Italian Wedding Soup

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Italian Wedding soup is a hearty, classic soup made on the stovetop! This recipe comes together quickly for the perfect weeknight meal! 

Add some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls or a big piece of crusty bread and a fresh salad to round out the meal!

Ladle of Italian Wedding soup

This time of year, soup is a go-to meal for us.  On a bone-chilling cold night, there’s nothing better than wrapping both hands around a warm, steaming bowl of soup!  Normally we go for a hearty minestrone or loaded potato soup, but lately I’ve been getting requests for a classic Italian Wedding soup.

For dessert, we love to add Tapioca Pudding or Creamy Rice Pudding, both also perfect to warm you up from the inside out.

Why is it Called Italian Wedding Soup?

Ever wonder how it gets its name? I always thought maybe it was a traditional meal served at Italian weddings, but in actuality, it has nothing to do with a real wedding.  The name actually comes from the way the flavors combine, like a happy marriage!

What Pasta is Used in Italian Wedding Soup?

Traditionally, acini di pepe pasta is used, which looks like little pearls.  If you can’t find that pasta, ditalini or orzo pasta could be used.

My local grocery store had the acini di pepe pasta right in the dried pasta aisle.

Bowl of italian wedding soup

How Do You Make Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian wedding soup is such a simple soup to make. The part that takes the most time is making the meatballs.  You can use any combination of ground meat you like.  My favorite combination is either pork and beef or all chicken.  I like to brown the meatballs in the soup pot, to add tons of extra flavor!

  1. Prep meatballs and brown.
  2. Soften onions, carrots & celery. Add herbs and seasonings.
  3. Stir in broth and pasta and cook until pasta is tender.
  4. Add spinach and serve.

Can You Use Frozen Meatballs?

Sure can! I like to make double the meatball recipe and freeze the other half, but when I don’t have any pre-made meatballs, I reach for my favorite bag of frozen meatballs!  Just make sure you’re using the small meatballs.

Spoonful of italian wedding soup

Can You Freeze Italian Wedding Soup?

Absolutely!  For the best results, I like to freeze the soup before adding the pasta.  Then when you’re reheating the soup, go ahead and add the pasta.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Spoonful of italian wedding soup
5 from 7 votes
Review Recipe

Italian Wedding Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Hearty and classic, this easy stovetop Italian Wedding soup comes together quickly and is perfect for any weeknight meal!



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


  • 1 tablespoons 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
  • 5 ounces baby spinach chopped
  • shredded Parmesan cheese for serving

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  • 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 large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add about half the meatballs and cook about 3 minutes per side, turning to brown all over.  Transfer to 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 5 minutes, until softened.  Add garlic and cook 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 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.

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 Italian
Italian Wedding Soup on a spoon
Italian Wedding Soup with writing
About the author


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Amanda is the creator behind the food blog The Chunky Chef, where she shares comforting family meals, and the healthy food blog Smart Skinny Recipes, where she shares delicious family recipes that are on the lighter side. She firmly believes life is all about balance; eat a salad, but enjoy some bacon along with it! When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her behind a camera, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and 2 children! You can visit her at The Chunky Chef and Smart Skinny Recipes!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I am making this recipe for the 3rd time today. The 1st time I made it I made the meatballs as written and it was good. The 2nd time I used frozen meatballs cut in 1/2 and it was just as good and a whole lot easier. Today I will do the same and can’t wait to smell the wonderful aroma as it cooks in the slow cooker. (4-5 hours on LO). I add barley instead of the pasta the last 20 minutes and the spinach the last 10 minutes. One optional addition is adding 1 tsp. of sugar which just adds to the depth of flavor. My family LOVES it! Thanks Spendwithpennies!5 stars

  2. I won’t rate your recipe because mine is so much different. Just some comments on the recipe and some memories. I’m 73 years old and although your history of the name says it has nothing to do with a real wedding, I wish to disagree. Growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania in a small town consisting predominately of Italian immigrants , a couple got married at around 8AM at the local Catholic Church. After the ceremony they went to have pictures taken then they rested or napped. At around 1 PM there was a dinner held in the basement of the church with all the older Italian women making the meal – it was always the same. It consisted of (surprise, surprise) Wedding Soup, Green Salad, Baked chicken (Chicken cut up and seasoned with salt, pepper and italian herbs and drizzled with some Olive Oil – very tasty. There was also Pasta (usually Rigatoni or Mosticccoli served with homemade meatballs. I don’t remember dessert. The reception was usually held at a hall at around 7 PM where the kids ran around drinking bottles of “pop” (flavored soda) and eating cookies. There was a beautiful wedding cake but the real star of the goodies were the cookies. For weeks before the wedding the relatives and friends of the couple would make cookies. Probably 15 different varieties and a total of about 12 to 18 cookies were made for each person invited. They were wonderful. No Chocolate chips cookies and stuff like that – they were amazing. Just a little trip down memory lane! Hope you don’t mind. My wedding soup also includes shredded chicken and the meatballs are very tiny – I made some not long ago and I get about 200 of them from 1 # of meat – I use about 1/2 tsp. of the meat mixture per meatball. Never, never use large meatballs!

    I do like your website and use some of your recipes regularly. Thanks for the recipes!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this memory Jane! So happy this soup brought back such a sweet one. The cookies though!! That sounds like such a fun and delicious tradition :)

  3. Amanda, this soup was fabulous! Thank you sharing. Also recently made your beef barley and that to was amazing. These are now my favorites!5 stars

  4. Never cook acini de pepe pasta in the soup. It creates too much starch. Cook separately, rinse and then add to soup. Much better taste that way.

  5. Love your recipes. I have a strange question. Most recipes use either all ground beef or a combination of ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs. Yet your soup broth is chicken broth, not beef broth? Why?5 stars

    1. That’s a great question Shirley! Traditional Italian Wedding Soup uses a clear chicken broth, and we kept to the tradition.