Despite what the picture portrays, this meal was absolutely delicious!

It was simple, tasty and we loved it (plus it made great leftovers). A great, easy dinner that I will be making time and time again!

Italian Chicken Pastina

Italian Chicken Pastina


  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta - I used cellantani)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.


*Freezable Meal: To freeze, cover the dish with aluminum foil (two layers) and store in the freezer. To serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake covered without thawing for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more.

Recipe Source
from Giada De Laurentiis

0 Responses to Italian Chicken Pastina

  1. Jan Russell says:

    I am SO grateful that I found your blog – this recipe was another big hit with my family. I made it tonight and it was SO YUMMY. I am not a cook, so I appreciate how simple and no-fail your recipes are!

  2. jaesi says:

    Who doesnt love Giada?! Not me….she makes fab recipes and is fun to watch cause of her crazy grin 🙂

  3. Erin says:

    Hey Mel- we had this for dinner tonight and it was delish. We both liked it. And it was easy. We just got back in town last night at 9pm so I didn’t have any groceries but I was able to whip this up. So good! (And I had fresh parsley in the fridge that lasted the vacation, and I think it added a lot.)

  4. Melanie says:

    Margaret – thanks for checking back in to let me know you liked this dish. It is always a hit with my kids, too. Good tip on doubling and the amount of tomatoes you used. Thanks!

  5. Chelsea and Cody says:

    This looks delicious! I am totally going to try it! yumm!

  6. Melanie says:

    Melanie – glad you liked this! Thanks for checking back in to let me know.

  7. Melanie says:

    lunar daughter – oh, that makes sense! Funny how the connections are made…small world. Thanks for your compliments!

  8. Melanie says:

    lunar daughter – thanks for your comment! Who is your sister-in-law?? Thanks for mentioning the serving size – I would say this could definitely serve 4 easily and 6 if you had a side dish or two.

  9. grace says:

    giada strikes again! i think the photo looks darn tempting! i can’t explain it, but something about crispy bread crumbs makes me absolutely giddy. 🙂

  10. Deborah says:

    I always think that pasta makes great leftovers. This sounds so delicious!

  11. Melanie says:

    I just made this tonight for my family and we loved it! I added a little bit of pasta sauce to the dish just to add a little more sauce and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. McKenzie says:

    Mmm . . . I want to come eat at your house!

  13. Melanie says:

    Hey Becky – thanks for letting me know when you try recipes. I appreciate it (even if the results aren’t perfect!). I’m glad you liked this!

  14. Margaret says:

    this was so good. I made it for us/my in laws and my bro and sis in law-so 6 adults and 3 kids (3,2,1). And we scarfed it up. The kids loved it-the tiny pasta was a huge hit. I doubled the recipe and used a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and a 14.5 can of diced tomatoes. We ate it with garlic bread and steamed green beans.

  15. RecipeGirl says:

    I’m thinkin’ that picture looks pretty yummy!!

  16. Becky says:

    I am having so much fun trying your recipes. We made this tonight and it was a hit with us and the kids! Yum-Yum! Thanks!

  17. Lunar daughter says:

    Melanie, I love your recipes, thank you for posting them. My SIL is your neighbor and I’m so glad she told me about your blog.Anyway, I was wondering how many you think this will serve? I’m guessing 4 maybe?

  18. Lunar daughter says:

    Melanie, after reading more of your blog, I think my sister-in-law is a neighbor to your SIL Erin’s sister Melanie. I know, that’s confusing. Anyway, I came here by way of The Sister’s Cafe. I love your site and have printed off many recipes to try out. Everything we’ve tried so far, we have loved. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Melanie says:

    Jan – thanks for commenting! Your comment was sweet and I appreciate it. I’m also really glad you liked this meal – we eat it a lot because it is simple and delicious!

  20. Steph says:

    I think I need to make this for dinner tonight. Sounds delicious and just what I’ve been craving!

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