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Cafeteria Noodles

Cafeteria Noodles are an easy recipe to serve on a busy weeknight. Quick and delicious, these tender, buttery noodles make the perfect partner to any main dish.

pot of cafeteria noodles in a ladle over a pot

Cafeteria Noodles Recipe

Do you watch viral TikTok recipe videos? I admit that I love to do a marathon of them on the weekends! If you haven’t seen this recent one, you are missing out.

Cafeteria noodles are a huge hit with my family right now so I just have to share the recipe with you!

What are they? Think chicken noodle soup but without the soup…

What are Cafeteria Noodles?

Similar to the cheesy noodles I used to eat at school alongside our square pizza, you can see where the name comes from.

I loved them so much I would make them when I came home from school.

If I was making dinner instead of a side dish for myself, I would toss in any leftover vegetables hanging out in the fridge from the night before.

Simple yet hearty, Cafeteria noodles are as versatile as they are tasty. My favorite way to enjoy them is with a generous sprinkling of nutty Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

They make me feel nostalgic just thinking about them now! If you are feeling that way too, check out my Old Fashioned Macaroni and Tomatoes!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled ingredient list for recipe on marble background

Ingredients Needed

Pasta noodles – I prefer to use the No Yolks Dumplings because I like my noodles wide. Feel free to use your favorite pasta noodle shape for this easy meal.

Chicken base – Chicken Bouillon cube or granules/powder work well but I prefer the chicken base (Better Than Bouillon has a richer flavor in my opinion)

Chicken broth – Use low sodium for best results as the chicken base has a lot of salt.

Condensed soup – Cream of chicken is best but you can use cream of onion.

Butter – This recipe calls for a stick of butter (I prefer unsalted)

Parmesan cheese – Fresh grated works best but you can use your favorite cheese blend also.

Pantry staples – salt, black pepper, and fresh parsley for garnish and a pop of color.

Looking for more comfort food? Follow LTB on Pinterest!

How to Make Cafeteria Noodles

First: In a large pot over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in chicken base and return to a boil

Second: Add in egg noodles and stir to keep them from sticking. Bring to a boil.

Third: Stir in cream of chicken soup. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the stick of butter.

Fourth: Cover the pot and let sit for 15-20 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally but be sure to return the lid quickly each time.

Stir in the parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

homemade version of cafeteria noodles in a white pot

What do you serve with Cafeteria Noodles?

The noodles are an easy comfort food that can be paired with various dishes like meatloaf, fried chicken, or steamed vegetables.

I prefer these tasty noodles alongside a rotisserie whole chicken and a green salad.

If you like to try different tastes or textures with them, toss in small pieces of crispy bacon at the end.

close up of cafe noodles in grey bowl with striped napkin

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Because the noodles are delicate and they absorb the majority of the liquid I wouldn’t recommend making this delicious recipe in a crock pot.

They didn’t really use them in cafeteria style cooking where I went to school.

You can use the keep warm setting and keep the already cooked noodles in it. Be sure to enough liquid like butter or broth if they start to dry out.

What about leftovers?

Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat with a drizzle of olive oil, pat of butter or a splash of chicken broth.

fork of noodles over a grey bowl

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Make this a full meal by adding cooked shredded chicken breasts.
  • I don’t recommend adding raw chicken to the pot when cooking.
  • Substitute chicken stock and base for vegetarian options.
  • Toss in some roasted garlic cloves.
  • Double this recipe with 2 boxes of chicken broth and a cup butter.
  • Cook the noodles al dente so they have some texture to them.
  • I haven’t tested this recipe with homemade noodles.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

bowl of noodles with yellow banner and red text

TikTok Cafeteria Noodles are the ultimate comfort food and for good reason. In roughly 20 minutes you have a budget friendly and filling dish. Made with simple ingredients and packed with flavor, it’s no wonder they are at the top of my family favorites list.

large bowl of thick noodles with a spoon

Cafeteria Noodles

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Cafeteria Noodles are the ultimate comfort food and for good reason. Simple ingredients and packed with flavor, top of my family favorites list.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag wide egg noodles (I like the no yolks dumplings)
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken base (granules/better than bouillon or 1 cube)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring the broth up to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken base and stir to incorporate. Bring back to a boil.
  3. Stir in the egg noodles, stirring a few times so they don’t stick.
  4. Bring to a boil again and add the cream of chicken soup.
  5. Bring to a boil for one last time and boil for 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the butter. Stir to mix.
  7. Cover the pot and let sit for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally but be sure to return the lid quickly each time.
  8. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make this a full meal by adding cooked shredded chicken breasts.
  • I don't recommend adding raw chicken to the pot when cooking.
  • Substitute chicken stock and base for vegetarian options.
  • Toss in some roasted garlic cloves.
  • Double this recipe with 2 boxes of chicken broth and a cup butter.
  • Cook the noodles al dente so they have some texture to them.
  • I haven't tested this recipe with homemade noodles.

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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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