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Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe

This is just like everyone’s favorite cozy, comforting, homemade chicken noodle soup recipe except made even better with chicken meatballs! You’ll only want this version of chicken noodle soup after trying this! Promise!

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe

I know I just experienced -1 degree F weather in Indianapolis during the holidays but I will still say this.

It’s still cold at 56 degrees F in Los Angeles.

I know. I thought I could brave the cold a bit better here in Southern California after Indy, but boy was I wrong.


So, Butters and I are not leaving the house today.

He’s in a fancy cable knit sweater and I’m already on my second bowl of this chicken noodle soup.

With extra chicken meatballs in my bowl.

Because let’s be honest.

The meatballs are legit the best part of this soup.

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

This is just like everyone’s favorite cozy, comforting homemade chicken noodle soup except made even better with chicken meatballs! You’ll only want this version of chicken noodle soup after trying this! Promise!

20 minutes20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the chicken meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, if using; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs, forming about 25-30 meatballs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken stock and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and meatballs; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve immediately.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent and easy.  Will double recipe next time because everyone wanted seconds!!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Oh my! Made this tonight (added broccoli florets and peas as well). Kept everything else the same. IT WAS DELICIOUS. I will keep this in my meal rotation for sure. Thanks for a new spin on chicken soup 🙂

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    I needed a recipe that was fairly quick and this provided it. The browning of the chicken “meatballs” took quite a bit longer than the recipe said (Dutch oven on top of stove).
    I basically had all the ingredients but I did NOT realize my Panko Crumbs were “seasoned” and my ground chicken also ‘seasoned”.
    Because of those details, it turned out a bit salty -totally my fault. I loved the orzo and lemon but I would have added a bit more onion and I doubled the carrot and celery.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Such a great twist on the traditional chicken noodle soup! I followed the recipe exactly, and it was delicious. 

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Every recipe I have made from Damn Delicious has been, well, damn delicious. This one was no exception.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this today. My store was out of fresh rosemary so I thought I would substitute dried, which I thought I had. Should have checked, but a Google search suggested tarragon as a replacement, so I added a couple of shakes of that. I ate this as soon as it finished cooking and it was very good, but ate a couple of spoonfuls after it sat for a while and the flavor was much richer. It was a nice change from traditional chicken noodle soup. Soup is one of my very favorite things to eat. Will make again.

  7. Love this soup! I keep coming back to it. My only change is if you like your soup to have a decent amount of noodles, double the orzo!

  8. Sounds great. I would love to have Nutritional information after your recipes I’m trying to cut down and sometimes that really helps.  Thank you 

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Can i just say wow? I loved this soup but omitted the orzo and just served with some rice instead and it was SO GOOD. Thank you!

  10. Could you use jasmine rice in replace of the orzo?? 

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent!  I didn’t have any onions or celery so I used the dried onion flakes and celery seed.  I don’t care for rosemary so I left it out. I made this gluten free by using gluten free panko, orzo and chicken broth. If spinach was added it’s almost like wedding soup. 

  12. Do you have an instant pot version of this soup? Thanks !

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is so perfect, very simple but has nice strong flavors. Wouldn’t change a thing!

  14. This recipe is delicious! I like it better than traditional chicken noodle soup. I do have a question though…can you roll the meatballs and store them uncooked in the refrigerator the night before you intend to make the soup? 

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was very good. I made it as is although I’m not a fan of rosemary or thyme as it can become overpowering for me. I added cream at the end which took it to another level and mellowed the rosemary and thyme a little. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I haven’t made this one yet but I wanted to say that I have so many of your recipes on permanent rotation! I love everything I have made so far and can’t wait to try this one!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    OMG! One of, if not THE best soup I’ve ever made. My husband and I found this recipe 2 weeks ago and I think we’ve made it 4 times since. There is sooo much flavor in this. Definitely tasty! I’ve even made it where I brown the outsides of / partially cook the meatballs and then throw everything into the Instant Pot to make it a super quick weeknight meal. Very nice! I LOVE THIS SOUP!!

  18. Hi, I may have missed it but where is the rice? Do you cook it and add it in somehow, lost, please help:(

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious: eat soup year around . Added spinach because I had gotten some at the farmers market. Definitely a keeper. Thank you

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Looks so YUMMY! Just wondering if anyone has made a batch and frozen it for later? I’m a single gal and while I’m sure I ould eat the whole pot, I really shouldn’t. This sounds great for lunches during the week.

    • I cook and freeze the meatballs only to make quick batches, but have never frozen the whole soup. I’m making it this week because my teenage sons love it and request it even during 100 degree summers. I’ll freeze a little bit and report back because now I’m curious! 

  21. I have tried your recipe today. And I’m leaving a comment because it was a success. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I didnt have the orzo pasta so instead I use the gnocchi which I happen to have. I’ll definitely try this recipe again using orzo pasta.
    Thank you.

  22. Liked the soup and looks very appetizing in the soup bowl. How much lemon do you put in the soup? The amount is not given in the recipe. I squeezed the whole lemon which gave the soup
    a strong lemon taste and to my surprise liked the lemon taste more and more, though probably would put less in next time.  The meatballs made the soup filling. One change for me would be to use slightly less Parmesan cheese in the mixture. 

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious! Perfect dinner for a winter day!

  24. Change nothing, this soup is amazing!

  25. Is 8 cups of chicken stock correct?????   In your similar recipe, the one the spinach and beans, almost exact same recipe, but calls for 4 cups of stock.   Something seems off  Which is correct???

    • Hi Lee. This one is correct. I have made it myself many times with the exact ingredient list. The recipes are similar but not the same. This one calls for orzo and meatballs so it needs a lot more liquid than the other one. Thanks for checking!

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Love getting your recipes. I have made a few. The only girl in the house besides me is my Corgi Melody. Love her to bits.
    Sincerely ,
    Beth Howell

  27. I made this tonight and it was so good! I used ground turkey and added a few handfuls of kale. My husband and children all loved it. The meatballs are extremely flavorful.

  28. I love it that the meatballs are egg free! I cannot eat egg because of a severe allergy and it is always very hard to find meatballs recipes without eff in them

    this soup sounds great!

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Damn delicious!!!  I used tortellini rather than orzo.  And for a little extra nutrution – ladeled the soup over fresh spinach (which quickly wilted to a prefect consistency).  And don’t forger the lemon juice!!! Really tasty soup!

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    I realized I’ve made this several times and not given my feedback yet. This is the best soup ever! I dislike chicken noodle soup but this has the perfect ingredients that make me love it. The meatballs and orzo.. Oh my so heavenly. Making it again today because I’m obsessed. Thanks for this awesome recipe. I love everything you make

  31. Rated 4 out of 5

    I made this last evening & it was a very nice soup.  I think the main takeaway for me would be the chicken meatballs.  They were very good & I’ll make them again with this soup & independent of it.  Thank you for posting the recipe.

  32. Looks delish!!   Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve been looking for a new ground chicken recipe and I will make this and let you know.

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    I am a chicken soup lover and this did not disappoint!  So yummy and delicious.  I used chicken bone broth for extra flavor and it was fantastic.  Thanks so much for all you’re great recipes!

  35. Rated 4 out of 5

    Enjoyed soup. Added a handful of spinach and used dried parsley and thyme. Baked the meatballs and used turkey not chicken. Overall it was different and loved the spicy kick (did add hot pepper flakes). Next time I would double orzo and veggies. Very good and easy to prepare.

  36. Meatballs fell apart and stuck to bottom of pot,  even with oil in it. Gave up and had to find something else to eat. Disappointing because I love most of the recipes on this site. 

  37. Delicious!

  38. The meat stays together without a egg?

  39. Tried this soup yesterday and it was so damn delicious 😉

    Thank you!!!

  40. How come you never show calories count on your recipes ?

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select and some new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  41. We made this soup and loved it, though we used ground turkey breast and homemade stock from a smoked chicken.  One question, though…  We’d never heard Orzo referred to as noodles.  Yes, it’s pasta, but not really noodles is it?  That would bekind of like calling couscous “tiny noodles.”  LOL!  Whatever you call it, we call it delicious!

  42. This soup is wonderful!! I made one change and that was baking the meatballs in the oven on 400 F for 20 mintes. It worker out great, rotating half way through. Everything else I kept the same. Thank you for this deliciouly easy soup.

  43. This soup was absolutely delicious!!!!! I have tried a couple of your recipes and I have not been disappointed. Thank you so much. I don’t cook that often because it’s hard to cook a meal for one person, but trying your recipes has made me want to get back in the kitchen.

  44. Just made this for dinner (I skipped the thyme as my family is not a big fan). It was so delicious and light but still filled us up. Loved it!

  45. Hi Chungah,

    The recipe looks delicious and healthy at the same time. I am allergic to gluten so can I use the gluten free pasta instead of the orzo pasta you mentioned?

  46. Can this be frozen?

  47. This is the BEST noodle soup I’ve ever had. The turkey meatballs are so good I even make them as a main dinner course. Thank you for the recipe!

  48. Can leftovers be frozen?

  49. This the best soup! My family loves it! I use ground turkey, bake the meatballs and use almost double the amount of orzo. Thank you for the recipe!

  50. Can I ask–what is the reason for using chicken stock instead of chicken broth? Are there large differences? Can they be interchanged?

  51. Could basmati rice be substituted for orzo?

  52. What instant pit do you use? I’m looking for one!

  53. This soup was wonderful.  Truly one of my all-time favorite soup recipes!

  54. This is in regular rotation in my house. Just made a batch…makes me so happy!

  55. I made this soup tonight. It was really good and definitely a keeper! 

  56. Delicious…..Delicious…Delicious…! This recipe is awesome, thanks for sharing.

  57. mmmmmnmmmmmm……damn delicious! THANK YOU for a fantastic recipe.

  58. Making this now, but it’s 85 degrees here in Tampa. I’m pretty sure it won’t affect the taste! This girl just wanted soup!

  59. This is sooo good. Since we won’t eat it all right away I put the orzo in a separate container to mix right before serving all week! Otherwise it puffs up on me usually! This is a new favorite, thanks for so many great recipes!

  60. I made this for lunch this week and it is absolutely AMAZING! I ended up with about 30 small meatballs, but I baked mine in the oven on a baking sheet for 30 minutes before adding them to the soup. I am considering making another batch this weekend because I am so obsessed.

  61. Made a double batch of this last night. My 12 year old even commented on how wonderful the flavor was of the broth. Everything was spotspot on!

  62. Hi Chungah!

    I just made this recipe last night, and it was bomb <3 Even my "I'm not a soup person" husband ate. it. ALL.

    Just a quick question: Where did you get those soup bowls? LOVE them!

  63. just to clarify…..are the meatballs supposed to cooked all the way through at first or is it supposed to be raw in the inside when we add it to the soup?

  64. Made this today and we really, really enjoyed it.  I made it with dried thyme leaves — but looking at your soup you probably used ground thyme?  I doubled the recipe — and used only 1 lemon as it was fairly large — really liked that in the soup.  This is my new chicken noodle soup recipe!  Thank you!


  65. This recipe was amazing!! Those chicken meatballs are to die for! I had a question about the serving size though. In the post it says it serves 4 and in a comment you said a serving size is 1- 1 1/2 cups. Wouldn’t that be sound 6-8 servings since you add 8 cups of broth? I’m asking because I’m doing weight watchers and want to make sure I have my points correct 🙂

  66. Is the rosemary chopped?

  67. I was looking this over and can’t wait to make it. I was wondering why there isn’t a beaten egg in the meatball ingredients? Won’t the meatballs fall apart without a binder? Also, can you suggest a substitute for the orzo ? I can never find it at my store. Thank you!

    • The meatballs should not fall apart without an egg but you can always add a beaten egg to suit your preferences. You can substitute another type of short-cut pasta that is readily available at your grocery store.

  68. This was amazing. My picky husband kept telling me how I’d seasoned everything perfectly when, in fact, I just followed the recipe. I’m a pretty so-so cook, but you always make me look like a rock star! Thanks.

  69. What is Panko? I live in Sydney, Australia and don’t know this ingredient. Oh and its 100F here today, and yesterday and probably tomorrow too!

  70. You weren’t lying about these chicken meatballs- they are seriously amazing! I’m already trying to figure out what other meals I can incorporate then in. Excellent receipt, perfect for a cold, rainy day!

  71. I made this last night and it was AMAZING. Next time I’ll make a larger batch of meatballs to freeze for other recipes.
    Wonder if anyone has done the math to figure out how many WW points are in a serving of the soup?

  72. …and how long would you bake the meatballs. Would that be at 350?

  73. I just finished eating this!!!  Oh my goodness, it is delicious!  My husband and I loved the meatballs! The only change I made was 1/2 a lemon, instead of a whole.  Your spices were perfect!  This recipe is going in my favorites!  Thank you so much!

  74. Interesting kind of soup, really. Don’t remember seeing a meatball soup before, will make it for sure!

  75. My husband walked in and the first thing he said was it smells amazing in here, I can’t wait to eat that! The aromatics alone are enough for me to want to cook this but I love the taste as well ( even with the missing bay leaves that I was sure I had at home LOL). I seriously need to get it together and buy your cookbook.

  76. Can you use ground turkey in place of the chicken? Looks delicious!

  77. Love the recipe, thanks for sharing.
    I had to laugh when you said it was 56 degrees F where you are and it is cold haaa haaa haa, I was not sure if you were kidding or not?
    Right now where I live in Canada it is 41 Degrees F, and that is considered nice and warm, light jacket or sweater weather 🙂

  78. Not crazy about ground chicken, do you think you could sub pork?

  79. How much is a serving this looks absolutely amazing

  80. Yummy!! This looks amazing. This is a dumb question … could I use ground turkey instead of ground chicken?

  81. Hi! Is there any way you could post the nutrition facts? Calories, macros that sort of thing? This looks amazing!

    • Hi Julie! Nutritional information is actually provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  82. How about using cauliflower rice instead of orzo? 

  83. To make it dairy free shall I substitute bread crumbs for Parmesan in the meatballs or just omit the cheese?

  84. Hi Chungah,

    Thanks for the chuckle this afternoon. It’s a balmy -22 here in New Brunswick Canada, and we’re heading out for a walk with all 3 dogs; gotta love geographical comparisons hey! Soup looks amazing, just what we need for this weekend.

  85. Looks great – is there a calorie count for this? Thanks

    • Hi Laura! Nutritional information is actually provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  86. This soup looks so warm and cozy for a winter day!


  87. Could the meatballs be baked instead of fried?