Made with extra vegetables and turkey meatballs to make it lighter, this Italian Wedding Soup recipe is a meal everyone will love. This is an easy soup recipe for weeknight dinner, plus it makes excellent leftovers for lunch during the week.
This soup comes together quickly, making it a great weeknight dinner. Make the meatballs ahead of time and this soup will be done in under 20 minutes.
Italian Wedding Soup
Have you ever wondered why it’s called “wedding soup”? Its origins actually have nothing to do with weddings at all, but with the “marriage” of meat and greens. There are hundreds of variations of this soup, but the one common thread is meat (in the form of tiny meatballs) and leafy greens.
This soup happens to be one of my favorites, as it covers most of MY major food groups (meatballs, noodles & veggies) and as is the case with all meals of this sort, you will have leftovers for lunch the next day.
You can use whichever wedding soup noodles or pasta you like. I like acini di pepe, they look like Israeli pearl couscous.
I made this batch of wedding soup with pastina, because that’s what I had in the cupboard. I’ve also used tiny fideo noodles, which are really good in this soup.
Whichever pasta you use, it should be small. Remember that it is going into a soup, not a big bowl of pasta.
This parmesan cheese holder is so cute and it’s great because everyone knows exactly what is inside. I love this cheese bowl and everyone who comes over for dinner ends up wanting one too! I’ve had mine for ages, it was gifted to me back when I was a cheese buyer.
It makes a great gift for foodies and cheese lovers!
How to make italian wedding soup
The first step in making this soup is to make the meatballs. If I plan ahead, I like to do this the day before. It makes getting the soup done even faster. If I haven’t planned ahead, it adds an extra 15 – 20 minutes.
After the meatballs are made, I brown them before adding them to the soup. You don’t have to, if you prefer to cook them in the soup, that’s fine too. Browning them gives them a bit of extra flavor.
The aromatics (carrots, celery, onions, garlic) go into the stock pot, then the stock is added. Add the meatballs to finish cooking, then the greens. I’ve used both spinach and escarole, because leafy greens are good for you.
Then, add the pasta and finish the soup with the parmesan egg mixture.
Until I started making this soup, I always thought it was a hassle. Far from it, it’s actually pretty easy. Especially if you have meatballs made ahead of time, which I almost always do.
This soup makes a great weeknight dinner because it is hearty and filling, but light enough that you won’t feel weighed down after eating a bowl (or two).
Can wedding soup be frozen?
Yes! If you are planning to freeze some of this soup, ladle it into your containers for freezing before you add the pasta.
I prefer to cook the pasta in the soup on the day we plan to eat it. Sometimes the frozen pasta can get a bit gummy or mushy.
The next time you make meatballs, make an extra large batch and freeze some for later. When you want wedding soup, you’re already halfway there.
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Ingredients and tools used to make wedding soup
- turkey meatballs
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 head escarole, washed and chopped
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup small pasta (acini di pepe, pastina, tiny noodles)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Make the meatballs
- First, make the turkey meatballs. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet as you roll them. When you have formed all of the meatballs, heat a medium sized pan over medium high heat.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, then brown the meatballs in batches over medium-high heat and set aside. Don't worry if they aren't cooked all the way through, they will finish cooking in the soup.
Make the soup
- Add olive oil to a large stock pot and allow to heat up over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and soft (about 6 - 8 minutes), then add carrots, celery and garlic. Stir to combine, then season with half of the salt and pepper.
- Cook for a few minutes until vegetables begin to soften, then add meatballs.
- Add the stock and season with remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and escarole. Stir to combine as you are adding it. It will look like too much initially, but the greens will wilt down.
- Add the pasta and continue to let it simmer for 5 minutes, until it is almost cooked.
- Whisk egg with 2 tbsp of the Parmesan cheese and add to the soup while stirring. It will form ribbons of cheesy egg goodness.
- Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle a little Parmesan on top for garnish.
Any small pasta will do in this soup - acini di pepe, pastina, orzo, etc.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.