Italian Wedding Soup

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Italian Wedding Soup can be thrown together in 30 minutes for an easy weeknight meal. Make this easy Italian wedding soup recipe to enjoy a warm, comforting bowl on chilly nights!

titled: Italian Wedding Soup Recipe


Italian Wedding Soup

Sauteed vegetables, spinach leaves, and homemade meatballs come together in a rich, fragrant broth with acini di pepe — a tiny round Italian wedding soup pasta.

Top each bowl of Italian wedding soup with freshly grated Parmesan and dig right in!

Try another version of meatball soup with ditalini pasta and rich tomato broth, or swap the meatballs for thick sausage links instead.

I also have a stuffed pepper soup with plenty of rice and seasoned beef to keep you feeling full!

ingredients for italian wedding soup

Wedding Soup Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Meatballs – I used equal amounts of ground chicken and ground sausage for the best Italian wedding soup recipe, but ground beef or pork can be used as well.

    A combination will provide plenty of texture, moisture, and flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs – You can use regular or herb-seasoned breadcrumbs instead of panko if you prefer.
  • Veggies – Celery, onion, and carrots, also known as mirepoix, are the foundational wedding soup ingredients.

    These form the flavorful base of this soup — and many other dishes as well!

    You’ll need fresh baby spinach as well, stirred in and wilted right before serving.
  • Pasta – You may have think pearl couscous when you see Italian wedding soup pasta, but it’s actually acini di pepe!

    It has a much milder flavor and softer texture than couscous, though both are made from semolina flour.

Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Soak the breadcrumbs! The key to moist meatballs is allowing the breadcrumbs to absorb the milk before adding the other ingredients.
  • Stick with chicken broth. While it’s possible to use vegetable broth, your Italian wedding soup won’t have the same rich flavor.
  • Tip for perfect meatballs: These tend to become misshapen while pan-frying, so rotate them gently and frequently while cooking.

    You can also roll them by hand to compact them instead of using a scoop.
  • Want to save some time? Skip the pan-frying and add the meatballs directly to the pot with the other wedding soup ingredients to cook!

    They will be lighter in color but just as delicious.
browned meatballs in skillet

Serving Suggestions

Throw together seasonal greens with leftover carrots and celery, then add your favorite dressing. Or, try my copycat Olive Garden salad instead!

Homemade garlic knots would go well with this easy Italian wedding soup recipe, as would a thick slice of crusty bread to mop up every last drop!

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Dutch Oven or Heavy-Bottomed Pot
  • Mixing Bowl – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • Cookie Scoops – The medium-sized one is perfect for scooping out meatballs, cookies, ice cream, and more!
pot of chopped carrots, onion, and celery in broth

Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe FAQ

How many meatballs does this make?

My best Italian wedding soup recipe will yield about 12 meatballs total. If you’d like, you can double or triple the amounts and refrigerate the extra for pasta dishes and sauces.

Or, freeze them for up to 3 months to use in future meals! They would be delicious in my cheesy pull apart bread.

What is acini di pepe?

It’s a tiny round pasta that is similar in size to pearl couscous. While it’s the traditional Italian wedding soup pasta, it may be hard to find locally.

In that case, you can purchase it online or substitute another tiny noodle such as orzo or ditalini.

How long does Italian wedding soup last in the refrigerator?

It will keep for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. Heat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.

You can also freeze Italian wedding soup for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Leave some space at the top of the container when freezing so the liquid can expand.

closeup: ladle full of italian wedding soup

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closeup: bowl of italian wedding soup with meatballs

bowl of Italian soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Donna Elick
Italian Wedding Soup can be thrown together in 30 minutes for an easy weeknight meal. Enjoy a warm, comforting bowl on chilly nights!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground meat, any combo of chicken/beef/sausage we used ½ pound ground chicken and ½ pound ground italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Acini di pepe pasta
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach


  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir the milk into the breadcrumbs and allow the bread crumbs to absorb the moisture before continuing. This will make an extra moist meatball.
  • Add ground meats, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, egg, and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the meatball mixture.
  • Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to form the meatballs. You can add them directly to the soup mixture to cook or brown them for more color.
  • To brown the meatballs, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs just until browned on all sides (they will cook the rest of the way in the soup).
  • Meanwhile, add a bit of olive oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.
  • Saute celery and onions in the oil until soft and the onions become translucent. Add carrots and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the pasta and add the meatballs. Continue simmering until the pasta is cooked to your liking and the meatballs are cooked through (8-10 minutes).
  • Remove soup from heat and stir in spinach leaves.
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a bit of fresh parsley, if desired.

Donna’s Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
This makes about 12 meatballs for the soup. The recipe can easily be doubled and extra meatballs can be cooked through and added to pastas or sauces, or frozen up to 3 months for another time.
The meatballs tend to become misshapen while pan-frying. Rotate them frequently and gently while cooking to help them keep their shape. You can also roll the meatballs in your hands to help compact them. The meatballs will cook through just fine and stay nice and round if you scoop them directly from the mixing bowl into the simmering soup. They will not be browned on the outside, but otherwise will be just as good.
You can use regular or herb-seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the panko if you wish. The key to moist meatballs is letting the breadcrumbs absorb the milk before adding any of the other ingredients.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 299cal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1824mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): Italian wedding soup recipe

Originally published November 2021, updated and republished August 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! Easy to make as well – win-win!! I made a few very minor tweaks: added a bay leaf when heating the broth, used Orzo for the pasta since my store didn’t have the suggested pasta, and used a bit less broth since that was all I had on hand. Came out great! Tips for cooking include making the meatballs small, and adding the fresh spinach only as needed when serving (there will be plenty of leftovers so I preferred adding fresh spinach each time). Will definitely be making this again!

  2. Can I make Italian Wedding Soup and Stuffed Pepper Soup in a crock pot. I want to take the whole pot to work with me and we don’t have a stove there to keep both soups warm?

    1. Hi Sarah!!
      You may want to divide them with liners if they’re in the same crockpot. Also make sure that you have a place you can plug the crockpot in that’s next to a table or counter. Hope this helps!
      TSRI Team Member,

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