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    Italian Wedding Soup

    This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is the best! Hearty meatballs, tender pasta, and an array of fresh veggies simmer in a simple, yet flavorful broth.

    Like our recent Chicken and Stars, this recipe is a perfect example of a light pasta soup that totally satisfies.

    Italian Wedding Soup is a restaurant classic featuring hearty meatballs and pasta in a light and flavorful broth.

    Italian Wedding Soup is a classic Italian-American soup, and a staple on menus at pasta restaurants and pizza shops.

    But once you try homemade, we bet you’ll never order it again!

    Why You’ll Love It

    You’ll love this Italian Wedding Soup recipe for its comforting warmth and rich flavors, making it a perfect dish for any season.

    One of the key reasons to adore this soup is its use of simple ingredients. Nothing fancy or hard to find here.

    Another fantastic aspect of this recipe is that it’s easy to make, yet it delivers such a sophisticated and complex flavor profile. From the savory meatballs to the aromatic vegetables simmered in a delicious broth, every element comes together seamlessly.

    It’s also great as leftovers, and tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have more time to meld and develop. This makes it an excellent option for meal prep or for those busy days when you need a quick yet satisfying meal. Just reheat and serve, and it’s as good as new!

    Ladle scooping some of this soup out of a dutch oven.

    Ingredient Notes

    For a complete list, along with exact measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post. Here are the main ingredients you’re going to need to make Italian Wedding Soup:

    • Ground Beef and Pork: The combination of these two types of meat adds depth and richness to the meatballs. You can also add ground lamb into the mix, or go with ground chicken for a healthier option.
    • Parmesan Cheese: Used both in the meatballs and optionally as a rind in the soup. Freshly grated Parmesan is ideal for the best flavor.
    • Breadcrumbs: These help to bind the meatballs and keep them moist. You can use plain or Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs depending on your preference.
    • Aromatics (Onion, Garlic, Carrots, Celery): These vegetables are essential for building the soup’s flavor foundation. They should be finely diced for even cooking and distribution throughout the soup.
    • Chicken and Beef Broth: The combination of these two broths creates a rich and layered base for the soup. You can use one or the other if you prefer.
    • Acini de Pepe Pasta: This small pasta is traditional in Italian Wedding Soup. If unavailable, other small pasta shapes like orzo or stars can be substituted.
    • Spinach: Fresh spinach adds color, texture, and nutrition to the soup. It should be added towards the end of cooking to retain its color and slight crunch.

    Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

    1. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Fold together, being careful not to overmix, as this can lead to tough meatballs. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs (it will make 20-25 meatballs).
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and sear on all sides until golden brown (they do not need to be fully cooked at this point). Remove to a plate.
    3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until they are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
    4. Add in chicken broth, beef broth, Italian seasoning and parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
    5. Add meatballs. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
    6. Stir in pasta. Simmer until pasta is cooked, about 10-12 minutes.
    7. Stir in chopped spinach and cook a couple of minutes, until it has wilted.
    8. Serve along with warm, crusty bread.
    Soup after cooking in a dutch oven.

    Serving Suggestions

    We usually enjoy this soup as a light main dish, along with some crusty bread and a green salad.

    It’s also a wonderful appetizer. Start your Italian night with a cup of soup, then follow it up with Steak Pizzaiola, Chicken Cacciatore or Eggplant Parm.

    Variations

    Italian Wedding Soup typically doesn’t vary much in its base ingredients. That being said, it’s your soup, make it how you like. Here are some ideas:

    • Swap the ground beef and pork for Italian sausage. It adds a new layer of flavors.
    • Replace pasta with rice or quinoa for a different grain option.
    • Add more veggies. We especially love mushrooms here. Or try different greens like kale or arugula.
    • Replace the meatballs with diced rotisserie chicken for lazier days.
    • Give it a flavor boost with a few tablespoons of Pesto Sauce.
    Bowl of Italian wedding soup on a blue background.

    Leftovers and Storage

    Italian wedding soup refrigerates well for 4-5 days. First, allow it to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container for refrigeration.

    It can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Just thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

    Reheat the soup in a pan on stovetop over medium heat until heated through. Note that the pasta will have absorbed some of the liquid, so you may wish to add some water to regain the soupy consistency.

    A Few Tips

    • Don’t Overmix Meatballs: When preparing the meatballs, mix the ingredients just until combined. Overmixing can lead to tough, dense meatballs.
    • Sauté Vegetables Until Softened: Before adding the broth, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they begin to soften. This enhances their natural sweetness and flavors, which infuses into the soup.
    • Adjust Consistency: If the soup is too thick after adding the pasta, you can add more broth to reach your desired consistency.
    • Add Greens at the End: Stir in the spinach or other greens just before serving. This preserves their color and texture, ensuring they don’t become overcooked and wilted.
    • Taste and Adjust: Always taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. A little extra salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice can brighten up the entire dish.
    • Let it Rest: If time allows, lot the soup sit off the heat for a few minutes before serving.
    Close up of the bowl of soup.

    We hope you love this Italian wedding soup recipe as much as we do. It’s amazing what flavors can develop from such simple ingredients.

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    For more easy and delicious meals, check out our hand-picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time, happy cooking!

    Italian Wedding Soup, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of Italian wedding soup atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other great soups!
    Portuguese Bean Soup
    Finnish Salmon Soup
    Caldo de Res
    Sopa de Fideo
    Birria Ramen
    Yakamein
    Sancocho

    Featured image for Italian wedding soup recipe.

    Italian Wedding Soup

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 50 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    Italian Wedding Soup is a restaurant classic featuring hearty meatballs and pasta in a light and flavorful broth.

    Ingredients

    Meatballs

    • ½ pound lean ground beef ( you can sub with ground chicken instead of ground beef and pork)
    • ½ pound ground pork
    • 1 large egg
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp black pepper

    Soup

    • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 3 medium carrots, diced
    • 3 celery stalks, diced
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
    • 9 cups chicken broth
    • 3 cups beef broth
    • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
    • 2 inch parmesan rind (optional)
    • 1 cup acino de pepe pasta (or other small pasta shape)
    • 6oz fresh spinach, chopped

    Instructions

    1. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Fold together, being careful not to overmix, as this can lead to tough meatballs. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs (it will make 20-25 meatballs).
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and sear on all sides until golden brown (they do not need to be fully cooked at this point). Remove to a plate.
    3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until they are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
    4. Add in chicken broth, beef broth, Italian seasoning and parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
    5. Add meatballs. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
    6. Stir in pasta. Simmer until pasta is cooked, about 10-12 minutes.
    7. Stir in chopped spinach and cook a couple of minutes, until it has wilted.
    8. Serve along with warm, crusty bread.
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 317Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 83mgSodium 1718mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 23g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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