Italian Wedding Soup


I don’t know how many years it’s been that I keep saying I’m going to try Italian Wedding Soup. Well the day has finally come. Who knows why I’ve waited so long because this soup is amazing! It’s packed with fresh flavors and the meatballs just make this soup sing. Those herb packed meatballs really are the main highlight of this soup, I kind of wish there were double the amount because they’re so good! And I love that they’re small, I’ve never been a fan of the big meatballs with spaghetti. These little meatballs are perfectly bite size.¬†

Italian Wedding Soup | Cooking Classy

Italian Wedding Soup | Cooking Classy

This soup requires a little more prep than some of your average soups may (such as grinding up fresh bread crumbs and shaping and browning the tiny meatballs) but the extra steps and extra pan are worth it! Many Italian wedding soups don’t have a browning step but I feel it’s a game changer here, browning always makes meat butter, right? Then many other recipes call for endive, kale or escarole which would be totally find to substitute here in place of the spinach – but those I’d recommend adding along with the pasta as they’ll need a longer cook time than the spinach. The spinach cooks almost instantly whereas those others wont.

This is a soup that’s so good it will likely¬†become a new frequent request in your home. I just love everything about it and I already look forward to making it again! Hope you love it!

Italian Wedding Soup | Cooking Classy Italian Wedding Soup | Cooking Classy


Italian Wedding Soup

5 from 1 vote

Yield: About 6 servings



  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 8 oz . ground pork
  • 1/2 cup fresh hearty white bread crumbs*
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/4-inch diced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups diced yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch diced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry acini de pepe or orzo pasta**
  • 6 oz fresh spinach , chopped
  • Finely shredded parmesan , for serving


  1. For the meatballs:
  2. Add beef and pork to a large mixing bowl. Add in bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, parmesan, egg, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Gently toss and break up mixture with hands to evenly coat and distribute. Shape mixture into very small meatballs, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch and transfer to a large plate.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until browned, turning occasionally (to brown on 2 or 3 sides), about 4 minutes total. Transfer meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels while leaving oil in skillet. Repeat process with remaining meatballs (note that meatballs won't be cooked through at this point, they'll continue to cook through in the soup).
  4. For the soup:
  5. While meatballs are browning, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions and celery and saute until veggies have softened about 6 - 8 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Pour in chicken broth, season soup with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil. Add in pasta and meatballs, reduce heat to light boil (about medium or medium-low). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender and meatballs have cooked through, about 10 minutes, while adding in spinach during the last minute of cooking. Serve warm, sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese.
  6. *I recommend using bread such as a La Brea french loaf. Just grind up a slice in a food processor to find crumbs. Save the remaining bread for serving (slathered with butter of course) or freeze for another later use.
  7. **If you like a more brothier soup you can reduce pasta to 3/4 cup. Note that as the soup sits the pasta will absorb more broth so you can add more broth to thin the soup as desired.
  8. Recipe source: inspired by Ina Garten's and Giada's recipes


  • Patricia: Jaclyn, that looks delicious! Even though I have a recipe of my own for this kind of soup, I am going to try yours because it looks so tasty! Perfect for a cold day! January 31, 2017 at 8:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it Patricia :)! January 31, 2017 at 9:51am Reply

  • Paige: This soup looks amazing! I need to try this soon!

    Paige January 31, 2017 at 11:19am Reply

  • Judith Reese: This has always been one of my favorite soups. It is as good warmed up the next day and freezes well also. January 31, 2017 at 11:51am Reply

  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: The colors in this soup are so vibrant! It looks delicious January 31, 2017 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sara! January 31, 2017 at 2:41pm Reply

  • Mindy Delano: Hi,
    This definitely will be on my table this week. Can I use cous cous instead of pasta? It’s little round balls, too. I’ve got that in my pantry now. Thanks! January 31, 2017 at 5:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Pearl couscous would be a good substitute if that’s what you’ve got. I hope you love this soup Mindy! February 1, 2017 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Amber: This looks so yummy! I wish there was a GF version of orzo so i could make it! February 2, 2017 at 10:34am Reply

    • Shirley: I used a cup of brown rice instead of orzo and it was delicious. Also you can use GF bread crumbs or GF oats in the meatballs. February 17, 2017 at 10:22am Reply

  • Jillian: I made this soup last night and it was awesome! Super easy and perfect for a cold winter night. Definitely will be making this again. Thanks! February 11, 2017 at 6:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jillian! Glad you loved it! February 14, 2017 at 1:52pm Reply

  • Susan Martin: I made this tonight. I served with garlic croutons. Absolutely loved it!! March 16, 2017 at 6:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed Susan! March 27, 2017 at 11:29am Reply

  • Katie: I’ve made this a couple times, adding the 1/2 cup of white wine that Ina suggests, and 1 bouillon cube to enhance the flavor. My son is VERY VERY picky eater, with some sensory issues tied to certain foods. He ADORES this soup, last night, he ate 3 bowls! He refers to it as “Yummy Yummy Soup.” Thanks for helping us add to his flavor profile! :) June 6, 2017 at 7:04am Reply

  • Lindsey: Delicious. Added in some lemon zest, which added a nice freshness. September 17, 2017 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Lindsey! September 18, 2017 at 12:31pm Reply

  • Cheryl: Oh yeah! Made the meatballs with ground turkey…AMAZING !
    Will definitely a favorite in our home ! October 20, 2017 at 6:19am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed Cheryl! October 20, 2017 at 12:43pm Reply

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