Sicilian Chicken Soup
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 sicilian 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!
- 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
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.
Video: How to Make Sicilian Chicken Soup
More Chicken Soup Recipes
- Chicken Split Pea Soup
- Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Sicilian Chicken Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Italian
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
- 1 (32. oz) carton low-sodium chicken stock
- 4 cups water (or chicken stock)
- 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: Another option is to use chicken drumsticks. I do not recommend chicken breast for this recipe.
- 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. I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and then tasting the soup before adding the pasta. If it’s lacking salt, add a little more to taste.
- Spiciness: Carrabba’s chicken soup recipe has a spicy taste to it. If you like, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper to the soup for a spicy taste.
- Original recipe: Original recipe that I published in 2015 called for split chicken breast. 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. The rest of the recipe did not change.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 260
- Sugar: 4.6 g
- Sodium: 177.3 mg
- Fat: 4.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.9 g
- Protein: 34.7 g
- Cholesterol: 103.4 mg
Keywords: chicken noodle, chicken soup, winter, comfort food, dump and go
Delicious! I forgot to add the can of tomatoes but it was still delish!
Hi Katya, this soup was absolutely fabulous!! The flavor was remarkable! I used all broth no water. My husband loved it too! Thank you so much for a recipe.
This recipe is so amazing and is absolutely a favorite in my house with my picky kids. This is regularly in our dinner rotation. We top it with shredded mozzerella cheese and eat it with a side of crusty bread. Today is my 3rd time making it!
Oh yum! Thank you.
Can you use turkey in place of chicken?
I haven’t tried it with turkey but I’m assuming it could work with bone-in pieces?
I thought it was great! People just don’t know how to season to taste 😂 that’s the point of sharing recipes, u share them and others can enhance them as they please! That’s what creates the best meals is when input is shared! Ty ❤️ It made for a great dinner with my dad and I 🙂
The no salt tomatos are bland. I would rather use regular tomatoes and cut down the added salt
This recipe is a great starting off point for an Italian Chicken Soup. I’m not Italian but have been cooking for my Italian DH and fam for over 20 years. I agree with another reviewer.. no Italian grandma is going to use water in her soup, so why would we? Use stock or broth folks. I increased the recipe overall, starting by boiling a whole chicken in salted water with bay leaves. Reserving the water, I allowed the chicken to cool slightly before picking the bones relatively clean. I then slightly broke/chopped the bones (for flavor) and put them as well as the greasy skin back in the pot. This boiled without a lid for almost two hours until it was reduced by almost half. The liquid is strained into a bowl, some fat is skimmed, and used to saute the carrots, onion, and celery before adding the garlic. Then, a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and a 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes (both with sodium), along with the ‘homemade broth’ are added. Tasted and it needed a bit of bouillion so in it went. Instead of potatoes, I went with cannellini beans and I finished it up with a bunch of spinach and just a couple of tablespoons of cream. Tasted again and found it needed a little salt and a bunch more fresh cracked pepper. This is not the recipe as intended and it certainly takes longer, but with these changes, it is an Italian soup that would make Grandma proud.
Super yummy! My picky eaters even loved it! Made a couple modifications due to what we had but still was pretty spot on to suggested ingredients. We topped it with just a little mozzarella cheese at the table and the kids loved that touch as well! Thank you for the great recipe! It’s a keeper 😋
Curious if you can freeze the leftovers? Makes way more than we consume for the three of us!
Sometimes potatoes change texture upon freezing but other than that it should be okay to freeze.
I’m glad you kept the sodium low.
I didn’t have parsley so instead added a teaspoon each of dried basil and thyme.
I warmed a leftover part of a rotisserie chicken in the broth before removing its meat.
Did all the things she suggested for more flavor but still bland. Added more salt, chicken granules and it still doesn’t taste that good. Maybe after resting 24 hrs.
DEFINITELY doesn’t look like the photo.
I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you.