When the weather turns chilly, nothing soothes the soul quite like a warm bowl of vegan chicken noodle soup. This Classic Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup (30-Minutes) elevates the traditional comfort dish by using healthy, one-ingredient soy curls for a meaty texture and egg-free noodles. Prepared in a large pot, you'll find that the gluten-free pasta, cooked al dente, marries perfectly with the rich umami flavors. It's a bowl of soup filled with nourishment, crafted with wholesome simple ingredients, that's ready in just 30 minutes.
Comforting soups on a cold day just make sense. So, this vegan chicken and noodles recipe is packed with healthy ingredients like a flavorful broth that is just as medicinal as it is delicious.
This vegan chicken soup is packed with a one-ingredient vegan protein that requires no extra prep other than adding it to the large soup pot. You might have already guessed it (cue the drum roll), but our favorite vegan chicken substitute is...
Soy curls! I've been cooking exclusively with tofu, like many vegans, in all the magical ways possible until recently. Discovering these soy-based vegan chicken strips opened up a whole new world of cooking possibilities. I created the How to Cook with Soy Curls Complete Guide and have shared recipes like Ultimate Vegan BBQ Sandwich Recipe with Soy Curls and Vegan Rotisserie Chicken (Easiest Shredded Recipe).
In fact, adding my rotisserie chicken to this soup is a total game-changer. If you've got some leftovers consider adding them to this recipe. But no worries, you can just add dried soy curls and still enjoy an easy, streamlined version of the best-tasting sick-day soup you'll likely ever make.
In this post, I share the following:
- How to cook soy curls in soups
- Tips for making this soup in advance and freezing
- How to make a nutrient-dense vegan chicken broth for this recipe with my favorite broth base.
Use this section to jump to areas of interest within the post.
I'm impressed that soy curls are considered a whole food with one ingredient and that their minimally processed, making me feel like it's a healthy meat alternative. Something I don't often feel with meat substitute dishes in the grocery store. They're also an extremely easy ingredient to prepare fast, making their recipes perfect for quick meals like this vegan chicken soup.
After doing a simple internet search, you'll discover that there is really just one brand selling soy curls, Butler Foods. They have a list of grocery stores on their website that carry the product, mostly health food stores, although I purchased mine on Amazon, linked here.
Butler Foods boasts that its product is grown without chemicals or preservatives, the beans are soaked in chlorine-free water, and grown in the USA.
I did find non-brand soy curls at my local Asian market, although they contained a handful of preservatives and were made with GMO soybeans.
What you'll need:
- Soy curls
- Egg-free pasta noodles or noodles of your choice - gluten-free option: vegan noodles from Jovial Rotini pasta or Lotus Foods ramen. Note that the Jovial egg noodles are not vegan.
- Vegan chicken-flavored vegetable broth - storebought, homemade broth, or use Better Than Bullion vegan flavors to create a flavorful broth. My recommendation is to use Better Than Boullion No-Chicken Base.
- Vegetables - diced carrots, celery, shiitake mushrooms, onions, ginger & garlic - a classic mirepoix with a few more additions!
- Savory soup spices - bay leaves, salt, black pepper, fresh thyme, and dried basil. Optionally you could top it with fresh parsley.
See the recipe card for full quantities and instructions.
Use whatever you have handy in the vegetable department. Like sliced tomatoes or white potatoes for a more heartier dish in place of cooked pasta. Get creative and use peas, corn, etc.
Prefer a soy-free option? Swap the curls for a cup of chickpeas!
To make this soup in 30 minutes, use your Instant Pot. Making it on the stove is just as easy! Either way, the best practice is to use mise en place for this recipe so you can move quickly through the steps.
Sauté the garlic, ginger, and onions for 2-3 minutes with a small amount of oil or water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan on medium heat.
Once bubbling hot, add diced carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pot and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Sprinkle in the spices, salt, and black pepper. Then add the vegetable broth, either homemade or store-bought, or use the Better Than Boullion with 8 cups of water.
Place the bay leaf on top, add in the vegan chicken pieces (soy curls), and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 10 minutes, or cover and simmer on the stove for 20 minutes.
While the flavorful soup cooks, you can cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Once al dente, serve the soup in bowls with a cup of cooked noodles!
Give a final taste test, add in more salt and black pepper if needed, and serve warm!
Tip: consider making my Vegan Rotisserie Chicken and add them to this vegan noodle soup recipe. The only change is to swap dried soy curls for these prepared chicken strips and add them at the very end with the noodles minutes before serving. They will add a similar texture but with an enhanced flavor to the soup.
You can make this vegan soup recipe in one pot, like a Dutch oven or a stovetop soup pot. You can also prepare this recipe in an Instant Pot in 30 minutes!
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pot on the stove until warm. Store the noodles in a separate container to prevent them from getting soggy.
Once the soup has cooled completely, store it in a freezer-safe container (except the noodles), and freeze. When you're ready to eat, allow the soup to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then warm it on the stovetop. All that's left is to prep more noodles before serving!
Sick days suck, and this is the perfect comfort food for those days! This soup is a great pre-planned meal for when you need a healthy dish without having to cook. So decide if you want to make a double batch. Store the soup in a freezer-friendly container for up to 8 weeks in the freezer.
Allow it to thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Prepare the noodles separately or add them to the soup as you heat it on the stove. Lotus Foods ramen is a great pick for this method.
Best tips for making this recipe?
First, I highly recommend mise en place, the practice of preparing every ingredient before starting to cook. This recipe includes dicing vegetables, setting out spices and herbs, and mincing ginger and garlic.
Second, I think the Better Than Boullion No-Chicken Base is the go-to stock for this recipe, with its flavor of poultry seasoning. It adds a flavor dimension you can't get from plain vegetable broth. If you want to go all out, make homemade vegan chicken broth from scratch!
More vegan soup recipes
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Classic Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup (30-Minutes)
- 2 ½ cups soy curls, dried get them here
- 16 ounce package of eggless noodles (I prefer Jovial gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons Better Than Boullion No-Chicken Base
- 8 cups filtered water (or vegetable broth)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch hunk of ginger minced
- 1 shallot or small white onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 ribs celery diced
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- salt & black pepper to taste
- Add a small amount of oil or water, just enough to cover the bottom of a large soup pan, dutch oven, or Instant Pot. On medium-high heat, sauté minced garlic and ginger until fragrant and bubbling, about 2-3 minutes. Add diced onions for an additional 2-3 minutes. If using the Instant Pot, set it to sauté for this step.
- Next, add the diced carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pot and cook for another 3-5 minutes until they’re deep in color, fragrant, and slightly tender.
- Sprinkle in the spices, adding salt and black pepper. Then the vegetable broth, either homemade or store-bought, or use Better Than Boullion No-Chicken Base with filtered water equaling 8 cups.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme, and soy curls to the pot. Stir until everything is combined and cover. Lower the stovetop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. If using the Instant Pot, add the lid and set it to cook on high for 10 minutes.
- While the soup cooks, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Once al dente, serve the soup in bowls with a cup of cooked noodles!
- Give it a final taste test, add in more salt and black pepper if needed, and serve warm!