Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup- Healthy Option

Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup

Share some healthy Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup to ward off the winter chill!

Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup

I happened upon this Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup in the October edition of the HyVee Seasons magazine. This edition is chuck-full of tasty ideas, so expect to see posts featuring these recipes in the future.

Mike is actually the big chicken soup fan in our family. Typically I lean towards soups that are tomato or veggie-based. But the tender Romano-laced chicken meatballs, cous cous, and rosemary-flecked broth looked unique, so I decided to give it a spin. Glad I did! Of course, as a person that can never leave well enough alone, I’ve put together a few suggestions that I would try when making this recipe again.

Soup Tweaks

The first thing I would do is swap the Pecorino Romano for Parmesan. While they are both hard, salty, Italian cheeses that taste fairly similar, I personally don’t care for the smell of Romano. Plus, it’s easier to find grated Parmesan in most super markets. Another idea would be to increase the flavor of the meatballs by adding some dried herbs like basil, oregano or an Italian seasoning blend. I did opt to double the fresh rosemary in the chicken broth to 2 teaspoons, which I think added great flavor.

The recipe also calls for using a 1/2″ cookie scoop, but I only had a 1″ scoop on hand. I think this made a nice-sized little meatball with a good quantity of meatballs per serving. You could try to make them by hand, but the mixture is faiirly wet and hard to handle. Instead I would suggest finding some type of small scoop in your kitchen, along with a spoon, to shape and scoop them onto the cookie sheet. 

Health Benefits

This tasty chicken soup is a healthy option which is low in calories and carbs (about 130 calories and 14 carbs per serving. ) In addition to being a healthy lunch or dinner option, chicken soup also provides some medicinal benefits. That’s great news since we are in the heart of cold and flu season. So cook up a pot of soup and enjoy something delicious and good for you today!

Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup

Serving Size: 4 servings

Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup


  • 3/4 lb ground chicken
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil, oregano or Italian seasoning blend, optional
  • 1/2 c. grated fresh Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano), divided
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped yellow onion (use sweet if available)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots (keep on the thinner side)
  • 1/4 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. uncooked pearl cous cous (also known as Israeli cous cous)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat the broiler with the oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with cooking spray.
  • Gently combine the chicken, egg white, salt, pepper, additional seasoning if using and half of the Parmesan. Scoop the mixture into meatballs using a 1-inch cookie scoop, and place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until the meatballs are lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high. Add the onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the couscous, garlic, and rosemary; cook, stirring often, until the couscous is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, and cook until the couscous is tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Top with the parsley and remaining half of the Parmesan.


Adapted from Valerie Bertinelli's Chickarina Soup found in the October edition of the HyVee Seasons magazine

2 thoughts on “Chicken Meatball (Chickarina) Soup- Healthy Option

  1. The soup sounds just delicious, I am going to give it a try. This time of year, nothing tastes better than a hot bowl of soup!

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