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Pastina Soup is the ultimate Italian comfort food. It’s nutrient packed, super easy to make, and made with simple ingredients. It’s a perfect meal for any night of the week- even kids will love it!
If you love this Pastina Soup be sure to try my Italian Pastina recipe!
I love everything about this Pastina Soup. I grew up eating pastina and my two daughters are eating it so pastina has a special place in my heart.
This Pastina Soup however is different than this classic Pastina made with primarily pasta, butter, cheese, and water or broth. This soup has veggies and made with a rich broth that gets flavored with a parmesan rind to get plenty of flavor.
There’s nothing better than a bowl of this cozy soup on a cold day or when you’re not feeling well and want to feel nourished. Pastina Soup will do the trick! I love serving this soup with crusty Italian bread or even crackers.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Pastina pasta: This pasta is shaped like tiny stars but you you can use any small pasta that you can find. See a list below for other pastas that would work great for this recipe.
- Chicken broth: Low-sodium chicken broth is always recommended so you can control the salt. You can also use vegetable broth or beef broth. Make sure to always taste the soup for salt before serving. Regular chicken broth, chicken stock or homemade chicken broth works too, just leave out the added salt.
- Vegetables: Carrots and celery.
- Onion: Yellow or white onion.
- Parmesan cheese rind: The salt from the rind adds TONS of extra flavor. You don’t have to add it in but it’s always highly recommended for optimal results.
how to make pastina soup
Add onions and veggies to a pot: Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion and veggies are softened.
Add liquids: Add chicken broth, water, parmesan cheese rind, and boil.
Cook pastina and veggies: Add pastina and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are completely cooked and soft. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Enjoy: Remove parmesan cheese rind with a slotted spoon and top with more parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest (optional). Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
how much pastina to add to soup
I add one cup of pastina with 6 cups of liquid total and it’s the perfect consistency. Add more if you want the soup to be thicker and add less if you want more of a broth-based soup.
- Pasta variation: If you aren’t able to find the little stars shaped pasta, use any smaller pasta such as acini de pepe, orzo, ditalini, small shells or alphabet pasta. Smaller pastas work best for Pastina Soup.
- Add spice: Add a couple splashes of your favorite hot sauce or add a teaspoon or two of chili powder or cayenne pepper.
- Add more flavor: Add your favorite fresh herbs to the hot soup. Finley chopped parsley is a great option.
- Add protein: Add shredded chicken meat (I often use leftover rotisserie chicken) to the soup to make a Pastina Chicken Soup! This will make it more hearty and high in protein. You could also scramble an egg and add it to the soup 5 minutes before it’s done cooking.
- Add veggies: Add shredded carrots, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, peas, or broccoli to the boiling water when you add the pasta.
- Prep veggies the day ahead: Chopping up and dicing all the veggies takes the longest amount of prep. Cut your veggies the day before you make the soup. If cutting the potatoes ahead of time, be sure to submerge them in water to store so they don’t turn brown.
- Cutting the veggies: Make sure all the vegetables are cut the same size. I like to dice them all to get small-sized pieces in each bite.
what is pastina?
Pastina in Italian simply means tiny pasta shape or small pasta and it’s often cooked in Italian households. Tiny star-shaped pasta that are cooked in the soup are the most popular but you can use whatever little pasta you can find.
leftovers & storage
To-store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 3-4 days. When ready to reheat, place in the refrigerator to warm.
To-freeze: Place cooled pastina in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter for a few hours or place in the refrigerator overnight.
To-reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave or a small saucepan. It’s always best to add more broth since the pasta will most likely dry out once it’s refrigerated or frozen.
OTHER COZY & Delicious SOUPS
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow or white onion (1 small onion) diced
- 1 cup peeled carrots diced
- 1 cup celery (about 2 stalks) diced
- 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup pastina
- 1 2-inch parmesan rind
- salt and pepper
- Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion is softened.
- Add chicken broth, water, parmesan cheese rind, and boil.
- Add pastina and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are completely cooked and soft. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove parmesan cheese rind and top with more parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional). Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!