Grandma’s Italian Wedding Soup

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Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Grandma Makes Italian Wedding Soup (Meatball Soup)

Unfortunately Italian Wedding Soup has nothing to do with weddings. It wasnt named after the marriage of two people but named after the heavenly marriage between meat and vegetables. I know it is a bit of a let down as you were probably thinking this soup has got to have a great story behind it and a bunch of symbolism. Nope just terrific tasting soup that they probably should serve at weddings.

How To Make Italian Wedding Soup

To make the actual soup is easy. Where Id say youll spend the majority of your time is making the mini meatballs and chopping the vegetables. This is something that would be great to get the kids involved! Have one mix the meatballs and the other scoop/roll them out.

  • Mix the meatball mixture, shape into mini meatballs and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  • In a dutch oven or stockpot, sauté up your carrots, onions, and celery. Once they are translucent, add in the stock and bring to a boil.
  • When the veggies are sauteing, chop up the escarole. When the stock is boiling, add in the escarole, mini meatballs, and the Acini de Pepe. Stir to combine.
  • While the meatballs, pasta, and escarole are cooking, whisk together the eggs and parmesan cheese.
  • When the meatballs are cooked through, slowly stir in the egg parmesan mixture to form thin strands of egg. Cook for about a minute and season to taste.
  • More About Grandmom Lena S Italian Wedding Soup Recipes








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    ITALIAN GRANDMA MAKES ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP : Meatballs: 1 lb Ground Beef 1 Extra Large Egg 2 Tbsp Onion, minced ¼ cup Bread Crumbs ¼ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped ½ cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated ¼ tsp Black Pepper or to taste ½ tsp Salt or to taste 1 clove Garlic, microplaned or minced Soup: Olive Oil ½ cup Onion, chopped ½ cup Carrot, chopped ½ cup Celery, From cfood.orgEstimated Reading Time 2 minsSee details »














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    The Meatballs In Italian Wedding Soup

    The miniature meatballs are a hallmark of an authentic Italian Wedding Soup recipe. You’ll often find chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs in this dish, but anything goes! Some folks prefer ground beef meatballs, while others like to add pork or sausage to the mixture. I’ve included a combination of ground chicken and ground pork here, but again — swap those out for your favorite ground meat.

    The tender meatballs include grated Parmesan cheese, herbs, seasoning and breadcrumbs for an incredibly flavorful addition to the soup. You’ll brown them in a skillet first for added flavor and color, cook the veggies in the drippings, and then add the meatballs back to the pot to finish cooking in the broth. The only tedious part of this easy recipe is shaping all of those little meatballs — you’ll get about 40 in total!

    What Is Acini De Pepe And What Other Pasta Could You Use

    Italian Wedding Soup

    In Italian, it means seeds of pepper or peppercorns. Its a tiny round-shaped pasta that you tend to boil right in the soup.

    If you cant find it you could use orzo, stellini, ditalini or tubetti pasta. Couscous doesnt quite work and tends to turn gummy.

    I know someone will ask so I might as well put it out there. Yes, you can use cooked rice but make sure you cook it in stock!.

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    An easy soup made with delicious pork and beef meatballs, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, spinach and acini di pepe pasta all simmered in a lightly seasoned broth.

    • Beth Pierce
    • 1 1/4 lbs mixed ground pork and beef
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


    • 1 medium sweet onion diced
    • 2 large carrots diced
    • 2 stalks of celery diced
    • 3 cloves garlic minced

    First You Want To Make Your Meatballs And Get Those Into The Oven To Cook

    I love using pork for my Italian wedding soup because it so much flavor. You can also use ground chicken if you prefer.

    The meatballs are going to be a big part of your flavor so you want to make sure they are seasoned well. This recipe makes sure of that!

    Another tip, make lots of these meatballs. I always make more than I need for this soup recipe because meatballs freeze well and can be used in other meals later on during the week.

    If you want to make a whole new meal with them, you can make this homemade marinara sauce and add the meatballs in and serve over pasta for another great Italian classic.

    Why not make extra since you are already going through the work of making them. Trust me, you will be glad you made extra!

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    • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
    • 1/2 lb. ground pork
    • 2 slices white bread, crumbled finely
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • 1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 1 large carrot, diced finely
    • 2 stalks celery, diced finely
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup acini pasta or other small pasta
    • 1 cup escarole, baby spinach OR kale, chopped


  • Begin preparing the meatballs by adding all meatball ingredients except olive oil to a large bowl. Knead everything together with your hands. Pinch off small pieces and roll into balls.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
  • Add some of the meatballs to the pan, only as many as will fit without touching, and cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway thru.
  • Cook remaining meatballs and set aside.
  • In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. oil and saute onions, carrots, and celery until tender. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta and meatballs, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Cook for about 10-12 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach and let cook until spinach wilts, then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with parmesan cheese.
  • ENJOY!
  • Is Italian Wedding Soup Really Italian

    grandma’s ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP (meatball soup)

    Italian Wedding Soup is an Italian soup that originated in Naples. The name comes from the translation of ‘Minestra Maritata’ which means — referring to the from the vegetables and meat, rather than something that would be served at weddings. It’s not actually a dish that’s typically served at Italian weddings.

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    Tips For The Best Italian Wedding Soup

    This is my idea of the best Italian Wedding Soup! What makes it the best youre likely asking? Its a number of things so here we go:

    • Searing the meatballs is a game changer in my opinion. Why just simmer them in broth them when you can brown them first add add all that flavor?
    • Make the meatballs small. This is soup, not a big bowl of pasta.
    • Use fresh herbs. They really add great flavor.
    • Stick with the combination of the two meats.
    • Use fresh bread crumbs. Again were building better flavor. The texture of dry would throw this recipe off anyway.
    • Dont be skimpy with the garlic. This is an Italian soup. I like to use 4 cloves here.
    • Bring on the parm! The shredded parmesan will really compliment the soup nicely. It may not be pictured as a finishing garnish, but dont leave it off!
    • Stick with tiny pasta, I love how it sets this soup apart.

    Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

    You just can’t beat a big pot of homemade Italian Wedding Soup on a chilly day, and this version is the absolute best! Kids love the little pasta shapes and the mini meatballs, which you can prepare with ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, ground sausage, or a combination of these meats. You’ll even sneak some nourishing veggies and greens into this pot, which your kids will gobble up in their enthusiasm for the tender, flavorful meatballs! It’s a win all around, and an easy homemade soup that you’ll turn to again and again.

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    Can You Freeze Italian Wedding Soup

    Absolutely! I make a huge pot of this monthly and freeze it in smaller containers. Just ladle into your freezer-safe containers leaving a 1 gap at the top. Once cooled completely, place the lid and put it in the freezer.

    This makes great dishes to drop off with your family and friends! Just drop off a container of soup , a loaf of crusty bread and reheating instructions. This would put a smile on anyones face!

    What I often do is make up extra and give it some of my elderly senior friends that I know dont often get homecooked meals. Ill stock up their freezers with this for them.

    To reheat its best to thaw in the fridge overnight. When to heat it up, just place the soup back into a pot on the stove or in the microwave and heat until heated through.

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    • 8ozlean ground beef
    • 8ozground pork
    • 1/2cupfresh hearty white bread crumbs*
    • 1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
    • 1 1/2tspminced fresh oregano
    • 1/2cupfinely shredded parmesan
    • 1large egg
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1Tbspolive oil
    • 1 1/4cups1/4-inch diced carrots
    • 1 1/4cupsdiced yellow onion
    • 3/4cup1/4-inch diced celery
    • 4clovesgarlic, minced
    • 5 cans low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1cupdry acini de pepe or orzo pasta**
    • 6ozfresh spinach, chopped
    • Finely shredded parmesan, for serving

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    Where Did Italian Wedding Soup Originate

    The term wedding soup comes from the Italian minestra maritata, married soup, referring to the flavor produced by the marriage or perfect blending of greens, broth and meat.

    This soup enjoys a long, rich heritage, though very different from the Italian Wedding Soup we know today. Its origin isnt clear but its thought to date back to ancient Rome and then made its way to Toledo Spain, a gorgeous city we visited last Summer . The soups Spanish ancestor was a heavier one, incorporating a variety of meats that were slow-simmered with vegetables and without the addition of pasta .

    From Spain the soup was introduced to Naples, Italy where they too used any combination of meats such as beef, pork, ribs, sausages and ham hocks to create a rich meat broth The Neapolitans made it their own with the addition of ancient greens like torzella, escarole, puntarelle, chicory and savoy cabbage. Just as it was in Spain, the minestra maritata was a peasant soup using whatever leftover meats and wild greens they had on hand.

    The soup eventually made its way from Naples to America via Italian immigrants who replaced the long-simmered cuts of meat with meatballs and used onions, generally one type of leafy green vegetable and added pasta. And it came to be called Italian Wedding Soup.


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    Slow Cooker Method:

  • Prepare the meatballs as instructed and pan-fry in a skillet.
  • Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the fried meatballs on top and pour 8 cups of broth over top .
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
  • During the final 15-20 minutes of cooking, stir in the dry pasta. Cover and continue cooking until the pasta is tender.
  • Add the spinach to the pot at the very end and stir just until the leaves wilt.
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    Next You Want To Cook Your Pasta In A Separate Pot And Have That Ready For Later

    You may be thinking, why am I preparing the pasta separate from the soup especially if you were taught to cook the pasta in the soup with other recipes.

    I am totally against cooking pasta in any soup recipe of mine for many reasons. First, the pasta will continue to absorb all of the broth producing a mushy pasta and leaving less broth for the soup.

    Another reason is that if you plan on having your soup as leftovers then by making the pasta separate, you do not have to worry about mushy pasta.

    To keep the pasta from sticking, I like to add a good amount of olive oil to the cooked pasta when I set it aside. That olive oil will add more body and flavor to your soup later when you add it into the bowls.

    I use this method for all my soups that use pasta.

    Try This Swap For Super Tender Meatballs

    Grandma Italian Wedding Soup

    I use small torn bits of soft gluten free white bread soaked in grated onion instead of bread crumbs to not only keep the pork meatballs together, but make them incredibly tender. Next, the meatballs are baked until sizzling and caramelized, and then dropped into the soup. I much prefer the method of baking the meatballs first, vs dropping them into the bubbling broth to poach, as they impart a wonderful roasted flavor to the broth.

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    Grandmom Lena’s Italian Wedding Soup

    I’m sharing my family tradition with this one… there never used to be a ‘recipe’ for this. I have spent years since my grandmother passed away replicating this recipe until I got the ‘thumbs up’ from my Dad. We usually have it as a first course for Thanksgiving. I always wondered why we only ever had it once a year, then I realized it’s because there’s a good bit of work involved. I think it’s worth it!

    Provided by CHRISSYG

    2 1/2 lbs whole chickens
    5 stalks celery, cut into 2 -3 pieces
    5 large carrots, cut into 2 -3 pieces
    1 large onion, quartered
    1/4 cup fresh parsley
    salt and pepper
    1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
    1 -2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
    1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    1/4 cup water
    1/3 cup locatelli cheese, grated
    salt and pepper
    2 cans college inn chicken broth
    2 lbs escarole, washed thoroughly and cut into large pieces
    1/3 cup locatelli cheese, grated

    Nutrition Facts : Calories 187.5, Fat 10.4, SaturatedFat 3.4, Cholesterol 58.8, Sodium 534, Carbohydrate 7.8, Fiber 2.2, Sugar 2, Protein 14.9

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    Grandmas Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

    Grandmas Italian Wedding Soup

    • 120 minutes to make
    • Serves 15

    There is nothing like it. I have so many wonderful memories of times I spent cooking with my grandma. My heart swells just to remember.

    • chicken
    • Feel free to use any of the below tags. Click one to add it.
    • chicken
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  • SOUP:
  • 5-6lbs. endive boiled, drained & chopped
  • 1/2c. parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1c. bread crumbs
  • How to make it

    • SOUP:
    • In stockpot boil the chicken, water, celery, carrots & onion for 90min. to 2 hrs until chicken is tender.
    • Clean chicken from bones removing all fat & skin.
    • Strain broth.
    • Add shredded chicken, carrots & chopped endive.
    • Salt to taste.
    • Ladle soup into bowls and add croutons before serving.
    • Mix together & roll into little balls the size of marbles.
    • Brown on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven .
    • Add to soup.
    • Beat eggs.
    • Add bread crumbs, parsley, cheese and salt & pepper.
    • If batter is runny, add a little more bread crumbs until batter is thick but still pourable.
    • Pour into well greased 9×13 pan.
    • Bake 350F for 30 min. or until browned.
    • Cut into small cubes and add to soup before serving.
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    Nonna Approved Tips For The Best Italian Wedding Soup


    There are a few things that are crucial to making truly amazing soup. From my decades of making this, this is what I consider tried and true Nonna approved tips!

    • Use a panade when making your meatballs. This is crucial to keep them moist!
    • Use both pork and beef in your meatball mixture. Could you use ground chicken? You could but you may need to add a tad more panade and maybe a little fat to keep them from getting tough.
    • MINI meatballs you do not make big honkin sized meatballs as you would for meatballs and spaghetti
    • No shredded chicken. This isnt Italian Chicken Noodle soup. Okay fine add it if you want
    • Escarole no kale, no spinach but escarole. Spinach doesnt give it the right flavor and kale is just funky
    • Yes, you need to add the egg and parmesan but it helps give it that unctuous flavor and mouth-feel
    • Use tiny pasta. It doesnt take over the dish but does give some body to the stock.
    • Cook the pasta in the pot with the rest of the stuff. If you need more stock, add it. The pasta will plump even more after its fully cooked so you may need to add a tad more stock upon reheating. Thats completely fine and normal.

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