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This one pot chicken pastina soup is loaded with vegetables, yummy chicken, and the cutest tiny pasta stars for a quick and hearty meal your whole family will devour!

An up close image of a bowl of chicken pastina soup.

Italian Chicken Soup with Pastina

During the colder months, there’s nothing better than a warm hearty soup. This chicken pastina soup is perfect for warming up on a cold day. It comes together in one pot and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

Plus, kids will love this pasta soup recipe because it’s very similar to chicken noodle soup, except it uses a really fun tiny star-shaped pasta. 

Babies can also practise using a spoon to serve themselves soup. If serving to babies, there are suggestions to help reduce or omit the sodium content in the soup below!

A ladle holding up a scoop of chicken pastina soup.

Chicken pastina soup

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Why We Love This Chicken and Pastina Soup

  • Easy to eat: Unlike chicken noodle soup with its unwieldy and long noodles, this pastina soup is much more manageable for little hands and spoons.
  • Simple to prepare: Once the veggies are chopped, this comforting soup comes together so fast! The little stars noodles cook in just minutes.
  • One pot meal: From start to finish, you can make this chicken pastina soup recipe in just one large pot for less hassle and clean up!

INGREDIENT NOTES

Ingredients required to make the chicken pastina soup recipe.
  • Olive oil: A little oil provides a dose of healthy fats and is used to soften the vegetables for the soup.
  • Vegetables: Finely chop onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to make them easier for kids to eat and fit on their spoons.
  • Chicken stock: Look for a low sodium or no salt added broth if serving to babies. You can also prepare a homemade chicken broth with no salt as well. 
  • Chicken: Use leftover diced or shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken or cook some chicken breasts for this Italian pastina soup.
  • Pastina pasta: Pastina means little pasta. Look for star shaped noodles or any other tiny noodles (like orzo, alphabet pasta, or small shells) if you can’t find little stars.
  • Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese is a bit higher in sodium but adds tons of extra flavour. You may wish to omit if serving to babies or serve it on the side for adults.
  • Lemon juice: This is optional but provides a nice balance to the soup
  • Sea salt and black pepper: Add to taste if serving to older kids or adults.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Begin by heating a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat and heat the olive oil. Next add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until softened, around 5-8 minutes. 
  2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  3. Add in the diced chicken, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  4. Righ before serving add the pastina and cook 6-8 minutes, cook to al dente. If serving the soup later, do not add the pasta. 
  5. If using stir in the parmesan and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
A spoon digging into a bowl of star soup with crackers.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable Pastina soup recipe!

RECIPE TIPS

  • This soup tends to thicken up the longer that it sits. For bests results, add the pastina to the soup and cook it just before serving. If you’ve made it ahead of time, you may wish to add additional broth to thin it out slightly.
  • Chop up the vegetables very finely so that there aren’t large chunks. It has a better taste and presentation with the tiny star pasta, plus it makes it more kid-friendly too!
  • You can use chopped leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken for this soup. Whatever you have on hand!
  • If serving this soup to babies, use a no salt added broth to limit sodium. You can always adjust the seasoning to taste if serving to the rest of the family as well.

Recipe FAQs

What is pastina?

Pastina means little pasta. In North America, pastina usually refers to a type of pasta made to look like little stars, but they can be made in any tiny pasta shape. They’re really cute and are a great way to entice reluctant eaters to go “hunting for stars” in this pastina chicken soup.

Where do you find pastina?

Different types of pastina are available at most large grocery stores in the pasta aisle.

What is a good pastina substitute?

Orzo is a good substitute for pastina if you can’t find it. You can use any type of small pasta in this simple recipe. If your kids love this Italian chicken noodle soup, you can also order pasta made into tiny shapes online. There are some larger star noodles (stelline pasta) and even alphabet letters for early readers!

Can you make chicken pastina soup ahead of time?

Chicken pastina soup can be made ahead of time. However, do not add the pastina until just before serving, or it will overcook and get soggy.

A blue spoon holding up a spoonful of pastina chicken soup.

STORAGE GUIDELINES

  • Refrigerator: Store cooled chicken soup with pastina in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. 
  • Freezer: Place cooled chicken pastina soup in a freezer safe bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. The cooked pastina will likely become a little soggy after thawing and heating, so reheat with a little extra water and consider adding some new pastina noodles.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Italian chicken pastina soup is true Italian comfort food! It tastes fantastic with some crusty Italian bread dunked into the rich chicken broth.  

For little ones, try serving it with these sides to make the meal more interactive and exciting.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • Use meatballs: Switch up the chicken and add mini meatballs instead!
  • Switch up the pasta: Try using orzo pasta or invite your kids to help you crush a bunch of spaghetti into small pieces for this homemade soup!
  • Add extra veggies: Add in finely chopped mushrooms, spinach, Swiss chard, or kale for extra nutrients and fibre.
A blue spoon resting in a bowl of chicken and pastina soup with crackers.

More Tasty Pasta Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Scroll down to leave a star rating and review!
A spoon resting in a bowl of chicken pastina soup.
Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Pastina Soup

Created by Elysia
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
This one pot chicken pastina soup is loaded with vegetables, yummy chicken, and the cutest tiny pasta stars for a quick and hearty meal your whole family will devour!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery finely chopped (about 3/4 cup diced)
  • 1 large carrot peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 6-8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced chicken
  • 1 cup uncooked star pastina pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Set a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat the olive oil.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Stir in the diced chicken and cover with a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Just before serving, add the pastina and cook to al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. If you are making the soup in advance, do not add the pastina until you are ready to serve.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Notes

  • This soup tends to thicken up the longer that it sits. For bests results, add the pastina to the soup and cook it just before serving. If you’ve made it ahead of time, you may wish to add additional broth to thin it out slightly.
  • Chop up the vegetables very finely so that there aren’t large chunks. It has a better taste and presentation with the tiny star pasta, plus it makes it more kid-friendly too!
  • You can use chopped leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken for this soup. Whatever you have on hand!
  • If serving this soup to babies, use a no salt added broth to limit sodium. You can always adjust the seasoning to taste if serving to the rest of the family as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1842IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2mg
A spoon resting in a bowl of chicken pastina soup.

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