This homemade chickarina soup is full of so many good things!
Tender chicken, loads of fresh veggies and tiny pasta in warm chicken broth with mini chicken meatballs that are almost too cute to eat.
There’s nothing like a bowl of this delicious and hearty soup on a cold day. It’s the comfort food we’ve all been craving!
Ingredients for this Chickarina Soup Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make this cozy soup:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Chicken stock. I recommend stock over broth because it gives this soup much more flavor.
- Pastina pasta or any other small pasta of your choice. If you can’t find pastina, Israeli couscous is another popular option.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the tiny meatballs:
- Ground white chicken meat
- Bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese. Pecorino Romano cheese can also be used.
- Fresh parsley. Dehydrated parsley can also be used, but use half the amount as you would fresh parsley.
How to Make Chickarina Soup
Make the Meatballs
First, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
Use wet hands to scoop out the meat mixture and form them into balls. I recommend using a teaspoon measuring spoon so that you get uniform-sized meatballs.
Wet your hands as often as necessary. Then, arrange the balls on a large baking sheet or piece of parchment paper.
Start the Mirepoix
Mirepoix is a recipe base made with celery, carrots and diced onion that’s cooked in a fat (either oil or butter). Mirepoix is the base of many soup and pasta recipes, including our chickarina soup.
Saute the vegetables in a little olive oil in a large stock pot until they’re nice and tender.
Get the Soup Going
Now, add in the chicken stock and chicken breasts. It will only take about 10 minutes for the chicken to cook.
Then, remove the chicken and shred it into pieces with forks.
Cook the Meatballs
When you remove the chicken breasts, it’s time to drop in the small meatballs.
Let the meatballs simmer in the flavorful broth for about 20 minutes, until you see them starting to rise to the surface. Eventually, you’ll have lots of little meatballs bobbing up to say hi.
Once they’re all on the surface, it means they’re cooked.
Finish with Pastina
Finally, pour the dry pasta pearls into your simmering soup. Let the pasta cook for about 15 minutes.
Put the shredded chicken back into the soup. Now, your chickarina soup is ready to serve!
Chickarina Soup vs. Italian Wedding Soup
While chickarina soup and Italian wedding soup have similarities, they also have notable differences. They both have mirepoix vegetables (carrots, celery and diced onions), a type of little pearl pasta and meatballs, but that’s where the similarities end.
Italian wedding soup’s meatballs are traditionally made with beef and/or sausage, while chickarina’s meatballs are made with white meat chicken. Also, Italian wedding soup includes a dark leafy green like spinach or escarole.
How to Store Chickarina Soup
Store leftover chicken soup in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days.
For longer storage, this soup freezes beautifully. Freeze in an airtight container or in large freezer bags.
When you make this chickarina soup recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more cozy soup recipes, try these:
- Zesty Italian Chicken Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
- Creamy Vegan Celery Soup
Homemade Chickarina Soup Recipe with Mini Meatballs
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup dry pastina
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley chopped
- Prepare the meatballs: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a 1 tsp. measure to scoop out the mixture. Using clean hands, roll the chicken mixture into a ball. Wet hands frequently, as necessary. You should finish with about 80 meatballs.Set meatballs aside on a large baking sheet or piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or large pot.
- Cook the celery, carrots, onions, salt and pepper in the oil until they are softened, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the chicken breasts and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and place it onto a work surface.
- Drop meatballs into the simmering broth. Simmer until meatballs rise to the top, about 20-25 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, shred the chicken breasts into pieces with forks.
- When the meatballs are cooked, add the chicken back into the pot. Add the pastina. Simmer 15 more minutes.