Chicken Pastina Soup

Chicken Pastina Soup is our go-to meal when someone is under the weather. This easy homemade soup recipe warms you from the inside out with pieces of tender chicken, vegetables, and tons of pastina!

There’s nothing better than homemade soup to cure your aches and pains! We love making our from-scratch Homemade Turkey Soup after a holiday, made from scratch with leftover turkey bones. This chicken pastina soup would also be delicious with leftover turkey!

chicken pastina soup in a bowl with crackers on the side

Homemade Chicken Pastina Soup Recipe

Homemade chicken soup doesn’t have to take all day in the kitchen! We make this comforting, hearty Chicken Pastina Soup whenever the mood hits us and it’s done in less than an hour.

This soup recipe is one that my grandma used to make for me and my sister growing up, pretty much anytime we’d see her. There would be a whole pot roast dinner and/or a roasted chicken sitting and resting on the stovetop. Over on the side, simmering away, would be a batch of homemade chicken pastina soup, ready to go.

This chicken soup has been my comfort food go-to meal my whole life, and now it’s my kids’ favorite, too. Whenever someone is under the weather, we make chicken pastina soup. If it’s cold outside and we need a quick, hearty meal, it’s chicken pastina soup. I hope you love this soup as much as we do!

Chicken Pastina Soup Ingredients

While this isn’t a homemade soup recipe using chicken bones to make the stock, it’s still a homemade soup that’s going to taste like it cooked all day on the stovetop.

Just a few simple, good-quality ingredients are all you need to get started!

ingredients for chicken soup recipes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions: We use sweet, yellow onions.
  • Garlic: As much as your heart desires.
  • Fresh Thyme: You can also use other herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, or a bay leaf.
  • Cooked, Shredded Chicken: A rotisserie chicken works great for this soup recipe!
  • Pastina: Little, tiny start shaped pasta makes this soup almost like a stew. However, you can use any other shape pasta that you like.
Dried pastina pasta in a bowl for soup recipe

What Is Pastina?

Pastina, translated literally means “little pasta”. Pastina is the smallest type of pasta that’s produced and is typically made from wheat flour, sometimes including an egg.

Pastina is also called “stellina” in North America, but whatever you call it, it’s always a staple in our pantry. Pastina is perfect for adding to soups and stews, but also just as a stand-alone side dish with butter, black pepper, and grated parmesan cheese!

How To Make Homemade Chicken Pastina Soup

This homemade chicken soup is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. For one, it’s super easy to make, using leftover chicken or turkey, or a rotisserie chicken from the store. And the best part, of course, is how this homemade chicken soup warms you up from the inside out.

vegetables and a parmesan cheese rind in a pot to make chicken pastina soup

Start by cooking down carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in a soup pot or Dutch oven with olive oil. Once the vegetables have softened, add a parmesan cheese rind to the pot (if you have it – if you don’t, just proceed with the soup instructions).

chicken in a pot with vegetables to make homemade chicken soup

Add fresh thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper to the soup, along with a couple of cups of diced or shredded leftover chicken. A rotisserie chicken works great for making this soup recipe easy as well, if you don’t have leftover chicken or turkey.

Chicken Pastina soup in pot with ladle

Pour in the best quality chicken stock that you can find, or homemade chicken stock, if you have it. Our favorite, and I mean favorite chicken broth is from Trader Joe’s. I haven’t found a better store-bought version to date.

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, try to buy chicken stock instead of broth. Bone broth will be even heartier than chicken stock. The flavor of the broth or stock that you start with will have a big impact on the soup flavor when it’s finished.

Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, and then add the pastina. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes until the pastina has thickened and become tender.

Chicken pastina soup in a bowl with crackers

What Other Ingredients Can I Add To This Chicken Soup?

Homemade soup recipes can definitely help to clean out the fridge! In addition to the basic ingredients that we have here, there are many other ingredients that can be added.

  • Leftover turkey
  • Fresh or frozen spinach
  • Other vegetables like peas, zucchini, diced tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli
  • Splash of tomato sauce (just like Grandma used to do!)
  • Different pasta shapes like elbows, shells, acini de pepe, broken spaghetti noodles
homemade chicken soup in a bowl with spoon and crackers

How To Store Leftover Soup

Leftover soup is one of the most coveted items in our refrigerator. It makes for an easy, comforting, hearty meal with just a few seconds of reheating in the microwave.

Store cooled-down, leftover soup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Note that if you’re starting off with leftover chicken that’s already been in the refrigerator for a few days, you might want to finish off the soup quicker than the 3-4 days in the fridge.

Freeze Leftover Soup in containers or in individual portions in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To Reheat Frozen Soup, let the soup defrost in the refrigerator and then warm up on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding more chicken stock if needed.

Here Are Some More Comforting, Delicious Soup Recipes!

homemade chicken soup in a bow with spoon and crackers

Chicken Pastina Soup

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This Chicken Pastina Soup is our go-to meal when someone is feeling under the weather! An easy, homemade chicken soup recipe that warms you from the inside out!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • Parmesan cheese rind (if you have it, optional but adds great flavor to the soup!)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup pastina (add less if you like to have more broth in the soup)
  • Garnish the soup with parmesan cheese, parsley and black pepper if desired


  1. Pour the olive oil into a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and stir. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic, stir and cook 1 minute longer.
  2. Season the vegetables with a teaspoon of salt and black pepper to taste, then add the fresh thyme and diced chicken. Add the parmesan cheese rind if using, then pour in the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Remove the cheese rind from the soup. Pour the pastina into the soup, stir and bring back to a simmer for 8-10 minutes until the pastina is tender and has thickened the soup. Stir often while the pastina is cooking so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Taste the soup for seasonings and adjust if needed. Serve the soup with grated parmesan cheese on top and more fresh black pepper to taste if desired.

Recipe Notes

Store: Place cooled down, leftover soup in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Note, if using leftover chicken or turkey that’s already been in the refrigerator for a few days, you’ll want to use the soup up in a day or two.

Reheat: Reheat soup in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Add more chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Reheat frozen soup by letting the soup thaw in the refrigerator and then following these same steps.

Freeze: Freeze cooled-down, leftover soup in an air-tight container in the freezer for 3 months.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American / Italian

Keywords: Mantitlement, chicken soup recipe, comfort food recipes, grandmas chicken soup

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