Cafeteria Noodles

This old school recipe for Cafeteria Noodles is such a comfort food! It's a family friendly easy side or main dish. So buttery, rich and delicious!

Cafeteria Noodles in a white bowl with a black spoon.

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a wooden spoon stirring Cafeteria Noodles in a cooking pot.

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If you love buttered noodles, then this jazzed up version is a must try! This old school cafeteria recipe originated in the south and has recently become popular again on TikTok. I've been in Minnesota my whole life, but we have some very close variations of this recipe floating around in old church cookbooks.

I grew up on cream soups and still use them in my kitchen from time to time. For those of you who are anti canned cream soup, you can give it a try with homemade cream soup. I haven't tested it, but the outcome should be similar.

These noodles are rich, buttery and delicious! We sometimes serve them for a simple lunch, but they're also a great side dish for dinner. You can customize by adding different proteins, steamed vegetables, seasonings, herbs and broth. 

The black pepper and sliced green onions are optional, but they add some freshness and flavor, so I highly recommend adding them.

If you love old school comfort foods, then you'll want to try this Hamburger and Mushroom GravyEasy Crockpot Round Steak or these Porcupine Meatballs!

Keep scrolling for the full printable recipe 💙

butter being added to a pot of Cafeteria Noodles.

You can add or substitute with these ingredients:

  • use any flavor cream soup (we love cream of broccoli or cream of onion)
  • add cooked ground beef
  • use vegetable broth instead of chicken
  • add your favorite steamed vegetables
  • add minced garlic
  • use beef broth instead of chicken
  • add crushed red pepper
  • add chopped cooked chicken
  • add a packet of onion soup mix instead of better than bouillon 
  • use water instead of broth to cut down on sodium

Recipe tips:

  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. You can reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. The noodles may absorb some of the broth when refrigerated. You may add additional butter and broth when reheating if needed.

Cafeteria Noodles in a white bowl with a gray background.
Yield 6 servings
Author Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Prep time
5 Min
Cook time
30 Min
Total time
35 Min

Cafeteria Noodles


  • 6 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon better than bouillon chicken base
  • 1 - 16 ounce bag egg noodles
  • 2 - 10.5 ounce cans cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • black pepper, to taste
  • sliced green onion, optional for garnish


  1. In a medium stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, pour 4 cups of chicken broth and stir in the bouillon. Bring the broth to a boil.
  2. Stir in the remaining broth, noodles, and the soup, stirring to blend the soup with the broth. Press the noodles down so most are submerged in the liquid.
  3. Return the broth to a boil and allow to boil for 3-4 minutes prior to removing the pot from the heat.
  4. Add the pats of butter over the noodles and stir. Then, cover the pot and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The noodles are ready when they are cooked through with most of the liquid absorbed.
  5. Add black pepper and garnish with sliced green onion prior to serving.

Nutrition Facts




21.4 g

Sat. Fat

11.16 g


34.05 g


1.35 g

Net carbs

32.27 g


2.48 g


8.55 g


1667.7 mg


86.4 mg

Hot Eats and Cool Reads is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this blog/website. You may not always have the same results due to variations in ingredients, humidity, altitude, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. 

You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual's dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.

Our favorite kitchen equipment and supplies used with this recipe:

Cafeteria Noodles in a white bowl with a gray background.

Author photo collage with text that reads, Hey, I'm Sheena! Hope you found a recipe you love! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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