This simple chicken pastina soup is made with all the ingredients for your favorite chicken noodle soup, but with adorable star shaped pastina (stelline) instead! It's the perfect cozy chicken soup that both kids and adults will love!
I remember eating canned chicken and stars soup as a kid, but I promise the homemade version is 1000x's tastier! Best of all, this easy chicken pastina soup is ready in just 30 minutes!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this homemade chicken and stars soup!
Chicken - I love using my easy poached chicken for this soup. But you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or just cook the chicken in the soup itself!
Vegetable Stock - I always use homemade vegetable stock because that's what I have on hand. But you can also use store-bought vegetable stock or chicken stock! Just note, if using store-bought stock you may need to reduce the salt content of the soup.
White Wine - This is completely optional, I just love the extra flavor it adds to the broth.
Fresh Herbs - Using fresh herbs is always more flavorful, but you can substitute 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning instead.
Cayenne Pepper - I love adding just a little bit of cayenne for some added flavor and heat! But just leave it out if you prefer.
Parmesan Rinds - Also optional, but adding some leftover parmesan rinds to the chicken soup adds some savory, umami flavor that really enhances the flavor of the broth!
Pastina - Pastina literally means "little pasta" and refers to any type of tiny pasta, whereas stelline is a specific kind of pastina that looks like little stars!
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Cozy Chicken Pastina Soup
Finely chop the onion, celery, and carrots and mince the garlic.
Add all the prepared veggies and butter to a large stock pot over medium high heat.
Lightly sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until tender and aromatic.
Add in the thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and cayenne and let cook for another minute.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add in the vegetable stock, bay leaves, and parmesan rinds and bring to a boil.
Note: If adding parmesan rinds to the soup, be sure to stir frequently so that they don't melt to the bottom of the pot.
Add in the shredded chicken and stelline pasta and simmer until the star pasta is fully cooked and tender, 8-12 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Top the chicken pastina soup with fresh parsley and serve immediately!
The parmesan rinds and the starch from the pastina both help thicken the soup so that it has a more stew-like consistency. However, the pastina will very quickly absorb the broth in the soup, so it's best to serve immediately so it doesn't get too thick!
Since the pastina will absorb the broth, I suggest straining out the broth to store separately! Then just combining again before reheating! This is the easiest way to prevent soggy, bloated stars that soak up all the broth.
This chicken pastina soup also freezes great! But if freezing, I recommend waiting to add the star pasta. Simply portion out the soup you want to freeze. Then add some pastina to the portion you're planning to eat immediately.
What to serve with chicken and stars soup:
Store the broth and inclusions separately in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Soup Recipes You Might Like!
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Chicken Pastina Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, substitute olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- ½ cup white cooking wine, optional
- 6 cups vegetable stock, substitute chicken stock or water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 leftover parmesan rinds, optional
- 2 large poached chicken breasts, shredded
- 1 cup stelline pastina (star pasta)
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, optional
- Finely chop the onion, celery, and carrots and mince the garlic.
- Add all the prepared veggies and butter to a large stock pot over medium high heat.
- Lightly sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until tender and aromatic.
- Add in the thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and cayenne and let cook for another minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add in the vegetable stock, bay leaves, and parmesan rinds and bring to a boil. Note: If adding parmesan rinds to the soup, be sure to stir frequently so that they don't melt to the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the shredded chicken and stelline pasta and simmer until the star pasta is fully cooked and tender, 8-12 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
- Top the chicken pastina soup with fresh parsley and serve immediately!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.