Italian Wedding Soup to me is, in a way, the grown up, elevated version of chicken noodle soup. This flavorful broth soup is filled with herbs and spices, vegetables (carrots, celery, leafy greens, etc.), mini pasta, and tiny meatballs! What could be better on a cold, rainy, cloudy Fall/Winter Day?
The name Italian Wedding Soup comes from the Italian phrase minestra maritata, which means ‘married soup’. It’s in reference to the flavor produced by the combination, or “marriage”, of greens and meat. Despite its name, the soup is not traditionally served at Italian weddings.
This recipe is perfect for meal prep during the cold months (or any time, really)! It’s one of those easy soup recipes that makes enough to have leftovers for days, which I consider a double win. Obviously, I love to cook, but there’s certain days (like today) that I just need a break so I can focus on other tasks, or just to simply have a clean kitchen for longer than a few hours. 😅
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P.S. I’m in love with the bowls that the soup is in! My Mom got them for me quite a while ago when I began thinking of starting a food blog. I’ve been saving them for the perfect recipe, and this Italian Wedding Soup made the cut! Thank you, Mommy, I love you (since I know you’ll be the first to read this)!!! 🖤
RECIPE FOR EASY ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
I have always loved a good Italian Wedding Soup recipe. There was this Italian restaurant in Florida that Jon, and I used to order from basically every weekend. We were so happy because we finally found good New York style pizza near our (then) new home.
They also had the best Italian Wedding Soup! But, they only had it on random evenings. We’d call to place our order, always wishing it would be Italian wedding soup night. Once we got the verdict that it was in fact Italian wedding soup night; the one placing the order would signal the good news to the other, and a small (silent) celebration would occur. It was just that good. 🤣
Since the restaurant didn’t always have the soup, I needed to create my own. My Easy Italian Wedding Soup recipe has been tested and has evolved over the years, and it’s pretty darn perfect now. A little spicy (or not if spiciness isn’t your thing), herbaceous, nutritious, warming, comforting……
I enlisted some taste testers (neighbors) prior to sharing the recipe. They loved it, and a day or two later, one of them said “I’m finally eating the leftover soup, my Lord…you’re a genius. It was good the other day, but I swear it’s better as a leftover somehow”. 🥰
Quite honestly, I’ve eaten this soup about ten times in the last couple of weeks; between recipe re-testing, photographing. I currently have some in my refrigerator which I’ll eat again tomorrow. Good thing is, I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. However, I’ll soon be doing an Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe video and I think I’ll think I’ll freeze that batch for a rainy day!
Make the Mini Meatballs
The mini meatballs are so flavorful and delicious, and you only need a handful of simple ingredients to make them:
- Ground Chicken
- Ground Italian Sausage (I use the spicy kind)
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Pecornio Romano Cheese
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Garlic
- Herbs de Provence (a spice blend usually consisting of thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf)
- Salt & Pepper
Since the meatball recipe only calls for three quarters of a pound each of ground chicken and Italian sausage, I sometimes sauté the leftovers and add it to my Pasta with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Sauce. So good!
These meatballs are perfect for Italian wedding soup but would also be good with marinara sauce (Mezzetta is my absolute favorite)! And, aside from Marinara sauce, I just thought of another amazing way to use the meatball recipe. I’m going to do some testing and share it in the near future. Stay tuned! 🤩
Once all the ingredients are combined (I use my KitchenAid, but you can also mix the ingredients by hand), drizzle some olive oil on the sheet baking pan and make your hands oily. Form the meatballs (smaller than you would form Italian meatballs for spaghetti, etc.) and bake them in the preheated four-hundred-degree Fahrenheit oven for about twenty-five minutes, or until they are cooked through to one-hundred sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
I keep saying mini/tiny meatballs, but they aren’t as small as they were in the soup from our favorite restaurant. To be honest, I’m just too lazy to roll double the meatballs in such a small shape. 😂
So, you can make them as small/big as you’d like! Just, don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
The tiny meatballs are so juicy, thanks to the Italian sausage. Just looook at the color on those babies. The fat from the sausage and the olive oil creates that beautiful, flavorful crust on them. Soon, we’ll be adding the meatballs to the soup, and all that flavor will soak right into it. Which is why it gets even better as the days go on.
PREPARE THE BASE OF THE SOUP & tiny PASTA
While the meatballs are baking, you can get started on the base of the Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe, which is packed with nutritious vegetables and herbs!
Melt butter with olive oil, then add the celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté that for a few minutes, then stir in the seasonings and sauté for another minute (this releases the flavors and fragrances of the herbs).
Now comes the wine. Splash in your white wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. The alcohol will cook off and bring an amazing flavor and acidity to the dish. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc works well here, but you can also use a Pinot Grigio or an Unoaked Chardonnay.
Next, spoon in the (and this is KEY) Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base. It adds so much flavor, and makes it taste like a soup that has been simmering for days. DAYS.
Add the low sodium chicken broth (I love Kettle & Fire), and bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to low/medium, add the meatballs, and simmer for at least 30 minutes (I like to keep it on for an hour). The vegetables should be tender, not mushy. I’d keep an eye on them!
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to package directions in a separate pot. You can use any mini pasta that you wish. Pictured above is tri-color pearl couscous which I love (and had on hand), but you can also use the traditional acini de pepe, or another small-sized pasta, such as pastina, ditalini, orzo…even stars or alphabet if you really want to have some fun!
I like to cook and store the pasta for Italian Wedding Soup (or any soup with pasta for that matter) separate from the broth. I’ve found that pasta absorbs the soup liquid if you add it to the pot together.
Now that the soup has had time to simmer, add the chopped greens. I usually use rainbow chard because it’s colorful, but you can also use a different sturdy, leafy green such as kale or collard. Simmer the greens for three to five minutes. The stems (which are perfectly fine to eat), will still have a bit of a crunchy texture which I love.
Stir in the dill, and you’re done!
Add a small scoop of mini pasta to the bottom of each serving bowl, spoon in some of the piping hot broth/meat/vegetable mixture, then shred a little extra pecorino Romano cheese over each bowl.
Serve with a buttery toasted baguette if you wish! I just love a good, soaked bread bite. 😋
As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. You can reach out via email (email@example.com), and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below.
🍁 MORE RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
Roasted Tomato Basil and Red Pepper Soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread.
Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Instant Pot and Oven Instructions).
Pasta with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Sauce.
Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
A flavorful broth is filled with herbs and spices, vegetables (carrots, celery, leafy greens, etc.), mini pasta, and tiny meatballs. Perfect for meal prep during the cold months (or any time, really)!
- 3/4–pound ground chicken, I use 99% lean
- 3/4–pound ground Italian sausage, I use spicy
- 1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
SOUP BASE + VEGGIES + PASTA:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 12 cups (96 fl. ounces) of low-sodium chicken broth, I use Kettle and Fire
- 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base
- 1 bunch of leafy greens, such as rainbow chard, kale, collard, etc.
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 2 cups uncooked couscous + water & salt for boiling, you can also use a different mini pasta such as pastina, ditalini, orzo…even stars or alphabet if you really want to have some fun!
TOPPINGS AND EXTRAS:
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Toasted baguette slices or crackers
- MAKE THE MINI MEATBALLS. Once all the ingredients are combined (I use my KitchenAid, but you can also mix the ingredients by hand), drizzle some olive oil on the sheet baking pan and make your hands oily. Form the meatballs (smaller than you would form Italian meatballs for spaghetti, etc.) and bake them in the preheated 400° oven for about 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and cooked through to 165° F.
- START THE BROTH SOUP BASE. Melt butter with olive oil, then add the celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté that for a few minutes, then stir in the seasonings and sauté for another minute (this releases the flavors and fragrances of the herbs). Splash in your white wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the Better than Bouillon chicken base and low-sodium chicken broth. Drop in the meatballs once they’re finished baking. Simmer the soup on low-medium heat for 30 minutes to an hour. The carrots, celery, and onion should be tender but not mushy (keep an eye on them)!
- MAKE THE COUSCOUS (OR OTHER MINI PASTA BALLS). Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Store this in a separate container from the soup so it doesn’t soak up the soup broth!
- FINISH PREPARING THE SOUP. Wilt your leafy greens in the soup for a few minutes with the soup still simmering (I like the stems to still have a bit of a crunchy texture), then stir in the fresh dill.
- PLATING. Scoop a small amount of couscous into each bowl. Ladle in some piping hot broth, meatballs, and veggies. Grate Pecorino Romano over each bowl. Serve with toasted baguette slices and/or crackers (optional). Enjoy!!!!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Main Dishes, Soups
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
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