How Long Does Chicken Noodle Soup Last In The Fridge?

As someone who loves having a container of soup readily available in the refrigerator for a quick lunch or dinner, I’ve done some research into proper food safety guidelines for storing homemade chicken noodle soup. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about how long does chicken noodle soup last in the fridge before it should be discarded, along with some tips for maximizing its shelf life so you can enjoy those comforting leftovers for as long as possible.

The Importance of Proper Storage for Freshness and Safety

The Importance of Proper Storage for Freshness and Safety

Improper storage can lead to spoiled soup pretty quickly. And no one wants to deal with food poisoning! So what’s the key? Two words: cold temperature. Bacteria thrive at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F (4°C and 60°C). To keep chicken noodle soup safe and fresh, it must be kept at 40°F or below.

By promptly refrigerating or freezing leftovers, we prevent bacteria from multiplying rapidly. This slows spoilage and protects us from foodborne illnesses. It’s that simple! Proper cooling and refrigeration gives us more time to enjoy leftovers safely.

Factors Affecting the Shelf Life

Many variables affect how long chicken noodle soup will last. Let’s look at some key factors:

Ingredients: Freshness Matters

Homemade soup starts with fresh ingredients, so it won’t keep as long as canned, pre-made soup. The quality of the ingredients also matters. For instance, a soup with cooked chicken pieces will last longer than one with raw chicken that was just added to hot broth.

In general, homemade chicken noodle with fully cooked ingredients will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. Soups with raw ingredients won’t last as long after cooking.

Storage Methods: Airtight Containers & Correct Temps

How you store leftover soup makes a big difference! First, use airtight, food-safe containers. This prevents moisture loss and keeps out contaminants. Glass and plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work great. You can also use resealable plastic bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing.

Next, refrigerate promptly at 40°F or below. Keep soup towards the back of the fridge, not on the door where temps fluctuate. If reheating a portion, don’t let it sit at room temperature more than 2 hours before putting it back in the fridge.

Temperature Fluctuations

Frequent temperature changes shorten shelf life. Each time soup warms up to room temp then cools again, bacteria have a chance to multiply. This speeds up spoilage. Storing soup in a consistently cold fridge will make it last longer. If you’re thawing frozen soup, do so in the fridge or microwave, not at room temperature. And avoid letting it thaw then re-freeze.

The Shelf Life of Chicken Noodle Soup

Now let’s look at how long chicken noodle soup keeps in the fridge based on preparation method.

For Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Cooked: 3-5 days
  • Uncooked: 5-7 days

Homemade soup with already cooked chicken and vegetables will last 3-5 days. If made with raw chicken or vegetables that get cooked in the broth, it stores slightly longer at 5-7 days. Either way, homemade chicken noodle soup won’t last over a week. If you want it to keep longer, freeze it right after cooking and cooling.

For Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Unopened: 2-3 years (check expiration date)
  • Opened: 3-5 days

Thanks to canning and preservatives, unopened canned soup has an incredibly long shelf life of 2-3 years! But once opened, canned chicken noodle should be eaten within 3-5 days.

For Frozen Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Commercial: Follow package instructions
  • Homemade: 2-3 months for optimal quality

Commercially packaged frozen soups will have a use-by date printed on the label. For best results, consume frozen homemade soup within 2-3 months.

Assessing Chicken Noodle Soup Freshness

Okay, but how do you know when it’s spoiled? Here are tips for assessing chicken noodle soup freshness:

  • Check appearance – There shouldn’t be any mold growing. The broth should look clear and free of particles.
  • Give it a sniff – You’ll know right away by the smell if it’s bad! Rancid or sour odors mean throw it out.
  • Taste test – If anything smells or looks off, don’t even taste it! But a small spoonful can reassure you it’s still good.

Go by your senses. And remember – when in doubt, throw it out! Safety first.

Signs Your Chicken Noodle Soup Has Spoiled

Watch for these clear signs that chicken noodle soup has gone bad:

  • Foul smell – Unpleasant odors like sulfur, rotten eggs, or garbage are red flags. Trust your nose!
  • Mold – Fuzzy spots or film on the surface signal mold growth. Do not eat!
  • Weird texture – Extremely thick broth, slimy consistency, or curdled appearance equals a spoiled soup.
  • Discoloration – Some soups get darker when frozen, but unnatural colors like green, blue, or black indicate spoilage.
  • Yeasty tastes – A fermented flavor can mean yeast or bacteria is breaking down soup components. Time to say goodbye!

When you spot these spoiled soup warning signs, say bye to the bowl and make a fresh batch.

Tips for Extending the Shelf Life

Want your homemade chicken noodle soup to last as long as possible? Here are helpful tips:

  • Cool it quickly – Don’t store hot soup! Cool it to room temp within 2 hours, then refrigerate promptly. Quick cooling inhibits bacteria.
  • Portion control – Divide soup into small containers instead of one huge pot. This prevents repeated reheating of a big batch.
  • Avoid cross-contamination – Use clean utensils and containers. Store soup away from raw meat that could pass on bacteria.

Proper cooling, portioning, and storage spacing extend homemade chicken noodle’s shelf life and reduce food safety risks.

Reheating Chicken Noodle Soup Safely

The right reheating method will keep chicken noodle soup safe:

  • On the stovetop – Heat gently until steaming hot and register an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This kills any bacteria.
  • In the microwave – Heat soup in 30 second intervals until steaming hot, stirring between sessions. Ideally it should reach 165°F internally.
  • Avoid multiple reheats – Only reheat leftover soup once for food safety. Then discard.

Reheat just until piping hot. Never let soup sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours total before refrigerating or reheating.

Freezing Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Freezing is a great way to preserve homemade soups. Follow these steps:

  • Allow soup to cool completely before freezing, ideally within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Portion soup out in airtight plastic containers or bags, leaving 1-inch headspace. This prevents freezer burn.
  • Label containers with the soup name and freeze-by date (2-3 months).
  • For thawing, refrigerate overnight or microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently. Do not thaw at room temp.
  • Avoid refreezing any thawed soup. Cook within 1-2 days.

With proper freezing techniques, you can enjoy scrumptious homemade soup for months!

Repurposing Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup

Repurposing Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup

Don’t toss old chicken noodle soup! Breathe new life into it with these ideas:

  • Chicken pot pie – Mix cooked noodles, chicken, veggies and a thickened cream sauce. Top with pie crust and bake until golden.
  • Creamy garlic pasta – Puree noodle soup with milk, parmesan, and garlic. Toss with cooked pasta for a fast cream sauce.

With a dash of creativity, leftover chicken noodle soup becomes an exciting new dish!

Conclusion: How Long Does Chicken Noodle Soup Last In The Fridge

Chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food. Follow these fridge storage guidelines and food safety tips for spoon-licking, soul-warming bowls whenever you crave them. Homemade soup keeps 3-5 days, while unopened canned varieties last 2-3 years. Just remember to refrigerate promptly in airtight containers. And assess freshness with your eyes, nose and taste buds before eating. Armed with this chicken noodle soup know-how, you can slurp up leftover soup anytime you need a little homemade goodness to warm your heart and belly!

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