Italian Wedding Soup

5 from 2 votes

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Hearty vegetables, flavorful meatballs, and savory chicken broth are cooked to perfection in this delicious Italian wedding soup. This easy-to-make soup is a great option for chilly week nights when you need to make dinner fast.

a serving of Italian wedding soup in a white bowl
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This quick and easy Italian wedding soup is one of my favorite meal ideas for busy nights. This traditional Italian soup uses a handful of low cost ingredients including hearty vegetables and juicy meatballs. The flavors will marry together the longer this soup simmers, giving the soup its unique name.

One of my favorite things about this soup is how easy it is to customize. We love modifying this recipe by changing up what vegetables we use. If you have some extra time, try making your own meatballs to add your own spin to this dish!

POV side view of a spoonful of italian wedding soup over a white bowl

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It is full of rich, hearty ingredients.
  • Perfect for chilly nights.
  • Popular among even the pickiest eaters.
portioned dishes with raw ingredients of Italian wedding soup

Recipe Ingredients

  • Diced Vegetables—A flavorful mix of carrots and celery.
  • Olive Oil—Helps soften the veggies and bring out their flavor.
  • Dried Minced Onion—Or half of one white onion, diced.
  • Garlic Powder—Can be replaced with freshly minced garlic.
  • Spinach—Adds some nutrients to the soup
  • Chicken Broth—Serves as the base of your soup and provides even more flavor.
  • Acini De Pepe—Can be replaced with couscous or arborio rice.
  • Meatballs—The classic protein of choice in Italian wedding soup.
a serving of Italian wedding soup in a white bowl
  • We like to top our soup with parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, dried oregano, or some fresh thyme.
  • You can use fresh onion and garlic in this recipe if you prefer. 
  • If you don’t have acini de pepe, you can use couscous or arborio rice. You mainly just want a small pasta/ rice that will absorb the broth and add some texture to the dish.
  • Other veggies you can try adding to your soup include kale, broccolini, potatoes, and peas.
  • You can use either store bought or homemade meatballs in this recipe.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

pot with raw ingredients of Italian wedding soup

1. Heat your oil in a large pot for a few minutes. Add the carrots, celery, minced onion, and garlic powder to the pot. Allow your veggies to cook until the celery starts to soften.

pot with raw ingredients of Italian wedding soup

2. Stir in the spinach chicken broth. Continue cooking until the spinach is soft.

pot with raw ingredients of Italian wedding soup

3. Add your pasta and meatballs. Allow the soup to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked.

top view of a sauce pan with Italian wedding soup

4. When the ingredients are tender-serve and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called Italian wedding soup?

This soup gets its name from the Italian phrase minestra maritata. This phrase quite literally means “wedding soup and refers to the marriage of flavor that takes place in the soup. As the soup simmers the veggies release their flavor, which marries with the spice mix and chicken broth. In order to provide strong flavors, Italian wedding soup traditionally includes some form of meat and green vegetable.

What is the difference between Italian wedding soup and Chickarina soup?

Both of these soups are traditional Italian dishes. Both soups include an array of vegetables in a savory broth. However, Chickarina typically features chicken as a protein source while wedding soup uses pork or beef. Additionally, Italian wedding soup features a leafy green like spinach or kale.

Should I use homemade or frozen meatballs?

It is completely up to you! Your soup will have the same flavor whether you use frozen or freshly made meatballs. If you are using frozen meatballs then you will want to cook them according to package directions before adding them to the soup. 

a sauce pan with Italian wedding soup

Expert Tips

  • Acini de pepe is usually found on the pasta aisle of most major grocery store chains. If you don’t have acini de pepe then you can use either couscous or arborio rice. The idea is to use a small, roundish pasta or rice that will absorb some of the chicken broth and add texture to the soup.
  • Try switching up what vegetables you use. You can substitute the spinach for kale if you are looking for a more nutrient dense option. You can also add broccolini, potatoes, peas, etc.
  • We like to top our soup with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, dried oregano flakes, or some fresh time. The zest of some fresh lemon juice is another great option and can help balance the predominantly savory flavors of this soup. 
  • For some extra flavor, try adding a cup of grated parmesan cheese to your soup as it simmers. You can also try adding a cup of heavy cream after the soup simmers. If you want to add heavy cream then reduce your chicken broth to 3 cups. The cream will add a nice richness to your soup.
  • You can use either homemade or store bought meatballs in this recipe.
POV top view of a spoonful of italian wedding soup over the bowl

How to Store Your Leftover Soup

You can store your leftover soup in the fridge for up to 5 days. Allow your soup to cool down on the counter before transferring it to an airtight container. To reheat your soup, transfer a single serving to a bowl covered with a paper towel and reheat it for about a minute. Stir the soup halfway through to help it cook evenly. Alternatively, you can reheat all the soup at once on the stovetop over medium heat.

You can freeze your soup for up to 3 months. Cool down your soup before pouring it into one or two gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Store the soup as flat as possible to allow it to thaw faster. When you are ready to reheat your frozen soup, thaw it in the fridge before reheating it on the stovetop.

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a sauce pan with Italian wedding soup
5 from 2 votes

Italian Wedding Soup

Savor the perfection of Italian wedding soup with hearty veggies, meatballs, and savory broth. Ideal for quick weeknight dinners.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup acini de pepe pasta
  • 12 meatballs

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, heat the oil for 1-2 minutes on the stovetop. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery, minced onion, and garlic powder. Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until the celery begins to soften.
  • Add the spinach and chicken broth. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta, ensuring all of the pasta is submerged in the broth. Add the meatballs and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • We like to top our soup with parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, dried oregano, or some fresh thyme.
  • You can use fresh onion and garlic in this recipe if you prefer. 
  • If you don’t have acini de pepe, you can use couscous or arborio rice. You mainly just want a small pasta/ rice that will absorb the broth and add some texture to the dish.
  • Other veggies you can try adding to your soup include kale, broccolini, potatoes, and peas.
  • You can use either store bought or homemade meatballs in this recipe.
  • Store your leftover soup in the fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat your soup, throw a single serving in the microwave covered with a paper towel for about a minute. You can reheat all the remaining soup on the stovetop over medium heat until it is warm all the way through. You want your soup to be about 120°F.
  • For some extra flavor, try adding a cup of grated parmesan cheese to your soup as it simmers. You can also add a cup of heavy cream to make the soup nice and rich.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 Soup, Calories: 224kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 964mg, Potassium: 428mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6873IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 2mg
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