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5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

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5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

Whoa. I just realized that 2 weeks from today, I will be in Italy! Italia!!!

(Oh yeah, and today I also just realized when reading my flight confirmation email that I fly out next Tuesday instead of Wednesday, the date I’d had in my mind for months. Tiny detail. ;))

Still, assuming I catch the correct plane and actually make it across the pond, I cannot wait to be in Europe! I will be spending a few days in Austria, then a week in Germany, and then my sister and I are going to cap off the trip with four days in Florence. She’s an art teacher and is happily planning our artistic itinerary. And me? You’d better believe this food blogger is planning a mega food tour around the region. I have a list of recommended places to visit from friends, which include everything from fresh pasta…to gelato…to pizza…to gelato…to espresso…to gelato…to paninis…to local wine…to gelato…oh, and maybe some more gelato. It’s going to be magnifico.

So to (ahem) get my palate in the Italian spirit before leaving, I have been doing the hard work of making and eating endless batches of fresh homemade pesto. And one of the recipes I have re-fallen in love with is an oldie but goodie from the blog archives that I am renaming this 5-Ingredient Basil Chicken Soup. It’s basically like the Italian version of my favorite 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili. And oh man, it is a winner.

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

The old recipe that I had on the blog was just a simple spinach and white bean soup with pesto swirled in. But hey, something about chicken soup is always all the more comforting, right? So I decided to update the recipe with some shredded chicken stirred in, and the result was basically a 5-ingredient Italian version of my favorite Mexican soup.

And oh my goodness, just like the Mexi version, this soup could not be easier to make.

Homemade Pesto |

I have to say, though, this soup will rise or fall on the quality of your pesto. If you’re in a hurry, you can buy the store-bought stuff. (And if you do, the brand I genuinely recommend is DeLallo. This is not a sponsored post. It is just the best I’ve tried, times a hundred.)  But if you have a few extra minutes, I highly recommend pulling the food processor out and making a batch of my homemade pesto recipe. It’s classic, it is simple to make, and it is unbelievably good when made with fresh basil.

Actually, you can use any sort of pesto for this recipe — kale pesto, arugula pesto, pistachio pesto, etc. But if you want to go classic, basil pesto will never fail. :)

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

To make the soup, simply stir together your first four ingredients — chicken stock, shredded cooked chicken, spinach and white beans — in a saucepan. Then bring them to a simmer. Stir in your pesto, and cook it for a few extra minutes. And then serve!!5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

I like mine topped with some extra freshly-grated Parmesan, and served with crusty bread. And I like to go back for seconds on this one, because it is just too good.

So if you’re looking for a quick meal, or a use for some leftover pesto, or even just a new take on comforting chicken soup, I genuinely can’t recommend this recipe enough. So, SO good.

Cheers to great Italian food!

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

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5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 15 reviews
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 4 servings 1x


This 5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup is super quick and easy to make. Plus it is full of the most amazing flavor!


  • 4 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 3 handfuls (about 3 cups) fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • optional topping: grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Stir together chicken stock, spinach, chicken, beans in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat until the soup reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium, stir in the pesto, and let the soup continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese if desired.

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup -- seriously one of the best soups I've ever had! |

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99 comments on “5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup”

  1. Absolutely love this soup! SUPER easy to make and seriously SO good. I’m a big onion lover so I added some white onion to mine for a little extra flavor.

  2. Could I do this in the crockpot? Any changes that would require?

    • Hi Karyn, we think you could (probably on low for 4-6 hrs), though we honestly think the stove-top method is just as easy (since it’s essentially throw everything in one pot and cook)! :) Either way, we hope you enjoy!

  3. Thank you all so much! This was super delicious and ridiculously easy to make. Made it for myself & my sis after a long day & we both loved it! The pesto adds such wonderful flavors! Thx again for sharing this.

    • We’re so glad to hear you two enjoyed it Jill! Thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)

  4. How many calories do you think is in this soup?

    • Hi Judi! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  5. Made this last night and it was SO GOOD. Holy cow. I can’t believe something so simple is so flavorful!!! Thanks for sharing. I emailed to all my friends.

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jami, and we appreciate you sharing the recipe with your friends! :D

  6. I am the worst cook EVER !!! Timing of dinners is NOT what I do best. HOWEVER, this up made me cook like a rock star, and was SO easy, it did not impact the timing of the rest of my dinner. Everyone loved the soup, and is actually as easy as the directions imply!

  7. Hi. Just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe and loved it! You can find my review of it on my blog at:

    Thanks for sharing such a simple, delicious recipe!

    • Thanks for letting us know, and for giving the recipe a try, Jacklyn! We appreciate you sharing it on your blog, and we’re happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  8. Sounds wonderful, will try

  9. GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We recently started eating gluten free, and this soup is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Wow. So good!! Very easy. Luv it.

  11. I have been making this since you first posted it. It’s one of my go-to soups when I want something really good, warm and easy. I’m actually making it tonight. When I came to peek at the recipe I figured it was time to leave a review. Definely one of my favorite recipes.

  12. Delicious. My grown daughter just bought a food processor and was anxious to make something like pesto. We found this recipe and combined her desire to blend with my desire for something new for dinner! We were delighted. Definitely adding this to a dinner time favorite. Thank you!

  13. I’ve been making this for years! So good! Occurred to me tonight to add some crumbled bacon- delish!! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  14. This was fantastic! I was leery of how something so easy to make and with so few ingredients would turn out. I was making this at a friends while watching her kids, and they left me some frozen broth but it looked like a thing of ham broth and the other gravy, and then they got mixed greens and not spinach, so I was even further leery. But hey, it turned out terrific. This is definitely a keeper! Thanks!

  15. I just made this up today. Very easy recipe and oh so good, especially with the snow still thick on the ground in the upper midwest. I had no idea that just five ingredients could generate such flavor! I made no modifications other than to throw on some croutons for a bit of crunch.

  16. I made this last night for the family and everyone loved it. So easy and so good!

  17. Do you think you could add gnocchi to this soup? If you did, would you omit some or all of the beans? Love the little potato clouds :)

  18. Hello,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Would this meal be freeze friendly?

  19. Wonderful flavor, super easy and cheap enough to share with others!!

  20. Hello, I love this soup which was introduced to me by my sister. It got me through breast cancer! We have a thing in our family where we feed people who are going through trying times & this soup definitely helped me heal. Thank you!

  21. Amazing recipe! I’ve even replaced the beans with frozen cauliflower gnocchi and diced zucchini before and it’s still perfect. Since I make homemade pesto, I do load it up and put it all in the soup pot. :) Thanks for a fantastic, flexible recipe!

  22. This was stupid easy and delicious! I’m eating my second bowl right now and wanted to comment right away. My husband went to the market this morning and bought fresh green beans. So I started the soup with the broth and put in some green beans, cut into small pieces. I wanted to make sure they would cook. Once it came to a simmer I continued with the recipe. I did add a bit more broth and used the whole jar of pesto. I am surprised as to how little seasoning it needed. The pesto is the secret to this soup. If any one out there is on the fence about this soup, get off it and make it. You won’t be disappointed.

  23. Thank you. So simple and really delicious!

  24. Loved this soup and so did my hubby! Super simple, but so flavorful! I pressure cooked 3 chicken thighs which was just the right amount for the soup. I love beans and pesto. This recipe is a keeper!

  25. Can I make this in the crockpot?

  26. This is my favourite quick soup! Originally I spent a lot of time making my own beans from dry, but it doesn’t seem to make too much of a difference and takes so much more time. I do use spicy Italian sausage (cooked separately, oil drained before adding to the rest of the soup) instead of chicken because we had run out of chicken one time I’d planned on making it and had sausage on hand. Now I prefer it with the sausage! I also added chopped zucchini recently because I needed to use it up, turned out very good! Highly recommend this recipe especially to build off of!