The Willing Cook-A-Long: Italian Chicken Soup

How did week 2 of the Willing Cook-a-Long go? Did you enjoy Pioneer Woman’s Italian Chicken Soup?  In our home, it was only so-so.  To be honest, I was pretty disappointed.  The smell was good, but the taste lacked something.  It could have been the changes that I made, so I’m not putting all the blame off on PW.  My husband said that maybe it will taste better tomorrow, but I have my doubts.

Changes I made:

  • I cooked the cut-up whole chicken in the oven on 250 degrees for 5 hours the day before.  This was the best part about the recipe, but then I added the delicious chicken to the not-so-delicious soup 🙁 .
  • I did not have any fresh oregano, so I added 3 tsp dried oregano at the same time as the tomatoes.
  • I used canned petite diced tomatoes.
  • I added 1 Tbsp garlic because everything is always better with garlic.
  • I only used 1/2 of the jalapeno.
  • I used 2 cups of almond milk in place of the heavy cream.  (This could have been the big problem with the flavor.)
  • I used wheat-free rice noodles and did not pre-cook them.  That worked out great.
  • I did not have any parmesian cheese to top off the soup.

In conclusion, this soup is not going into my recipe box.  Sorry, P-dub.  I still love ya!  Now, tell me what you thought.


Since today is the official first day of fall, I have chosen Autumn Chopped Salad for next week’s challenge.  Will you serve it as the main dish? Or will you leave out the meat and serve it as a side dish? How will you deal with the cheese if you have a dairy allergy in your home, or the pecans for a tree allergy?

The Willing Cook-A-Long challenge:

  • Every Friday, I will link a new recipe that I believe will be enjoyable to the masses.
  • Sometime during the next week, you fix the recipe.
  • On the following Friday, you come back and leave a comment or link to your blog* about how the recipe turned out.
  • Please, please make this recipe yours.  ”Recreate” the recipe to any or all of the following issues that may exist in your home: food allergies, family preferences/budget, and/or pantry stock.
  • When you come back to comment on how the recipe turned out, please include the changes you made to the recipe.  I will be doing the cook-a-long with you, so I will note the changes that I made as well.

The idea behind The Willing Cook-A-Long is to get us out of the weekly dinner rut, although it won’t always be a dinner recipe (salads, sides, desserts, etc. will also be included).  In addition, it will help people see how to recreate dishes based on any of the issues noted above: food allergies, preferences, budget and/or pantry stock.

If you will commit to the Willing Cook-A-Long challenge, leave a comment below saying “I’m in.”  If you need help with “recreating” your dish to make it work for your family, don’t hesitate to ask for tips!

*If you leave a link to your blog about The Willing Cook-A-Long, please be kind to link only your post, not your home page.  In addition, I ask that you link back to this page.  Thank you!



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9 Responses to The Willing Cook-A-Long: Italian Chicken Soup

  1. That’s too bad that you didn’t care for the soup as much. I wonder if sauteeing the oregano really made that much of a difference, though the main flavor change is probably the almond milk like you said. I used coconut creamer and it worked very well for me. I will definitely be using that ingredient in the future. For full details on my results (which I really enjoyed), see

    Hmm. My family doesn’t care for salad that much, so I will probably keep this to a small side dish. Not sure what I’ll do for dressing or pecans yet.

    • Cook says:


      I’m so glad the dish worked out for you. My husband took it in his lunch today, so I’ll have to ask him if was any better. Thanks for linking up.

      Can’t wait to see how your recreate the salad for next week!


  2. Kristen says:

    I’d love to cook a-long with you sometime, but I don’t have much of a need to alter recipes for allergy purposes. Only if I need to change up an ingredient due to what I have on hand. Can I still play along if I don’t change the recipe?

    • Cook says:

      Absolutely! I stated in the post to join along with whatever “recreation” exists in your home. I suppose I should make that more clear. I hope you will join in with us this week (or feel free to try one of the 2 past recipes). See you on Friday for your Cook-A-Long link up or comment.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Meal Plan: Week of Sept 25, 2011 | The Willing Cook

  4. I wanna play!! 🙂 I will try and get the Autumn Chopped Salad made for my family by Friday! The original recipe looks really good! ~

    • Cook says:

      Yippee! I’d love for you to come play with us 🙂 Don’t rush getting the salad fixed by Friday. When you do get to it, just come back and let me know how it turned out. Or, write up a quick post about it on your blog and come back and leave the link.

      This salad was absolutely amazing! Do you ever feel like when you make salad at home, it never tastes as good as a restaurant salad or even a salad that someone else has made? I usually do. That was not the case with this salad. I seriously think it is one of the best salads I’ve ever made. Stop in on Friday to see what changes I made to the recipe and to see next week’s challenge.


  5. Allison Walton says:

    So, I finally got around to doing this cook-along. Yes, I am slow. 🙂 I used dried oregano, too, and found I liked the taste. I did not use jalapeno, and I used carrots instead of celery (since I didn’t find any celery at the farmer’s market). I really think the recipe would do just as fine without the heavy cream. I found the creamy broth to be a little weird. I also didn’t have enough chicken broth, so I put in a little bit of water.

    Nick is infamously picky about food that he really likes, and we both agreed that this was a dish that needs to go into our rotation. Too bad it took almost every pot/pan in my kitchen! Pioneer Woman loves her some dishes.

    • Cook says:


      I’m so glad you joined in. And really glad to hear that the recipe worked out for you. I think it must have just been me because others have liked it too. I hope you’ll join in on some of the other cook-a-long challenges. They have all been pretty good!


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