A popular fresh vegetable-based dish; Italian Wedding Soup gets its name from the small celebration-style pasta called Acini Di Pepe. This pasta is primarily served in lighter, broth-based soups. If you’re into batch cooking, then this wedding ball soup is for you!
The Soup Ingredients
- CHICKEN BROTH: It’s the soup base. It works to soften the carrots and celery. I use less-sodium chicken broth in order to control the taste more. Salt can always be added, but it cannot be taken away. If using regular chicken broth, taste broth when finishing before adding the suggested amount listed in the recipe ingredients.
- FRESH VEGETABLES: Carrots, celery, and baby spinach flavors the chicken soup base with a hearty taste.
- DILL: Italian wedding soup is a well-seasoned soup. Dried dill develops these flavors even more. It’s a necessity and you’re going to find that this soup tastes very much like classic chicken noodle soup, but better!
- PASTA: Brothy soups flourish best with small shapes of pasta. It makes this light dinner recipe an eye stopper as well as adding nourishment.
- MEATBALLS: Savory parmesan meatballs Italian-style. Because I love Italian meatballs so much, we put a lot of them in this soup, 2 pounds to be exact! That’s nearly 5 per person!
Italian Meatball Recipe
Years ago, I had the MOST delicious, flavorful meatballs at an Italian restaurant in Milwaukee. I’ve been making my own ever since like these Garlic Sesame Meatballs, Cranberry Meatballs, Dr. Pepper Meatballs, and Mongolian Meatballs. My meatball ingredients use pantry staple herbs and seasonings and it’s my go-to meatball recipe every single time. Once you try them, you’ll never buy frozen meatballs again!
- BEEF: Lean ground beef is the base of meatballs. Eggs bind and hold all the ingredients together while baking.
- DRIED HERBS & SPICES: Basil, parsley, garlic, onion, paprika, salt, pepper. TIP: Stir in 1tsp. soy sauce for added flavor. A secret ingredient I use to add a layer of flavor to my beef meatballs.
- BREADCRUMBS: Helps to absorb excess liquids, fat and works to bind the meatballs.
- PARMESAN CHEESE: My secret ingredient when it comes to Italian-style meatballs from scratch. I use grated parmesan cheese from the green bottle. Italian cheese, like parmesan, deeply flavors the meatballs. You’ll be popping em’ in your mouth one by one before they even hit the soup pot.
- Whisk together spices, herbs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, soy sauce, and eggs.
- Use hands to fully incorporate ground beef and wet mixture. Make sure to work the meat into the mixture because that’s where it flavors.
- Scoop meatballs and place on a prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in oven at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes.
- Allow to slightly cool, then blog any excess fat off the bottom on the ball.
Tips and Questions: Italian Wedding Soup
Where can I find Acini de Pepe pasta? First, this pasta is round, extremely small and comes in a small bag. Once cooked, it’s similar to the size of a peppercorn but smaller. Find in the pasta aisle. My mainstream grocery store doesn’t carry them but a few other local grocery stores and specialty Italian shops in the area do.
Can I use another type of pasta? Yes, use very small pasta shapes in place of Acini de Pepe. Most stores carry Ditalini pasta. Orzo pasta and Corbata pasta (tiny bowtie pasta noodles) work, too. Tiny pastas are often used in soups, like minestrone or pasta e fagiole and work well in other soups.
Will frozen meatballs work with this Italian Wedding Meatball Soup? Yes. Add the frozen meatballs to the soup once the broth is added.
I’m using uncooked raw meatballs; when should I add them? Raw, uncooked meatballs, such as ones packaged and pre-made next to the sausages or prepared beef products, should be added once the chicken broth comes to a boil. Most will cook in 10-15 minutes but bigger ones may take 20 minutes.
What other vegetables can I use? Use what’s in your fridge or you like. Dice zucchini and squash. Use eggplant like the Sicilian region of Italy. Swap the spinach for kale and add other vegetables like corn, peas, broccoli, and green beans.
Italian Recipe Recommendations:
NOTE: If you love Italian recipes, try my Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta, Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta, Italian Pasta Salad, Chicken Parmesan Pasta, Steak Bucatini Pasta, Spinach Manicotti. For something sweet, try my classic Italian Christmas Cookies, Italian Cream Cupcakes, or Italian Cream Soda. For a quick snack mix, try this Italian Chex Mix.
When you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and healthy pasta dish, try your hand at a classic pasta soup recipe like this. Serve for dinner with a salad and breadsticks and then pour any leftovers into mason jars for a quick lunch.
Italian Wedding Soup
Italian-Style Beef Meatballs
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (use from green bottle)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 5 medium cloves garlic, minced (or 1.5 tsp garlic paste)
- 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth (80 oz.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp salt .5tsp more to taste
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked Acini Di Pepe pasta or use orzo, ditalini, or small shaped pasta
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together meatball ingredients, except for beef.
- Mix beef into wet mixture. Use clean hands or heavy spoon to fully incorporate the wet paste all throughout the beef.
- Form equal sized balls and roll until smooth. I use a 1.5 tbsp cookie scoop. Place on cookie sheet 1/2-inch apart in rows.
- Bake in oven 35 minutes. Then allow a few minutes to cool. Use a paper towel to blot grease from the bottom of meatballs.
Italian Wedding Soup
- While the meatballs are baking, saute onions, carrots, and celery in large stockpot with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Add garlic at minute 3.
- Stir in chicken broth and remaining herbs/powders/salt/pepper.
- Bring pot to low a boil and cook 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. (If using frozen meatballs, stir them in here).
- Stir in pasta. Cook until just softened.
- Remove bay leaves. Stir in spinach and freshly baked meatballs.
- Serve each bowl with parmesan cheese.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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