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Nonna’s Homemade Chicken Soup with Pastina

October 14, 2021

Nonna’s Homemade Chicken Soup with Pastina


Nonna’s homemade chicken soup is comfort food at its best and boy is it easy to make. This is a perfect meal for this time of year when the weather in the north east is starting to get cooler and you just want something homey and cozy. Nonna (my mom, but Nonna to everyone else) loads the soup with chicken, vegetables and pasta so it can be a meal all on it’s own. Oh and it makes her kitchen smells great too!

How Nonna makes her homemade chicken soup so good!

My mom uses whatever chicken parts she has on hand, so no need to have a whole chicken to make this soup. She starts by removing the skin from the chicken. This makes it less greasy, which means you won’t need to skim any fat off before serving the soup. You will still have enough fat from the chicken to flavor the soup perfectly. This also makes it pretty healthy at only 245 calories for a 1 1/2 cup serving. So feel free to have seconds!

chicken soup ingredients

This soup is simple, using basic ingredients, but big on flavor. Nonna’s recipe calls for the basic vegetable combination of carrots, celery and onion, but she also adds a tomato to the soup to provide some added tang to the broth. Peel and seed the tomato and then it can be added whole or in big chunks. You can also use canned whole tomatoes as well

a pot of homemade chicken soup

What type of pasta goes best with Nonna’s chicken soup?

Pastina is the perfect pasta shape for soups

We usually serve Nonna’s homemade chicken soup with pastina or acini di pepe, which are very small pasta shapes. This type of pasta is perfect for the little ones. In fact when we feed this to the youngest members of the family, we crush the vegetables and chicken so that they are small enough for a baby or a young child to swallow without choking. They love it!

Of course you can use any pasta shape you like but the smaller pastas work best since you eat soup with a spoon. But if you love spaghetti, just take a handful of it and break it into 1-2″ inch pieces. Now you can eat spaghetti with a spoon!


A bowl of homemade chicken soup

When Nonna makes homemade chicken soup she likes to change things up once in awhile just to keep things interesting. Try some of these variations:

  1. Serve it with rice instead of pasta. This is a great way to make this gluten free.

2. Add a parmesan rind to the soup while cooking. This adds an incredible flavor to the soup!

3. Throw in some tiny meatballs along with the chicken. The next time you make meatballs, make some tiny meatballs and freeze them before cooking. Then when you make soup, just throw them in and let them cook with the other ingredients.

This wonderfully crusty Super Easy No Knead Bread would be delicious with this hearty meal.

We also love Nonna’s Zucchini and Potato soup.

A bowl of homemade chicken soup

Nonna’s Chicken Soup

Hearty, comforting chicken soup right from Nonna's kitchen.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 245 kcal


  • 1.5 lbs Chicken skinless
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 Carrot large, cut into slices
  • 2 Celery stalks sliced
  • 1/2 Onion Diced
  • 1 Tomato peeled and seeded
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon cube
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Pastina


  • Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or dutch oven.
  • Add chicken, vegetables, bouillon, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to boil slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check to see if the broth needs any additional seasoning.
  • Fill a smaller pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the pastina and 2 heaping teaspoons of salt and cook about 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  • While the pastina is cooking transfer the chicken to a plate. Allow the chicken to cool slightly. Using your fingers or a fork, pull the meat off the bones. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add it back into the broth.
  • When the pastina is done, drain almost all of the water out. Place a ladle of pastina in a bowl and top it with a ladle or more of soup. Serve with grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese if desired.


Serving: 10servingsCalories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 16gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 628mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1221IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Italian Chicken soup, chicken soup, Chicken, Vegetables, soup, pastina
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