How long does homemade chicken soup last in the refrigerator?

How long does homemade chicken soup last in the refrigerator?


When it comes to homemade chicken soup, many people wonder how long it can be safely stored in the refrigerator. Whether you’ve made a large batch for meal prep or have leftovers from a comforting dinner, it’s important to know the shelf life of your homemade chicken soup to avoid any foodborne illnesses. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the storage time of homemade chicken soup in the refrigerator.

Factors Affecting Shelf Life

Several factors can influence how long homemade chicken soup lasts in the refrigerator. Understanding these factors will help you determine the optimal storage time for your soup. Here are the key factors to consider:

1. Ingredients used: The quality and freshness of the ingredients used in your chicken soup can impact its shelf life. Fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices can add flavor to the soup but may also shorten its storage time. Additionally, if you’ve added dairy products like cream or milk to your soup, it may have a shorter shelf life compared to dairy-free versions.

2. Preparation method: The way you prepare your chicken soup can affect its storage time. If you’ve followed proper food safety guidelines, such as cooking the chicken to the recommended internal temperature and avoiding cross-contamination, your soup is more likely to have a longer shelf life.

3. Storage container: The type of container you use to store your chicken soup plays a crucial role in its shelf life. Opt for airtight containers made of glass or plastic to prevent bacteria or odors from seeping in. Ensure the container is clean and free from any cracks or damages that could compromise the soup’s freshness.

In general, homemade chicken soup can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. This timeframe assumes that the soup has been stored properly in airtight containers and has not been left at room temperature for an extended period. It’s important to note that this is a general guideline, and the actual shelf life may vary based on the factors mentioned earlier.

If you’re unsure about the freshness of your chicken soup, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and discard it if it has been stored for an extended period or shows signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or unusual texture.

Extending Shelf Life

If you want to extend the shelf life of your homemade chicken soup, you have a few options:

1. Freezing: Freezing is an excellent way to prolong the shelf life of chicken soup. Before freezing, allow the soup to cool completely and transfer it to freezer-safe containers, leaving some headspace for expansion. Frozen chicken soup can typically last for 4 to 6 months without significant quality loss. Remember to label the containers with the date to keep track of their freshness.

2. Portion control: If you frequently make large batches of chicken soup, consider dividing it into smaller portions before refrigerating or freezing. This way, you can thaw or reheat only the amount you need, reducing waste and ensuring the rest of the soup remains fresh.


In conclusion, homemade chicken soup can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. However, factors such as the ingredients used, preparation method, and storage container can influence its shelf life. If you want to extend the storage time, freezing the soup or practicing portion control are effective strategies. Always use your judgment and discard any chicken soup that appears spoiled or has been stored for an extended period.


– United States Department of Agriculture:
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: