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A single serving of Noodle Soup with meatballs with garnishes of lemon slices and shaved Parmesan.

Italian Wedding Soup

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4.9 from 15 reviews


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!


Units Scale


  • 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


  1. Make the meatballs with this chicken meatball recipe.
  2. In heavily salted water, boil the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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