This chicken pastina soup recipe is the perfect meal when you need something cozy and comforting on a cold day. This tender chicken and pasta soup is made with basic ingredients for a classic chicken noodle soup vibe, but with tiny adorable pastina!
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of Contents
- What is pastina soup?
- What You’ll Love About this Pastina Soup Recipe
- How to Make Pastina Soup
- How to Roast Your Own Chicken and Make Broth
- Storage Instructions
- How to Serve Chicken Soup with Pastina to the Whole Family
- What to Serve with Chicken Pastina Soup
- More Easy Soup Recipes
What is pastina soup?
Pastina soup (aka Italian penicillin) is a comforting and hearty soup served in Italian households. Some versions are made simply with tiny pasta stars (pastina) and homemade chicken broth. Other versions are more similar to a chicken noodle soup with chicken and mirepoix veggies (onion, celery, and carrots). Giada adds frozen peas to her version!
What You’ll Love About this Pastina Soup Recipe
- Cozy, delicious, and filling soup
- Made with simple ingredients
- Easy to make homemade or utilize shortcuts
- Easy to prep ahead
- Makes delicious leftovers (perfect for lunches!)
This chicken and pastina soup is made with just 11 basic ingredients:
- Butter – Butter gives the soup a nice rich flavor, but you could also use olive oil if you prefer.
- Onion – I recommend using a white onion, but yellow would also work.
- Celery – Look for bright green celery, removing any bruised or brown areas.
- Carrots – Peel carrots before slicing. Whole carrots have better flavor, but you can also use baby carrots to save some peeling, they definitely work as it’s not the main star of the soup.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic has the best flavor, but you could also use frozen garlic cubes or jarred garlic if you prefer.
- Seasonings – Poultry seasoning, sea salt, bay leaves – all pretty basic chicken soup ingredients.
- Broth – Homemade chicken broth is preferred for best flavor, but high-quality chicken stock from the store also works. Chicken bone broth will add extra flavor and richness, and if you’re roasting your own chicken you should absolutely make bone broth. You can also use vegetable broth if you prefer.
- Shredded chicken – I recommend roasting a whole chicken and then making homemade broth for a fully homemade version that’s not too complicated either. But you can also use rotisserie chicken, sous vide shredded chicken (the best!), or even buy pre-shredded chicken.
- Lemon – The lemon is an unexpected ingredient, but adds a bright zip of flavor.
- Pastina – Pastina is any type of tiny shape of little pasta! There are many types of pastina – it can be little stars, tiny tubes, or even orzo. Any variety will work, so choose your favorite.
How to Make Pastina Soup
Let’s get to this delicious soup!
- Saute veggies. Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Melt butter and add onions, celery, and carrots to pot. Cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Season veggies and broth. Add poultry seasoning and sea salt to veggies, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat. Pour in broth and simmer.
TIP: If you have a Parmesan rind, add it into the broth to add a richer flavor.
- Cook pastina. In a separate pot, cook pastina according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain and drizzle with olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.
- Finish soup. Stir in shredded chicken and lemon juice and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
- Serve soup. Remove bay leaf from soup and place pastina pasta into bowls. Ladle chicken soup mixture over the top and season with flaky sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley if desired.
How to Roast Your Own Chicken and Make Broth
It’s pretty easy to roast your own chicken and it can be a great way to make soup as you can get all of the meat you need AND make your own bone broth in the slow cooker.
For roasted chicken: I followed this perfect roasted chicken recipe from Ina Garten, but skipped all of the seasoning besides some butter and salt on the skin and I stuffed quartered onions into the chicken cavity. Let cool enough to handle and then pull off chicken before making broth.
For broth: After you remove the meat from the chicken bones, place all bones into slow cooker. Add onions from roasting pan and add a few carrots and stalks of celery. Cook on low over 18-24 hours and then strain broth 1-2 times as needed.
Store the chicken noodle soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
How to reheat
Reheat chicken pastina in a saucepan or in the microwave until hot.
Can you freeze the soup?
Yes, you can freeze the soup without the pasta (which is how we’ve made it!) for 2-3 months (souper cubes will freeze them in perfect portions). Let thaw overnight in fridge, or heat directly from frozen.
How to Serve Chicken Soup with Pastina to the Whole Family
I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉
Soup can be tricky for young children so what I recommend is to serve less broth and more chunks so it’s easier for them to get in a spoon and into their mouth. We don’t want them getting frustrated and soup can be tricky, so let’s make it a little easier.
If you have a picky eater, be sure to serve this meal with a few sides you know they will eat. Since the pasta is served separate, they might be fine with some pasta, along with some fruit and milk.
What to Serve with Chicken Pastina Soup
This homemade Italian chicken pastina soup doesn’t need much of a side, but I recommend adding a few more carbs or a few more veggies:
- Garlic bread or toast
- Crusty Italian bread with butter
- Air fryer broccoli
- Haricot verts
- Kale apple slaw
More Easy Soup Recipes
If you like this chicken pastina soup recipe, you might also like some of these other easy soup recipes:
- Vegetarian Ramen Soup
- Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- Italian Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage
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This cozy pastina soup recipe is comfort food at its best! Easy to make, made with simple ingredients and great as leftovers for lunches.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 5 stalks celery (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 5 large carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 cups bone broth
- 4 cups shredded chicken
- juice from 1 lemon
- 7 oz. pastina (tiny pasta)
- Saute veggies. Melt butter in dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add poultry seasoning and sea salt to pot and stir to combine. Pour in broth and add bay leaves to pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pastina according to package instructions.
- Stir in shredded chicken and lemon juice and cook another 4-5 minutes.
- Serve. Place pastina in a bowl and ladle chicken soup mixture over the top.
Keywords: pastina soup recipe, chicken pastina soup
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