Ina Garten Was Inspired to Make Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup During the Pandemic — Get Her Recipe

The Go-To Dinners cookbook author turns store-bought ramen into an "easy and delicious" chicken noodle soup

PEOPLE FOOD - 11/28 Issue - Ina Garten - Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist Christina Daley
Photo: Victor Protasio

Even Ina Garten looked for cooking hacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When the pandemic started, we all stocked our pantries. I bought some ramen noodles on one of those shopping trips, and one day I discovered they make an easy and delicious addition to chicken soup," says the celebrity chef.

The food star shares the soup and other easy meals in her new Go-To Dinners cookbook. Garten wrote the title during the height of the pandemic when, like many, she was exhausted from making all three meals a day for herself and her husband, Jeffrey.

Ina Garten (L) and Jeffrey Garten attend Disney's 'Mary Poppins Returns' World Premiere at the Dolby Theatre on November 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

"My new book Go-To Dinners came out of being in lockdown and having to cook all the time!" she told PEOPLE when the cookbook was announced in March. "I found easier ways to make delicious dinners with make-ahead, prep-ahead, freeze-ahead recipes plus 'two-fers' — cooking one dish that becomes something totally different the next night."

One of those easier ways to make this delicious dinner is to use shredded leftover chicken instead of cooking the chicken breasts, according to Garten.

Ina Garten's Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup

2 (13 oz.) bone-in, skin-on chicken split breasts

4 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil, divided

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1½ cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 large onion)

2 cups (½-in.-thick) sliced carrots (from 3 medium carrots, scrubbed)

3 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. minced garlic (from 3 cloves)

10 cups chicken stock

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 (3-oz.) pkg. instant ramen noodles (discard the flavor packet)

2 (4 oz. each) baby bok choy, leaves separated, trimmed and cleaned

6 scallions, sliced diagonally

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet, skin-side up. Rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until internal temperature reaches 165°, for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes; discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat into large pieces. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium low. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add carrots; cook, stirring occasionally until slightly tender, 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer; cook undisturbed for 10 minutes.

3. Add shredded chicken and soy sauce, adding more as desired. Increase heat to medium high, and add noodles. Cut bok choy in ½-inch-thick diagonal slices, and add only the stems to soup. Cook undisturbed until noodles and bok choy are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bok choy leaves and scallions; serve hot.

Serves: 6
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Quick tip! "To prep ahead or freeze, make the soup up to adding the noodles, bok choy and scallions [in step 3]," says Garten. "When ready to serve, reheat the soup, add the last three ingredients and serve hot."

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