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Protein-Boosted Pastina Soup

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This pastina soup is the perfect meal when you need something cozy and comforting on a cold day. This Italian classic is abut with tiny adorable pastina! We’re giving traditional pastina a protein boost by cooking it in bone broth

Italian pastina soup (aka Italian penicillin) is a comforting and simple pasta/soup that is a staple 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!

Like any traditional dish, there are many varieties and in this protein-boosted pastina, we’re cooking the pastina in bone broth, which adds incredible rich and creamy flavor and a nice boost of protein.

Bowl of pastina soup with parmesan cheese

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love About Easy Pastina

  • Cozy, delicious, and comforting soup
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Easy to make homemade or utilize shortcuts
  • Easy to prep ahead
  • Makes delicious leftovers (perfect for lunches!)
Bowl of pastina with a spoon

Pastina Ingredients

  • Bone broth – While homemade chicken bone broth is the ultimate, store-bought will also work just fine and is what I use typically. If you don’t want to use bone broth, you can also use regular chicken broth or vegetarian broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Pastina – The star of this dish! Pastina is a tiny pasta that can come in many different shapes, often times little tiny stars. It is the smallest pasta variety and is also sometimes called stelline.
  • Butter – Use high-quality butter for best flavor.
  • Eggs – Add in whisked eggs for extra protein and a creamy texture like we do in this creamy chicken ramen or skip it.
Ingredients to make protein pastina soup

How to Cook Pastina

This is an overview on how to make pastina, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Cook pastina. Bring bone broth to a boil and stir in pastina. Cook until al dente.
Pouring pastina into pot of broth
Season pastina soup. Remove from heat and stir in butter until it’s melted into the pastina. Stir in whisked eggs if using.
Pouring in egg yolk into pastina
Finish soup. Top pastina with grated Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper, and red pepper flakes if you want a little spice.
Bowl of pastina soup


Is there gluten-free pastina?

Yes! While traditional pastina is made from wheat and sometimes eggs as well, there are gluten-free options available. This gluten-free pastina is made from brown rice.

Where to buy pastina?

It will sort of depend on where you live! In Minneapolis, I had trouble finding it at conventional grocery stores, but you can find it in Italian specialty markets or order it online. If you live in an area with a higher Italian population, you might be able to find it in your local grocery store.

Storage Instructions

Store pastina with egg in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It will thicken in the refrigerator, but you can add extra liquid when you reheat it.

How to reheat

For best results, reheat pastina in a small saucepan until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave, until hot. If it is thick, you can always thin it out with some broth or water.

Can you freeze pastina?

No, freezing the pastina pasta and reheating will result in mushy pasta, so it’s not recommended.

Bowl of pastina with a spoon

What to Serve with Pastina Soup

All this recipe for pastina needs is an easy side:

How to Feed 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.

I would recommend serving the pastina in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

Soup can be tricky for younger eaters, but this one stays relatively thick, thanks to the bone broth. You can also scoop out a dish that has mostly pasta so that it’s a bit easier to eat.

Want More?

Follow Emily on Instagram or TikTok for family dinner recipe videos and tips for feeding kids.

Bowl of pastina soup

More Easy Soup Recipes

If you like this pastina soup recipe, you might also like some of these other easy soup recipes:

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Bowl of pastina with a spoon

Protein-Boosted Pastina Soup Recipe

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This pastina soup recipe has a delicious boost of protein (x2!) while keeping its cozy, comfort-food vibes.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 cup pastina
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 12 eggs, whisked
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, flaky salt, fresh cracked pepper


  1. Bring bone broth to a boil and stir in pastina.
  2. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until pastina is cooked to al dente.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
  4. While stirring pastina, slowly stir in whisked eggs and mix until incorporated.
  5. Remove from heat and divide into bowls. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, flaky sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.


Keywords: pastina, pastina soup, pastina recipe

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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