Chickarina Soup

Cheryl Malik
March 15, 2023
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Packed full of fresh meatballs and pearly couscous, this homemade chickarina soup is a hearty and delicious version of a canned classic. Whether you want a fresh and warm soup for a cool evening, a healthy pick-me-up, or want to cook and freeze for meal prepping, this soup is the perfect choice!

Overhead view of chickarina soup in a soup bowl.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • It’s super easy to make! The most time consuming aspect of this recipe is rolling the chicken into balls. However, it is so worth it, and very simple! The fresh chicken meatballs taste so good and add more flavor and heartiness to the soup.
  • Chicken broth is full of important fatty acids and protein, which makes it the perfect base. The combination of the broth, fresh vegetables, fresh meatballs, and added fiber make this chickarina soup a great option if you need are looking for something delicious, comforting, and healthy.
  • Soups are great for planning ahead for busy weeks! I love being able to make one giant pot of soup and enjoy it for a couple of days. No guesswork or hard work on dinner plans- just reheat and enjoy. And- one pot means way less cleanup! Plus, there are simple ingredients in this soup, so it’s a great choice if you’re trying to decide last minute what to make!

Chef’s Tips

  • It is best to serve the soup as soon as the couscous is cooked. Fresh couscous is delicious and has a slight crunch to it, which adds even more texture to this soup.
  • This soup is very versatile! You can add whatever extra vegetables you may have on hand, and you could even add some extra seasoning to the meatballs if you want to spice things up a notch. That’s the beauty of homemade versions of classics- you can make them exactly how you want them to be!
Side view of chickarina soup in a soup bowl.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

Overhead view of chickarina soup in a soup bowl.

Chickarina Soup

Fresh meatballs, vegetables, pearly couscous, and lots of flavor. This chickarina soup is a hearty, delicious, and cozy version of a canned classic.
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Yield: 6 servings


  • large mixing bowl
  • large wooden spoon
  • plate
  • large pot with lid - or dutch oven
  • slotted spoon


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt - more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion - diced
  • 2 large carrots - diced
  • 2 stalks celery - diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl couscous

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley


For the Meatballs

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, parsley and salt together using a large wooden spoon.
    Chicken meatball ingredients in a large glass mixing bowl.
  • Using the palms of your hands, roll seasoned meat into small, ¾" round balls. You will have approximately 58 meatballs once finished.
  • Place all prepared meatballs on plate and set aside.
    Prepared chicken meatballs on a baking sheet.

For the Soup

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat.
    Oil in a dutch oven.
  • Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables begin softening.
    Carrots, onion, celery in a dutch oven.
  • Once vegetables begin softening, add chicken stock and water to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer.
    Chicken stock and veggies in a stock pot.
  • Using a slotted spoon, carefully add meatballs into the simmering broth. Meatballs will start to rise to the top of the broth as they cook.
  • Add the couscous to pot and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until couscous is cooked.
    Couscous and meatballs in heavy pot.
  • Remove pot from heat. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
    Chickarina soup in a dutch oven.


  • Leftovers: Store remaining soup in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • To Freeze: Let soup cool completely, then transfer to freezer-safe airtight container or plastic bag and place in freezer. Best within 3 months of cooking. 
  • Reheating: Portion desired amount into bowl and heat in microwave or in saucepan on stovetop until thoroughly warmed. From frozen, allow soup to thaw in fridge overnight, then portion out and reheat in microwave or on stovetop. 


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 909mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4410IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used. To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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Recipe by Cheryl Malik

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