Italian Wedding Soup

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Italian Wedding Soup

My kids love anything with meatballs in it, especially mini meatballs, so there’s always excitement at our house when Italian wedding soup is on the menu. The name “wedding soup” comes from the Italian language phrase minestra maritata—or married soup—which is a reference to the way the flavors combine, like a happy marriage. (No, it’s not served at Italian weddings.) The challenge with making a delicious wedding soup is that the broth is traditionally made from a rich, long-cooked homemade chicken stock. In a perfect world, we’d all make our own stock but who has time? To mimic the same flavor, I use a combination of high-quality store bought chicken broth and beef broth fortified with wine and lots of veggies. For the meatballs, my secret is to add ground sausage to the beef mixture; this adds tons of flavor without the need for a lot of other seasonings. The only tedious part of the whole recipe is rolling the little meatballs—the recipe makes 50!—but I usually get one of the kids to help. (And by the way, if you’re looking for an easy weeknight meatball recipe, this is the one.)

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Begin by making the meatballs.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

In a large bowl, beat the egg with the chives, sage and garlic.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Add the ground beef, sausage, cheese, breadcrumbs, and salt.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Mash with your hands until evenly combined.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls (about 1-inch in diameter) and place on the prepared rack.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Add the chicken broth, beef broth, water, wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or according to package directions).

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach and meatballs.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Simmer for a few minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the meatballs are warmed through. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

My Recipe Videos

Italian Wedding Soup

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb 85 or 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from the casings
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 cups high-quality chicken broth, such as Swanson (do not use low-sodium)
  • 2 cups high-quality beef broth, such as Swanson (do not use low-sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (okay to use black pepper)
  • 1 cup small pasta such as dittalini
  • 4 oz fresh spinach, stems trimmed and roughly chopped (once prepped, you should have about 3 packed cups)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set an oven-proof roasting rack over top. Spray the rack generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg with the chives, sage and garlic. Add the remaining meatball ingredients and mash with your hands until evenly combined. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls (about 1-inch in diameter) and place on the prepared rack. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, start the soup. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beef broth, water, wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or according to package directions). Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach and meatballs. Simmer for a few minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the meatballs are warmed through. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months but wait until you reheat the soup to add the pasta. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until simmering, add the pasta, and cook until the pasta is tender.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 359
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 930 mg
  • Cholesterol: 83 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • This recipe doesn’t need another 5-star review, but it is absolutely delicious!!!

    • — Dana on November 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I am wondering if your recipe would work with rice as I have a gluten free eater in the family. Also, approximately, how many quarts does your recipe make? Thank you.

    • — Pam on November 20, 2018
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    • Yes, Pam, that should work (just keep in mind that if you have leftovers, the rice will soak up much of the broth). And I’d guesstimate that this would make about 3 – 3.5 quarts. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • Another winner from Jenn! This was the perfect fall meal. Great combination of flavors and the meatballs!! This will be my go to recipe for meatballs. I used the hot Italian sausage and it added the right amount of heat with all the flavors! Thank you again for another fabulous recipe!

    • — Anita on November 12, 2018
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  • Have you tried the soup without the wine? Just curious if it is a make it or break it with the soup.

    • — Lisa Paul on November 10, 2018
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    • Hi Lisa, It does add a lot of flavor but it will still be good without it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this soup this past week and my 4 and 2 year old ate it all. Flavourful and perfect for this fall weather.

    • — Sophie on November 5, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn! I love all your recipes! The recipe calls for 2 stalks of celery but I’m assuming 2 sticks of celery?

    • — Melissa on November 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yep – stalks and sticks are one and the same. 🙂 And glad you like the recipes!

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2018
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  • Another Jenn winner!! Made exactly as suggested and soup was scrumptious. Soup was easy to make and flavor was sublime! Thanks so much for sharing yet another simple, tasty and family pleasing recipe!

    • — Renee Orozco on November 5, 2018
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  • I love Italian wedding soup!

    • — Mary Ann King on October 18, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn. Outstanding recipe! These meatballs are truly wonderful. Instead of baking them, I cooked them (in batches) in a pan as hubby prefers crispy. And, this is a great recipe for my family’s preferences: we prefer more veges rather than carbs so I added things I had in the fridge including snow peas, broccoli, zucchini and kale. Shhh…I had some frozen potstickers so I used those instead of pasta. It’s been a week since I made it and am being asked to make it again this weekend. THANK YOU for a great recipe!

    • — Karen on October 18, 2018
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  • I made this for work (it was my turn for soup Mondays). Everyone loved it! For my own personal taste, I may stick with a lower sodium broth as I thought it was just a tad too salty. Maybe because I added a parmesan rind to the broth while it was cooking (and removed it afterwards, of course).

    Thank you for a great recipe! It will be one of my go-to favorites 🙂

    • — Mary on October 16, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    WOWZER!!!! Another winning soup recipe. Absolutely loved it. The broth flavor was so rich and flavorful. Thanks for gifting us with another fabulous recipe.

    On another note…I have a question for you. I want to buy a hand held immersion blender when I am making other soups that need this …such as your Chicken Tortilla Soup. I have been using my food processor but want the held device for simplicity.
    Thanks!
    Sara D

    • — Sara Dolan on October 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Sara! I have a Cuisinart Smart Stick – it’s very inexpensive and works well enough, but some reviews criticize the safety lock feature. Cooks Illustrated recommends the Braun Multiquick 5 Handblender. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Very easy to make

    • — Dolores Carrillo on October 13, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this soup for my family and it was a huge hit! My sister begged me to send her home with some because she loved it so much. My boyfriend who doesn’t like vegetables even liked it. And I myself appreciated having an easy lunch to bring to work all week. From a cook’s perspective, it was an enjoyable meal to make. While at first making the mini meatballs was tedious, it soon became fun once I saw how cute they looks all lined up on a sheet ready to go in the oven.

    I will mention the two adjustments I made: 1) I surprisingly preferred the soup with out the cheese on top, a strange revelation coming from a cheese lover and 2) I put in twice the recommended amount of noodles thinking the recommended amount wasn’t enough, and I was wrong haha. Should have listened to Jenn. It made too many noodles and soaked up a lot of the broth that would have otherwise yeilded more soup. Oops. Don’t do that.

    Great recipe – I’ll certainly make it again.

    • — Laura J on October 10, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this soup for my family and it was a huge hit! My sister begged me to send her home with some because she loved it so much. My boyfriend who doesn’t like vegetables even liked it. And I myself appreciated having an easy lunch to bring to work all week. From a cook’s perspective, it was an enjoyable meal to make. While at first making the mini meatballs was tedious, it soon became fun once I saw how cute they looks all lined up on a sheet ready to go in the oven.

    I will mention the two adjustments I made: 1) I surprisingly preferred the soup with out the cheese on top, a strange revelation coming from a cheese lover and 2) I put in twice the recommended amount of noodles thinking the recommended amount wasn’t enough, and I was wrong haha. Should have listened to Jenn. It made too many noodles and soaked up a lot of the broth that would have otherwise yeilded more soup. Oops. Don’t do that.

    Great recipe – I’ll certainly make it again.

    • — Laura J. on October 10, 2018
    • Reply
  • We made the Italian wedding soup this week and it was the perfect Fall dinner! Great flavours and it was very comforting. We were short on time so we used Italian sausage (which we rolled into meatballs) instead of the homemade meatballs in this recipe. We also substituted kale for spinach, even though it’s not typical of this soup. The colour of the kale intensified from dropping it into the soup and the pre-existing texture remained on the kale. Overall a wonderful recipe! Will definitely be making this again.

    • — Amita V on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • this Italian wedding soup is absolutely wonderful. I especially liked making my own meatballs! I usually have to go to the local restaurant for this soup. Now I can make my own and it is even better! We gave a batch to a friend who was recovering from a fall. they loved it too! She couldn’t believe I made the meatballs. Thank you for developing this recipe and sharing it!! I tried a few of your other recipes and not a one was a disappointment! Your cooking talents are amazing, as is your cookbook!

    • — Liz on October 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this for my family, and it was a big hit! The only thing I substituted was homemade chicken broth (Ina Garten’s recipe). I make a huge batch and freeze mason jars of broth for soups and risottos! Yum!

    • — Amy Getzoff on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • This has become a routine “go to” recipe for us. It’s easy to make and always tastes so fresh! Crunchy vegetables, tender meatballs and wonderful flavor! The white pepper, to season to taste, is a must. I eat soup year round. This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Melissa on October 4, 2018
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  • Delicious recipe – will make double next time!

    • — Ann on October 4, 2018
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  • This was really delicious, even better as leftover. It’s a great way to work in those veggies (you can add all sorts of greens to the mix) and delicious on a chilly day.

    • — Cyrille on October 4, 2018
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  • Yum ! I made this and it was so delicious . Those little meatballs took some time to make but they were worth it . I also thought the wine was a good addition . Thank you !

    • — Heidi on October 4, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn! Your pictures of this soup looked so mouth watering that I just had to make this soup last week! It was sooooo tasty and lots of flavor from the meatballs! It made a big potful and I invited our oldest son and his wife to help eat it up! His wife and I love soups for dinner choices! She even took a container home to enjoy for lunch at work. And we were able to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day too. So Delicious! Thank you!

    • — Wishbonesx on July 25, 2018
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  • Can you freeze this Italian Wedding soup?

    • — Roberta on July 3, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Roberta, Sure, but I’d suggest waiting until you reheat it to add the pasta, otherwise it may get mushy.

      • — Jenn on July 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Very good soup. Thank you.

    • — Francisco on June 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • This soup was amazing. I’m making it tonight for a second time. I used small shell pastas (I couldn’t find the kind in the recipe in Australia) and I used just a regular flavoured sausage cause I couldn’t find Italian sausage. It tasted so so good and had it for lunch the next day mmmm

    • — Polly on May 7, 2018
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  • Delicious! I fallowed the recipe exactly and I loved it, as well as all the people I served it to. Like most soups it tasted even better the next day. I can’t wait to make this again!

    • — Janelle on April 10, 2018
    • Reply
  • My husband and daughter are sick – was originally planning to try the chickpea soup for meatless Monday but decided to go with something that looked comforting. My husband loved the soup – said it was delicious. I loved how quick it was to make the meatballs and the soup was very hearty with them in there. Thanks Jen!

    • — Suzzy on March 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hope they feel better (and glad the soup was a hit)!

      • — Jenn on March 20, 2018
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  • Just like other recipes from this talented chef, the Italian weddding soup is wonderful. I followed recipe exactly, as I do with all recipes in order to evaluate the recipe as written and tested. I deleted all other Italian soup recipes from my ollection because this one by far is the best.

    • — Jennie Martin on March 10, 2018
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  • First time making and it came out great. I doubled the veggies because I had so many. It was perfect on a cold rainy day.

    • — Jessica on March 8, 2018
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  • I did not see the temperature for the meatballs in the oven am I missing it?

    • — Jana on March 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jana, the meatballs should be baked at 350 degrees. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • Big hit with the whole family (kids ranging age 6-teenager). Kids loved helping me make the meatballs, so that was fun too! It came out great.

    • — Sarah S on March 6, 2018
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  • I have made this amazing soup several times now. The only change I make is to add more vegetables.
    Thanks, Jenn for helping me to become a better cook!

    • — Laura Kawczak on March 3, 2018
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  • This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made. The only changes I made were to increase the broth by 50% because we like a little more broth and added sliced mushrooms. It makes a large amount which I shared with friends, and it received 5 stars from them, too.

    I’ve made several of your recipes, and they’ve all been winners.

    • — Laurel Ely on March 1, 2018
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  • I’ve made this twice and each time it was a big hit. It’s a keeper.

    • — jhanks on March 1, 2018
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  • I made this soup and it was fantastic. The funny part is that I completely spaced it on adding pasta! We didn’t notice until the end because the rest of the soup was delicious. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I substituted the beef stock with a few dashes of Worcestershire and increased chicken stock and water. I served it with. Baguette. My picky kids even liked it! I made it again a week later because I wanted to add the pasta. It (obviously) was more hearty. I also used the beef stock and while it definitely was better- a richer flavor- I wouldn’t run to the store if that was the only ingredient I was missing- and use the substitutes Worcestershire again. Thank for a great recipe! I’m so excited about your new cookbook.

    • — Allie G on March 1, 2018
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  • If I have to choose what to eat,I will always choose a hearty soup to warm up my soul. Any time of the year! This soup hits the spot. Since I cook for just two of us, I make pasta separate and add as we eat.
    Delicious!

    • — Rose Muhawi on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you, Jenn! This is a fabulous soup! I grow the chives, greens and herbs in large pots on the deck and this gives me a chance to use all of them together. When I once neglected to buy ground meats, I used Italian sausage instead and it gave a slightly different but equally good result. I top the soup with a small amount of finely chopped Italian parsley.

    • — Brigitte on March 1, 2018
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  • Very tasty soup, lots of flavor for so few ingredients! Had both ground pork and hot Italian sausage on hand to mix with beef, and made double batch of meatballs to freeze for another time. Can’t wait!

    • — Jennifer on January 28, 2018
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  • Yum. This was perfect on a cold snowy day. Worth all the rolling. I also appreciate how she shows all the ingredients and the pictures step by step.

    • — LMP on January 28, 2018
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  • Do you have this recipe with the grams in milliliters converted?

    • — Liz on January 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, Liz, it has metric conversions; to view them, scroll down to the recipe and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2018
      • Reply
  • Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorite soups. I have a recipe but decided to try yours. Yours is better than the one I have on file. Very tasty. I didn’t have on hand the pasta you recommended so I used orzo. Other than that the only thing I did on my own was add a few splashes on Worcestershire. It kicked up the stock a little. (But I add Worcestershire to almost everything! 😉 )

    • — Pearl on January 17, 2018
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  • I have made this soup twice. Excellent recipe! Everyone LOVES it! One comment: the first time I made it, I used both homemade chicken stock and homemade beef stock. Perfect flavor! The second time, I used homemade chicken stock, but didn’t have any more homemade beef stock, so I used store bought, supposedly high quality, beef stock. Not quite as good. Still good, but not that heavenly flavor of the first batch. Honestly, I don’t believe there is any such thing as high quality beef stock in the stores. I’ve tried various brands, there is something off about all of them. (Chicken stock— yes, there are some good ones in the stores.). So, next time I make this soup, I will wait until I have some more homemade beef stock,

    • — Sarah Bee on January 11, 2018
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  • We really like this soup! I like to double the meatball recipe and freeze half for a second batch later.

    • — Ellen Young on January 8, 2018
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  • This soup was really delicious. I had to improvise a bit, but it didn’t matter at all. I didn’t have chives or sage, but mixed italian turkey sausage with ground beef , egg and the cheese and bread crumbs. They were really good. I also used 12 ounces of spinach to boost the vegetables up. Definitely a great recipe.

  • Can ground chicken or ground turkey be used in place of the ground meat and sausage? Would extra seasonings be needed? Also, will a strong homemade chicken broth be a good substitute for adding beef broth? Making chicken broth in an Instant Pot is easy, fast and the broth flavor is strong. Thank you.

    • — Marcia on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Marcia, You could use ground turkey here in place of the ground meat and sausage, but the meatballs won’t be nearly as flavorful as the sausage definitely adds a lot of flavor and moisture to them. I would suggest adding some additional seasoning (like parsley, oregano, garlic) to the meatball mixture to up the flavor a bit. And, sure, the homemade chicken broth will work nicely. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is now my husband’s favorite soup, and he LOVES soup. I made it once and he kept asking for it until I made it again. I want to try the suggestion to make more of the meatballs and freeze them to have on hand so I can make this soup more quickly. And I will admit that I used homemade chicken broth because I had a stockpile of that premade and in the freezer already. I also served a small portion of this as a first course to guests, and it was a hit. A winner!

    • — Anita Garner on January 4, 2018
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  • I don’t watch much tv, but doubling this recipe and rolling 200+ tiny little meatballs while netflixing was worth every moment. So tender, the soup was so flavorful, and having a second vat in the freezer for later was great when guests popped in a few weeks later. I used homemade chicken stock and followed your recipe exactly, with the exception of leaving the noodles separate in order to not be mushy. Everything of yours I’ve tried is spot on. Thanks for the great meals!

    • — Karin on December 28, 2017
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  • Made this for my friends who spend most Friday evenings around our table. We all agreed that this was one of the BEST soups yet! Thanks, Jen, for recipes that are are as tasty to the palate as they are appealing to the eye. Looking forward to your cookbook.

    • — socaljudy on December 28, 2017
    • Reply
  • I made this for Christmas Eve dinner and it was delicious! I did add a can of cannellini beans per my mother-in-law’s request and it was a home run! Thanks for all of your great soup recipes! Happy New Year Jenn!

    • — Kristen Berry on December 28, 2017
    • Reply
  • This is about the 4th or 5th recipe I’ve tried for Italian Wedding Soup. I just deleted the other recipes from my cooking software and this is the go-to recipe. Nice job. Couple things different… I used 1 teaspoon ground sage as I didn’t have sage leaves. I forgot to put the parm reg in the meatballs but they seemed forgiving! Lastly, I added 2 tablespoons cream to the eggs. I’ve learned that cream softens the texture of meatballs. Also switched up the order of things. Mixed all meatball ingredients together except egg & cream. Added them last. And used anci di pepe pasta. Very good flavor. Thank you 🙂

    • — Cindy on December 23, 2017
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    • Hi Cindy –

      I have also used light cream or 1/2 & 1/2 in the my meatloaf and it turns out great!

      • — Elizabeth Johannes on December 26, 2017
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  • This is the first time I’ve made Italian Wedding Soup, and it was delicious! Definitely will make again – everyone loved it, even one of my kids who doesn’t usually like soup. The only substitution I made was 1 small shallot finely minced in place of the chives in the meatball (I can’t always find chives @ my supermarket). Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. Delicious!

    • — Stephanie N. on December 14, 2017
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  • I have never cooked my own soup dish before. Since I had such a confidence with your recipes from my previous attempts (about 15 so far – Love all of those by the way..) I thought I will give this a try. Came out just as you showed in the picture and was delicious. Shared with friends of ours and they loved it too. The only substitution I did was the Ground Lamb in place of Beef. The time in the oven was increased by 4 minutes to get a good browning.

    • — Chandra Chegireddy on December 14, 2017
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  • This recipe is DELICIOUS! My whole family loved it, highly recommend.

    • — Michelle G. on December 13, 2017
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  • Made this soup last week and it was delicious. Did not have any spinach, used what I had on hand (power greens, stemmed). My husband said the soup tasted better than one of his friends soup, who is known for his Italian Wedding Soup. Plan make soup again very soon, with spinach. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Rosalie on December 11, 2017
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  • Hi Jen,
    I made this soup last week and both my husband and I liked it a lot…hoping to make it again this week…great flavor..

    • — Michele on December 11, 2017
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  • Made this for first time tonight. Loved it.
    Thank you for so manny great flavours in your recipes !

    • — Katrina on December 10, 2017
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  • My husband and I loved this soup! So easy to make. Instead of spinach I used escarole and cooked the pasta separately. WIll try tiny pasta shells next time.

    • — Susan Eckert on December 7, 2017
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  • This turned out so well. I realized too late that I was out of eggs and substituted milk as suggested in the reviews in addition to usinga baby spinach/kale mix I had on hand. Turned out great for us!

    • — Karen on December 7, 2017
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  • Can I omit sausage and use more ground meat ?

    • — Z on December 6, 2017
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    • Hi Z, the sausage definitely adds a lot of flavor and moisture to the meatballs, but I think you could get away with ground meat. I would suggest adding some additional seasoning (like parsley, oregano, garlic) to the meatball mixture to up the flavor a bit.

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2017
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  • I have not made this recipe but I am sure it is tasty. I just wanted to comment on your comment that the soup is not served at Italian weddings. Not so! It was served at mine over 40 years ago and at the weddings of my cousins as they married. My family had many Italian restaurants and this was always a popular dish but never made with celery and carrots!! This soup continues to be a family favorite and I make it regularly.
    I really enjoy your recipes.

    • — Bea Park on December 5, 2017
    • Reply
    • Am making this soup right now, but don’t see an oven temp for the meatballs

      • — Rosemary Sotok on December 9, 2017
      • Reply
      • Hi Rosemary, It’s 350°F. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on December 10, 2017
        • Reply
  • I made this last Sunday and the meatballs were amazing, however, my family and I weren’t big fans of the soup itself. I think we’re accustomed to wedding soup that only contains chicken broth. The addition of beef broth and water altered the taste significantly. It also didn’t seem as flavorful (even with using broth that wasn’t low sodium). I will try this again using the exact meatball recipe, but substituting chicken broth for the water and beef broth. This was one of a very few recipes from this site that wasn’t a home run with my family.

    • — katherine baun on December 5, 2017
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    • I agree. I have loved all the recipes so far but this is a disappointment. I followed the recipe except used part ani ci dpepa and part dititila as that is what I had. I will be comparing to another recipe to see differences.

      • — Annette on January 7, 2018
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  • Made this yesterday and it lasted about 2 hours. Everyone loved it. Always wanted to make this soup and didn’t realize how easy it was. Another winner recipe from Jen!

    • — Veronica Rubin on December 5, 2017
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  • I made this soup last night for my family since we are all getting over the flu and it was a big hit! I made it vegetarian style by substituting the meatballs and ditalini for tortellini. I cooked these separately and added them at the end with the spinach! Since I already had homemade chicken and bone broth I made a few days ago I used this in place of the canned broths! Everyone loved it! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes! I can’t wait for your cookbook! You are the real deal Jenn!

    • — Darlene Catuara on December 5, 2017
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  • My family loves this soup. As I’m re-reading the recipe just realized I forgot to add the pasta! We dunked a baguette into our bowls. My kids weren’t so into the spinach. Next time I’ll substitute a veggie they like as I think anything will taste good because the soup is flavorful.

    • — Allie G on December 4, 2017
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    • Ha! Agree on the veggies – I sometimes throw in small broccoli florets.

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2017
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  • We made this soup for dinner last night and everyone loved it. Next time I would make the meatballs a little smaller but everyone agreed this recipe should go into regular rotation over the winter. I’ve requested the pre-order of Jenn’s Cookbook for a Christmas gift and am looking forward to enjoying many more great recipes from her!

    • — Lynn on December 4, 2017
    • Reply
  • This is now our favourite soup! I used spicy Italian sausage meat and skipped the fresh herbs in the meatballs and it still was delish! Does it freeze well? (In the event we have leftovers!!!) Thank you for your recipes by email… love trying them! Have had great success every time!

    • — Kimberley on December 3, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Kimberley, Glad you enjoyed the soup! If you’re planning to freeze it, I’d suggest waiting until you reheat it to add the pasta, otherwise it may get mushy.

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2017
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  • Can’t go wrong with a Jen recipe. This is no exception. Flavors of the local Italian restaurant down the block. We made the meatballs into 1/2″ balls instead just because that is what we grew up with. So delicious, nice comfort food on an early December evening. Can’t wait for our cookbook to arrive!

  • Great recipe!! I made a few adjustments but followed most. Came out great. LOve her recipes and bought her book. ❤️❤️
    Love the variety. Passed her site to my friends.

    • — Joanne swetman on December 3, 2017
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  • Delicious! I made this today and it is very good. I only had low sodium chicken broth, but the soup is still really good.

  • This is super easy to make.The chicken and bone broth I made for my pregnant daughter-in-law came handy with store-bought beef broth. I used the Dutch oven, and sat for half an hour before serving (heavy traffic delayed my son and his family). This turned out to help the dinner be hot enough and not piping hot when everybody sat down to eat. Everybody loved it, commented this is the most delicious comfort food on a wet and cold evening.

  • Hello Chef Jenn,
    I just finished making the Italian Wedding Soup recipe and it’s delicious! I wouldn’t change a thing!! I take care of my parents & served them a bowl and they love it as well. My Dad mentioned how much he likes the tiny shell macaroni, so that might be the only thing I might change. I will email you a picture of one of my bowls of soup! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe!! Mary

    • — Mary on December 3, 2017
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  • Hello Jenn! I love this recipe! If I wanted to prepare “most” of it and freeze it, would you recommend I freeze the baked meatballs separately, or would it be OK to drop them in, freeze the soup starter, and add the pasta and spinach when I reheat it? As always, thank you for your wonderful website. (PS–I pre-ordered your cookbook!)

    • — I-Rod on December 3, 2017
    • Reply
    • Thanks for your support with the cookbook! 🙂 I think it would be perfectly fine to freeze the meatballs in the soup. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2017
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  • I made this soup for dinner tonight. It was delicious, so much flavor! My only critique is that I put the pasta in about an hour before serving and the noodles were very soft. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

    • — Jacki on December 2, 2017
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  • Easy! Meatballs with sausage delicious!! A delightful party in our mouths!!

    • — Dawn Antrim on December 2, 2017
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  • Hi Jenn,
    Anything I can replace eggs with for a binder? Thanks for sharing all your fab recipes? I use them all the time and can’t work for your book!
    -Natalie

    • Hi Natalie, I think you could get away with a few tablespoons of milk here. I’d love to know how it turns out. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2017
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  • I just made the Italian Wedding Soup and it was so tasty. The perfect dinner paired with a Caesar Salad (your recipe too!) These recipes are keepers and will be part of our dinner rotation throughout the winter. Thanks for continuing to post great recipes that always satisfy and spark my interest. Great site with excellent photos and directions.

    • — Teri Farney on December 2, 2017
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  • Hi Jennifer, haven’t made this soup yet, but plan to. need help either question about racks that fit in baking sheets. Are they same as cooling racks? I thought it would be a different type rack fo placong meat on for oven baking. Thanks for ur help. Heidi

    • — heidi on December 1, 2017
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    • Hi Heidi, You just need to find a cooling rack that is oven safe, like this one. If you don’t have one, it’s fine to just cook the meatballs directly on the baking sheet; it’ll just be a little harder to get rid of the fat as it tends to congeal around the meatballs.

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2017
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  • I made this soup yesterday and Wow! I followed the recipe to the T except I did use one can of Swanson’s low sodium chicken broth. I used 4 cups of regular Swanson’s chicken broth and one can of the beef broth. This is absolutely delicious! I have never made meatballs before but it was easy. And I couldn’t resist sampling a few once they came out of the oven. I used 85% lean ground beef and hot Italian sausage. This is a keeper of a recipe. Thank you!

    • — Diane Forrest on December 1, 2017
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  • Excellent! The only change I made was to use all chicken broth (personal preference). Thanks again for another winning recipe!

    • — Ali on December 1, 2017
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  • Hi Jen! Love your blog and I have made many of your recipes. All were delicious! Wondering if you recommend using only italian sausage for the meatballs? I have enough on hand to cover the ground beef needed and was hoping to use it all up.

    • — Rhonda on December 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Rhonda, I think it’ll work, but the meatballs will taste more like sausage than meatballs — not a bad thing, I guess :). If you go that route, you can omit the salt. I’d love to know how it turns out.

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
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      • This soup was amazing! I made it once with sausage only meatballs and it was delicious! My family loved it so much I made it again a week later but followed the recipe and used burger mixed with the sausage…and the verdict was that the sausage only meatballs were tastier! I also used orzo instead of pasta both times. I am never afraid to try your recipes! They are always a hit at my house therefore I am pre-ordering your cookbook…one copy for me and one for my sister. Thank you for the work you have put into sharing your talent! I am so happy to have found your blog and so is everyone I feed!!😊

        • — Rhonda on December 14, 2017
        • Reply
        • Glad you like the recipes, Rhonda – and thanks so much for your support of the cookbook! 🙂

          • — Jenn on December 15, 2017
          • Reply
  • Made this for dinner last night and my family loved it. The little meatballs are DELISH…I had to stop my kids from stealing them all off the pan before I added them to the soup!

    • — Lacy on December 1, 2017
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  • I can’t wait to make this, but is if I don’t have fresh sage or chives, can I substitute with dried? Thanks for all your great recipes

    • — Laura Migliore on December 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, You can omit the sage no problem but for the chives I’d substitute 1 tablespoon minced onion or shallots.

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
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  • Hi Jenn,
    Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorites! Your recipes never disappoint and I can’t wait to try this one this weekend. Quick question, would orzo work in place of dittalini? I am a huge orzo fan.
    Thanks! Katy

    • — Katy on December 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Yes, definitely! So glad you’re enjoying the recipes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
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  • Hi Jenn,
    This recipe looks delicious and would love to make it but my husband must watch his salt intake and you specify not using low salt broth. The regular version has too high a salt content for him. He loves homemade soups and I’d love to try it but need some input on what would happen if we use a lower salt version of the broths or even make my own which would be very lightly salted.

    • — Merryl on December 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Merryl, It will still be good with the low-sodium broth — just not quite as flavorful. I definitely wouldn’t let that stop you from making it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
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  • Jen, thank you so much for sharing your expertise! I have made 4 recipes from your website and they have all been wonderful.

    I love this soup. However, I’m trying to cut down on carbs. I plan to leave out the pasta. What can I use instead of breadcrumbs?

    • — Melvina on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Melvina, so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes you’ve tried! The breadcrumbs keep the meatballs tender but if you really want to leave them out, you could try adding some more cheese. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
      • Reply
      • Hi Jen, I added 2/3 cup of cheese instead of the breadcrumbs to the 1/2 cup of cheese recommended. It came out great.

        Thanks for sharing your talents, this soup is so nourishing, and now I have a way to cook vegetables and make them tasty. Bought vegetables from farmers market this morning, and this soup is outstanding!

        • — Melvina on December 3, 2017
        • Reply
  • Thinking of doubling the recipe and was wondering how this would freeze? Thanks!

    • — Abbie on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Abbie, Doubling it would be fine. And this should freeze nicely, but I’d wait until you’re reheating it to add the pasta; if not it’ll get pretty mushy. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
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      • Wow what a delicious soup! Actually simmered with the cooked meatballs and spinach for an additional two hours and it really upped the flavors. So glad I doubled the recipe. I so look forward to getting a notification in my inbox when a new recipe comes out knowing it will be 5 stars!!

        • — Abbie on December 3, 2017
        • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I love your website and make so many of your delicious recipes.
    I made this Italian Wedding Soup tonight for dinner and it was yummy and so flavorful.
    I also made a loaf of crusty French Bread to go with it. For dessert we had a Pineapple angel food cake. It was a perfect meal for this cold weather we are having. Again Thanks so much for your recipes. Sandy C

  • I made Italian Wedding Soup tonight and we really enjoyed it. We had some crusty bread with it and called it dinner.

    A suggestion: If you don’t plan on serving the soup as soon as it’s ready then don’t add the pasta. Cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup bowl before pouring the hot soup over it. This way the pasta doesn’t overcook in the soup.

    • — Jean on November 30, 2017
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  • Just made this. Most of the recipes here are quite good. This one is not worth the effort. I actually think her liquids are way off. We are going to throw this out but still like the site.

    • — Gene cochran on November 30, 2017
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  • I have just made this. It’s still in the pot actually and have had my first bowl. This is just stupidly good. An embarrassment of flavour permeates the palate! Jenn, I have used a number of your recipes and each one has delighted. Thank you. Just, just, thank you!!

    • — Robin on November 30, 2017
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  • This looks like a great recipe for wedding soup the best i have seen in a while , I am really looking forward to trying it and sharing it with my Family and friends

    • — Werner Koby on November 30, 2017
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  • Made this soup for dinner. Well let me tell you my family absolutely loved it there was very little left over. I used chicken instead of pork for the meatballs didn’t change the taste of the soup.

  • This is DELICIOUS!!! I tried it today and had every ingredient except spinach. Even without it, the soup was great! Your recipe is outstanding!

  • Absolutely delicious soup! I used an organic brand of broth and it tasted wonderful.

    • — Laura on November 30, 2017
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  • Which kind of meat can I substitute for the italian sausage? Cannot eat pork meats.
    Thank you

    • — Rosemina on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Rosemina, you can replace the pork sausage with turkey sausage. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • Delicious. Wouldn’t change a thing.

    • — Karen starcok on November 30, 2017
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  • Great recipe! I love the sage in it!
    My recommendation would be to add some “royale” to the soup. My German grandma used to always add home made royale to her wedding soup recipe and it is a very tasty addition. A royale recipe can be found here: https://www.thespruce.com/eierstich-recipe-royale-as-soup-garnish-1447340

    • — Stephan on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    Have you ever tried freezing this soup? I love having soups in the freezer for busy week days. I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks

    • — Veronica on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Veronica, I think this would freeze nicely, but I’d suggest waiting until you heat it to add the pasta. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    I have successfully tried so many of your recipes and i have enjoyed them all. Thank you so much for sharing them. All the best to you.
    Denis.

  • This recipe tops them all for my family’s favorite soup. I make it on a regular basis during the winter, and this recipe will make it even better. Thank you

    • — Linda Lenhard on November 30, 2017
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  • The way I make my meatballs is I bake them directly on the cookie sheet with beef broth. And then add left over broth to the soup.

    • — Terri Griffith on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, Some people poach the meatballs directly in the soup, which eliminates a step, but I find that they have a much nicer texture when baked — and when you do it on a rack, they brown all over and it’s easy to get rid of any excess fat.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • My husband is so spoiled by homemade soups that he cannot eat canned and I plan on making this tonight. He cannot take a lot of heat, so I am wondering how spicy the meatballs are. Also, I have chicken stock that is not low sodium, so assuming that will work?

    • — Rochelle on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Rochelle, The meatballs are not spicy at all – and feel free to use sweet Italian sausage. The recipe is best with regular chicken stock (not low sodium) so you’re all set.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
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      • Just to let you know, the soup turned out wonderful! One of my husband’s favorite soups is this soup and he said it was a great recipe and more flavor than others he has had. I too have the recipe book listed on my wish list for Xmas.

        • 😊

          • — Jenn on December 4, 2017
          • Reply
  • Looks yummy! Do you think I could use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

    • — Marla on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Marla, I think ground turkey (and turkey sausage) will work well here.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • I have been looking for a good Italian Wedding Soup for a while and this one looks amazing! Thanks Jen! One question though: why not using the low sodium broth?

    • — Lu on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Lu, I tried it but thought it made the broth taste really bland.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • My family doesn’t care for sage, do you have another suggestion of herb to use in place of it.

    • — Ellen on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, You can just leave it out – or thyme would be nice.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • love love love italian wedding soup. your addition of sausage to the meatballs is a great idea. i don’t cook my pasta in the soup mixture but do it separately, adding as needed to each serving. otherwise, it absorbs alot of the broth. and i also switch out greens, using swiss chard or baby kale.

  • This looks wonderful! I was wondering if you can tell me the brand and type of rack you used for baking the meatballs? I’ve been searching for a good one for years!

    • — Natalie on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalie, This isn’t the one I used here but it’s a good one: oven-safe rack

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much!

        • — Natalie on December 5, 2017
        • Reply
  • Can I ask why the recipe calls for low sodium broths? I always use low sodium but if it really makes a difference, I will try the regular when I make this.Thanks!!

    • Hi Mary, I typically do as well, but I found that the low-sodium broth made this soup very bland.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2017
      • Reply
  • My mother-in-law’s version of this soup was served at my Italian wedding. It was a big hit.
    P.S. I love almost all of your recipes but I can’t give 5 stars to any recipe that has celery in it. Sorry.

    • — Liz Venturato on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Thanks so much for this recipe! Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorites. I eat a lot of soup in the winter, and prefer to make my own so that I can control the ingredients. I know that if it’s one of your recipes, it will be delicious. I live alone, so I plan on cooking the pasta separately and adding it to each serving so it doesn’t get mushy. Pinned it to all my group boards!

  • GREAT SOUP….FULL OF FAVOR….LOVE IT

    • — CHRIS MCALLISTER on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • This looks amazing! Perfect cold night dinner – thanks!

    • — Ann on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • This is my favorite soup but I never tried to make it. Now I will. Thank you Jen!

    • — Stacy Lademar on November 29, 2017
    • Reply

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