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Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

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A delicious and hearty soup for a cool fall evening. This recipe serves a crowd.MORE+LESS-

Make with

Progresso Breadcrumbs

Chicken Meatballs


cup Progresso™ Parmesan bread crumbs or Progresso™ Italian Style or Garlic Herb Bread Crumbs


cup grated fresh parmesan cheese


tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried), chopped


teaspoon italian seasoning


teaspoon garlic powder


teaspoon black pepper



cup carrots chopped (about 3-4 whole carrots)


cups chicken or vegetable broth, or a combination


can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ Organic Diced Tomatoes Basil and Garlic

1 1/2

teaspoons Progresso™ balsamic vinegar


tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried), chopped


teaspoons Italian seasonings


oz orzo or other small pasta (such as Ditalini)


oz Cascadian Farm™ Frozen Organic Cut Spinach

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  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°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°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

    In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and sauté for 2 more minutes.

  • 5

    Add the broth, water, and tomatoes to the stock pot. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, parsley and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil (medium-low heat) and cook for 5 minutes.

  • 6

    Add the pasta to the stock pot and cook until pasta is tender, according to the package recommendations. When pasta is tender, stir in the spinach and meatballs. Cook until the spinach is heated through and slightly wilted. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • With the arrival of Fall comes the start of soup season.Soups are my favorite winter meal to prepare for dinner. They're what comfort food is to me and so nice to sit down to after a long, cold day. More often than not, many soup recipes are a one pot meal. I think everyone always loves a recipe that generates fewer dirty dishes!Not only are they frequently a one pot meal, they're also a one dish dinner because soups are so often a complete meal. And this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup certainly is. It's full of vegetables, starch, and protein. You don't really to make anything else to go with this recipe unless, of course, you want to.Traditionally Italian Wedding Soup is green vegetables and meat (meatballs or sausage) in a clear, chicken broth. Sometimes the recipe also includes pasta. Italian Wedding Soup is a flexible recipe. If you'd like, switch up the greens. This recipe uses spinach, but kale or escarole also works well. I've made chicken meatballs to go with this recipe, but you can substitute ground turkey, ground beef, or a mix in the meatball recipe. I've chosen to add carrots, celery and diced tomatoes to add more vegetables and truly make this recipe a one dish dinner.A little tidbit of knowledge that I just learned about: "wedding soup" is actually a mistranslation of the soup's name. Minestra maritata is actually translated to mean "married soup," referencing the compatibility of the green vegetables and the meat. What you call this recipe doesn't matter. It's just as tasty on a fall night.

Italian Wedding Soup

My kids love anything with meatballs in it, especially mini meatballs, so there’s always excitement at our house when Italian wedding soup is on the menu. Wedding soup is traditionally made from a rich, long-cooked homemade chicken stock. In a perfect world, we’d all make our own stock but who has time? To mimic the same flavor, I use a combination of high-quality store-bought chicken and beef broth fortified with wine and lots of veggies.

The only tedious part of the recipe is rolling the little meatballs—the recipe makes 50!—but I usually get one of the kids to help. (And by the way, if you’re looking for an easy weeknight meatball recipe, this is the one.)

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 ½ quarts chicken broth
  • 2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup seashell pasta
  • ¾ cup diced carrots

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls and set aside.

In a large stockpot heat chicken broth to boiling stir in the spinach, pasta, carrot and meatballs. Return to boil reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, and meatballs are no longer pink inside. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Wedding Soup Meatballs

The secret to this Italian style wedding soup is simply using frozen meatballs. You can make your own meatballs and freeze them or simply pick up a bag in the freezer aisle on your next grocery store run.

Try Chicken Meatballs, Turkey Pesto Meatballs, or whatever meatballs you have on hand. Basically there are no rules when it comes to the type of meatballs for this soup.

No need to thaw out the meatballs either. Add frozen meatballs to the soup and simmer until done. They’re ready in about 5-7 minutes. If using pre-cooked or fully cooked meatballs then you’ll want to check the package for cooking times and adjust the recipe as needed.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork.

With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.


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