Quick and easy chicken soup made with just 5 ingredients is ready in just 30-minutes. This can be served as a soup or a chicken and pasta main dish. Kids love the shape of these little pasta balls that look like frog eyes.
I make this quick chicken pasta dish at least once a month. It’s one of my favorite recipes. I love anything that resembles chicken noodle soup! It’s also great for using up leftover chicken.
It’s kid-friendly too! They love the fun shape and the noodles stay in their spoon.
Acini di pepe is my preferred pasta for this chicken soup.
Pearl couscous, also called Israeli couscous can also be used. The texture of the couscous will be slightly different, I think it’s a little chewier. You can even use the tri-colored kind.
Both kinds of pasta measure the same and will give you the large pasta balls that look like frog eyes.
Orzo can be used, it will have a different shape but cook the same way.
- Add the broth, the carrots, and celery to a large saucepan.
- Set the heat to high and cook until the broth comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a slow boil.
- Add the pasta and chicken. Don’t worry if the pasta floats. (Photo 1)
- Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. (Photo 2)
- Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. (Photo 3)
- Allow the pasta to sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water. The pasta should look like Photo 4 below.
- Remove the lid and stir.
- Serve while hot.
The pasta is going to swell considerably. When you first add it to the soup you might think you don’t have enough. Don’t worry, it is going to thicken up and look more like a pasta dish that a soup like my photos.
If you want a less thick soup, reduce the pasta to 1 cup and remove from the heat and serve as soon as the pasta is done cooking.
I use 3 cups of cooked chicken, usually a combination of white and dark meat. You can start with raw chicken though. Cook in the broth by simmering until the meat has done. Remove it from the broth and allow it to cool slightly, then dice it or shred it and add it back to the soup.
Do not overcook your carrots and celery before adding the pasta. Slicing them about 1/4-inch thick will ensure they are cooked in the same amount of time as the pasta.
If you want thicker vegetable slices, allow them to cook for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the pasta.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator using airtight containers for up to 3 days. This can also be frozen for up to 3 months. That before reheating.
This can be reheated in the microwave using microwave-safe bowls. Heat on high until hot.
To reheat on the stovetop cook in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot.
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Chicken and Pasta Balls
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 3 large carrots sliced, about 2 cups
- 4 stalks celery sliced, about 2 cups
- 3 cups chicken meat diced
- 2 cups acini di pepe or Israeli couscous
- Add chicken broth, celery, and onions to a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add the chicken and the pasta to the pan and reduce heat to a slow boil.
- Continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pasta is done.
- Remove from the heat and cover with a lid and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is soaked up most of the liquid.
- Remove the lid and stir. Serve while hot.
- Uncooked chicken can be used, simmer it in the broth until 160°F. Remove from the broth and allow it to cool. Once cool, dice or shred 3 cups of chicken meat.
- Slice carrots to about 1/4" thick so that they will cook in the same amount of time as the pasta. Thicker sliced vegetables will require 5 to minutes of cooking before adding the pasta.
- Do not add additional pasta, the pasta will swell and absorb most of the liquid.
- Decrease pasta to 1 cup for a thinner soup.