The Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipe For Special Occasion

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Celebrate the union of flavors with our Italian Wedding Soup Recipe , a bowl brimming with love and tradition! Juicy meatballs and tender greens waltz in a savory broth, accompanied by a sprinkle of petite pasta. Each bite is a blissful embrace of home-cooked warmth, with a dusting of Parmesan adding a luxurious whisper. This soup is not just a meal; it’s a festivity of taste, creating a symphony of flavors that dances on your palate, promising comfort and joy in every spoonful.

On cool nights, there is nothing quite like the comfort of wrapping your hands around a warm bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. Discover an authentic Italian wedding soup recipe, packed with flavorful ingredients and easy instructions to recreate this classic dish.

Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

This delightful concoction has journeyed from the heart of Italy; right into my kitchen and now to yours, weaving a thread of culinary heritage that goes beyond just cooking.

Every spoonful tells a story, offering a comforting embrace that’s as rich in flavor as it is in history. The delicate broth, brimming with tender meatballs and hearty greens, speaks of rustic Italian kitchens and the love poured into every pot. 

And isn’t that what makes food so much more than just sustenance? A delicious connection binds us to places, traditions, and people.

In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to recreating this classic soup, marrying old-world charm and modern convenience. We’ll explore its origins, explore its nuanced flavors, and offer tips to perfect your soup-making skills

So, let’s venture together into the delightful world of Italian Wedding Soup.

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian Wedding Soup is a traditional Italian soup that features a harmonious mix of meat, leafy greens, and often small pasta or rice. The name might suggest that it’s served at Italian weddings, but this is only sometimes the case. 

Instead, the “wedding” refers to the “marriage” or perfect blending of the ingredients — typically meat and vegetables — to create a hearty, nutritious dish.

While every family has their own specific version of the soup, the above elements typically feature in most variations of Italian Wedding Soup. It’s a warming and comforting dish often enjoyed during the colder months but can also be enjoyed year-round.

Italian Wedding Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Modifying the Italian Wedding Soup Recipe to fit various dietary preferences or restrictions like keto, paleo, gluten-free, or Whole30 is quite possible and easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keto

You can eliminate the pasta, which is high in carbs, for a ketogenic version. Instead, increase the number of meatballs and vegetables. Consider adding some low-carb veggies like zucchini or bell peppers. Also, use a binder for keto-friendly meatballs, like almond flour or crushed pork rinds, instead of bread crumbs.

  • Paleo

Again, you’ll need to remove the pasta for a paleo-friendly soup. Substitute it with more vegetables or a paleo-friendly noodle, like spiralized zucchini or sweet potato. Ensure the meatballs are made with almond cream or coconut flour instead of bread crumbs.

  • Gluten-Free

To make the soup gluten-free, use a gluten-free pasta variety or substitute pasta with a gluten-free grain like rice or quinoa. Ensure your meatballs are bound with gluten-free alternatives like breadcrumbs or oats.

  • Whole 30

For a Whole30 version, remove the pasta and cheese from the recipe. Increase the vegetables, and ensure the meatballs are made without breadcrumbs or cheese. You could use almond meals as a binding agent in the meatballs.

The Recipe With Other Ingredients

Recipe Directions

Cook The Meatball

  • Combine ground turkey, sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Form the mixture into meatballs and set aside.

Cook The Soup

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet and lightly brown the meatballs.
  • In a Dutch oven or stockpot, simmer chicken stock with onions, escarole, and red pepper flakes.


  • Reduce heat to simmer and add the meatballs to the pot.
  • Cook uncovered for 5 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

Season And Serve

  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve hot or refrigerate/freeze for later use.
Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings

  • Different Greens: Traditionally, the recipe uses escarole or spinach, but you can also try using kale, Swiss chard, or even collard greens for a different flavor and texture.
  • Variety of Proteins: Chicken meatballs are classic, but you could experiment with turkey, beef, or even vegetarian alternatives like lentil or mushroom-based meatballs.
  • Additional Vegetables: Add carrots, celery, bell peppers, or tomatoes for extra color, texture, and flavor.
  • Different Grains: If you’re not a fan of acini de pepe, you can substitute it with other small kinds of pasta, rice, quinoa, or even small-shaped whole grains like farro or barley.
  • Beans: Cannellini beans or chickpeas could add extra protein and make the soup even more hearty.
  • Spices and Herbs: Feel free to experiment with additional herbs and spices to adjust the flavor to your preference. Basil, rosemary, thyme, or even a bay leaf could all add extra depth of flavor.
  • Cheese: While Parmesan is traditional, you might also try Pecorino Romano for a sharper flavor or ricotta for a creamy addition.
  • Heat: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce if you like a little heat in your soup.

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot are excellent tools for making soup, including Italian Wedding Soup, and can really help to develop and meld the flavors together.

Slow Cooker

  • Prepare the meatballs as per the recipe, then lightly brown them in a skillet.
  • Add them along with the chicken stock, diced onion, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add the chopped escarole and let it wilt and cook in the soup.
  • Adjust the seasonings, and serve hot.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to brown the meatballs in batches.
  • Add the chicken stock, diced onion, and red pepper flakes. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to sealing.
  • Cook the soup on manual high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Once the soup is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the pressure release valve to venting to release any additional pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir in the escarole, letting it wilt in the hot soup.
  • Adjust the seasonings, and serve hot.
 Use Different Types Of MeatFishPastaVegetables Etc For The Soup 

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can use store-bought broth to make Italian Wedding Soup, which can be a great time-saver. When choosing store-bought broth, aim for a low-sodium version; so you have more control over the salt content in your soup.

However, if you have the time and the means, making your own broth can bring a whole new level of flavor to your soup. Homemade broth is often richer and more flavorful than store-bought versions, allowing you to control all the ingredients that go into it.

Ultimately, choosing between homemade and store-bought broth depends on your preference, dietary restrictions, and the time you have available for cooking. Regardless of choice, your Italian Wedding Soup can turn out delicious!

Tips And Tricks For Making italian soup

How To Serve ?

Serving Italian Wedding Soup properly can genuinely elevate your meal. Here are some steps to make sure your presentation is as delicious as the soup itself:

  • Warm Bowls: Start by warming your bowls slightly, either by rinsing them in hot water or placing them in a warm oven for a few minutes. This ensures the soup stays hot for longer once served.
  • Portion Sizes: Italian Wedding Soup is quite hearty due to the meatballs and pasta, so be sure to fill the bowl evenly. A cup or cup and a half per person is a good starting point.
  • Garnishing: Once the soup is ladled into bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little bit of chopped fresh parsley. This adds an extra layer of flavor and makes the dish look even more appealing.
  • Accompaniment: Serve the soup with a slice of rustic Italian bread or a garlic breadstick on the side for dipping. You could also offer a simple green salad to complete the meal.
  • Serve Immediately: Soup is best served immediately while it’s still hot. If you’ve made the soup in advance, be sure to reheat it thoroughly before serving.
Italian Wedding Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

The simplicity and heartiness of Italian Wedding Soup make it a satisfying meal on its own, but various side dishes can beautifully complement it. Here are a few ideas:

  • Crusty Bread: A slice of crusty bread or a warm baguette is perfect for dipping into the broth. Try serving it with garlic bread or knots for a garlic kick.
  • Green Salad: A crisp, fresh salad can balance the warmth and heartiness of the soup. Try a simple green salad with vinaigrette, a Caprese salad, or a Caesar salad for an Italian-themed meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables can add a different texture and deeper flavors to your meal. Try roasting seasonal vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic pairing, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a bowl of soup make for a comforting meal.
  • Bruschetta or Crostini: These Italian appetizers can provide a crunchy contrast to the soup. You could top them with various ingredients, like tomatoes, basil, roasted vegetables, or a spread like tapenade or ricotta.
  • Antipasto Platter: An assortment of Italian cold cuts, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables could make a delightful starter or side dish.
  • Italian Stuffed Peppers: If you’re looking for a heartier side, Italian stuffed peppers filled with rice, ground meat, and cheese could be a great option.
  • Pasta Salad: A cold pasta salad could provide a refreshing contrast. Please keep it simple with fresh vegetables, olive oil, and vinegar, or make it more substantial with cheese and Italian meats.
Italian Wedding Soup

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Cool Quickly: After cooking, cool the soup quickly to ensure food safety. You can do this by placing the pot in a sink filled with ice water and stirring the soup to lower the temperature.
  • Refrigerator Storage: Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure the soup has cooled to room temperature before refrigerating to avoid raising the refrigerator’s internal temperature.
  • Freezer Storage: Italian Wedding Soup freezes well, especially if you plan to consume it within 2-3 months. Use freezer-safe containers or bags, leaving some space for expansion as the soup freezes. If possible, store the meatballs and broth separately to maintain the best texture of the meatballs.
  • Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. If the soup has pasta, be careful not to overcook it upon reheating.

Make-Ahead Tips

  • Meatballs: Make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. This way, you can add them directly to the soup as needed without additional prep time.
  • Broth: Prepare the broth in advance and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage. A homemade broth will greatly enhance the flavor of your Italian Wedding Soup.
  • Vegetables: Chop vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator to save prep time. If using leafy greens, wash and dry them before storing in the fridge in a container lined with paper towels.
  • Pasta or Rice: If you plan to add pasta or rice, consider cooking it separately and adding it to individual servings. This prevents the pasta or rice from becoming too soft and mushy, especially if you’re storing or freezing the soup for later.
  • Assembly: For the freshest taste, consider combining the pre-made components (meatballs, broth, vegetables) when you’re ready to serve the soup. This keeps the flavors vibrant and the textures distinct
Italian Wedding Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover soup can be more versatile than you might think. Here are some creative ways to repurpose it:

  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stovetop until it thickens, then serve it over pasta. If your soup is chunky, you should puree it first.
  • Stew or Casserole Base: Use the soup as a base for a stew or casserole. Add some extra vegetables, cooked meat, or beans, then top with biscuits or a mashed potato crust and bake.
  • Rice or Grain Dish: Cook rice or grains like quinoa or barley in the soup instead of water or broth to infuse them with flavor.
  • Stir-Fry Sauce: Use the soup as a sauce in a stir-fry. Cook your protein and vegetables first, then add the soup and let it simmer until everything is well coated.
  • Freeze for Later: If you can’t use the leftovers right away, soup freezes very well. Just be sure to cool it completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Bread Dip: Heat up the soup and use it as a dip for crusty bread. This works best with thicker, pureed soups.


  • Quality Broth: Use homemade or high-quality store-bought chicken or vegetable broth for a rich, flavorful base.
  • Flavorful Meatballs: Mix ground meats with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and herbs. Season well before cooking.
  • Cook Meatballs Separately: Brown meatballs in a pan or oven to enhance flavor and ensure they’re fully cooked before adding to the soup.
  • Select Greens: Use escarole, spinach, or kale. Add them at the end to keep their color and texture.
  • Pasta Timing: Add small pasta like orzo or acini di pepe late in cooking to avoid overcooking. Cook separately for leftovers.
  • Balance Flavors: Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon juice or vinegar. Add fresh herbs before serving.
  • Serve with Parmesan: Offer freshly grated Parmesan cheese for guests to add to their soup, enhancing umami and richness.
Effortless Italian Wedding Soup Recipe (Ready In 30 Minutes Or Less)

Effortless Italian Wedding Soup Recipe (Ready In 30 Minutes Or Less)

5 from 12 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





Looking for a delicious Italian wedding soup recipe? Discover a flavorful blend of meatballs, greens, and pasta in this classic Italian dish. Follow our step-by-step instructions to create a hearty soup that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds.

Ingredient List

  • 1/2 lb 1/2 Ground Turkey

  • 1/2 lb 1/2 Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (Not Pre-Cooked)

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Plain Dry Bread Crumbs

  • 1 Large 1 Garlic Clove , Minced

  • 2 Tsp 2 Minced Flat-Leaf Parsley

  • 1 1 Large Egg

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Fresh Black Pepper

  • 2 Tsp 2 Olive Oil

  • For The Soup
  • 6 Cups 6 Chicken Stock (Homemade Or Low-Sodium Store-Bought)

  • 1 1 Small Onion, Diced

  • 1 1 Head Of Escarole, Chopped Into Bite-Size Pieces

  • Red Pepper Flakes (Large Pinch)

  • Kosher salt (To Taste)

  • Fresh Black Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Cook The Meatball
    Combine the ground turkey, sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. With your hands, mix everything until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Prepare The Mixture
    Form the mixture into meatballs about the size of large walnuts, and place them on a plate.
  • Cook The Soup
    Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. If necessary, lightly brown the meatballs in batches and set them aside
  • Simmer
    Reduce the heat to simmer, and gently add the meatballs to the pot. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 5 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Serving
    Serve the soup hot. Alternatively, let it cool completely and then refrigerate or freeze it for later use.
  • Large Soup Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • LadleSkimmer
  • Immersion Blender
  • Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot
  • Heat-Resistant Spatula Or Wooden Spoon
  • Soup Bowls And Soup Spoons


  • Meatballs: The meatballs are traditionally made with a mixture of beef and pork, but you can use turkey or chicken as a lighter alternative. Remember to work the mix evenly to keep the meatballs tender
  • Escarole: Escarole gives the soup a slightly bitter edge that balances well with the rich meatballs. If you can’t find escarole, feel free to use other greens like spinach, kale, or endive.
  • Broth: A good quality chicken broth is essential for the soup base. You can make your own or use a low-sodium store-bought variety for convenience; if you’re using store-bought, taste before adding any additional salt.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes are used traditionally, such as acini di pepe, orzo, or even small shells. They add a lovely texture to the soup. Add the pasta towards the end of cooking time to prevent it from becoming mushy
  • Spicing: A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a hint of spice. Adjust to your preference.
  • Serving: Serve the soup hot, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread for the perfect comforting meal.
  • Storing and Reheating: The soup can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to three months. Add a bit more broth when reheating, as the pasta can absorb it as it sits.

Nutrition Table

Italian Wedding Soup Nutrition Table

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You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

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