Chicken Soup with Spinach and Whole Wheat Acini di Pepe

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This delicious, healthier chicken noodle soup is made with whole wheat acini di pepe pasta and spinach, for added nutrition.

When it's chicken and noodle soup my family craves, we love this easy homemade chicken soup, loaded with chicken, veggies and our favorite pasta shape – Acini di Pepe.Chicken Soup with Spinach and Whole Wheat Acini di Pepe

When it’s chicken and noodle soup my family craves, we love this easy homemade chicken soup, loaded with chicken, veggies and our favorite pasta shape – Acini di Pepe. This is pure comfort food, and leftovers taste even better the next day.

When it's chicken and noodle soup my family craves, we love this easy homemade chicken soup, loaded with chicken, veggies and our favorite pasta shape – Acini di Pepe.

You probably heard me say this before, the only whole wheat pasta my family will eat is Delallo’s. I don’t know how they do it, but the taste and texture are better than any other brands I have tried. I also love that their whole wheat pastas come in so many different shapes, more shapes than any other brands I have seen.

For this soup, I personally like using boneless chicken thighs in the soup, but breasts would also work fine. Madison likes when I pack this soup for school lunch in her thermos (minus the spinach). To reheat leftovers, simply add more broth or water to thin it out if it’s too thick. This is also a great freezer friendly dish, you can double the recipe and freeze the rest.

You can see more Soup Recipes here!

When it's chicken and noodle soup my family craves, we love this easy homemade chicken soup, loaded with chicken, veggies and our favorite pasta shape – Acini di Pepe.
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4.94 from 15 votes
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Chicken Soup with Spinach and Whole Wheat Acini di Pepe

266 Cals 28 Protein 25 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 4 Servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
CUISINE: American
When it's chicken and noodle soup my family craves, we love this easy homemade chicken soup, loaded with chicken, veggies and our favorite pasta shape – Acini di Pepe.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of all fat (about 1 pound total)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup peeled and sliced carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup Delallo Whole Wheat Acini di Pepe, 2.5 oz
  • grated Parmesan, optional for serving


  • Season the chicken with salt.
  • Heat the oil in a medium nonstick pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add  the chicken, broth, bay leaves and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to medium-low until the chicken shreds easily, about 25 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaves, coarsely shred the chicken with two forks and return to the soup, add the pasta and cook according to package directions, adding the baby spinach at the last minute to wilt.


Serving: 11/4 cups, Calories: 266kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 772mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g
Keywords: chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle soup recipe, chicken soup with whole wheat pasta, homemade chicken noodle soup, kid friendly chicken soup

Made in partnership with Delallo, a brand I love and use every day in my kitchen.

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  1. If you can’t find the pasta listed can you substitute with another whole wheat pasta?

  2. I swear by skinny taste recipes that’s pretty much all I cook and I love them all. But this soup is the best chicken noodle soup I have ever made. It’s so simple but absolutely delicious. The chicken comes out so tender and flavorful.. make this!

  3. Absolutely delicious. Made exactly as recipe. I use Better than Bouillon for the broth

  4. Do you freeze the soup with the spinach or do you add the spinach to the soup once you remove it from the freezer and heat it up? Thank you!!

  5. How could we do this in the IP? I love just being able to toss it & cook. 

  6. Comfort food at its best!

  7. Hi Gina,
    I just made this soup. It looks and smells delicious. I used regular acini pasta and chicken breast. How does this affect the weight watcher points? 

  8. Fantastic. Coming down with a little cold, so whipped this up in the instant pot in no time at all. Tastes so delicious. I left out the onion and celery and salt and used orzo – went with what I had on hand. So excited to have three bowls remaining for leftovers this week.

  9. Could not find the pasta at my store so I used the same brand only whole wheat orzo. Only tweek I made was to add poultry seasoning on the chicken as well as salt and pepper. It was delicious. My husband went back for seconds. This is a keeper!!

  10. Chicken soup makes the whole house smell so good.   I didn’t have bay leaves so I added just a little bit of Italian seasoning.  I never know what bay leaves a good for!!!  So good, it was gone in a day.

  11. Love all your recipes :). Any chance this can be done in the crockpot ??? 

  12. I’m always kind of amazed at some of the questions…ex: what isle can I find the pasta in?..I feel for you Gina, You do a good job, Women or whomever cooks needs to put on their grown up pants and just jump into it. Most of us did, before you, and we’re still here. Women,Girls take a chance in the kitchen once in a’s ok..really…and most probably he’ll eat it. Thanks for listing to a ‘bug’ of mine.

  13. This recipe just simply rocks!! My husband even called me at work, just now, to rave about it!!

  14. Such an easy recipe and very kid friendly. My boys, ages 2 and 6 gobbled it up and my oldest said it was phenomenal! ????.  There is not a lot of broth after adding the pasta, but it’s easier for the kids to eat this way.  If you prefer more broth, I would use 1/4 cup of the acini Di Pepe.   Used chicken thighs and I’m glad I did because it added more flavor. 

  15. My new favorite chicken soup. Thank you

  16. YUM!!! I did brighten the flavors with a squeeze of fresh lemon and grated a little parmigiano

  17. One of my favorites ! I make a double batch and eat it throughout the week. Kind of like a twist on italian wedding soup. 

  18. I LOVE this soup! After trying the fist time, I started making double batches so I could freeze for my lunches. I’ve only found the white pasta and find that there is a bit more than I would like in the soup so I just leave that at 1/2 cup and double everything else when I make it. I also chop up regular spinach because that usually what I have on hand. My husband isn’t a fan of soups that aren’t creamy, but he’ll eat this one and my toddler loves it. I try to keep it in the freezer in single serving containers all winter because I find myself craving it!
    I made it in the Intant Pot this last time and it came out perfect, but I feel like stove top for this particular recipe is easier. Thanks, Gina!!!

  19. Loved it! Added some red pepper flakes at the suggestion of another commenter but otherwise went by the recipe. Served with a large salad for a delicious dinner! However, start to finish, this took me closer to an hour (I’m a slow chopper!)

  20. made this with orzo – couldn’t find pasta in the recipe.  easy and absolutely delicious. so full of flavor.   my go to chicken soup recipe this winter!

  21. Looks awesome. Has this recipe been converted to the new Freestyle points?

  22. Made this for my weekly lunches and it is very flavorful! One of the best chicken soups I’ve made in a while. The only change I made was that I added some fresh mushrooms, as I already had them and didn’t want them to go to waste in the fridge.

  23. Have you tried this in the instapot? In new with IP and saw a previous recipe was converted with IP instructions, but I’m. It sure how to convert this one. 

  24. I made this tonight in the instant pot. It was great. I sautéed the carrots, celery, garlic and onion in the  instant pot with a little olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Then I added the chicken, broth, salt, pepper, spinach, and a tsp or so of red pepper flakes. I set pot on pressure cook for 20 minutes. I didn’t have the pasta in the recipe so I cooked wheat noodles on the stove while the soup cooked in the instant pot.  When the 20 was up, I did a quick release, took out the chicken breasts, shredded them, and added them back in the pot along with the cooked noodles. Stirred it all up, and then served with a hunk of homemade bread and a little shredded Parmesan on the soup. Easy, filling and delicious ????. 

  25. I am making this tonight to serve with your wonderful garlic and rosemary biscuits! I absolutely love your recipes

  26. I’ve made this several times. It’s delicious! We love it with gluten free spaghetti.

  27. How’s does this freeze? Has anyone tried? 

    • I see that she says it freezes well but just curious if people have tried it. A little worried about the spinach. Will prob be fine 🙂 This is one of my pick boys’ favorite meals. Even the spinach! 

  28. could this be done in a crockpot?

  29. I think your recipe is wrong. 1/2 is NOT 2.1 oz.
    Sounds like you meant to put 1/4 cup. I quaded this recipe and there are wayyyy too much pasta. Please double check?Heather

  30. easy to make, delicious but needs more flavor . Any suggestions ?

  31. I messed up and used bone in chicken thighs. Can I still use these? Should I add to the cook time

  32. If I make this in a crock pot
    Would you brown chicken first and
    What would be your recommended time? Can’t sit
    To try this 

  33. Honestly the best chicken soup I’ve ever had! Thanks.

  34. This soup was great!!! The whole family enjoyed it & it is really simple to make. Very flavorful. 

  35. Do you cook the pasta sep and then add to the chicken and other ingredients?

  36. Can this be frozen?

  37. HI, I’m just starting to venture out of my comfort zone cooking new recipes for my family.  I don’t know why but the thought of cooking raw chicken in with the other ingredients creeps me out.  Would it work out the same if I add cooked shredded chicken at the end?  

  38. I made this tonight (substituting Delallo whole wheat Orzo for the Acini di pepe…coundn’t find 🙁 ), and it was delicious. My 5-year-old said it was the “best soup she has ever had!” Hubby also approved. Thanks for the recipe!

  39. Had this tonight and everyone loved it! It was simple, easy and yummy. My husband isn’t much of a soup guy but he liked it. Thanks Gina!

  40. Seriously delicious! I love every single one of your recipes! Easy, delicious, wholesome… Thank you! This soup was so easy to put together but the flavor fooled my tastebuds! It tasted like it had been simmering all day.

  41. Made this in the instant pot and it was SO good…. I added fresh parsley, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the broth.. I also seasoned the chicken directly and added a cup of water, along with the chicken stock. SO good!!

  42. Made this tonight and loved it!!!

    I normally make my moms Jewish chicken soup but loved that this was quick and less complicated !

    I used the  Farrelle pasta ..I had to add water because I used extra pasta . i saw the pasta you suggested in the store but felt like a bigger pasta …next time I will try the pasta you suggested! 
    Thank you 🙂

  43. I had to try this over the weekend…and it was fantastic!!! Great recipe and easy to make. Thanks Gina!

  44. What is the sat fat of this recipe? Please include sat fat counts in your recipes, it is SO IMPORTANT!

  45. Gina,
    I put the nutritional amounts in my WW calculator and came up with 6 smart points per serving.  Can you tell me whar I’m doing wrong?

    • The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  46. Can I do this in the Instant Pot?  What would I need to change?

  47. I made this soup for supper tonight with orzo, It was delicious and not salty at all. Great tasting and packed with nutrition. You can’t go wrong with this one.

  48. Could I use a whole chicken instead of only thighs?

  49. This was my first email from subscribing on the blog, although I follow on FB.
    I made this today. WOW. I found the pasta, just wasn’t whole wheat, at Tom Thumb locally.  This is the best chicken soup I ever made or ate. Thanks so much. I’m thrilled to include in my WW menus. 

  50. Is the chicken already cooked when added? 

  51. Could I throw these ingredients in the slow cooker?  Would I add the pasta in during the last hour?

  52. Hi Gina! I love Delallo whole-wheat pasta, too! I’ve tried many, and Delallo is always just right. I’m eager to make this soup. Appreciate the tip about freezing. Thanks for ALL your great recipes. I’m always recommending them to my Weight Watchers class, and so they thank you, too!

  53. I would use cauliflower rice instead of pasta as I don’t eat wheat. My question is how long would this need to cook in the Instant Pot?

  54. I cook the pasta separately. It has a tendency to absorb too much broth. Add warm, drained pasta to each batch served.
    Love children soup. Thanks

  55. Can you convert the recipe to an Insta pot for me?    Not sure about cooking times. Thank you!   Your recipes!!

    • She did a few posts up. I’ve copied and pasted her reply for you –

      15 minutes high pressure, add the pasta and cook half the time on the package high pressure, quick release.

  56. Thank you so much for mentioning the brand of acini de pepe and including the link. My grandmother always acinin de pepe in brodo and finding a whole wheat source made my dayl

  57. With all due respect, I like making chicken soup with water and bone-in chicken. The bones are what give it all the flavor.  In my humble opinion, no boxed chicken broth can compare.  Also, I like adding quite a bit more celery, carrots and onion than your recipes call for. I love the foundation of all your recipes but I find I need to jack up the spices considerably. Thank you for all your hard work to create these recipes. 

  58. Any tips for Instant Pot conversion?

    • Sure, 15 minutes high pressure, add the pasta and cook half the time on the package high pressure, quick release.

      • I used a frozen bone-in almost 2 pound chicken breast and orzo pasta. I initially tried 10 min in the IP with 10 minute NP release but the chicken didn’t cook through. I don’t know what I was thinking.) So I did another 10 minutes with NP release and it was perfect. I turned the IP to saute, added the orzo and let it simmer while I shredded the chicken. After I added the chicken back to the pot I tore up the spinach and added it in batches. It needed a little bit more salt but the end result was delicious!

  59. The beef and tomato soup with acini is one of my favorite recipes of yours — excited to try this one!

  60. If I can not find whole wheat pasta, what else can I use

  61. Can I sub Kale in for Spinach?

  62. This looks delicious! I think even my picky eater husband would gobble this up!

    I’m always on the lookout for good, healthy pasta. Where do they sell Dellalo?

  63. Hi Gina,
    Do you think you could use quinoa in this instead of pasta to make it gluten free?

  64. Hi Gina, Have you found the Dellalo WW Acini de Pepe in stores on LI? I’d love to make this today! Thanks! Jill