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Food Hack: Campbells Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup

We do things a bit differently here at Spiffle! Where most blogs about food go into a long, rambly personal history with the product or dish, I’m going to save that for after the recipe, which we’re going to dive into right away.


Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup Upgrade

This upgrade on a condensed can of soup brings in some vegetables, more chicken, a lot more flavour, and an unami hit from the grated parmesan.

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2 people
  • Calories 325 kcal


  • 1 Can Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 1 Carrot, finely slicked into disks
  • 50g Grilled Chicken Breast, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 Green Onion, diced
  • 15g Fresh Grated Parmesan


  1. Prep your veggies first, by thinly slicing your carrot stick (I use a mandolin for quick work), and dicing up the green onion.
  2. Dice up your pre-cooked chicken breast into 1cm cubes, or make them random, small bite sizes.
  3. Open the can, add the condensed soup to a soup pot and add another can of cold water.
  4. Add carrots and chicken to the soup and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Midway through cooking, add the diced green onions. Stir occasionally.
  6. Bring the soup to a low boil, then remove from heat.
  7. Measure out the soup to two bowls, and sprinkle 7-8g of grated parmesan on each, then serve.

Additional Notes

You can purchase pre-grilled chicken breast strips and cut them up for this recipe, but what I do is buy a big box of chicken breasts, season them up and grill them on the BBQ, then portion and freeze them for use in salads, soups, quick sandwiches and more. You can also do this with boneless chicken thighs, which give even more flavour. Because you want the carrots to be soft and flavourful, add them at the start of the cooking; the onions can wait until half way through. Try other veggies as well, including diced peppers, shredded parsnips or turnips, and others. The key is to keep the sizes small so they cook in the short soup heating time.

Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup

thin sliced carrots (yellow)

green onion

grilled chicken

Background on this Soup Hack

Two soups I grew up with were both from Campbells: Chicken Noodle Soup and Tomato Soup. My Mum would serve them each at least twice a week for either lunch (with a sandwich) or dinner (as a starter). I had so much of both I thought they ran through my veins.

Indeed, I had so much growing up that I completely avoided both products through my 20s and my 30s. But after my Mother died, I started reminiscing and remembering all things good and bad (almost no bad) regarding her, and eventually I got back to the soup. Had a can of the Chicken Noodle, and it immediately transported me back to my childhood.

I did love the memory more than the taste though, especially with the chicken noodle soup. So I started experimenting with it to see if I could turn it a bit culinary.

One thing seems to have changed since my youth: Campbells puts less chicken bites in the soup these days. So that needed remedying.

The Chicken

I like having chicken on hand for a lot of different dishes, from Caesar Salads, to quick stir fries, from a quick lunch sandwich to adding chicken crumble to a home made pizza, so for years now, I do a big buy of good quality, Vancouver Island raised chicken meats (breasts, thighs, etc) sometimes bone and skin in, sometimes boneless, and I do a big cook of them on the barbeque. They get a good seasoning (olive oil, fresh woody herbs, paprika, onion and garlic powder) and get grilled up en masses. 

Then I flash freeze them on baking pans in the freezer, before bagging them up for use over the next several months. If I want some chicken on a salad, I take a breast out, give it a 3 minute microwave defrost to slightly thaw it, slice it up for salad, and let it rest for another 30 minutes or so as it fully thaws out but stays cold. If I want a chicken breast sandwich, It gets a full microwave thaw, followed by a flash heat in a pan with olive oil before hitting the bread.

For this soup, I take a breast out, thaw it slightly and cut up half of it for the soup (other half goes in the fridge for another use). I cut it down to about 1cm cubes for soup.

The Veggies

I hate to say it, but the best chicken noodle soup from a can I’ve ever had is the Wolfgang Puck Organic Chicken Noodle Soup (it’s amazing). It uses broad noodles, has a lot more chicken, and has carrots, red peppers and green onions. I took the carrots and green onions from the Puck soup, and added them to my own Campbells Soup hack. The trick is, your veg has to be thin or small enough to cook properly in the short cooking time for the soup. 


Campbell’s puts way too much sodium in their soups as it is, so I add nothing extra. But I do add a bit of fresh ground pepper. My main seasoning boost comes from the grated parmesan at the serving time. Parm adds a real unami taste boost to the soup that takes it to another level. You don’t need much – 5-10g per serving.

Well that’s the recipe. Tell me what you think in the comments below!



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