The Cozy Cook

Italian Wedding Soup

This Italian Wedding Soup can be made on the Stove Top, Crock Pot, or the Instant Pot! Make it with homemade meatballs, or use frozen meatballs for an quick and easy dinner idea!

Love easy soup recipes?  Try my super popular Crock Pot Chicken Stew and Split Pea Soup recipes next!

Overhead view of a white bowl of Italian wedding soup with a hand holding a spoon in it and rolls next to the bowl.

Other than the fact that this is the best freezer soup ever, (which is why I recommend doubling the recipe), I love that you can make it in any cooking vessel  you want.

The ingredients are simple, but when you combine them together it creates the most comforting soup recipe for the cold winter nights or long days in the office.

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full written instructions

Meatballs

  • Olive oil– to brown the meatballs in the pot.
  • Ground Beef– 80% lean works well.
  • Ground Pork
  • Egg
  • Italian Breadcrumbs– Preferably homemade breadcrumbs. (See below for instructions.)
  • Parmesan Cheese- Grate your own from a block.
  • Garlic– Use fresh garlic cloves and mince them yourself for best flavor.
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Salt/Pepper

Soup

    • Carrots
    • Onions
    • Celery
    • Garlic
    • Chicken Broth– preferably homemade
    • Italian Seasoning
    • Salt/Pepper
    • Acini De Pepe Pasta
    • Spinach

Cooking Methods

Italian wedding soup is a perfect recipe for the stove top, Crock Pot, or the Instant Pot!

Stove Top Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, roll into 1-inch balls.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches, remove from pot.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the meatballs and pasta.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!

Crock Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, roll into 1-inch balls.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches, remove from pot. This Crock Pot is stove-top friendly.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and cooked meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.
  • Add the acini de pepe and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the Spinach.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese and serve!

Instant Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, roll into 1-inch balls.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches on saute mode, remove from pot.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and meatballs.
  • Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the acini de pepe, simmer on saute mode for 9 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach, garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Meatballs in a pot being browned.

Browning the Meatballs

  • ☝️ Brown bits in the pot = BIG flavor in the broth. This is why I prefer to brown my meatballs in the soup pot instead of baking them.
  • This process takes just a few minutes, they’ll finish cooking in the soup.

⭐PRO TIP: Double the meatballs in this recipe and save them for another soup day:

  • Flash freeze them on a baking sheet.
  • Place them in a freezer bag once frozen. Freeze for 3-4 months.
  • Add the frozen meatballs into the simmering broth once you’re ready to serve this again, or let them thaw in the fridge and brown them in the pot first.
  • Frozen meatballs take 20-25 minutes to cook through in the broth.

Baking The Meatballs

If you prefer to bake the meatballs, do so in a 400° oven for 15 minutes.

 

Using Frozen Meatballs

  • To save time, frozen meatballs may be used. I recommend Italian or Chicken Meatballs. (These mini meatballs are a good choice as well.)
  • No need to brown the meatballs first, you will simply add them to the soup and simmer until heated through. For the Crock Pot, they can be added at the beginning of the cooking process.

Using Frozen Spinach

  • A 10 oz. package of frozen spinach may also be used.
  • Let it thaw, pat it dry, and add it at the end. Give it a few minutes to heat prior to serving.

Storage

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze in an airtight container for 3-4 months.

What to Serve with Italian Wedding Soup

A white bowl of Italian wedding soup on a white tray with a spoon in it and rolls in the background.

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Overhead view of a white bowl of Italian Wedding Soup with a hand holding a spoon.

Italian Wedding Soup

5 from 49 votes
This Italian Wedding Soup can be made on the Stove Top, Crock Pot, or the Instant Pot! Make it with homemade meatballs, or use frozen meatballs for an quick and easy dinner idea!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Meatballs

  • ½ lb. ground beef, 80% lean
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, homemade is best
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated into a powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Soup

  • 1 ¼ cups carrots, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tabelspoon garlic, minced
  • 8 cups Chicken broth, homemade is best
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper
  • ¾ cup dry Acini De Pepe Pasta
  • 8 oz. fresh Spinach

To Garnish

  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Stove Top Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, don’t overwork the meat, we want tender meatballs.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches for 2-3 minutes. The inside of the meatball will finish cooking in the soup.
  • Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the meatballs and pasta.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!

Crock Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients. Don't overwork the meat.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • This Crock Pot allows you to brown the meatballs on the stove top first. I recommend this as the brown bits left on the bottom of the pot transfer lots of flavor into the soup.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and browned meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Add the acini de pepe and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the Spinach.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and serve!

Instant Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients. Don't overwork the meat.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the olive oil.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches for about 3 minutes, until all sides are brown.
  • Remove the meatballs from the pot and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth. Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pot to release the brown bits, his helps mitigate the burn indicator that we tend to see with Instant Pots.
  • Add the Italian seasoning and meatballs.
  • Close the lid and seal the valve. Pressure Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the quick release valve and allow the steam to escape.
  • Add the acini de pepe and press the saute button. Cook for 9 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach, garnish with fresh Parmesan and parsley, and serve!

Video

Notes

Orzo pasta can be used instead of Acini De Pepe Pasta as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 1398mg, Potassium: 887mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 8126IU, Vitamin C: 38mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating




128 comments on “Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. How big is a serving size? 

  2. Such a delicious soup. Second time making. This time I added lentils. My husband had weight loss surgery over a year ago, trying to limit the pasta. Last time I made it with califlower instead of pasta. My husband and grandson who is 9 and a picky eater loved it. 
    Thank you so much..💕

  3. Awesome recipe. I have been looking for an Italian Wedding soup that isn’t too difficult without sacrificing flavor.  Made it with ground turkey because we are watching calories and cholesterol.  It was great!!

    • I’m so happy to hear that Christ, and glad that you were able to use the ground turkey for the meatballs, sounds delicious! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review! -Stephanie

  4. This is such a great slurp worthy soup! Doubled the recipe, used pork sausage for the ground pork. Baked the meatballs on a sheet pan. Thank You, this recipe is a keeper!

  5. I plan on using frozen meatballs. How many do you usually end up with when making them?

  6. What is the best method to use frozen meatballs- thaw them first?

  7. Love this recipe so much. Second time making it tonight and the family was very excited. I did all turkey meatballs since we are trying to cut out some calories. 

    • I bet it’s delicious with turkey meatballs!😋 I’ve been making ground turkey dishes a lot more recently. Definitely a nice switch from ground beef sometimes. Thanks so much for the review!

  8. Hi Stephanie, was wondering if could double the meatball batch and freeze half of them? If so do I cook them all the way through?
    Thanks

    • Hey Anne! You can definitely double the batch of meatballs and freeze them, I actually have some in the freezer right now 🙂 I didn’t cook mine all the way through, I’m planning on letting them finish cooking in the soup the next time I make a batch, (it adds more flavor to the broth). But, there’s no harm in letting them cook all the way through, just label the storage container in the freezer either way, so you remember if the middle still needs to finish cooking through or not.

  9. This soup was so delicious!  I made turkey meatballs instead due to my husband not able to have beef and it was amazing. My kids even devoured it!  I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Made as written and I thought it was absolutely delicious! Wouldn’t change a thing !! Tasty and filling perfect for a NY winter night !!

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