 minutes! With just 5 minutes of active prep time and 10 simple ingredients, you’ll have a big pot of cozy, kid-friendly goodness to see you the rest of the way through winter.

Jump to:
  • Why You’ll Love This Recipe
  • Ingredients & Substitutions:
  • How To Make Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Variations
  • Expert Tips & Tricks
  • Storing & Freezing Instructions
  • FAQs
  • More Vegan Soup Recipes
  • đź“– Recipe
  • đź’¬ Reviews

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sometimes, as a vegan, I daydream about the special comfort foods I ate as a kid like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, or creamy pasta salad. Thankfully, I’ve been developing veganized recipes for all my favorites – like this Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup – to make those dreams a reality!

This chickenless chicken noodle soup is:

  • Packed with tender veggies, flavorful seasonings, toothsome noodles, and my favorite vegan chicken dupe, soy curls.
  • Easy to prepare, requiring just 5 minutes of active prep time.
  • Lightning-fast! It can be on the table in just 30 minutes.
  • Perfect for meal prep, and
  • Super versatile! Feel free to swap in gluten-free noodles or swap out the soy curls for your own favorite chicken substitute. Find more ideas on how to customize your vegan chicken noodle soup in the Variations section below!

This healthy soup recipe is perfect to warm you up on chilly nights or to enjoy on a sick day. Easily make it ahead of time or freeze it for later!

Instead of using animal products, replace the chicken with a plant-based alternative (like soy curls), use egg-free pasta or rice noodles, and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth (like Better than Bouillon vegan chicken base). 

Ingredients & Substitutions:

It’s easy to turn normal chicken noodle soup into a vegan-friendly version; all you need are the right substitutions! This simple vegan chicken soup recipe has all of the comforting ingredients to imitate your favorite childhood version. This is what you’ll need:

  • Vegan chicken: I like using Butler’s brand soy curls as the “chicken” in this vegan noodle soup. Soy curls are inexpensive and very flexible – use them for plant-based chicken or beef recipes! If you can’t find soy curls, use chickpeas or store-bought vegan chicken strips instead.
  • Noodles: Make this soup using regular, eggless noodles. I prefer using small pasta shapes like ditalini, rotini, or cavatappi. Feel free to swap in rice (white, brown, or wild), cubed potatoes or gluten-free noodles if needed.
  • Fresh veggies: The chicken noodle soup I grew up with was lush with celery, carrots, and onion. You can add in more of your favorites if you want! Zucchini, frozen edamame or green peas would all be yummy.
  • Vegetable broth: I used both Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base and regular vegetable broth to really pump up the flavor in the soup and the soy curls.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt will season the vegetables to help this recipe taste just like the kind you had as a kid.

How To Make Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

You can make this vegetarian chicken noodle soup on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot, or in a slow cooker. Here’s how to do it:

Method 1: Stovetop version

Rehydrate the soy curls in a large bowl with boiling water and the Better than Bouillon no chicken base. After 10 minutes, take them out of the bowl and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve the liquid.

Sauté the onion in a large soup pot, then add in the celery, carrots, garlic powder, salt, Italian seasoning, vegetable broth, and the liquid from the soy curls. Cook until the veggies are tender. While you wait, cook the noodles in a separate pot according to package directions.

Stir the soy curls into the soup. Place half a cup of noodles into each bowl, then pour some soup overtop. Serve with parsley and enjoy!

Method 2: Instant Pot version

Again, rehydrate the soy curls first. Then use Sauté mode on the Instant Pot to cook the onion for 5 minutes. Turn Sauté mode off and add in the celery, carrots, garlic powder, salt, Italian seasoning, vegetable broth, and the liquid from the soy curls. 

Secure the lid and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Prepare the noodles while it cooks. When the soup is done, let the pressure naturally release, and then stir in the cooked noodles and soy curls.

Method 3: Slow Cooker version

Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic powder, salt, Italian seasoning, vegetable broth to the bowl of a crockpot and cook for 2 hours on high.

When it’s almost done, cook the noodles and rehydrate the soy curls. Stir them both into the soup (including the liquid from the soy curls) and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.

Variations

While I love this warm, comforting vegan chicken noodle soup just the way it is, there are plenty of opportunities for you to customize it to your own liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Swap out the soy curls! Try using cooked chickpeas or your favorite store-bought vegan chicken pieces instead.
  • Bring on the veggies! I started with a traditional mirepoix base of just celery, onions, and carrots, but there are so many more options. Trade mirepoix for the creole trinity by swapping carrots for bell peppers, or add in your favorite veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, green peas, or edamame.
  • Make it Tex-Mex by adding fresh jalapeño to the aromatics, then add cooked black beans and corn kernels. Bonus points if you add a little Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, fresh cilantro, chopped scallions, and some broken tortilla chips as a garnish.
  • Make it gluten-free! Swap in rice noodles, your favorite brand of gluten-free noodles (like Banza), white, brown, or wild rice, or even cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes in place of the pasta. You can also amp up the veggie quotient by using zoodles or cauliflower rice.

Expert Tips & Tricks

It only takes 30 minutes to get this easy chickenless chicken noodle soup on the table. That said, you know I’ve got plenty of tips for you:

  • Don’t forget to garnish! Whether that means topping your bowl with fresh parsley or cilantro, fresh cracked pepper, crumbled crackers, or homemade croutons, an edible garnish is an easy way to make your bowl of soup feel extra special.
  • Cook the noodles (or rice or potatoes) separately. There’s nothing quite so disappointing as overcooked pasta or mushy rice or potatoes. Do yourself a favor and keep your starches separate until you’re ready to serve.
  • Raid the freezer aisle to save time! Frozen onions, carrots, and celery often come in a bag together, but even if you buy them all separately, they’re already prepped and ready to use!

Storing & Freezing Instructions

Store the noodles and soup in separate containers to prevent the noodles from getting soggy. They’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the soup with or without the noodles by adding it to an airtight container. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave before stirring in or serving over the cooked noodles.

FAQs

What is the best pasta for soup?

Any small, bite-sized pasta noodles will work in vegetable soup. You can even use a gluten free version if you wish! Make sure they’re egg-free noodles to keep this recipe vegan.

How do you make noodles not soggy in soup? 

By cooking the noodles separately from the soup. I like to add the noodles into individual bowls for serving first, and then pouring a ladle full of soup over top. This way, I can easily store both separately and the noodles stay firm.

Where can I buy soy curls?

You can buy soy curls online on Amazon or at your local health food store. Check the Butler Foods website to see if they’re available to you locally.

Are soy curls healthy?

Butler Foods soy curls are certified non-GMO and are also grown without chemical pesticides. They don’t contain any chemicals, additives, or preservatives. In fact, their only ingredient is whole soy beans.

That said, soy curls are more of a processed product (unlike tempeh or even tofu). As a nutritionist, I try to have most of my diet filled with unrefined foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and legumes but I don’t obsess over being perfect. It’s okay to have some fun meat alternatives sometimes too!

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