Italian Wedding Soup

This cozy, comforting Italian Wedding Soup is wonderfully flavourful and so simple to make! Adorable little meatballs, mini pasta beads, fresh spinach and a flavourful broth come together to make this hearty soup that’s a marriage made in heaven.

The perfect marriage of vegetables, meat and pasta are what gives this delicious soup its name. And it sure does live up to its name. The ingredients themselves are simple and while delicious, not necessarily all that remarkable on their own. But together they are better in this hearty, flavourful soup!

I have always loved this warm, cozy soup which is based on the popular soup I’ve ordered from Italian restaurants here in North America. This recipe makes it so easy to make this soup at home, so you don’t have to wait until your next restaurant visit!

With its adorable little meatballs and tiny little pasta beads, this Italian wedding soup is my absolute favourite! Its so easy to get a little bit of everything onto your spoon. The perfect bite every time.

It is also simple to make!

Closeup of a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup on a blue denim napkin.

Traditional Italian wedding soup

The recipe for Italian wedding soup I am sharing with you today is based on the popular North American version. Traditional Italian wedding soup or minestra maritata is prepared differently and refers to a whole family of soups comprised of meats and greens.

As mentioned, my version of this soup is based on the North American versions I have enjoyed over the years. The tiny meatballs and itty bitty pasta bits, while non-traditional, are absolutely delicious additions and make this soup a hearty, cozy soup that is sure to warm you up on a cold day.

Making mini meatballs

While the mini meatballs do take a little time to roll them out into tiny little balls, it isn’t hard at all and so worth it in the end! To make the mini meatballs, you will need:

  • Ground beef and pork mix
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Egg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix the meatball ingredients using 2 forks.
  2. Roll a small amount of mixture between your hands to form the meatballs. You will want to make them small in size so they are easy to eat in the soup.
  3. Place on baking rack and bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until they are cooked. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. Remove from oven. [Note: you can also fry these in a pan].
Steps to make mini meatballs

Ingredients in Italian Wedding Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Carrot, diced
  • Onion, diced
  • Rib celery, diced
  • Italian seasoning
  • Chicken broth
  • Acini di pepe
  • Spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mini meatballs
Closeup of a pot of Italian Wedding Soup stirred with a wooden spoon.

How to make Italian Wedding Soup

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion and saute until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. To the pot, add the broth, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the acini di pepe and reduce heat to a low boil.
  3. After 10 minutes, add the meatballs and continue to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked.
  4. In the last minute of cooking, add the spinach. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
Steps to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Tips for making the best Italian Wedding Soup

  • Make your meatballs small. The best part of this soup is how well all of the ingredients go together. Making the meatballs small allows you to scoop them up on your spoon with the other soup ingredients and enjoy the perfect spoonful!

  • Use both pork and beef in your meatballs (if you can). Unless you have dietary restrictions and cannot eat pork, adding it to the meatball mixture provides a lot more flavour than beef alone. If you cannot eat pork, you can definitely just use 100% beef.

  • Mix your meatball mixture with 2 forks. This trick is one I use often with ground meat mixes. Mixing with a fork instead of your hands allows for a lighter, less compact meatball.

  • Use tiny pasta. I used a tiny pasta called acini di pepe but any super small pasta works well with this soup. I recommend avoiding larger pasta because you really want to enjoy a spoonful with a mix of meat, veggies and pasta. Orzo, mini shells, and other similar pastas work well with this soup.

  • Use spinach, escarole or other leafy greens. Traditional Italian Wedding Soup or minestra maritata recipes usually use escarole as the green of choice. I opt for spinach as it is easier to find at my local grocery store but you can use escarole if you can find it. You can also swap in other greens like kale as an alternative. Depending on your green of choice, you may need to cook them longer until they are tender so keep that in mind if you are making any swaps.
Topview of a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup on a blue denim napkin.

Meal prepping the mini meatballs

If your family loves this soup as much as we do, I highly recommend doubling the meatball recipe. After baking the meatballs, you can store the extra mini meatballs in the freezer to use for another batch of Italian wedding soup in the future!

To freeze them, once they have baked, allow them to cool completely. Then transfer the meatballs to a freezer safe, air-tight bag and freeze until you are ready to use. You can drop the frozen meatballs directly into your soup when you make it again, no need to thaw. Just allow them to simmer in the soup until they are warmed all the way through.

Storing and reheating the soup

Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place the soup back into a saucepan to warm through. You will likely have to add a bit more water as the pasta tends to continue absorbing the broth as it sits.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

-Cathy

Extreme closeup of a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup showing mini meatballs, pasta beads and vegetables.

You may also like:

Creamy Potato Leek Soup
Greek Chickpea Soup (Revithosoupa)
Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Closeup of a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup on a blue denim napkin.

Italian Wedding Soup

Herbs and Flour
This cozy, comforting soup is incredibly flavourful and so simple to make! Adorable little meatballs, mini pasta beads, fresh spinach and a flavourful broth come together to make this hearty soup that's a marriage made in heaven.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 335 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef and pork mix
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup acini di pepe
  • 3 cups spinach chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the meatballs:

  • To make the meatballs, preheat oven to 400F and place a baking rack on a baking tray.
  • Mix the meatball ingredients using 2 forks. Roll a small amount of mixture between your hands to form the meatballs. You will want to make them small in size so they are easy to eat in the soup.
  • Place on baking rack and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are cooked. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. Remove from oven.

For the Soup:

  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion and saute until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the broth, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the acini di pepe and reduce heat to a low boil.
  • After 10 minutes, add the meatballs and continue to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked.
  • In the last minute of cooking, add the spinach. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 11gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 2141mgPotassium: 648mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 4821IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 136mgIron: 4mg
Keyword fall, meatballs, pasta, spinach, winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. bonnie blois

    The recipe does not tell me how much beef and pork. Would like to know. Cheers.

    • Herbs and Flour

      Hi Bonnie, the amount is in the recipe card (1/2 lb). I buy a beef and pork mix from my local grocery store but if you are making your own mixture you could do 1/4 lb of each.

  2. If you can find escarole use that as the green instead. The taste is better and that’s what’s traditionally used in wedding soup…

    • Herbs and Flour

      Thank you Mike! I opted for spinach as I can’t find escarole at my local grocery store and know others may have that problem too but you are right. I may add it as an option for those that can get their hands on some!

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