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Creamy Chicken and Pasta Soup

Creamy Chicken & Pasta Soup 

1 ½ lbs. cooked, chopped chicken

4 cups chicken stock or broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes

½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black or white pepper

2 cups uncooked rotini or ditali pasta (or any small pasta)

2 cups chopped spinach

Shaved parmesan cheese for garnish, optional 

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse and set aside.  

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil.  Heat for 1-2 minutes then and add carrots, celery, onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add cooked chicken and continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring often. 

Add the chicken stock or broth, heavy cream and cream cheese cubes.  Stir.  Cover and bring to a boil, then cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Lower the heat, then add cheddar cheese and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add spinach to the soup toward the end, and stir until wilted.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Add some of the pasta to a bowl and ladle soup over all and top with shaved parmesan cheese, if desired. 

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