Main Dishes Soups

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

This 5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup is seriously one of the best soups I’ve ever had. It’s super easy to make, full of great flavor, naturally gluten-free, and CRAZY good!

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! |

Yield: About 4 servings

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

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 (I recommend using my homemade pesto recipe
  • (optional topping: grated Parmesan cheese)


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.

Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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

About the author


Hi There, I am Mr. Hungry Man , Love to Eat , Travel and Blog about Technology . Professional IM Strategist .


  • Made this last night when we had guests over. Everyone loved it! I doubled the recipe (used 3 chicken breasts lightly seasoned with salt and pepper), added a little extra pesto and salt to taste. Seriously fantastic — definitely adding this to our favorites list! 
    Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe!

  • My husband and I are addicted to this soup! It’s easy, fast, flavorful and simply delicious. Thank you for sharing this!

    Ali — March 17th, 2015 @ 9:27 pm
    Thanks Jenny, I’m so glad! : )

  • Made this tonight- it was so yummy, and incredibly easy! I used ground Italian chicken sausage instead and added a cup or two of frozen corn. Served it with garlic bread too. It was a huge hit. Will definitely be saving it for soup season next year too. 

    Ali — April 11th, 2015 @ 11:58 am
    Thanks Caitlyn, and I bet it was awesome — I love that you added corn to it, I’ll have to try that next time!

  • Lovely soup! Thank you for this article, sorry I can’t give you photos and really sorry that I can’t transfer the taste!
    So So So nice, if you have more Italian soups like this one, please share!!!!!

    Ali — May 14th, 2015 @ 1:14 pm
    Thank you, I hope you enjoy the soup! : )

  • Making this as a teacher gift with homemade focaccia and thanks for being a souper teacher cards! You think the spinach is okay cooled and reheated tomorrow for their lunches? Don’t wsmt it to get slimey. Thanks!

    Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 9:51 pm
    That’s really sweet, Kristin! And yes, I think the spinach will be fine. : )

  • Can I substitute stock for broth? I only have stock on hand.

    Ali — June 2nd, 2015 @ 8:19 am
    You sure can! : )

  • Wow, I never thought this would be so easy. Trying this as soon as can! 🙂

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28th, 2015 @ 8:23 pm
    We hope you enjoy, Will!

  • Definately a keeper. I added an extra cup of broth one small potatoe and one small sweet potato. No chicken. The basil pesto makes it.

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 23rd, 2015 @ 7:22 am
    Thanks Sharon, we’re happy you liked this! 🙂

  • This was just GREAT.

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 29th, 2015 @ 1:43 pm
    Thanks Cindy, we’re glad to hear that! 🙂

  • This is by far my go to soup now. I’m obsessed & have passed it along to friends who are as well.  I substitute the spinach for kale and add a little extra – with red pepper flakes it’s the most amazing pesto spice bomb I’ve ever had. Thank you!! 

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 7th, 2016 @ 1:26 pm
    That’s so great to hear Liza! We’re happy you and your friends are fans! 😀

  • Thanks so much for another fabulous recipe!  I have loved all of yours and this was sooo easy and Delish!

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 9th, 2016 @ 5:27 pm
    You’re so welcome Amber, we’re happy to hear you liked this! 🙂

  • 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.

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 10th, 2016 @ 9:11 pm
    Thanks Katy! We’re glad to hear you’re a fan! 🙂

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

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 22nd, 2016 @ 11:25 am
    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!

  • 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.

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 23rd, 2016 @ 1:50 pm
    We’re so glad to hear you two enjoyed it Jill! Thanks for giving the recipe a try! 🙂

  • How many calories do you think is in this soup?

    Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 30th, 2016 @ 10:16 am
    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!

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