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How long does homemade chicken noodle soup keep in the fridge?

Homemade chicken noodle soup can be a delicious and comforting meal that is simple to prepare. However, like all homemade foods, it’s important to store and reheat it properly to prevent bacteria growth and foodborne illness. Here is a detailed guide on how long homemade chicken noodle soup will last in the fridge and how to store it safely.

Quick Answer

Generally, homemade chicken noodle soup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days when stored properly in airtight containers. The shelf life depends on a few factors like the quality of the ingredients and how it was handled during cooking. Soup with lots of meat and vegetables may spoil faster. Follow proper refrigeration and food safety practices, and consume the soup within 3-4 days for best quality and safety.

How Long Does Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Last in the Fridge?

Homemade soups and stocks have a shorter shelf life than commercial canned soups, but they can still last 3-4 days when stored correctly in the refrigerator. Here are some guidelines for fridge times of homemade chicken noodle soup:

  • Soup made with chicken pieces, meat stock: 3-4 days
  • Soup made with ground chicken or turkey: 3-4 days
  • Vegetable only soup: 4-5 days

The shelf life depends on several factors:

  • Ingredients used: Meat, poultry, and vegetables have shorter shelf lives than broths and clear noodles. Avoid adding dairy products like milk, cream, or cheese which can sour quickly.
  • Handling during cooking: Observe proper kitchen hygiene when cooking the soup to prevent introducing bacteria. Don’t let ingredients sit at room temperature for over 2 hours before cooking.
  • Storage container: Use clean, airtight containers and cover the soup properly for fridge storage. Don’t overfill containers.
  • Refrigerator temperature: Store at 40°F or below. Higher temperatures allow faster bacteria growth.
  • Exposure to air and multiple openings: Repeatedly warming up and cooling the soup reduces its shelf life. Use clean utensils each time.

How to Tell if Chicken Noodle Soup Has Gone Bad

Rely on your senses to check homemade chicken noodle soup for signs of spoilage before eating:

  • Appearance: Mold growth, sliminess, or cloudiness are bad signs.
  • Smell: Foul, rancid, or unpleasant odors mean the soup has spoiled.
  • Texture: Extremely thick texture or globby noodles indicate bacterial overgrowth.
  • Flavors: Strange flavors like extreme sourness, bitterness, or mushy vegetables are problematic.

Always discard homemade soups that are past their prime or show any odd changes in appearance, smell, or taste. Don’t taste questionable soups. When in doubt, throw it out.

How to Store Chicken Noodle Soup

Proper storage is key to maximizing the shelf life of homemade chicken noodle soup. Follow these tips:

  • Refrigerate the soup within 1-2 hours of cooking. Don’t let it sit at room temperature.
  • Store in clean airtight containers, leaving about 1 inch headspace. Avoid overfilling.
  • Let the soup cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Hot soup can raise fridge temperature and bacteria risk.
  • If storing for over 2-3 days, consider freezing individual portions for longer shelf life.
  • Place containers on lower fridge shelves at 40°F or below. Use oldest portions first.
  • Avoid repeated warm-ups and cool-downs. This accelerates quality deterioration.

Can You Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?

Freezing is a great way to preserve homemade chicken noodle soup for several months. Here are some freezing tips:

  • Cool the soup completely before freezing.
  • Store in airtight containers or freezer bags, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Portion into small containers for quick thawing and single servings.
  • Label bags with soup name and freeze date.
  • Consume within 2-3 months for best quality and taste.
  • Avoid repeated freezer and thaw cycles. Thaw in fridge before reheating.

How to Reheat Chicken Noodle Soup

When reheating leftover chicken noodle soup, bring it up to safe minimum temperature quickly to prevent bacterial overgrowth. Here are some reheating guidelines:

  • Stovetop: Heat gently over medium-low heat, stirring often until steaming hot.
  • Microwave: Heat individual portions in covered microwave-safe bowls for 2-3 minutes until 165°F.
  • Oven: Bake chilled soup in oven-safe bowls at 350°F until hot, 15-20 minutes.
  • Do not just let the soup sit at room temperature or do slow warm-ups below 140°F.
  • Only reheat once for food safety. Discard after reheating.

Take care not to boil noodles when reheating, as they can turn mushy. Check temperature with a food thermometer to ensure the soup reaches food safe 165°F or above before eating.

Signs Your Chicken Noodle Soup Has Gone Bad After Reheating

Be alert to signs of spoiled soup even after reheating previously refrigerated or frozen portions. Do not consume soups that show:

  • Odd colors or extensive discoloration
  • Mold growth
  • Curdled appearance or separation
  • Off smells
  • Ropiness, sliminess, mushiness
  • Loss of flavor, rancid taste

Discard immediately if reheated soup seems spoiled in any way. Do not taste questionable soups.

Food Safety Tips

Practice food safety at all stages for delicious homemade soup that stays safe:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients before expiration dates.
  • Wash vegetables, sanitize utensils and surfaces before cooking.
  • Cook soup thoroughly until boiling, 165°F minimum.
  • Cool quickly in shallow containers before refrigerating.
  • Divide into small containers for fridge storage.
  • Store in the back of the fridge at 40°F or below.
  • Label and track fridge times for 3-4 day optimal quality.
  • Freeze for longer storage if needed.
  • Reheat fully to 165°F. Check temperature with a food thermometer.
  • Observe if soup shows any odd changes in appearance, smell or taste after storing or reheating before consuming.


Homemade chicken noodle soup can stay fresh in the fridge for approximately 3-4 days when handled properly. Keep it stored at 40°F or below in airtight containers. Portioning into smaller containers can help maximize shelf life. Freezing also extends the storage time to 2-3 months. Reheat the soup quickly and thoroughly before eating for food safety. With proper care in cooking, storage, and reheating, homemade chicken noodle soup can be enjoyed for several days without risk of bacterial growth or foodborne illness.

Type of Chicken Noodle Soup Refrigerator Shelf Life
Soup with chicken pieces, meat stock 3-4 days
Soup with ground chicken or turkey 3-4 days
Vegetable-only soup 4-5 days
Storage Method Chicken Noodle Soup Shelf Life
Refrigeration 3-4 days
Freezer 2-3 months
Reheating Method Instructions
Stovetop Gently reheat over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until steaming hot.
Microwave Heat individual portions in covered bowls for 2-3 minutes until 165°F.
Oven Bake chilled soup in oven-safe bowls at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until hot.