Traditional Recipes: Canning Chicken Soup

Bowl of chicken soup
To can old-fashioned chicken soup, combine the meat, veggies, and spices in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup gently for 30 minutes before transfering the soup into hot pint or quart jars with 1/2 solids and 1/2 liquid. Process jars in a pressure canner for 75-90 minutes.

What is the Best Canning Method for Chicken Soup?

It’s best to process chicken soup using a pressure canner.  The chicken, meat, and vegetables make it a low-acid food with a high risk of botulism, requiring a processing temperature between 240°F and 250°F. Water bath canning reaches 212°F which isn’t high enough to destroy bacteria and pathogens in foods with high pH. 

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canned chicken soup

Old Fashioned Chicken Soup Canning Recipe

  • Author: Regie
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes


This traditional chicken soup recipe will become a family favorite. Stock your pantry with this canned soup instead of store-bought and savor the flavor all year long.


  • 16 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups diced chicken
  • 1½ cups diced celery
  • 1½ cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
  • ½1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½1 teaspoon pepper (optional)


  1. Inspect the canning jars, lids, and rings for cracks or other defects.  Wash them in hot soapy water and rinse well. Simmer the clean canning jars at 180°F until ready to fill.
  2. Wash your vegetables thoroughly under cool running water.
  3. Peel carrots, re-wash them, and then slice them into uniform pieces.  Cut onions into ½-inch slices and coarsely dice celery stalks.
  4. Prepare your chicken breast or whole chicken by removing excess fat, bones, and skin before cutting it into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Prepare your pressure canner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Some brands like Presto require filling with 3 quarts of water, while All American recommends 2-3 inches.
  6. Add a jar rack to the bottom of the canner and heat the water inside the canner over medium heat.
  7. Combine the diced chicken, chicken stock, carrots, sliced onions, and celery in a large, stainless steel sauce pot.  Bring the mix to a rolling boil.  Over medium heat, simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  8. Season with salt (pickling or kosher salt) and pepper, as desired.  Add bouillon cubes, if preferred, and simmer until the cubes dissolve.
  9. Use a canning funnel or ladle to transfer the hot chicken soup into the hot jars. The jars should be 1/2 solids and 1/2 cooking liquid, with a 1-inch headspace.
  10. Remove air bubbles using a bubble popper. Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel.
  11. Place hot canning lids on the jars, apply the canning rings, and adjust them to fingertip tightness.
  12. Carefully load the filled jars into your canner using a jar lifter.
  13. Under high heat, bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Close the lid to the canner and open the vent pipe. Vent the canner for 10 minutes.
  14. Close the petcock or return the weight/pressure regulator.  Allow the canner to pressurize until it reaches the level recommended per your altitude and canner type:

Dial-gauge pressure canner:

  • 0 – 2,000ft: 11 lbs
  • 2,001-4,000ft: 12 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000ft: 13 lbs
  • 6,001ft and up: 14 lbs

Weighted-gauge pressure canner:

  • 0 – 1,000ft: 10 lbs
  • 1,001ft and up: 15 lbs

Post Processing

  1. On your timer, set 75 minutes for pint jars or 90 minutes for quarts.
  2. Once the processing time lapses, turn off your stove.  Give the canner time to cool naturally until the pressure gauge reaches zero.
  3. Remove the jars from hot water using a jar lifter and place them upright on a draft-free surface to cool for 12-24 hours.
  4. After cooling, test the seals by pressing the lid’s center with your finger. If the lids flex up and down, the jars didn’t seal properly.  Refrigerate and use any unsealed jars within five days.
  5. Remove the screw bands from the sealed jars to prevent rusting. Label the jars with the contents and the date of canning.
  6. Store the jars in a cool, dark, dry, clean place and enjoy your home-canned soup for up to 2 years.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Canning Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 140kcal
  • Sugar: 2.6g
  • Sodium: 584mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 7.7mg

Is it Safe to Can Soup in a Water Bath?

No – according to Pennsylvania University, soups and stews contain low-acid ingredients and cannot be safely canned in a boiling water bath or an atmospheric steam canner. Since the water bath temperature of 212°F isn’t high enough to kill pathogens, process the soup in a pressure canner for maximum safety.

What are the Benefits of Canning Chicken Soup?

  • Convenience: Canned chicken soup provides a quick, easy meal.
  • Flavor: A bowl of canned soup is delicious on its own or as part of a main dish.
  • Longer shelf life: Canned chicken soup can last up to 1 year.
  • Nutritional benefits: Chicken soup contains vitamins, calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and potassium.
  • Saves money: Canning homemade chicken soup is a convenient way of keeping chicken meat for future use.
  • Versatility: Pair this soup with pasta or noodles to make chicken noodle soup, dip fresh cornbread or egg rolls in it, or use it as a side dish.
Chicken soup broth with a ladle
Chicken soup broth

Which Vegetables Can I Add to Canned Chicken Soup?

You can add carrots, onions, celery, diced tomatoes, or other vegetables to chicken soup as long as the NCHFP recommends it is safe for canning on its own.

Cabbages, lettuce, cauliflower, olives, and broccoli shouldn’t be added when pressure canning soup because there are no tested recipes for them from trusted sources.

Ingredients for chicken soup hanging on a clothesline attached by clothespins
Ingredients for chicken soup

Can I Raw Pack Chicken Soup for Canning?

No, hot packing is the recommended method for canning chicken soup. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, hot packing shrinks the food, removes air, increases vacuum in sealed jars, and improves the shelf life. Science-tested canning soup recipes require you to prepare ingredients, combine them and cook them first before filling your hot canning jars.

How Long Does It Take to Can Chicken Soup?

Pressure canning chicken soup takes 75 minutes for pint jars or 90 minutes if using quart jars.

What is the Best Way to Store Canned Chicken Soup?

Store canned chicken soup at a temperature below 85°F.  Ensure the storage area is clean, dry, and away from a sunny window or direct sunlight to preserve your soup’s flavor and texture.

What is the Shelf Life for Canned Chicken Soup?

Properly stored chicken soup has a best-used-by date of 1 year from the canning date. For opened jars of leftover soup, refrigerate it in an airtight container and use it within 4-5 days.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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