Italian Wedding Soup is a delicious and comforting soup made with bite sized chicken meatballs, vegetables, and tiny pasta such as orzo or acini de pepe. It’s a soup the whole family will love!
Italian wedding soup has been on my list of recipes to make for a couple years now and I’m so glad I can finally share this recipe with you.
If you want a soup that’s comforting, full of flavor, and feels like a complete meal thanks to the chicken meatballs, then you have to give it a try.
There are a couple variations that make my soup different from traditional Italian wedding soup. The first being that the meatballs are made with ground chicken instead of ground beef or ground pork.
The second difference is the pasta used in the soup. Traditionally acini de pepe is used, but I’ve found that it can be difficult to find. Instead, I opted to use orzo which is more readily available and actually works quite nicely in the soup.
Ingredients For Italian Wedding Soup
- ground chicken – ground turkey can be used too. I recommend using 93/7% lean.
- panko – gluten-free panko is available at many stores if you need the recipe to be gluten-free.
- parmesan cheese – Use the good stuff and not the powder in the green can.
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- yellow onion
- low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- parmesan cheese rind (optional) – adding the rind gives the soup great flavor. I always keep my rinds in a freezer bag in the freezer so I have them on hand for soups like this.
- fresh dill
- orzo – if you can find acini de pepe that is the traditional pasta that is used in this soup.
- baby spinach
How To Make Italian Wedding Soup
Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the egg, panko, parmesan cheese, and dried spices.
I like to combine all of thee meatball ingredients before adding the meat so everything is incorporated more evenly. Add in the ground chicken and mix everything together until combined.
Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon to form approximately two teaspoon sized meatballs. This should give you about 35 meatballs total. If you find that the meat mixture sticks to your hands while rolling them into balls, dampen your hands with a bit of water.
Bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes or until they’re cooked through. While the meatballs are baking start making the soup.
Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they’re tender, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and dill and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute and then pour in the broth.
Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling add in the orzo and lower the heat to medium.
Let the soup simmer until the orzo is tender. You’ll want to stir it occasionally to keep the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Once the orzo is al dente, add the meatballs into the soup along with the baby spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts and then serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.
Italian Wedding Soup Ingredient Substitutions
Spinach – The spinach can be substituted with chopped kale.
Ground Chicken – Ground turkey, beef or a combination of pork and beef can be used instead of ground chicken.
Orzo – As I mentioned above acini de pepe is the traditional pasta for this soup. Any small pasta such as stellini, tubetti, or ditalini would also be good substitutions.
Panko – My preference is to use panko in meatballs, but you can use traditional dry bread crumbs if you prefer. If you choose to use Italian seasoned bread crumbs in the meatballs you’ll want to cut back the amount of Italian seasoning you add to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If you choose to do this you’ll want to cook them in two batches over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil per batch.
I don’t recommend freezing this soup if the orzo has been added to it. However, if you leave to orzo out and add it to individual servings, then yes you can freeze it.
Let the soup cool completely and then store it in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
More Soup Recipes
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Mexican Meatball Soup
- Creamy Red Lentil Butternut Squash Soup
- Light Creamy Asparagus Soup
Did you make this Italian Wedding Soup? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/3 cup panko
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Preheat oven for 425° F. and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley, and egg. Add in the ground chicken and use your hands to combine everything.
- Use a 2 teaspoon size cookie scoop to scoop out the meatball mixture. Form it into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving space in between them. You should end up with approximately 35 meatballs. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.
- While the meatballs bake, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Add in the carrots, onion, celery, salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes and then add in the Italian seasoning, fresh dill, and garlic. Sauté for another minute.
- Pour in the broth and add in the parmesan cheese rind if using one. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot and then bring the soup to a boil.
- Once boiling add in the orzo and lower the heat to medium. Let the soup simmer until the orzo is tender. Remove the parmesan cheese rind and then add in the spinach and meatballs. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Taste for seasoning and serve topped with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.