These Asian Chicken Zucchini Noodle Instant Soup Jars are the perfect make ahead healthy lunch. I like to meal prep them for the workweek during the colder months so we have something hot to eat at lunchtime. You make your own chicken soup base with plenty of fresh ginger. Then it’s cooled and added to a jar with zucchini noodles. And from there you add boiling water to serve just like the classic instant soup so many of us grew up with. Only this version is packed with veggies with no processed ingredients, and it’s gluten free.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1” cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces, 1 1/2 cups
1 – 14 ounce onion, diced into 1/2” pieces, 3 cups
4 stalks of celery, diced into 1/2” pieces, 1 1/2 cups
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup coconut aminos, tamari, or gluten free soy sauce
1/2 Teaspoon red chili flakes, see notes
4 cups chicken broth/stock, homemade is best if you can
1 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, see notes
3–4 zucchini, ends trimmed, 1 1/2 pounds
Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil along with the chicken. Sauté until the chicken is done in the middle, then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the carrots, onion, and celery. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the veggies until they begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
Then add the ginger and garlic, stir and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chili flakes, coconut aminos, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
Continue to cook the chicken stock mixture until it’s reduced by about half, about 30 minutes.
While the chicken stock mixture is reducing, spiralize the zucchini into noodles with the smallest blade to create spaghetti like noodles. I used the 3mm blade on the Paderno spiralizer.
When the soup base has been reduced, add the chicken back to the pan, and then turn the heat off. You should have about 7 cups of the concentrated soup base. Stir in the salt, or salt to taste later when you’re ready to eat the soup.
Portion out the soup base into jars of your choice. For 1-quart mason jars I add 1 cup of the soup base, 2 cups of zucchini noodles, and then refrigerate. If the soup base is steaming hot, portion it out and refrigerate briefly before topping it with the zucchini noodles.
To serve the soup, add 2 cups of boiling water to the jar, let it sit about 5 minutes, season to taste with sea salt, and enjoy.
For 1-pint mason jars, add 1/2 cup soup base, 1 cup zucchini noodles, and then refrigerate. To serve, add 1 cup boiling water, let the soup sit about 5 minutes, season to taste with sea salt, and enjoy.
Repeat the portioning out process until all the soup base and zucchini noodles have been used. I made 4 quart jars and 6 pint jars of soup with this recipe.
If you don’t want to make instant soup jars, skip the reducing process and just simmer the soup for 5-10 minutes before adding the zucchini noodles. Cook just until the zucchini noodles are tender, about 3 minutes, and serve.
If I know I’m keeping this soup in the fridge and not serving it right away, I remove it from the heat and add the zucchini noodles. Then I portion it out into containers and refrigerate it to be heated up later. Then way the zucchini noodles aren’t overcooked.
The amount of chili flakes called for makes for a little warmth to the soup, but it’s not at all spicy. Feel free to add more if you like a bit of heat.
When you add salt to the base after it’s been reduced, it should be quite salty because you’re going to be adding water later. Feel free to add what you’d like, you can always salt the soup to taste later after you add the boiling water.
I wrote this recipe using chicken thighs and store bought chicken stock for convenience. But if you have the time to start with a whole chicken, and make homemade broth, by all means go for it – you will definitely be rewarded by how awesome it tastes!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Asian
Keywords: Asian Zucchini Noodle Soup, Chicken Zoodle Recipes, Zucchini Noodle Soup, Instant Soup Jars