10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Chicken Soup


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You can sink your spoon into a wide range of hearty soups at popular restaurant chains across the country—from broccoli cheddar and Zuppa Toscana to baked potato and tomato bisque and beyond—but nothing quite hits the spot like a steamy bowl of chicken soup. That rich, cozy broth is the very definition of umami.

Humans have simmered chickens to make soup for thousands of years, and it’s hard to imagine a future without it. Whether you want something soothing to eat when you’re sick or would like to warm up quickly after being out in cold weather, chicken soup has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes people want to enjoy it over and over again.

Of course, the best chicken soup is homemade, but that takes time and energy, both of which may be in short supply, especially when you’re hungry. Thankfully, many restaurant chains whip up satisfying renditions of this classic soup, some of which taste just as good as homemade. Even better? Some restaurants even put their own fun spin on the recipe, ensuring that diners never get bored.

From a highly slurpable broth made with shredded rotisserie-style chicken to an inventive twist containing gnocchi instead of egg noodles, here are 10 restaurant chains that serve the best chicken soup.

person holding panera chicken noodle soup
Panera Bread / Facebook

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup (1 bowl): 100 cal, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1280 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 9 g protein

As it turns out, Panera excels at more than just sandwiches and salads. Beyond its applause-worthy Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich and Green Goddess Cobb Salad, the highly popular chain also offers a wide range of soups, including everything from its iconic broccoli cheddar soup to its seasonal vegetarian autumn butternut squash soup.

Another standout option is the homestyle chicken noodle soup, made with tender pieces of white chicken perfectly prepared in a rich, seasoned broth with egg noodles, chopped carrots, celery, and herbs. Enjoy it with a piece of freshly baked bread, and you’re good to go.

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culvers chicken noodle soup
Tara A. / Yelp

Chicken Noodle Soup (Medium): 130 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1190 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

It’s easy only to associate this Wisconsin-founded restaurant chain with pan-seared burgers and fresh frozen custard—that’s what it’s known for, after all. However, the popular fast-food joint also offers excellent chicken noodle soup. Served in the restaurant’s recognizable blue and white packaging, this fragrant broth is simmered with tender white meat chicken, thick plank-like noodles, and an assortment of veggies like celery and carrots. Order it with grilled cheese, a beef pot roast sandwich, or a cranberry bacon bleu salad for a satisfying meal.

noodles and company chicken noodle soup
Noodles & Company

Chicken Noodle Soup (1 order): 360 cal, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 2320 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (2 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 30 g protein

With the word “noodles” in its name, you should probably expect a top-tier chicken noodle soup from this Colorado-based chain. Available in full or side-order size, Noodles & Company’s signature soup is prepared with grilled chicken breast, wavy egg noodles, and chopped celery, onions, and carrots. If it is ordered as a side, it also comes with oyster crackers that add some extra crunch to it.

“I honestly think their chicken noodle soup is the best, but that’s me because I am a soup lover,” one Yelp reviewer shared. “However, I highly recommend this place. Their food is delicious, and [it’s] a family-friendly environment.”

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au bon pain chicken noodle soup
Au Bon Pain / Facebook

Chicken Noodle Soup (medium): 120 cal, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1030 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 8 g protein

This casual Texas-based cafe chain sells a wide variety of items that make great choices for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here, customers can expect dishes like Napa chicken with avocado wraps, egg white and cheddar breakfast sandwiches, and, of course, soup.

Although the spot carries eight different choices—from baked potato soup to Italian wedding soup—one that always hits the spot is its soul-warming chicken noodle soup. Made with hearty chicken breast, this pick features perfectly seasoned chicken broth, tender egg noodles, and chopped carrots, onions, and celery. It’s a basic chicken noodle soup recipe that’s done exceptionally well.

olive garden chicken and gnocchi soup bowl
Olive Garden/Facebook

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup (1 order): 230 cal, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 1290 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein

Never-ending soup, salad, and breadsticks, anyone? The colossal Italian-American dining chain, which has over 900 locations worldwide, makes a chicken soup unlike any other. For starters, this soup doesn’t use traditional egg noodles but gnocchi instead. The Italian pasta dumplings give this soup extra heft. The broth is also creamier than a traditional chicken soup and includes cooked spinach in place of carrots and celery.

For those already a fan of Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup that may want to try out some other flavors, there’s also the Zuppa Toscana, which features spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale, and russet potatoes, and the pasta e fagioli, which incorporates white and red beans, savory ground beef, fresh tomatoes, and tube-shaped pasta.

RELATED: Why Olive Garden Is Seeing Record Sales Right Now

chick fil-a chicken noodle soup
Chick-fil-A

Chicken Noodle Soup (1 cup): 170 cal, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1220 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

Chick-fil-A is considered one of the best places to pick up fried chicken, so it only makes sense the buzzy fast-food chain makes a chicken noodle soup that’s also top-notch. Sold in a cup or bowl, the restaurant’s option is whipped up using shredded Chick-fil-A chicken breast (score), chopped carrots, diced celery, and egg noodles; all simmered in a clear chicken broth. Each order comes with a side of saltine crackers that are great for dipping or crumbling.

Although Chick-fil-A follows a pretty standard recipe for chicken noodle soup (no gnocchi or creamy broth here), it’s still an excellent choice for customers looking for a warm dish that deviates away from the brand’s usual offerings.

cafe zupas chicken noodle soup
Cafe Zupas / Facebook

Chicken Noodle (Half): 130 cal, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 950 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein

Cafe Zupas translates to “soup cafe,” so it’s pretty much a given that it’s going to have some pretty excellent soups. The restaurant chain has over 55 locations throughout eight states and focuses on creating scratch-made meals using only the best ingredients. Its menu is packed with a long list of innovative options, including pumpkin chorizo soup, mushroom bisque, chickpea and vegetable soup, and a mind-blowing macaroni and cheese “soup” that’s made with egg noodles and a creamy, cheesy cauliflower base.

If you want something more traditional, try out the chicken noodle soup made with juicy grilled chicken, chopped carrots, diced celery, egg noodles, fragrant herbs and spices, and warm chicken broth. The chain points out on its website that this option is dairy-free and low-calorie, making it a good choice for those who may be lactose-intolerant or want a lighter meal.

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boston market chicken noodle soup
Jamie R. / Yelp

Chicken Noodle Soup (13.9 oz): 230 cal, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 1300 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 20 g protein

When thinking about Boston Market’s chicken noodle soup, one word comes to mind: wow. What differentiates Boston Market’s chicken noodle soup from the others on this list is that it’s made with shredded all-natural rotisserie chicken breast—yes, the chain’s iconic rotisserie chicken makes a welcome appearance in it. The soup also showcases dumpling-style noodles, giving this dish more substance, as well as various garden vegetables, including carrots and celery, and a rich chicken broth full of flavor.

Perfect as a side or a main dish, Boston Market’s savory chicken noodle soup was one of my fast-food chain soup go-tos growing up, and, to this day, I’m still a fan.

pret a manger turmeric chicken farro soup
DoorDash

Turmeric Chicken & Farro Soup (Small): 160 cal, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 900 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 14 g protein

Pret a Manger is the place to go if you’re looking for a fast-casual chain that serves homemade recipes that don’t skimp out on flavor. Known for its artisanal menu offerings—ham and cheddar croissant, anyone?—the café also carries a range of soups that hit the spot. One must-have is its turmeric chicken and farro option, which can be ordered in a small or large. The restaurant’s own twist on traditional chicken soup is made with ingredients like carrots, celery, and onions, then blended with turmeric, ginger spices, and herbs.

“Niche tweet, but Pret a Manger’s turmeric chicken and farro soup is absolutely perfect,” wrote one customer on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It even comes with soup toppers!! Croutons, lemon, and cilantro?!”

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cheesecake factory mexican tortilla soup
The Cheesecake Factory / Facebook

Tortilla Soup (cup): 290 cal, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1010 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 10 g protein

The Cheesecake Factory has become iconic for its affordable entrées, indulgent sides, and, well, cheesecake, but it’s the Mexican chicken and tortilla soup that shouldn’t be overlooked. Available to order daily, the chain uses a combination of green bell pepper, garlic, chile powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper to prepare a flavorful dish that’s then sprinkled with crispy tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime before serving.

“I’ve never been a big soup person myself,” one former Cheese Factory employee shared on X, “but when I worked at Cheesecake Factory, the Mexican tortilla soup on Tuesdays was the beesssttt by far.”





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