Chicken soup has never been easier! Warm up with a huge bowl on a cold winter day. All from scratch with tender chunks of veggies, ditalini pasta, and shredded chicken.
This Italian chicken soup is inspired by Carrabba’s chicken soup recipe and pairs phenomenal with crusty bread or a light veggie pasta, such as 20-Minute Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach.
Carrabba’s Chicken Soup
There is no doubt that we are a HUGE soup loving family. I grew up eating soups and borscht as a kid. It was a staple in our household. Now I make soup for my own kids pretty much year round.
In the colder months, I like to make thicker type of soups, stews, and chili. In the warmer months, I stick to lighter soups. All three of my kids absolutely love soup so that gives me even more motivation to make it.
This Italian chicken soup recipe is somewhat in between. It’s inspired by Carrabba’s Mama Mandola’s Chicken Soup Recipe. Made with chunky veggies, shredded chicken, and plenty of delicious homemade broth.
The best part is that it’s a dump and go type of recipe. Basically, you load up your soup pot with all the ingredients and let your stovetop do all the work. It does not get easier than that!
Ingredients for Sicilian Chicken Soup
- Chicken Thighs – you want bone-in-skin-on thighs. If you were going to splurge on anything in this recipe, splurge on good quality chicken. I like to buy organic or pasture-raised chicken whenever I can. That way you’ll get the best flavor out of the chicken.
- Veggies – onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and potatoes
- Canned Tomatoes – no salt diced tomatoes are what you want. If using salted tomatoes cut down on salt.
- Aromatics – dry bay leaves and fresh garlic
- Chicken Stock – I love using a combination of store chicken stock plus water to make a quick soup. Just make sure it’s low-sodium, otherwise, you’ll have to cut down on salt.
- Salt – it’s very important to season the soup well from the start since everything basically gets added in at the same time. See my detailed note in the recipe about the salt.
- Pasta – ditalini pasta is typically used in rustic Italian soups. A good substitute would be tubetti or orzo pasta.
- Parsley – fresh parsley is ideal. Don’t like parsley? Try fresh basil.
How Do You Make a Good Soup?
It all starts with chicken. Preferably high quality organic, pasture-raised, or grass-fed chicken.
I personally love to use an entire chicken for homemade broth when possible. However, when I’m in the rush, bone-in-skin-on chicken thighs are my go-to.
Chicken thighs cook quickly and the meat is always tender. So you can use them to make the broth and then shred the meat to use in soup.
The broth is always perfect with just the perfect amount of body and savory flavor.
How to Make Sicilian Chicken Soup
Step 1: In a large soup pot, at least 6-quart, combine the chicken, onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, stock, and water.
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered until chicken is tender about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Add pasta to the soup and continue cooking for 13-15 minutes, partially covered, until pasta is tender.
Step 3: Shred the chicken with two forks, discarding the skin and bones. Return shredded chicken to the pot. At this point, the soup will almost be done.
Step 4: Discard the bay leaves. Stir in parsley and serve.
Katya’s TIP: Love thicker chicken soup? Simply put a tablespoon of flour into a small bowl and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the soup until you have a smooth mixture. Stir this back into the soup and bring it to a simmer.
More Ways to Add Flavor to Chicken Soup
Add more flavor to your chicken soup by adding dried parsley, onion powder, or garlic powder. I recommend adding 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon.
Another great way to add more flavor is to add a splash of vinegar (any kind) or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
What Goes With Chicken Soup for Dinner?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to serving chicken soup. My simple go-to is always soup with some crusty bread or these pillowy soft mini cheese balls.
Or you can definitely make a complete meal out of the soup with some of these satisfying sides:
- Avocado Egg Salad – serve it on a crusty piece of bread.
- Avocado Caesar Salad with Cucumbers – this salad is so crisp and fresh. Feel free to add more veggies to it.
- Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries – it’s the ultimate fall/winter salad. Loaded with so many colorful fresh veggies.
- Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Cheese – it’s so cheesy and satisfying!
- All Veggie Sandwich – you can’t go wrong with a soup and sandwich combo.
More Chicken Soup Ideas:
- Chicken Split Pea Soup
- Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
If you try Sicilian Chicken Soup, don’t forget to leave feedback and a rating.Print
Chicken soup has never been easier! Warm up with a huge bowl on a cold winter day. All from scratch with tender chunks of veggies, ditalini pasta, and shredded chicken. Yum!
- 4 bone-in-skin-on chicken thighs, 2 pounds
- 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 celery ribs, chopped, about 2 cups
- 3 medium carrots, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium russet potatoes (1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt diced tomatoes
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt (see note)
- 1 (32. oz) carton low-sodium chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry ditalini pasta
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
- Fresh black pepper, to taste
- In a large soup pot, at least 6-quart, combine chicken, onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, and salt.
- Add chicken stock and water. Season to taste with black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and easily falling off the bones. Remove chicken from the pot with a pair of tongs.
- Add pasta to the soup and continue cooking for 13-15 minutes, partially covered, until pasta is tender. Don’t forget to stir the soup couple times so the pasta does not stick.
- Meanwhile shred the chicken with two forks, discarding the skin and bones. Return shredded chicken to the pot. At this point, the soup will almost be done. Taste the veggies, especially the potatoes for doneness.
- Discard the bay leaves. Stir in parsley and serve.
- Chicken: I do not recommend using chicken breast. The soup will lack flavor. You can however use chicken drumsticks. They make great broth too.
- Salt: I’m always hesitant to indicate the amount of salt in recipes since not all salt is created equal. But it’s really important that this soup is seasoned well from the start. So my recommendation would be to start out with 2 teaspoons of salt, taste the soup halfway through cooking, and adjust if necessary. Unless you’re using Diamond Crystal or David’s Kosher Salt like I did, then stick with 1 Tbsp. of salt. Also keep in mind, if using salted tomatoes or NOT a low-sodium stock, you’ll want to cut down the salt to 2 teaspoons, taste, and adjust as needed.
- Original recipe: original recipe that I published in 2015 called for split chicken breast and all water (no broth). However, after re-testing the recipe numerous times I found that it was lacking some flavor. Therefore the new and improved recipe is made with bone-in chicken thighs and chicken broth. Both add amazing flavor to the soup. The rest of the recipe did not change.
Keywords: chicken noodle, chicken soup, winter, comfort food, dump and go
Originally published December 2015, updated September 2019 with new photos, rewritten post, and additional information.