Healthy Italian Wedding Soup Ingredients
As we mentioned, there are versions of wedding soup from all throughout southern Italy, and they vary village to village, town to town, even family to family. When Italian immigrants brought the tradition of this soup over to the states with them, it morphed again based on what ingredients were available. While in Italy, the soup might have been made with myriad bitter greens, here its become traditional to use escarole. Were opting for kale, because its so widely available and we love how sturdy it iseven simmered in broth, it keeps its toothsome quality, not to mention its excellent nutritional profile. With an eye to health, were not adding any pasta to our recipeand in fact, thats how it would usually be made in Italy. Well, depending on who you ask. Without further ado, heres everything youll need to make our easy Italian wedding soup recipe:
- Ground pork
- Dried oregano
- Chicken stock
- Italian kale
- Cauliflower rice
- Parmesan cheese
Can You Freeze This Italian Wedding Soup
Yes you sure can.
Farmhouse Italian Wedding Soup
This is hands-down one of our family’s favorite soups. Loaded with homemade sausage meatballs, chunks of chicken, cheese and loads of vegetables, our version of Italian Wedding Soup can’t be beat!
- 1 lb. pork sausage, ground
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 medium celery rib, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh kale or spinach, chopped
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2 c. small pasta shells
- 2 t. minced, fresh thyme
- 1/2 t. salt
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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.
What Goes With Italian Wedding Soup
- Everything goes better with a piece of crusty Garlic Bread!
- Make this wedding soup recipe a side dish for this quick and easy Italian classic: Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan.
- I love an easy soup and salad night with this Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
- Dessert, anyone? These light Italian Wedding Cookies are the perfect small, sweet treat.
Is Italian Wedding Soup Authentic
Originally from Naples, Italian wedding soup is very authentically Italian!
The original title minestra maritata literally means married soup. Italian folklore says this broth soup was traditionally served to the bride and groom to keep their energy up for the festivities.
While traditional Italian versions are heavier on the veggies and include no meatballs, I love this addition. The pork and beef meatballs surrounded by wilted spinach and tiny pasta balls are just too delicious!
How To Brown Meatballs
If you would like to completely render the fat first, you can brown the meatballs separately in a NONSTICK skillet or bake themon a greased baking rack placed over a baking pan in the oven, the elevatedrack will allow any grease to drip off of the meatballs.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
- Place a cooking rack on top of the baking sheet and spraywith cooking spray.
- Add meatball in a single layer without touching.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- Skip simmering the meatballs for 5 minutescalled for in the recipe and add the browned meatballs at the same time as thepasta.
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.
What’s Inside The Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian wedding soup is made of ground beef, pork sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parmesan cheese, acini de pepper pasta, breadcrumbs, dry white wine, chicken broth, and parley.
Acini de pepper pasta is just another form of Italian pasta that is commonly used in salad and soups and is commonly known for being in Italian wedding soup. The Acini de pepper pasta holds its shape well after cooking. You can find this tiny round pasta at any grocery market or online for around $2 per pound.
If you can’t find acini de pepper pasta in your area, feel free to use orzo or Israeli couscous.
Breadcrumbs. I used panko breadcrumbs to work as a binder for meatballs. It’s my favorite type of breadcrumb and I use them in a wide variety of recipes. Alternatively, you can use a traditional breadcrumb or make your own breadcrumbs from a loaf of French bread .
Dry white wine. A dry white wine is used to add acidity to food which in turn brings out other flavors. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, or Pinot Gris are some of the dry white wines you can use in this recipe.
Broth. In this recipe, I used chicken broth. A combination of chicken broth and beef broth or water with bouillon will work as well.
The best kind of ground meat for meatballs. For these homemade Italian meatballs, I used a combination of ground beef and Italian pork sausage. Store-bought Italian sausage is packed with seasoning that makes for a perfect addition when making flavorful meatballs.
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What Do I Do With The Leftover Chicken
When you stew the chicken, you will have left over chicken that you can use to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta,One Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder or Puff Pastry Pesto Chicken Bites Appetizer. Make chicken salad or chicken wraps for lunch.
Making this soup is not difficult but, it can take some time if you are stewing the chicken which, I highly recommend. But, you can certainly use canned chicken broth if you want to make the soup quickly. See other substitutions below.
One Pot Homemade Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian Wedding Soup Recipe Is A Hearty Warm And Comforting Favorite All Made In One Pot
Italian Wedding Soup is a traditional Italian soup made with juicy, herb-Parmesan infused pork meatballs, acini de pepe, carrots, celery, and spinach all simmered in a bold, rich, aromatic, broth it is MEGA flavorful comfort in a bowl! This recipe is also all made in one pot no need to bake/sear the meatballs first! This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is customizable with your favorite veggies, favorite pasta and you can even use chicken/turkey instead of Italian sausage/beef for the meatballs. Italian Wedding Soup is make-ahead friendly stores and reheats beautifully, is freezer friendly irresistibly delicious!
Can I Use A Different Pasta
I prefer acini de pepe to any other pasta in Italian Wedding Soup. Their pearl shape provide a sublime textureand they are small enough you enjoy an abundance in every bite without them overwhelmingthe other ingredients.
That being said, if you cannot find acini de pepe, you may substitute with orzo pasta my last choice would be ditalini or small shells.
Can I Freeze The Meatballs
Absolutely! I like to double themeatball recipe and use half in the soup now and freeze half for another day. Now, all I have to do is drop the frozen meatballsinto the simmering soup!
- Line raw meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet so they arent touching.
- Place entire baking tray in the freezer. If your freezer cant accommodate your baking sheet then use a small tray and freeze in batches. Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
- Transfer meatballs to a freezer safe bag or container.
- Label meatballs and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to use, add frozen meatballs directly to the simmering soup and simmer 10 minutes before adding the pasta.
Read Also: Olive Garden Unlimited Soup
Can I Substitute Other Greens
Absolutely! When it comesto what leafy greens to add to Italian Wedding Soup, it comes down to personalpreference. Our household prefers babyspinach but you may also substitute with escarole, kale or endive.
If you choose to use escarole, kale or endive, you will want toadd them to the soup when you add the pasta because they take longer to cookthan spinach, which wilts almost instantly.
How To Make Simple Italian Wedding Soup
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl add the Italian sausage, Pecorino Romano, bread crumbs, fresh parsley, and egg. Mix gently just until combined. Do not overwork the mixture. You want tender meatballs!
Shape into 1/2 inch balls. Place them on the sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 30 minutes or so. This helps the meatballs keep their shape during cooking.
I do this ahead of time. I freeze them in a zip lock freezer bag so I can make this soup any time I have a craving. This saves the most time-consuming part of the recipe.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot melt the butter over medium-high heat, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. This will depend on the stock or broth you are using. You can use low-sodium stock and adjust the salt to your taste.
Add the meatballs, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the pasta and simmer for an additional 6 to 8 minutes until the pasta is tender. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions al dente.
Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted.
Serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese.
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How To Make Italian Wedding Soup From Scratch
I find that the soup is best when prepared in a big pot on the stovetop. That said, in a pinch, you can also make it in the slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours while you go about your busy day. The Crock Pot instructions are included separately below.
To Make The Meatballs
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Chicken Meatballs With Parmesan
The chicken meatballs are for sure the star of the show in this Italian Wedding Soup recipe. Made with parmesan and dried herbs they are packed full of flavor and turn this soup into a really substantial meal. They are really easy to make, and browned in the pan for added texture to the finish soup.
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Made with the most perfectly tender, juicy, chicken meatballs! So hearty and flavorful. Not to mention, its simple, quick and easy!
I know. I really need to stop eating soup when its 100+ degrees outside.
But I cant help it. I cant.
I love soup 365 degrees out of the year, but I particularly love it during the summer.
With all the summer harvest and the perfectly juicy chicken meatballs, you wont care about the heat outside.
Youll just keep refilling your bowl, with extra meatballs and extra Parmesan, of course.
Oh, and the crusty bread to soak up all that hearty goodness. Nope, You cant forget about that. Its just as important as the soup.
Italian Wedding Soup With Escarole And Mini Meatballs
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Soup season is here and theres nothing more comforting than coming in from the cold and warming up to a nice big steamy hot bowl of homemade soup, its good for the soul and good for the senses.
Certain soups evoke memories of the past and this is the one for me, Italian wedding soup. As a kid I just called it meatball soup, what kid doesnt love cheesy flavored meatballs and teeny tiny pasta floating around in a big bowl!
There are so many versions of Italian wedding soup some by adding or subtracting different ingredients, and over the years Ive even done that myself but the one thing that is constant and stays the same are those tiny little meatballs.
Flavoring up your meatballs is the key to this recipe, Im talking garlic, onions, egg, parsley and a very healthy dose of grated pecorino romano cheese. You could also choose to add breadcrumbs but I dont, I think it makes the tiny meatballs too dense, in my opinion you get a much lighter meatball without it. Just make them ahead of time so theyre ready to go.
My preferred meat to use is either ground turkey or chicken, since Im using a chicken stock as the base anyway it makes sense, but Ive also made it with beef as well, no rules here, choose whatever meat you like.
When Im making the broth from scratch Ill shred up some of the chicken and add it into the soup as well.
Add in your cooked meatballs and shredded chicken and the very last thing is your greens.
How To Make One Pot Authentic Homemade Italian Wedding Soup
*The printable recipe is at the bottom of this post. Tip: Read all of the instructions first before starting!
Italian Wedding Soup is made by stewing a whole chicken to make homemade chicken broth then adding escarole, celery, onions, and carrots, mini meatballs and chicken bits. This authentic Italian chicken soup will make you turn your nose up to canned soup.
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Do I Have To Brown The Meatballs First
No! Authentic Italian Wedding Soup calls fordropping the meatballs directly into the simmering soup to cook just like I do inmy Albondigas Soup this not only saves you time by eliminating the browningstep but also infuses the broth with TONSof flavor that cannot be achieved any other way. Simply skim the fat from the broth prior toserving.
What Is Italian Wedding Soup Made Of Healthy Italian Wedding Soup Ingredients:
traditionally, italian wedding soup is served in a mild chicken broth, with a combination of beef & pork meatballs, a bitter green & a small pasta .
to lighten things up a little in this healthy italian wedding soup recipe, i add a few of my staple healthier ingredients & add a couple of my favorite flavor bombs to really amp up the flavor without much effort. the full cast of characters includes
- chicken meatballs
- lemon juice & pesto
- chicken stock
for this healthy italian wedding soup, ive swapped the traditional beef & pork meatballs with my absolute favorite chicken meatballs. these are not your average dry & boring chicken meatballs! theyre insanely juicy & tender, have an extra kick of flavor from italian seasoning, & serve as the base flavor of the soup since theyre browned right in the same pot that the soup simmers in.
ive also opted for quinoa over pasta in this healthy italian wedding soup. it still adds a little bulk without adding tons of extra starch, since the soup is already filled with cannellini beans. plus, unlike pasta, the quinoa can simmer right in the soup so no second pot is needed. easy clean up = check!
my favorite, favorite, favorite part of this healthy italian wedding soup, though, is the broth. its infused it with tons of garlic, italian seasoning, & some lemon juice. the flavors simmer away & intensify, making every single sip bright, bold, & flavorful.
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