How Long Does Canned Chicken Noodle Soup Last

Ingredients for Canning Chicken Soup

This tested canning recipe for chicken soup is adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Home Canning.

What you’ll need to make 4 quarts (or 8 pints) of homemade canned chicken soup is:

  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • One three-pound cooked chicken, chopped, makes about three cups.
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped (roughly 3 stalks)
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (roughly 3 medium)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (1 large)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Since the recipe calls for “hot packing,” all of the ingredients must first be added to a stock pot and heated to a boil for a few minutes before being divided equally among the canning jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace.

Although this recipe calls for a little more chicken stock than you actually need, it’s always preferable to have a little extra in the pot than run out. In reality, you need a bit more than 3 quarts.

The recipe found in the Blue Book is nearly the same as what you would get if you used the USDA’s “choose your own adventure” soup canning recipe. I’ve described that procedure below, giving you the freedom to alter the ingredients to your liking by adding or removing vegetables as needed.

Canning Times for Chicken Soup

For this chicken soup recipe, the original Ball Blue Book Recipe calls for canning times of 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts. For broth-based soups like this one, the USDA’s general soup canning recipe calls for 60 minutes for pints and 75 minutes for quarts.

Since I was using their tried-and-true recipe, I chose the more cautious ball blue book timings. If you prefer a soup with a little bit less broth, you can fill the jars slightly more than halfway if you wish. The additional canning time does not appear to affect the soup’s quality.

No matter the elevation, the canning time stays constant, but above 1,000 feet, the pressure needed varies.

For dial gauge pressure canners:

  • 0 to 2,000 feet in elevation – 11 lbs pressure
  • 2,001 to 4,000 feet in elevation – 12 lbs pressure
  • 4,001 to 6,000 feet in elevation – 13 lbs pressure
  • 6,001 to 8,000 feet in elevation – 14 lbs pressure

For weighted gauge pressure canners:

  • 0 to 1,000 feet in elevation – 10 lbs pressure
  • Above 1,000 feet – 15 lbs pressure

Make Your Own Chicken Soup Recipe

The basic components of chicken soup are a rich chicken broth and the following ingredients:

  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Salt, Pepper and Dry Spices of your choice

Personally, I can’t stand celery, so I don’t use it. That’s not a problem at all, as you’re almost always able to omit ingredients in soup canning recipes. This particular soup canning recipe is based on the USDA’s “Your Choice Soup Recipe” which allows you to make soup out of almost anything that has it’s own canning recipe.

Since every ingredient in this canning recipe is safe to can on its own, using it in this general soup recipe is acceptable.

The key point is that the soup’s “solids” can only partially fill the jar when made with this canning-approved recipe. Broth fills the remaining jar, making it ideal for making chicken soup.

It’s simple to schedule a batch because you can add any solids you want to fill the jar halfway. I’ll be canning in quart jars, adding the following to each quart:

  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion

If you’re using celery, you can add that too. The key is to add a total of 2 cups of solids to each quart jar.

Chicken broth, either homemade or purchased from the store, fills the remaining space in the jar. To get the shredded chicken for this recipe, I usually roast whole chickens, and I use the bones to make my own chicken broth.

Bullion cubes and store-bought broth both function well, but be mindful of their salt content as they are typically highly salted.

You’ll also need about 3 cups of chicken broth for every quart. Although each jar holds a total of five cups, the solids don’t occupy the entire space. “Two cups of solids” still leave room in the crevices for one cup of chicken stock.

In summary, you will need the following for each quart jar of homemade canned chicken soup:

  • 1 cup chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Just substitute other veggies or extra chicken to make up the difference if you don’t like any of the vegetables, like I don’t like celery. Either way, the solids should total 2 cups.

(If canning in pints, you’ll need half as much.)

Once you have your ingredients assembled, prepare your pressure canner. Next, combine all the ingredients in a pot with the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. After 5 minutes of cooking, use a slotted spoon to partially fill the jars with solids.

Top with broth, leaving 1 inch headspace.

After assembling your ingredients, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get your pressure canner ready for the hot pack. Typically, this entails adding the bottom trivet and a few inches of water, then simmering it.

Prepare the soup for hot pack by chopping all ingredients. Peel and chop the carrots, dice the onions and celery.

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture for five to ten minutes, or until it is thoroughly heated.

Evenly divide the solids among 4 quart or 8 pint jars using a slotted spoon. Place a 1-inch headspace of broth on top, then cover with two-part canning lids.

After adjusting for altitude, process the jars in a pressure canner for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts (see below).

After the canning process is finished, let the canner come to room temperature naturally before taking the jars out.

Verify the seals, and put any jars that aren’t sealed in the refrigerator right away. When properly canned and sealed, jars will keep their best qualities for up to 18 months on the pantry shelf. As long as they’re sealed, they can even be consumed later. Refrigerate after opening.

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