I love to cook and don’t mind spending some time preparing a recipe if it is going to taste great in the end. But there are days when I am short on time, and I just need something quick to fix so we don’t end up at the drive thru. Unfortunately, I don’t have many recipes like that. So when I’m in a hurry, I struggle with what to fix. Well, now I have 1 more recipe in my arsenal on days when there isn’t much time to cook. But the cool thing is, this soup is so good, I would even fix it for company.
There are only 5 ingredients in this soup (chicken, chicken broth, beans, fresh spinach, and pesto), which is why it is so quick to make. The reason it tastes so good with only 5 ingredients is the pesto. Made from basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, just a third of a cup adds a ton of flavor. You would get the best flavor from homemade pesto. But since the point of this recipe is to save time, I bought mine. It is important that you use a good quality pesto though. My favorite is Trader Joe’s brand found in the refrigerated section. I like to use the chicken broth from Trader Joe’s as well. It seems to be a little richer in flavor. Use whichever one you like best. As far as the chicken goes, for me one of the easiest ways to get cooked chicken is to throw about 6 frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. I put them into the freezer afterwards to save for when a recipe calls for it. I also sometimes just bake them covered at 350 for 1 hour. You could even buy a rotisserie chicken and cut up the already cooked meat. (By the way, my mom mentioned the other day that Costco’s rotisserie chickens have a lot more meat on them than the regular grocery stores, and they’re cheaper). Any of these ideas for cooked chicken would work just fine for this recipe.
I hope you get a chance to try this soup. It is great having something you can whip up so quickly. The other day my daughter called and asked if she and her roommates could come over for dinner. I only had a couple of hours to shop and prepare dinner. I had some cooked chicken in the freezer. I got the rest of the ingredients for the soup (all 4 of them) and some bread and had dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. Yet I felt like they were getting some good nutrition, and it was much better than cafeteria food (even though college food is a lot better than it used to be)! They ate the soup and asked for more. We had the soup again for dinner tonight. But it wasn’t because I was in a hurry. It was because we like it so much. So I’m passing this one along to you, hoping it will help you out on those crazy days when there’s no time to cook or those days when you just want something good to eat!
5 Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup
- 4 cups good quality chicken stock
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach (about 3 cups)
- 2 c cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces
- 2 (14 oz.) cans Great Northern or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 c pesto (homemade or store-bought – I recommend Trader Joe’s brand if you are buying it)
- optional – freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- Stir together chicken stock, spinach, chicken, and beans in a large pot.
- Cook over medium heat until the soup reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Then reduce heat to medium, stir in the pesto, and let the soup continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese if desired (it tastes really good with this soup)!
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally created by Gimme Some Oven
This looks like a wonderful soup Shari. I love soups especially ones with chicken! The pesto must add a great flavor to this soup – really a great one to make when you want to save time! Love it! 🙂
Thank you very much, Indu! I am glad to pass this one along. The pesto is wonderful in it. I appreciate you stopping by!
This looks fabulous! And freezing cooked chicken – what a time saver! =)
Thanks a lot, Laura! We enjoyed very much. I’m always so glad when I have cooked chicken in the freezer. I need to keep some in there all the time. I appreciate you stopping by!
I was just telling my hubby that we have to use up our homemade pesto in the freezer! Thanks Shari for this soup. It will be delicious!
That’s great, Julie! I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to try it. I appreciate your comment and hope all is going well for you!
I will Shari!
This soup looks so good and sounds like its bursting with flavor. Using pesto is a pure genius idea! I wish I had thought of that. 🙂 I’m adding this to my arsenal of quick soup recipes too! Delicious recipe! (My daughter and I have had the conversation regarding Costco vs grocery store rotisserie chickens…we think, on average, a smidgen under 2 additional cups of cubed chicken is yielded from the Costco one. Big difference, considering it costs less too!)
Thank you, Nancy! I wish I had thought of it, too, but am happy to pass along the idea. That is interesting that there are 2 additional cups in a Costco chicken. What a great value. I am going to have to get one and try it. I appreciate your comment!
Hi Shari, Love this soup: fast and bursting with all the flavours I like – what a great weeknight dinner.
Thank you very much, Nicole! I am so happy to have found this recipe, and wanted to pass it along. I appreciate you stopping by!
Pesto is one of my favorite foods–great idea to use it in a soup!
Pesto is one of my favorite foods, too, Nancy! I have used it on pasta before, but never with soup. Such an easy way to impart a lot of flavor. Thanks for your comment!
Hi Shari, such a great idea to flavor your soup with pesto, we all need more quick recipes like this!
Thank you, Cheri! I agree, we all need more quick recipes since there are just days when cooking an elaborate meal doesn’t work out very well. Like tonight!:) Have you been enjoying all the rain these last few days? It is such a treat for us, I just love it. Hope all is well with you! By the way, what part of town are you in if you don’t mind my asking?
I’ve never tried Pesto in a soup – it would certainly add a lot of flavour. I never would have thought of it.
I love making soup, and am glad to have this one to try. I know my favourite husband would love it. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Ruth! I had never tried it before either. It’s one of those recipes where you think why didn’t I think of that! I hope you enjoy it if you try it. Have you ever made homemade pesto before? That is something I want to make, but haven’t done yet. I think that would take this recipe to a whole new level. Still, it is wonderful with storebought, too. Thanks for your comment!
I never seem to have enough of these sorts of recipes.. and my family is totally sick and tired of my stir-fries lately, lol (read, throw everything into a skillet and fry). I’ll be glad to give this one a try as it also looks so healthy!
Your stir-fries sound good to me, Barbara! It’s easy to get in a rut with cooking, though, isn’t it? I don’t have enough of these types of recipes either, so was really glad to find this one. I hope you enjoy it if you try it. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Thank you, Diana! We really enjoyed it, and the fact that it was so quick to make was such a bonus. I appreciate you stopping by!
I’m a firm believer in any recipe that has ‘pesto’ as an ingredients! One of my favorite things that truly enhances many recipes, Shari! Thanks for sharing and I hope that you have a beautiful Easter week! I remember this time in Arizona with my young children . . . such a beautiful time of year in the Valley of the Sun!
Thank you very much! We had a nice Easter. I hope you did, too. It is such a great time of year here. I have enjoyed the pictures of flowers you have been posting on Instagram. So fun to see other parts of the country that way. I am the same as you about pesto. Any time I see a recipe that has that in the ingredients I have to check it out. Take care and enjoy your spring, Roz!