This Italian Wedding Soup Recipe is simply the best! Made with acini de pepe, beef and pork meatballs, carrots, celery, greens, and Parmesan cheese. This soup is SO flavorful! Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine and enjoy!
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
It’s officially soup season! At least here in the Hudson Valley it is! We had our first snow a few days ago, and it was beautiful! And COLD. Like, insanely cold! So cold that I didn’t leave the warmth and comfort of our house once. Instead, I sat at my desk, wrapped in plenty of blankets, and brainstormed soup recipes to get us through the Winter!
So, let’s make soup for dinner! Italian Wedding Soup, to be exact! Have you ever had it before? I grew up eating this soup at every holiday event, so it’s near and dear to my heart. It’s basically like pasta and meatballs in soup form!
And while I’m not sure if this soup is really served at Italian weddings, we serve it at holidays and large family gatherings and it’s always a crowd-pleaser! This recipe make a very large pot, so you’ll have plenty to share with guests… if you decide to share at all! Sometimes I make this soup on Sunday and enjoy bowl after large bowl all week long!
Italian Wedding Soup Ingredients:
- Ground sausage: Adds so much flavor to the meatballs! I like to use sweet Italian sausage, but mild or spicy sausage will also work.
- Ground beef: I like to use grass fed ground beef with a higher fat content, but if you’re watching your saturated fat intake, you can use a leaner cut.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are our preferred choice! But any variety will work. I do not have a substitution for the breadcrumbs.
- Eggs: 1 large one!
- Italian Seasoning: Adds a pop of flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Will add garlic flavor without adding the texture of minced garlic.
- Salt and Pepper: To balance and enhance.
- Water: As you probably know by know, water is my secret ingredient in meatballs! It adds so much moisture! Don’t skip.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a pop of spice without being spicy! Increase to 1/2 teaspoon if you like it extra spicy!
- Olive oil: Use Italian olive oil, if possible!
- Onion: 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped!
- Carrots: Use 4 large carrots, and give them a nice dice.
- Celery: You’ll only need 2 stalks for this soup recipe. But store the rest for another batch!
- Garlic: Buy a big head of garlic, because you’ll use 8 cloves!
- Chicken Broth: I highly recommend using chicken bone broth, which adds lots of health benefits!
- Beef Broth: Ditto what’s said above!
- Acini di Pepe Pasta: You should be able to find this in most grocery stores, in the pasta aisle! If you can’t find it, orzo is a fine substitution. Or order it online!
- Spinach: Our green for this recipe! Feel free to sub with kale or even escarole!
- Parmesan Cheese: Finely ground Parm works best!
- Lemon: Just a squeeze enhances all of the flavors in this soup recipe! Don’t skip! This is the ingredient that makes everything POP!
How to Make Italian Wedding Soup:
- First step is making your meatballs! The meatballs are cooked in the oven, so preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the ground sausage, beef, bread crumbs, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use your hands to gently combine. Add in the water, a little bit at a time. Don’t overmix or your meatballs will be tough!!! This is why I don’t suggest making meatballs in the food processor, which is easy to overmix.
- Roll the meatballs into 2 teaspoon sized balls (they should be pretty small!). Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute, or until fragrant. Add in the chicken broth and beef, increase to medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Add in the pasta and cook until it’s tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add the meatballs and spinach. Stir in the spinach and cook until it’s slightly wilted. Stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.
Can you Freeze Italian Wedding Soup?
Oh yes, hunni! You most certainly can!!! In fact, I almost always have a bag or two of this soup in our freezer! To freeze, you’ll want to let the soup cool completely. Then transfer the soup into freezer-safe ziploc bags, tupperware containers, or glass jars. Be sure to leave a few inches of space in the container! Filling the bags or containers all the way up to the top is a surefire way to have a spill in your freezer. Then simply pop your container in the freezer and freeze for up to 2 months! When you’re ready to enjoy, remove the container from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Then heat in the microwave or on the stovetop and enjoy!!!
My Favorite Freezer Safe Soup Storage Containers:
- 24 Piece Set BPA Free & Non-Toxic Glass Food Storage Containers (Great if you freeze a lot of recipes at once!)
- Large Plastic Soup Storage Containers with Lids (Affordable and Microwave/Dishwasher safe!)
- Glass Round Freezer-Safe Meal Prep Bowls (Perfect for smaller apartments that don’t have much storage space)
- Personal Size Glass Storage Containers with Lids (Ideal for portion control!)
- Reusable Ziplock Style Bags (an eco-friendly version of the classic!)
*Note that if you’re using ziploc bags, you’ll want to lay the bag flat on a small baking sheet and place flat in the freezer until the soup is frozen solid. Then lay on its side and store in the freezer. This helps avoid spills or the bag freezing into some very awkward, and hard to store, shape!
This soup is delicious with crusty bread, but also pairs well with my fluffy rosemary parmesan biscuits and a big salad!!! Oh, and if you’re a wine drinker, ADD WINE!!! We love a big and bold red with this soup.
AND IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE FOR ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, LET ME KNOW! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND DON’T FORGET TO SNAP A PIC AND TAG IT #BAKERBYNATURE ON INSTAGRAM! SEEING YOUR KITCHEN CREATIONS MAKES OUR DAY.
More Soup Recipes:
- Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup
- Italian Meatball Soup
- Tomato Tortellini Soup
- Italian Minestrone Soup
Italian Wedding Soup
For the Meatballs:
- 8 ounces ground sausage, casings removed
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoons lukewarm water
For the Italian Wedding Soup:
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2/3 cup acini di pepe pasta
- 4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
For the Meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine ground sausage, ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing with your hands until everything is just combined. Don't over mix here or it'll make the meatballs tough. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs.
- Using a small spoon, scoop about two teaspoons of meat into your palms, and roll it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all of the meat. You should have about 40 mini meatballs.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
- While the meatballs bake, make your soup!
For the Italian Wedding Soup:
- In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant.
- Add in the chicken broth and beef broth. Increase to medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add in the pasta and cook until it's tender, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the meatballs and spinach. Cook until the spinach has slightly wilted. Finally, stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm, with crusty bread and extra cheese! Or cool completely and store in the fridge, for up to 3 days, or the freezer, for up to 2 months.