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Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Make a big batch of Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs to warm up on a cold winter’s day! Serve with crusty bread or a green side salad for a full meal.

A white bowl of Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs.

Creating This Italian Wedding Meatball Soup

Homemade soup, like this Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs, is the obvious answer for cold weather. And not just because such recipes warm the body.

This time of year things start to get a little boring in the produce department, at least to me.

The holidays are over and the novelty of winter food will soon start to wear off, and we’ll be craving fresh, bright flavors of spring again.

I love that this Italian wedding meatball soup helps stretch out the produce that is available.

You can come up with so many different one-pot concoctions using what often feels like a very similar ingredient list and nearly identical preparation techniques.

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

This easy wedding soup has two components: the chicken meatballs and the soup itself.

To make the homemade Italian wedding soup, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Water
  • Celery
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • Cooked orzo
  • Fresh spinach

To make the wedding soup meatballs, you’ll need:

  • Ground chicken
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Eggs
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Italian Wedding Meatball Soup

Making homemade wedding soup is very easy. I walk you through the process step by step in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview:

  1. Make the wedding soup meatballs: I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below. The meatballs must be baked until done before being stirred into the soup.
  2. Make the soup: In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and saute for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the broth, water, and tomatoes to the stockpot. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, parsley, and seasonings.
  5. Cook at a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. Add the baked chicken meatballs and cook over low heat for an additional 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Add the greens and cook until they are wilted.
  8. Stir in the cooked orzo just before serving and cook only until heated through.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Can Italian Wedding Soup Be Made in a Slow Cooker?

I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not! If making this Italian wedding meatball soup recipe in a slow cooker, I would add the orzo at the very end or cook it separately and then stir it in.

Tips for Delicious Homemade Soups

1. Start with Tasty Liquids

Rich, homemade broth is always ideal, but if you’re short on time or without access I like to use high quality store bought broths.

I prefer either Better than Bouillon Organic Bases or Pacific Natural Foods Organic Broths.

3. Brown the Meats

Recipe got meat? Make sure you brown it first.

The browned bits left in the bottom of the pan after browning the meat will build the flavor of the soup even more. Then you can deglaze those browned bits left behind with a little cooking wine or broth.

2. Sweat the Mirepoix and Aromatics

I consider them the soup basics: onion, leeks, garlic, carrot, celery, and (depending on the soup) ginger. Cooking these ingredients for about 5 minutes over medium heat before adding the liquid will deepen the flavor of the soup.

When I was a young(er), inexperienced cook I made the mistake of thinking soup was all the ingredients dumped into a pot of broth. Soup made that way just doesn’t taste as good!

3. Add Herbs

Fresh herbs should be added at the end of cooking, just prior to serving so you don’t lose all of their flavor. Dried herbs are great for adding early on because they’re better able to hold flavor for long cooking periods.

4. Simmer Low and Slow

I like to allow my soups so simmer for a longer period of time rather than quickly boiling them to get the vegetables tender. Yet again…you’ll get more flavor development this way.

What Readers Are Saying

I just made this and it is delicious!! I cheated and used beef instead of chicken. These are the best meatballs I have ever made. Thank You!!” — Cindy

I made this tonight, only with turkey meatballs. It was FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so excited to stash the leftovers in the freezer for a quick, yummy dinner down the road!” — Aldebaran

I just made this soup… BEST BROTH in the world. I can’t get over how good the broth is! I think it might be the Balsamic. Anyway, thank you for this amazing recipe, I substituted pork sausage for the chicken but other than that I kept it the same and it was amazing, THANK YOU!” — Cait

This soup is so wonderful! Just made it for the first time. What a great broth flavor and the chicken meatballs had a fabulous flavor. This is my new Italian Wedding Soup recipe – thanks so much!!!” — Debbie

More Easy Winter Soups:

Hearty Tomato Florentine Soup is loaded with pasta, diced tomatoes, and spinach for a simple but filling recipe you can make with pantry staples!

Fresh kale, cannellini beans, and sweet Italian sausage combine to make the best Italian Sausage Kale White Bean Soup. This is an easy one-pot soup recipe that takes just 30 minutes to prepare!

This Smoked Sausage and Lentil Soup is packed with lentils, hearty winter vegetables, smoked sausage, and spices. It’s a freezer-friendly recipe that’s great for meal prepping!

Roasted butternut squash and garlic are pureed with onion, carrot, broth, and half and half for a silky smooth, creamy, savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Top it with bacon and sage for perfection.

This Italian Sausage Soup with Orzo is a great clean out the fridge recipe! It’s packed with veggies, Italian sausage, orzo, and more!

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Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Make a big batch of Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs to warm up on a cold winter's day! Serve with bread or a green side salad for a full meal.

Ingredients

For the Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 3-4 whole carrots)
  • 5 - 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or a combination (according to how broth-y you like your soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
  • 8 ounces already cooked orzo, or other small pasta
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, swiss chard kale or escarole, chopped

Instructions

For the Chicken Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper with the ground chicken. Mix well. Form into small balls, about 2 teaspoons of mixture per meatball. Roll into balls and place on the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  3. Bake meatballs at 350 degrees F until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. To test doneness, cut one meatball in half. If no pink remains, the meatballs are done.
  4. Note: Alternatively, you can brown the meatballs in the same stockpot you will use to make the soup. This will add even more flavor to the soup, but sometimes baking the meatballs is nice because you can do that ahead of time and freeze them.

For the Soup:

  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and saute for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the broth, water, and tomatoes to the stockpot. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, parsley, and seasonings. Cook at a simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs and cook over low heat for an additional 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the greens and cook until they are heated through and wilted. Stir in the pasta just before serving and cook only until heated through. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 695Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 249mgSodium 1098mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 7gSugar 7gProtein 58g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Debbie Perri

Sunday 4th of February 2018

This soup is so wonderful! Just made it for the first time. What a great broth flavor and the chicken meatballs had a fabulous flavor. This is my new Italian Wedding Soup recipe - thanks so much!!!

Katie

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Glad you liked it!

Jenn

Monday 2nd of February 2015

I was wondering if this would do well in a slow cooker?

Katie Goodman

Wednesday 4th of February 2015

I haven't tried it but I don't see why not. I would add the orzo at the very end or cook it separately and stir it in.

Cait Ellis

Monday 23rd of April 2012

I just made this soup... BEST BROTH in the world. I can't get over how good the broth is! I think it might be the Balsamic. Anyway, thank you for this amazing recipe, I substituted pork sausage for the chicken but other than that I kept it the same and it was amazing, THANK YOU!

lannie

Thursday 26th of January 2012

this looks so yummy and perfect for the cold weather!

Aldebaran

Tuesday 17th of January 2012

I made this tonight, only with turkey meatballs. It was FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm so excited to stash the leftovers in the freezer for a quick, yummy dinner down the road!

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