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Our savory Italian wedding soup is warm, cozy and flavorful. It has a delicious comforting aroma. Filled with fresh ingredients and hearty textures, it includes these crisp, baked chicken meatballs. Make this easy Italian soup recipe in about an hour. Serve it for lunch or dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s simple to assemble with basic ingredients. Most are refrigerator and pantry staples.
- You can use store-bought meatballs or make your own. Or make the meatballs in advance and freeze them for later – for a day you’d like to assemble this easy recipe.
- This Italian wedding soup is hearty enough to satisfy even the hungriest appetite. It can be served as a full meal, or along with a crisp green salad.
- This soup is deeply savory and flavorful. It’s one of the most popular soups on this recipe site with more than 57K social shares.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQ
The name of this soup refers to the marriage between two of the main ingredients: the green veggies (spinach or kale) and the meat (chicken meatballs or sausage), and the beautiful flavors produced by this coupling.
There is some disagreement on whether it originated in Italy or in Spain. But it was introduced to America by Italian immigrants from Naples.
The Italian name for this soup is “minestra maritata,” or “married soup,” but it’s not traditionally served at weddings. This rustic Italian soup was often created from the leftover scraps from making other meals.
🐓For Chicken Meatballs
- Ground chicken
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Fresh Italian parsley
- Virgin olive oil
- Large egg
- Garlic clove
- Dried onion flakes
- Dried Oregano
- Sea salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
🍵 For the Soup
- Virgin olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Baby carrots
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh sage
- Chicken broth or chicken stock
- Basil pesto
- Lemon juice
- Baby spinach or baby kale
- Short-cut pasta
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
🔪 Prep the Ingredients
- While the meatballs are baking in the oven, chop the carrots, onions, celery and herbs.
- Squeeze the lemon juice.
- In heavily salted water, boil the pasta al dente. Drain well. Set it aside.
📖 Recipe Steps
- In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium/high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion. Saute for 6-8 minutes, just until the onion begins to caramelize.
- Add carrots, celery and herbs to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add three pinches of salt and a few twists of black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the pesto and lemon juice. Pour in the chicken broth. Stir. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Step 5: Add trimmed spinach leaves to the pot. Stir until they’re completely submerged in the broth. Allow soup to simmer for another 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 6: Remove the pot from heat. Add meatballs and cooked noodles. If desired, add a light drizzling of olive oil over the soup to make it look and taste more savory. Top individual servings with shaved parmesan cheese.
🧑🏼🍳 Expert Tips
- Increase the flavor of chicken meatballs. Use 3/4 pound ground chicken breast and 1/4 pound ground chicken sausage (breakfast sausage or sweet Italian sausage, no casings).
- Consider doubling the recipe for the chicken meatballs. Because it’s hard to resist snacking on them as soon as they come out of the oven. You want to make sure there will be enough meatballs left for the soup.
- No time to make meatballs? Buy a bag of frozen meatballs at the market. Or sauté 1 lb ground Italian chicken sausage (no casings) with the onions. So simple and delicious.
- How to spice up Italian wedding soup: Add a tablespoon of turmeric for a lovely golden broth. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
- Brighten the flavor of the soup: Add a bit of fresh lemon juice, or serve the soup with wedges of lemon for squeezing.
More Fall/Winter Soup Recipes
If you love this cozy Italian wedding soup, you’ll also enjoy these comforting fall and winter recipes. They’re a perfect lunch or dinner on a cold-weather day. Add them to your monthly meal-plan rotation. Pack them in a thermos or crockpot for tailgating.
- Easy Lasagna Soup
- Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- Homemade Cup Noodles
- Mushroom Ramen Bowl
- Minestrone Soup
- Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup
- Texas Roadhouse Chili
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Flavor testers rated this the BEST Italian wedding soup recipe. The said the hearty ingredients and flavorful broth were amazing. But it was the tasty, crisp chicken meatballs that made this easy recipe over-the-top delicious.
If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.Print
Baked chicken meatballs, basil pesto and shaved Parmesan cheese raise the flavor profile of this beautiful Italian wedding soup recipe. This flavorful noodle soup is a family favorite!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups petite carrots, sliced
- 1 1/4 cups celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 12 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 12 ounces baby spinach, stems removed (or baby kale, chopped)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 pound short-cut pasta
- 1 1/2 cups shaved Parmesan cheese
- Make the meatballs with this chicken meatball recipe.
- In heavily salted water, boil the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
- In a large heavy pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium/high heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize. Reduce the heat to low. Add the carrots, celery and herbs to the pot. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add the pesto, lemon juice and broth. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir the spinach into the soup so that all leaves are completely submerged in the broth. Simmer another 5 minutes so the leaves can wilt. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the meatballs and noodles to the pot. If desired, add a light drizzling of olive oil over the top.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and wedges of fresh lemon.
- How to increase the flavor of the chicken meatballs: Use 3/4 pound ground chicken breast and 1/4 pound ground chicken sausage (breakfast sausage or sweet Italian sausage, no casings).
- No time to make meatballs? Buy frozen meatballs at the market. Or sauté a pound of ground Italian chicken sausage (no casings) with the onions.
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Oven, Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian Wedding Soup, Wedding Soup, Noodle Soup
Italian Wedding Soup 👉🏻 Join the Convo
Do you have a favorite noodle soup? Would you like to make this authentic Italian wedding soup recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below!