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Recipes

No-Chicken Noodle Soup (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Are you craving hearty, brothy, delicious noodle soup – but want to keep it vegan or vegetarian? Excellent choice! I think you’re going to love our veggie no-chicken noodle soup recipe.  It offers all the comforting and nostalgic flavors of classic chicken noodle soup, but with a special vegan flair! 

We created this recipe with inspiration from my Dad’s homemade chicken noodle soup, our love for plant-based meals and leafy greens, and the voice of my nutritionist Mama in the back of my head – saying “eat your protein!” (Thank you, beans.) You can even make this vegan no-chicken noodle soup totally gluten-free.

All in all, we hope you love this simple, versatile, and healthy recipe as much as we do! We often make a double-batch to enjoy throughout the week, or to freeze leftovers for easy future meals. Don’t miss the printable recipe at the end.



How do I make chicken noodle soup vegan or vegetarian? 


It’s quite easy to make classic chicken noodle soup totally vegan or vegetarian. All you need to do is swap the broth, and omit the chicken! Rather than using chicken broth, replace it with either ‘no-chicken broth’, vegetable broth, or veggie bouillon. Instead of chicken, we like to add beans as a source of protein – though some folks like to make their vegetarian chicken noodle soup with eggs, tofu, tempeh, or other vegan imitation meat instead. 


Ingredients 


  • 1 large yellow, sweet, or white onion
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 4 large carrots 
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 5 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dry)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 packed cups of chopped hearty greens such as kale, green cabbage, Swiss chard, or collard greens
  • 8 cups (2 quart containers) of no-chicken broth or vegetable broth (low sodium). Learn how to easily make homemade veggie broth here! Or, use concentrated “better than bouillon” paste mixed with water to achieve the same volume. 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) beans of choice, such as white beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans.  
  • 1/8 tsp of ground cloves (my Dad’s special touch)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Up to one 12 oz package of noodles of choice.


Noodle notes: Use only half or two-thirds of the 12-ounce package as a lower carb option. We used an 8 ounce package in this particular batch, and it was plenty! Egg noodles are a chicken noodle soup classic, though obviously not vegan. You can use long noodles like spaghetti, fettuccini, or pappardelle or short noodle options such as tubular penne, spiral-shape fusilli, bowtie farfalle, or orzo. We’ve even used pad thai noodles. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, I highly suggest these organic brown rice spaghetti noodles. They hold up incredibly well in the soup, even after re-heating leftovers!


Optional Ingredients


The ingredients listed below are ‘optional’ because the recipe is great without them (and I want to keep things easy for folks that don’t have all the extra items on hand) BUT these goodies are highly recommended! They will elevate your vegetarian no-chicken noodle soup to a whole new level of delicious, and are what make this recipe extra special. So if you can, try to add at least a few of them! We typically include all of the following ingredients in our no-chicken noodle soup:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, about 8 to 12 leaves finely minced (1 tsp dry)
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves, fresh or dry 
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste. We love the organic chickpea miso from Miso Master (found at our local Whole Foods). 
  • Chopped fresh parsley to top/serve
  • Bread or crackers for serving. Need a good homemade bread recipe? Check out our simple sourdough bread, or fluffy sourdough focaccia.


A white ceramic plate that is filled with 1/3rd chopped onion, 1/3rd chopped carrot, and 1/3rd chopped celery sit on a slatted wooden backdrop.
Ah, the Mirepoix… a solid foundation for no-chicken noodle soup.


How to Make Vegetarian No-Chicken Noodle Soup


Part 1: Cook the veggies and herbs


Chop up the onions, celery and carrots. Add olive oil or butter to the bottom of your stockpot or sauce pan and turn it on over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chopped veggies along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute them together until the onions become translucent, and the carrots and celery are just fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally. 

Mince the garlic and fresh herbs nice and fine. Next, add the herbs and garlic along with your chopped leafy greens (kale, green cabbage, collard greens, or similar) to the pot. We used a combo of cabbage and kale in this batch. Toss in the optional whole bay leaves and minced sage as well. Allow these to cook together for about five minutes, stirring on occasion. This is where the flavor and aroma of your no-chicken noodle soup starts to come to life!

Related: Growing Herbs 101 – How to Start a Kitchen Herb Garden


The inside of a stock pot with cooking onion, celery, carrots. Chopped garlic, chopped herbs, dried basil, and three bay leaves sit atop the cooking veggies.
Celery, carrots, onion, kale, and cabbage are cooking inside a stock pot amongst a melange of chopped garlic, fresh herbs, and dried herbs. The next step is to add the broth to make your no-chicken noodle soup.


Part 2: Make it brothy


Once the veggies and herbs are nice and happy, add all of the other called-for ingredients EXCEPT the noodles: the no-chicken broth or vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, miso, ground clove, and beans. Drain and rinse the beans before adding them. After those are well-incorporated, give your no-chicken noodle soup a taste-test and add more salt and pepper if needed to taste. Now, kick the heat up to bring everything to a boil before adding the noodles.

Important tip: If you’re adding the optional miso, mix the miso paste in a bowl of warm water first (about a cup of water or less is good). Stir well until the miso is completely dissolved in the water, and then add that mixture to your no-chicken noodle soup. Otherwise, the miso paste may stay in clumps and not thoroughly mix in if added directly into the pot alone. 


A container of Miso Master organic chickpea miso paste sits next to a white ceramic bowl of miso broth that is a creamy milky color. A slatted wooden backdrop is the background.
Our favorite miso. Not sponsored, just big fans! It’s best to thoroughly mix the paste in water before adding it to the soup.


Part 3: Add the noodles


Once the soup is boiling, add the noodles. I suggest breaking long spaghetti-like noodles in half first! Following the recommended time on your particular noodle package, continue to boil the no-chicken noodle soup until the noodles are just about done but ever-so-slightly el dente still. Don’t worry, they’ll continue to cook a bit once you turn off the heat. This way, they won’t become overcooked or fall apart. Remember to stir on occasion while cooking!

Alternatively, you could cook the noodles in a separate pot of water, drain them, and then add the cooked noodles to the rest of the soup. This will keep the broth slightly less starchy. Even more, some recipes suggest to add a handful of cooked noodles to your bowl of soup upon serving, storing them separately from everything else. The idea is to ensure they don’t become too mushy or overdone… but we don’t find it necessary! The easy one-pot nature of this no-chicken noodle soup recipe is part of what makes it awesome, in my humble opinion. 


A close up image of a spoonful of no-chicken noodle soup that contains a bean, celery, carrot, kale, and noodles. Below lies a white ceramic bowl with handles that contains the remainder of the soup.


Part 4: Serve and enjoy!


Doesn’t it smell amazing? The best news is: it tastes even better. Feel free to chop up some fresh parsley to serve on top. We also love to dip a piece of fresh homemade sourdough bread in our no-chicken noodle soup! It goes perfectly with a crusty, chewy slice of rustic sourdough, or with our super soft and delicious sourdough focaccia.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy within one week. Or, freeze extras in freezer-safe containers – like our favorite BPA-free quart containers. For the best results, defrost frozen no-chicken noodle soup in the refrigerator one day before you want to eat it. Reheat on the stovetop. This soup is good for up to 6 months when stored in the freezer.


A bowl on no-chicken noodle soup inside a white ceramic bowl with two handles. A golden spoon is off to the side next to a white cloth towel with a few blue lines running widthwise across it. Carrots, celery, kale, onion, and noodles are visible in the yellowish lighter brown broth of the soup.


Now go eat up!


Thank you for following along and giving our vegan no-chicken noodle soup recipe a try! We hope you have a comforting and highly satisfying meal in your near future. Please stop back by for a review to let us know how you liked it. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below, and spread the love by pinning or sharing this post. Bon appetit!


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4.8 from 10 votes

No-Chicken Noodle Soup (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Are you craving hearty, brothy, delicious noodle soup – but want to keep it vegan or vegetarian? Then come try our easy veggie no-chicken noodle soup recipe. It's full of the comforting and nostalgic flavors of classic chicken noodle soup, but with special vegan flair.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Keyword: No-chicken noodle soupe, Vegan chicken noodle soup, Vegetarian chicken noodle soup
Servings: 6 servings

Equipment

  • Stock pot or large saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion – yellow, sweet, or white
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 cups chopped hearty greens such as kale, green cabbage, Swiss chard, or collard greens
  • 8 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth (low sodium, 2 quart containers)
  • 1 can beans of choice, such as white beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans (approximately 15 ounces)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves 
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • up to one 12 oz package of noodles of choice (*see noodle notes below)

Optional, but highly recommended

  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, about 8 to 12 leaves, finely minced (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves, fresh or dry
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste (dissolved in 1/2 to 1 cup water before adding to soup)
  • chopped fresh parsley to top/serve
  • bread or crackers, for serving

Instructions

  • Add olive oil or butter to the bottom of your stockpot or sauce pan and turn it on over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped onions, celery, and carrots, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute until the onions become translucent, and the carrots and celery are just fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally. 
  • Next, add the herbs (minced if fresh) and minced garlic along with the chopped leafy greens. Add optional sage and whole bay leaves now. Cook about five minutes, stirring on occasion.
  • Add all of the other called-for ingredients except the noodles: the no-chicken broth or vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, dissolved miso paste , ground cloves, and beans. (Drain and rinse canned beans before adding them).
  • Bring to a boil before adding noodles.
  • Add noodles. Break long spaghetti-like noodles in half first. Follow the recommended time on your particular noodle package, but remove from heat when the noodles are just about done but ever-so-slightly el dente still. They’ll continue to cook a bit once you turn off the heat. Stir on occasion while cooking. (*See noodle notes below for alternative option)
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy within one week.
  • Freeze extras in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months.

Notes

Noodle notes: Use only half or two-thirds of the 12-ounce package as a lower carb option. We used an 8 ounce package in this particular batch, and it was plenty! Egg noodles are a chicken noodle soup classic, but you can use any type or long or short noodles that you wish. As a gluten-free option, I highly suggest these organic brown rice spaghetti noodles. 
We always cook our noodles right in the same pot as the soup. However, you can also cook them in a separate pot of water and add them to the soup at the end, or add noodles to each bowl of soup upon serving. 


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6 Comments

  • Theresa

    3 stars
    I haven’t made this yet but will definitely try with one exception…you should NEVER boil miso. Miso is a fermented food and boiling it will kill all the probiotics that make it so good for our health. It should be added at the end (still mixed in a small bowl first to get out clumps) but never boiled.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Thank you, we should have thought about that more as we don’t want to get rid of the healthy bacteria which the miso provides. We will switch up the steps as it should be added after the noodles are done cooking and the soup is removed from the heat.

  • Courtney

    5 stars
    I’m a vegetarian and sometimes I miss a good chicken noodle soup. This was such a good alternative! Super easy to make and easy recipe to follow. Loved the clove and nutritional yeast additions.

  • Debbi

    5 stars
    So easy to make. My family loved it! My meat-loving husband (who changed diet recently to include more veggies and less meat) said he didn’t even miss the meat. And my picky daughter actually ate some! I love that this recipe requires ingredients we already had on hand. The only thing we changed was using elbow macaroni since that is all we had. We also had some Miso Master miso paste and tossed it in there, as listed in optional items, and we loved how it added another level of umami yumminess. Thanks for another great recipe, Deanna!

  • Lindsay Marsh

    5 stars
    We have been eating a lot of noodle soup lately, although usually when we’re short on time so we end up jazzing up a can of Amy’s Organic with some Vite Ramen noodles and some veggies from the freezer! Maybe we should instead attempt to stock up with some portions of homemade to go with our noodles instead!

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