Italian wedding soup soothes and nourishes! It’s made with bite-sized meatballs, spinach, and pasta in a flavorful broth with fresh Parmesan!

It’s easy to make ahead of time and this soup freezes well.

a pot of Italian Wedding Soup

A Simple Rustic Soup

  • Simple and rustic, Italian wedding soup is easy to make on the stove or in a Crock Pot.
  • This soup is hearty enough as a full meal for dinner, or a smaller serving makes a perfect side with an Italian salad.
  • Double the recipe because this recipe makes great leftovers and can be frozen.
  • Prepare a day or two ahead of time to allow the flavors time to ‘marry’, perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
  • This Italian wedding soup recipe is packed with leafy greens, herbs, and garlic for maximum flavor and health.
Spoonful of italian wedding soup

Ingredients in Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs – A combination of lean ground beef and pork has great flavor in these mini meatballs. Ground turkey or chicken is another great option. An egg mixture with bread crumbs helps hold the meatballs together.

Broth – We prefer chicken broth in this recipe. Vegetable or beef broth can be substituted.

Vegetables – Typical Italian wedding soup is made with spinach, but you can use other leafy greens like cabbage, endive, escarole, or kale. Carrots, onion, and celery add great flavor to the broth.

Pasta – The tiny pasta in Italian wedding soup is called acini de pepe and it is about the size of grape seeds. It’s the perfect choice for this soup, but other tiny pasta shapes are also appropriate, such as ditalini or orzo. In a pinch, you could add or substitute potatoes cut into cubes.

Wine – White wine elevates the flavor but can be left out. This Italian wedding soup recipe is super flexible to adjust to taste.

italian wedding soup with spoon

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

  1. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large bowl per the recipe below and form into 1” meatballs.
  2. Brown them in a large soup pot, then set aside.
  3. In the same pot, sauté the vegetables and garlic until softened.
  4. Deglaze the pot with white wine, add in the broth, pasta, and meatballs, and simmer.
  5. Stir in spinach and serve with Parmesan cheese.
What is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian wedding soup can be served anytime! It is widely documented that the name comes from an Italian phrase, “minestra maritata”, which literally means “married soup” because the ingredients marry as they cook.
In most American restaurants and recipes, this soup usually consists of mini meatballs, a tiny pasta, and often a green like spinach. We add in garlic, veggies, and herbs.
Top it all off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

What to Serve with Italian Wedding Soup?

We love this recipe with crusty bread for dipping and a side salad.

How to Store Leftover Italian Wedding Soup?

Store Italian wedding soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Italian Wedding Soup?

Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, or reheat straight from the freezer in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add some fresh spinach to the reheated soup if you want to refresh its appearance.

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Bowl of italian wedding soup
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Italian Wedding Soup

Hearty and classic, this easy stovetop soup comes together quickly and is perfect for any weeknight meal!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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Ingredients  

Meatballs

  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 9 – 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried acini di pepe pasta or ditalini, orzo
  • 5 ounces baby spinach fresh, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese freshly shredded, for serving

Instructions 

  • Add all meatball ingredients except olive oil to a large mixing bowl.  Gently mix until fully combined. Shape into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add about half of the meatballs and cook for about 3 minutes per side, turning to brown all over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same dutch oven and reduce heat to medium low. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Season with salt, pepper, and dill.
  • Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.  Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
  • Add pasta and meatballs to the pot and cook 8-10 minutes, until pasta is tender and meatballs are cooked through.  During the last minute of cooking, add spinach and let it wilt.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Notes

If preferred, you can bake the meatballs up to 48 hours ahead of time. Place the meatballs on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes or until they are cooked through. 
Spinach can be substituted for kale if desired. Kale will need longer to cook and should be added with the pasta.
If you don’t have acini de pepe pasta, try other tiny shapes such as ditalini, orzo, or even elbow macaroni.
Keep Italian wedding soup in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge, or reheat directly from the freezer using the microwave or stovetop. If you’d like to give the reheated soup a fresh look, toss in some fresh spinach.
5 from 73 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 382 | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6440IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 3.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
A scoop of Italian Wedding Soup with text
Italian wedding soup being served with text
A bowl of Italian Wedding soup with text
Top image - a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. Bottom image - Italian Wedding soup being served with text

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I was short on time so instead of making the meatballs I browned 1 lb of sweet italian sausage. It was delicious. I am making it again for Christmas and taking the time to make the meatballs. I hope this short cut can help another busy mom.5 stars

  2. This is now my favorite soup recipe! Because I do my best to eat gluten free, I subbed gf elbow macaroni for the pasta. It turned out amazing. I would love to see more gluten free recipes on the site if possible. Your recipe site is go-to for affordable, delicious food. The recipes are well test and reliable. Kudos!5 stars

  3. this recipe was so yummy!! I was craving vegetables with a brothy kind of soup and this hit the spot. Pork makes my family feel a bit yukky so I did half beef half chicken mince and it still tasted so good!5 stars