Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup in a bowl

The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Soak: 8 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 4 to 6 bowls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
186 Calories
5g Fat
19g Carbs
17g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 186
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 1704mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 24mg 120%
Calcium 110mg 8%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 637mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This so-soothing Thai version of a universal classic features rice noodles instead of wheat, with fragrant lemongrass and other fresh herbs adding lovely aromatic notes. It makes a wonderful dinner soup, and if you happen to have leftover roast chicken or turkey, you can throw in the leftovers.

You may use some of your favorite vegetables instead of or in addition to the bok choy, such as broccoli, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, celery, or spinach. You'll find this soup warms and enlivens. It's great if you're fighting off a cold or flu bug, or anytime you want a bowl of steaming comfort.

"The Thai chicken noodle soup had great flavor. I used unsalted broth, so I added a little extra fish sauce. The balance of Thai flavors was excellent, and this soup would be great with just about any combination of vegetables." —Diana Rattray

Thai chicken noodle soup
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 to 10 ounces rice noodles, dry flat or your choice

  • 6 cups chicken broth (add some turkey or chicken bones if you have them)

  • 1 to 2 medium chicken breasts, or thighs, chopped into small pieces

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced and minced, or 3 tablespoons prepared lemongrass

  • 2-inch piece galangal or ginger, grated or sliced into thin strips

  • 1 large carrot, sliced

  • 4 medium makrut lime leaves, or substitute 1 bay leaf

  • 4 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated

  • 1 small red Thai chili, minced, or 1 teaspoon chili sauce, or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut milk

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, optional

  • 1 dash white pepper, or black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup cilantro

  • Chili sauce, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Thai chicken noodle soup

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Bring a large pot of water to just below a boil and add the noodles. Remove from heat and allow noodles to sit 5 to 8 minutes, or until soft but still chewy ("al dente").

    Rice noodles in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking.

    Rice noodles in a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Using a large soup pot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, carrot, whole lime leaves (plus chicken or turkey bones, if available). Boil on high for 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid.

    Chicken broth, chicken, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, carrot, and whole lime leaves in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Allow soup to simmer for 5 to 6 more minutes, adding bok choy when chicken is nearly cooked.

    Bok choy added to the soup in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. While continuing to simmer the soup, add the chili, garlic, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Stir well.

    Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup cooking in a pot with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  7. Turn heat down to a minimum and add the coconut milk (up to 1/3 cup for a creamier soup). Stir to incorporate.

    Coconut milk added to the Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup cooking in the pot, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  8. Taste test the soup, adding more fish sauce until desired flavor/saltiness is reached (how much you will need depends on how salty your stock is). If it tastes too salty, add another squeeze or two of lime juice. Add more chili if not spicy enough, or more coconut milk if the soup is too spicy. If the soup is a little too sour for your taste, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (to balance out the lime juice).

    Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup in a pot and spice in small bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  9. To serve, place a generous mound of noodles in each bowl, then top with the hot soup. Finish with a final sprinkling of pepper and fresh cilantro. If desired, serve with Thai chili sauce, either store-bought or a homemade Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce, to give your soup an extra kick of spicy flavor.

    Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Soup in a bowl, chili sauce in a bowl, and herbs in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg


  • If you buy fresh makrut lime leaves locally or online, put them in a resealable freezer bag and freeze them for up to 1 year.
  • If you cook the noodles following the package directions, make sure they are not overcooked.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the fresh chicken with about 2 cups of leftover diced roasted chicken or turkey.
  • Add some bean sprouts at the end.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover Thai chicken noodle soup within 2 hours and eat within 3 to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • To freeze, transfer cooled soup to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months. Defrost the frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the bag of frozen soup in cool water for about an hour and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

What are the most popular Thai soups?

Tom yum soup is probably the most popular Thai soup, with tom kha, the creamier version, a close second.

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