Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Soup

If January felt like the month that would never end, February certainly seems like the month that flies by – and it helps that it’s only 28 days! In Saskatchewan we’ve been in the midst of a deep freeze for most of the winter, and that means that comfort food is always a great idea! Unfortunately, while the pretty pictures and amazing stories on social media make me a hungry mom, they don’t help much in the way of actually organizing those meals to happen from purchase to table. Often times, I’m figuring out dinner a few hours before, and feel like I’m the only one adding recipes to a folder in my computer rather than sitting down to them with the family. Then the mom guilt kicks in.

It turns out I’m not alone. A recent poll conducted by Catelli uncovered about half of Canadian parents feel at least one pressure when it comes to ensuring they’re feeding their family good, healthy meals. Parents are most concerned with pressure from their own family or friends (30%) or the media (28%), and that of course includes social media. It’s hard not to feel pressure or that mom-guilt when your social media feed is full of delicious meals and smiling kids.

Catelli wants to remove the guilt associated with family dinnertime by exploring the modern Canadian dinner table. They say it’s time to unload the guilt parents feel, mainly that parents don’t know what they’re doing, they’re not doing it right or as a parent, they’re just not doing enough in general. It’s time to accept that life isn’t perfect. It’s real, it’s raw and it isn’t always pretty. This year, I’m part of the Catelli Families Network and we’re going to get real about parenting because…Real Feels Good!

One of the mealtime challenges we have in our household with three kids is finding new recipes that the kids will try and hopefully love. While it’s important to introduce new tastes and textures early in childhood, my kids are 13, 6 and 10 and they’ve “been there, done that.” They have their preferences and favorites already! Now, it’s a matter of figuring out new recipes they will eat, instead of having the same three meals on repeat throughout the week.

I think it’s important to ask the kids for input on our weekly meal planning, but what typically happens is that they keep suggesting their favourites over and over. A strategy (yes, mealtime has a strategy in many households) we use is to look at those favourites the kids already love and then build new recipes utilizing those tastes and textures to hopefully open their palate and minds to new ideas. This way, the kids feel some control over their meal time choices and parents know that the recipes they’re bringing forward will have flavours the kids are already familiar with and ones they love.

So, why not build on recipes my kids already love – in this case chicken parmigiana – while introducing a new recipe and meal – chicken parmesan soup! Then, here’s the mom-badge part; by adding in Catelli Smart Veggie Penne, I’m also including the goodness of carrots and cauliflower, giving them half a serving of vegetables plus 32% of their daily recommended fiber intake and per 85g serving! That same survey I mentioned earlier found that 26% of parents feel guilty that they don’t know how or what to prepare as a healthy meal for their children. Enough with the guilt – let’s just get cooking!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Chicken Parmesan Soup
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp Italian dry seasoning
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Catelli Smart Veggie Penne
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place 2 chicken breasts in a baking dish, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and then sprinkle each with Italian seasoning. Turn to coat.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and slice chicken into bite sized pieces (some may even shred at this point, that’s okay too)
  5. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until soft.
  6. Stir in tomato paste and red pepper flakes.
  7. Pour diced tomatoes and chicken broth into the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add chicken and Catelli Smart Veggie Penne to the soup pot and allow to simmer for 10 minutes for al dente pasta.
  9. When ready to serve, mix the mozzarella and parmesan cheese into the pot (if you do it too early, it will melt and start to collect at the bottom).
  10. Garnish with parsley and serve!

Chicken Parmigiana is a favorite of my kids so I knew that they’d like this soup based on the flavors involved. This recipe allows us to have a meal I know my kids will love, in a comforting, warm bowl of soup, with minimal effort. It also makes me feel good as a mom because I know I’m not only giving them a meal with protein (chicken) but also fiber and a half serving of veggies (Catelli Smart Veggies Pasta), not to mention all the goodness from the cheese (mmmm, cheese!)

Mealtime shouldn’t be a time for guilt for parents. Food is for nourishment and meal times are a time to come together as a family and reflect on our day. I hope this quick recipe helps you sometime soon when trying to determine what to make for dinner! I also hope the idea of building on foods your kids already love to create a variation of that in a new recipe gives you some, ahem, food for thought!

What about you, what meal time strategies do you use to introduce the kids to different foods? Share in the comments below! You can learn more about the Catelli Real Feels Good movement at the link!

Disclosure: This is a post written in partnership with Catelli as part of the Catelli Family Network. All opinions are, as always, my own.


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  • Omgosh our grandson is such a fussy eater! He does love pasta however! I try to hide foods sometimes, but then he’ll suprise me and try something on its own. Frankly, I’d stand on my head and sing the alphabet to get him to eat more lol

  • Our grandson was a very picky eater, but is slowly increasing the variety of foods he enjoys. His allowance is based on doing small chores around the house, plus trying new foods. We encouraged him to try new things by giving him a very small portion, plus didn’t force him to eat anything that he didn’t like the flavour or texture of. It’s been a long slow process, but now that he’s 8 years old is enjoying a wide variety of foods.

  • We are constantly on the go in our house and sometimes with how busy we are it’s a struggle just to think about what to make for supper that’s different. We LOVE soup in our house so this will be a great addition. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Actually my youngest daughter usually doesn’t have a problem eating what is on her plate and if she does, I just say grandma made it and for some reason she loves hearing that lol

  • I always like the kids to try something new at least once. I always have something they like along with it. We put veggies in sauces and anything with a dip makes them happy. My kids are picky with the normal foods and they like the stranger ones. I have no idea why.

  • I found when I had my children help make the meal they were more inclined to try new foods. I sometimes hid veggies in foods. I used shredded carrots and zucchini in meatloaf and meatballs.

  • I try to incorporate veggies any way I can. My daughter is good about eating lots of different kinds of veggies but my son is a little more picky. They will eat more veggies raw so they get raw veggies a lot.

  • I mix their favorites with new foods, but if they try to turn their noses away I just say “Well, this is what we have today (and maybe tomorrow too) and next time I’ll cook something familiar”.

  • We don’t really have a strategy. We try and make it as tasty as possible, maybe let my daughter pick out a new recipe that she thinks looks good. Thanks!

  • it doesn’t get any easier when they reach the teen years. my daughter only loves chicken tenders/nuggets/strips, and will basically pick at anything else. I try to find new recipes with ingredients she may like, and sneak in veggies, etc. or add a salad she may eat.

  • I have very fussy grandchildren but for some reason they like my food better than their Mum’s, even if it is identical to the what they have at home, lol!

  • I tell my granddaughters they tried it before and liked it. It works but the 5 year old starting to look at me like… haha

  • Most of kids are very picky eaters so it can be hard to get them to try new things. I find letting them help with the prep and cooking is the best way to encourage them to try new things.

  • I have four fussy eaters so it is a real challenge. I insist that they at least try the new food at least a couple of times before “yuck” is fully established. I don’t really try to hide too much as I want my kids to enjoy and understand what they are eating.

  • Getting the kids involved in preparing new and different foods is one idea. By assisting in the meal prep, they will hopefully be more likely to eat the food they helped prepare.

  • With my kids I came up with funky names for the veggies – like for broccoli – I called it trees and I put cheese sauce on it.. Now it is my kids favorite veggie!

  • We try to have at least one or two things that they like on their plates – and the family rule for new foods is ‘one bite to be polite’.

  • my son help me by planning meals we look at recipes we go to the grocery store if you get a child envolved in there food they will eat what they make a my my son says mom it tastes better when i make it

  • I try to get the kids involved in as much of the process as possible. They usually do the shopping with me. Then especially with new recipes/ingredients I try to get them to help. Whether it is cutting something up, adding an ingredient to the pot or turning on the blender. They are usually more willing to try when they have had a hand in the process.

  • We have a rule that you have at least try whats on your plate before you dismiss it. I like to add shredded veggies to hide them in pasta sauces.

  • I don’t have kids but I have a picky S.O. so I usually just make things and serve it to him and ignore him if he asks whats in it LOL

  • Hide new foods in food they already like. Example mix the chili with pasta, then slowly switch the mix to more chili less pasta.

  • I somehow ended up with 3 kids that will eat/try anything and one that will not even try anything. My best way to get her to try anything is to let my sister-in-law get her eating it and then remind her for the next 10 times that her Aunty says it is good…

  • Getting the children involved in kitchen preparation, how things are made, setting the table, making them feel IMPORTANT is really a good step. Getting children involved in early age sets a good state for down the road. With fussy eaters I find hiding the food say like carrots in cookies or cakes or even meatloafs.