Italian Wedding Soup is a classic soup recipe perfect for a chilly day. With chicken meatballs, pasta, and loads of veggies, it’s hearty, satisfying, and packed with flavor!
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Soup season is upon us! After a summer full of grilled chicken, corn-on-the-cob, and fresh fruit, it’s time to move on to soups, stews, casseroles, and other warm comfort food dishes. If you’re not excited about the cooler weather yet, this Italian Wedding Soup will definitely help get you in the mood for fall!
Italian Wedding Soup gets its name from the Italian phrase minestra maritata. The literal translation means “married soup” and refers to the marriage of greens and meat in the dish. While there are many variations of this soup, the one common denominator is that it’s always full of flavor!
Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe With Meatballs
This particular version of Italian Wedding Soup features homemade chicken meatballs, pasta, spinach, and veggies, all in a flavorful broth. While some soups leave you hungry for more, this is a soup that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. You can serve it on its own as a meal and no one will ask for a grilled cheese afterwards—promise!
At its most basic, Italian Wedding Soup is a combination of greens and meat in clear broth, so there’s a lot of room here for you to customize the recipe with your own favorite ingredients. You can swap the spinach for kale, escarole, or chard, use sausage instead of meatballs, or even substitute pre-made meatballs. Have fun making the recipe your own!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the Meatballs:
- Ground chicken
- Chicken sausage – Remove the casings, then crumble the sausage.
- Breadcrumbs – I use plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs.
- Fresh parsley
- Parmesan cheese – Grate your own or use store-bought.
- Italian seasoning
- Heavy cream
- Black pepper
For the Italian Wedding Soup:
- Yellow onion
- Dry white wine – Sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, and chardonnay are all dry white wines that can be used for cooking.
- Chicken stock – Use store-bought or homemade chicken stock.
- Bay leaf
- Small pasta – Such as tubetini, acini de pepe pasta, or orzo.
- Baby spinach – Or another green that you like in your soup!
- Parmesan cheese
How to Make Italian Wedding Soup
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Make the Meatballs: Combine the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir until combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place them onto the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned.
- Start the Soup: Set a Dutch oven over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, sauté the vegetables and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they’re softened. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil.
- Finish: Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and meatballs. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the spinach in the last minute of cooking and cook until it’s wilted.
- Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the grated Parmesan cheese.
How to Store Italian Wedding Soup
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This soup can also be frozen for up to 2 months; store it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
The meatballs in the Italian Wedding Soup are usually made with ground chicken or beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs.
Italian Wedding Soup gets its name from an Italian phrase that describes a soup made with greens and meat, and a version of it is eaten in the Lazio and Campania regions of Italy. That said, Italian Wedding Soup as we know it is really more popular in the United States, where it’s a staple on many Italian restaurant menus.
Yes, egg is often used as a binding agent in the meatballs, and some recipes for Italian Wedding Soup also include egg in the soup itself, a little bit like egg drop soup.
No, it’s not—at least not traditionally! The name comes from the marriage of flavors in the soup. That said, because of the name, you might find it served at rehearsal dinners and even weddings in the United States.
More Reader Favorite Soup Recipes
- Tomato Bisque Soup
- Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Easy Beef Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Potato Soup Recipe
Italian Wedding Soup
- ½ pound ground chicken
- ½ chicken sausage casing removed
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp parsley chopped
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 cup carrot diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini, acini de pepe, or orzo
- 4 cups baby spinach washed and stemmed
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet tray with parchment.
- For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Roll into 1” meatballs and place onto the prepared sheet tray. Repeat. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
- For the soup, place a Dutch oven over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, saute the vegetables and garlic until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce by half. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add the pasta and meatballs.
- Cook until the pasta is done and meatballs are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and let wilt, about 1 minute.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan.