Lunch/ Soups/ Soups and Stews/ Uncategorized/ Winter Menu

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn’t feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly beautifully.

Chickarina Soup has sometimes been confused with Italian Wedding Soup; however, other than a few similar ingredients such as the meatballs and such, it’s apples compared to oranges in an Italian-American household. I will say both are equally delicious and perfect for eating on a cold day winter day.


Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn't feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly in a wonderful way.One of my favorite ingredients in this Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is the light, airy meatballs. Looking on the web, many of the bloggers went through Heaven and Hell to find the right consistency and texture of the meat to make them light, airy, and floatable. I am one of the lucky ones because, over the years, I have made Italian wedding soup for years and knew how to get my meatballs on point without all the unnecessary steps. Thank you, Nonna Josie.

The secret behind the bouncy meatballs isn’ the ingredients; it’s the method you use in cooking them. Most people will treat them as they would ordinary meatballs; however, the idea is to treat them entirely differently to meet that light airy and floaty texture. Instead of frying or the baking, the chicken meatballs until cooked, you are instead going to drop them in boiling seasoned chicken broth until they are done. The texture is perfect!

 

 

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn't feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly in a wonderful way.I like using a homemade seasoned chicken broth in my Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup. Still, you can also substitute an organic seasoned low sodium broth in yours and adjust the salt and seasoning if need be. I usually make roasted chicken reasonably often, so I make homemade seasoned broth and freeze it in portioned containers to use in soups or meals requiring chicken broth.

 

 

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn't feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly in a wonderful way.Feel free to use the leftover white chicken meat for those bite-sized chunks of beef in the Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup to save time; you can also use a roasted chicken from the local market to save time if you don’t have leftover chicken breast meat. Free-range all-natural, never antibiotics, and steroid free chicken meat is the best option to buy if you are making it fresh. I know I preach organic and all-natural Y’All, but it’s just so much better for you and your little ones. 

 

 

 

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn't feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly in a wonderful way.Disclaimer: Hey Y’all, I am sure you already know this, but this recipe is in no way the real method that Progresso uses, it is just my version and a Copycat recipe for Progresso’s Chickarina Soup. I have not been sponsored or paid by anyone to do this post. I am just sharing one of our favorite homemade versions of this remarkably delicious convenience food.

 

 

 

 

Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup Ingredients 

  • ground chicken
  • chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • grated pecorino romano cheese
  • crushed Ritz crackers, about 12
  • One head of garlic
  • One large egg white, lightly beaten
  • unsalted butter
  • matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 of a cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 8-10 cups chicken broth
  • dried Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • Israeli pearl couscous, cooked
  • chopped fresh parsley
 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is Israeli Couscous?  Israeli couscous, aka pearl couscous—is often thought of as a whole grain. However, it’s a type of pasta made from semolina flour and water.
  2. What can I substitute for the Israeli couscous? In a pinch, you can use orzo or ditalini pasta; it will slightly change the recipe and cooking time.
  3. I don’t have yellow onions, what can I use instead? My second choice in a bind would be to use white onion instead.
  4. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground chicken? You can. However, the taste will not be the same as the copycat recipe.
  5. Shouldn’t I precook the meatballs before adding them to the broth? There is no need to precook them; they will cook in the broth perfectly.
  6. What does one head of garlic mean? It is the entire bulb of garlic.
  7. Can I use an off-brand of crackers instead of the Ritz crackers? Sure, use a comparable brand to the Ritz crackers.

 

 

 

 

5 from 21 votes
Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is my ode to a childhood favorite of my son. One of the convenience foods in a can; we sometimes would make when he wasn't feeling well. The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day to warm his little belly in a wonderful way.
Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 min
 

A fantastic combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of all white chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that come together perfectly on a cold day.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, Meatballs, Pearl Pasta, Soup
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 355 kcal
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 of a cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 of a cup crushed Ritz crackers about 12
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg white lightly beaten
Soup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 of a cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 8-10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • freshly ground black peppercorns to own taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli pearl couscous cooked
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a medium glass bowl combine ground chicken, chopped Italian parsley, grated pecorino Romano cheese, crushed Ritz crackers, minced garlic, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and lightly beaten egg white. Form into tiny to small-sized meatballs ( the mixture will be sticky so rinse hands if they start sticking to you or you having a hard time forming them.
  2. Meanwhile, place a Dutch Oven over medium heat, add unsalted butter, matchstick carrots, diced yellow onion, and finely diced celery sauté until softened yet still firm-about 5-6 minutes. Add homemade chicken broth or store-bought low-sodium broth to the Dutch Oven, raise heat to high and let broth begin to boil.
  3. Once the broth has started boiling you can begin to carefully drop the meatballs in the broth, do not disturb them for about 5 minutes, turn and reduce heat to low. Add Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to your own taste. Let cook on low for about 20 minutes before adding the chopped fresh parsley and cooked Israeli couscous to the Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup. Let the soup sit for about 8 minutes before serving for the Israeli couscous to absorb the other flavors.
  4. Ladle the Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup into your favorite serving bowls and serve while still hot with oyster crackers or a nice crusty bread
  5. Enjoy!
 

 

 

 

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The combination of a flavorful broth with tiny chicken meatballs, chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and little pearl pasta that came together on a cold day

 

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Emmeline
    January 25, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup looks like such a delicious soup!! And thanks for the tips on how to cook the meatballs – I had no idea that was how you should make them.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      January 25, 2020 at 9:56 am

      I hope you get a chance to make it— it is really good and stores well.

  • Reply
    Delicious Spoon
    January 25, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Your Nonna Josie is a smart woman by just boiling them in broth. It makes total sense that baking them or adding oil to them by frying would only make them hard and dense. I can’t wait to try this recipe now and see if it compares to moms!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      January 25, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Thank you–she was an awesome cook and I learned so many wonderful tips over the years from her.

  • Reply
    Julia
    January 25, 2020 at 9:07 am

    This Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup is delicious and easy to make!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      January 25, 2020 at 9:54 am

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing Julia!

  • Reply
    kim
    January 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

    I love this copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup It was so delicious and my family ate it up! I will definitely make it again soon!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      January 25, 2020 at 9:54 am

      It’s perfect for this chilly weather and I am thrilled to hear the family liked it, Kim.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 25, 2020 at 8:32 am

    I’ve never had Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup but I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never heard of this soup before but your version looks and sounds delicious.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      January 25, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Thank you, Amanda–I hope you enjoy it when you make the recipe.

  • Reply
    Elaine
    August 26, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    ! This soup is just perfect to say HELLO to the colder part of the year. Even though we are not there yet, I am glad I’ve stumbled upon this recipe – the time will fly. Love that you can use leftovers here – so handy!

  • Reply
    Patty at Spoonabilities
    August 26, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Chickarina soup is one of my favs! This looks amazing! I am beyond excited to make this!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    August 26, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Fabulous soup that is just perfect for the coming autumn (and winter!). I’ve had a few favorite soups in my recipe mix but I think I will need to add one more – this one – it is too good!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Sweetpea Lifestyle
    August 26, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    What a bowl of comfort!!! Yum! Can’t wait to make this this fall!

  • Reply
    Jess at BlessHerHeartYall.com
    August 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    What a great bowl of deliciousness! I love a wonderful copy cat recipe, especially those in a bowl that you can slurp! This Copycat Progresso Chickarina Soup sounds delicious!

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