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Chicken and Pastina Soup

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 45 min
  • Servings 10
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Chicken and pastina for the soul! Made with savory chicken and pasta, this Italian-inspired soup is so hearty and satisfying. And since it’s made with simple pantry ingredients like Progresso™ Classic Chicken Broth and Muir Glen™ Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil, along with common veggies like carrots and celery, it’s easy to throw together whenever the craving strikes.

Pastina—Italian for “tiny dough”—refers to the acini de pepe pasta used in this recipe. These small, round noodles are named for their tiny, peppercorn-like shape and are a terrific way to add substance and texture to broth-based soups.

Like many soups, our best recipe for Chicken and Pastina Soup starts with a simple mirepoix—which sounds fancy, but is actually just an aromatic flavor base made by lightly sautéing a mixture of chopped carrots, celery and onions. Rich broth, herby diced tomatoes and earthy spinach build the soup out and add dimension. Top with a crack of pepper and a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese to serve.

Keep this recipe on hand for times when your loved ones need a little extra dose of comfort. Chicken and Pastina Soup is like a warm hug in a bowl.

Updated Oct 3, 2023
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Meal prep your Chicken and Pastina Soup.

With its hearty chicken and vegetables, this recipe for Chicken and Pastina Soup is an excellent candidate for weekday meal prep. If you do, cook the pasta separately and then add it to the bowl as you heat and eat the soup. Otherwise, the noodles will soak up all that tasty broth!

Prepped Chicken and Pastina Soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cartons (32 oz) Progresso™ Classic Chicken Broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (1 medium stalk)
  • 1 cup Muir Glen™ Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil (from 28-oz can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gray salt or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup uncooked acini di pepe pasta or other small round pasta (8 oz)
  • 2 cups chopped, lightly packed mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard or other greens
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 1
    Place chicken in 12-inch skillet. Add 1 carton of the broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, in 5-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
  • 3
    Drain chicken, reserving broth; set chicken aside. Strain broth; add to vegetables. Stir remaining carton of broth, the tomatoes, salt, pepper and bay leaf into stockpot. Heat to boiling. Stir in pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • 4
    Shred or cut chicken into bite-size pieces; add to soup. Stir in greens just until wilted. Remove bay leaf. Serve with a sprinkle of additional freshly ground pepper and the cheese.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Using a fine mesh strainer to strain the broth after cooking the chicken will yield a clearer broth.
  • tip 2
    Refrigerate any leftovers in shallow containers so it cools down rapidly. Once completely cooled, cover tightly. Soup can be kept in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
  • tip 3
    To shred the chicken, use two forks or your fingers to gently pull the meat apart into bite-size pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I add flavor to soup without adding salt?

If you’re watching your sodium, you can use low-sodium chicken and vegetable broths when you make soup. Sometimes, that can lead to a less flavorsome soup. In that case, we recommend using spices and fresh herbs to add flavor.

This Chicken and Pastina Soup would be great with the addition of an Italian seasoning blend or red pepper flakes if you like a little heat. A light chiffonade of basil or green onions would also be delicious.

What kind of pasta is pastina?

Pastina is defined by its size rather than its shape — in Italian, pastina translates to tiny pasta. Anything under ¼-inch long can be called a pastina. Kids love it, and you’ll find pastina in fun shapes, like stars and letters. Because of its wee size, it works great in soups and salads, where it acts as a filler, creating a heartier, more satisfying meal.

Do you cook pastina before putting it in soup?

Because pastina is such a small pasta, it cooks more quickly than larger noodles, and it can be cooked directly in soups, like this Chicken and Pastina Soup. That said, if you’re meal-prepping a batch of the soup (see the tip above) you may want to cook the pastina separately and add it to the soup when you eat it. Otherwise, those little pastina will soak up a surprising amount of broth!

Can I freeze Chicken and Pastina Soup?

Unfortunately, pastina does not hold up well in a freezer. So, if you want to freeze your Chicken and Pastina Soup, we’d recommend not adding the pasta until you’re ready to eat it. At that point, you can defrost it, bring it to a gentle simmer, and cook the pastina until tender, according to the package instructions.


260 Calories, 6g Total Fat, 28g Protein, 23g Total Carbohydrate, 3g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 3 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
1 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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