I doubt you guys spend as much time as I do in the spice aisle of the grocery store (hint: it’s a lot). But if you did, you might notice that McCormick came out with these spice blends called “Perfect Pinch” a while ago. I happened upon them a couple of months ago and was so excited that I basically bought all of the varieties I could find. The problem was, most of the recipes I make call for specific herbs and spices as opposed to blends, with the exception of Italian blend seasoning, which I use all the time. So I haven’t gotten a whole lot of use out of them yet.
With us moving into our new house within the next month (yay!), I’ve really been trying to use up whatever ingredients I’ve already stockpiled as opposed to buying new stuff (Peter likes to joke that we could survive a war without any problems, and he’s probably not wrong. What can I say? When I see a sale, I stock up!). So I got to thinking about my herb and spice shelf in our pantry, and decided it was time to start using up some of the million spices I have.
I found a parmesan & herb blend shoved waaaaay in the back of the cabinet and decided it would be a perfect fit for some chicken parmesan soup. You guys know how much I love my chicken parmesan (here’s some proof if you need it. Here too), and I can’t believe it took me this long to think to make it into a soup. Chicken parmesan soup is like the marriage of two great loves in my life.
Now I know what you may be thinking…. Soup? IN MAY?! It’s practically summer lady! But in my defense, I made this soup over the weekend and it was frickin cold here this weekend. Peter went golfing on Saturday and actually SAW SNOWFLAKES. So I will defend my choice to make soup to the death. I’ll make soup until I’m too hot and sweaty to stand being in the kitchen. Then I’ll bust out my crockpot and make slow-cooker soup. I love soup. Your soupy-judgement won’t stop me!
And let me tell you, this soup was SO delicious. Delicious enough that Peter actually went back for seconds. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal for those of you who have husbands who go back for seconds all the time, but in my house, Peter would probably skip dinner altogether if I didn’t make something. He’s rarely hungry in the evenings and has just never been a big dinner-eater (why did I marry him again?). So when he actually eats his entire dinner, and then goes back for seconds, it’s a big deal.
The base of the soup is a creamy tomato broth that complements the parmesan-seasoned chicken wonderfully. Traditional chicken parmesan is breaded, but I didn’t think that would hold up too well in a soup, so I went with sauteed chicken breasts instead. But never you fear, dear reader, because the crunchiness that you and I both love in chicken parmesan comes in the form of croutons that garnish the soup after the cooking is all done. Add to that some rigatoni and shredded parmesan cheese (this is based on Italian food after all), and what you’re looking at is one tasty and filling soup! Bonus: The entire soup can be made in one pot, which means less dishes to wash, which means a happier existence in general!
One-Pot Chicken Parmesan Soup
Servings: 6 (1 cup servings)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch parmesan & herb blend seasoning (if unable to find, use Perfect Pinch garlic & herb blend seasoning)
- 1/4 tsp Italian blend seasoning
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 (23.5 oz) jar marinara sauce (I use Prego Light)
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 4 oz cream cheese (I use fat free), cut into pieces
- 2 1/2 cups dried rigatoni
- Croutons & shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. While olive oil is heating up, season chicken pieces with parmesan & herb seasoning, Italian blend seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally. When chicken is about halfway cooked through, about 3 minutes, add onions. Continue sauteing until chicken is cooked through and onions are soft, about 4 more minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add chicken stock to pan and stir, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add marinara sauce and tomato sauce and stir. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook mixture until it comes to a slow boil.
- Stir in cream cheese and continue heating soup until cream cheese has melted. Pour in rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle into bowls and top with croutons and shredded parmesan.