Italian Wedding Soup is a cozy soup recipe for fall! Classic soup with homemade meatballs, orzo pasta, and escarole in a savory broth.
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
It doesn’t get much better than hearty, cozy soup when the weather starts cooling off. A big bowl of soup and some crusty bread for dunking make a delicious, easy weeknight dinner. This Italian soup is ready in less than an hour for a fast family friendly meal whenever the temperature dips.
While Italian Wedding Soup recipes vary from region to region, this classic soup has some familiar ingredients no matter which recipe you try. Italian Wedding Soup is made with meatballs, pastina (mini pasta), fresh greens, and a light broth. Unlike many Italian dishes, there aren’t any tomatoes in Wedding Soup.
This Italian Wedding Soup recipe has simple homemade meatballs with just a handful of ingredients. You can use frozen meatballs instead, just skip the browning step. Keep these freezer-friendly Italian Meatballs on hand whenever you are craving this soup.
Italian Wedding Soup is great for making ahead of time. To make this soup really freezer-friendly, don’t add the orzo until you are reheating the soup. Orzo won’t absorb as much liquid as other small pasta, but it’s still better freshly cooked to al dente.
Italian Wedding Soup is a light and hearty dinner on its own with a side of Dinner Rolls or Garlic Bread. Garnish Italian Wedding Soup with fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You can also serve it as a starter with your favorite Italian Dishes like Baked Spaghetti or Meat Lasagna.
OTHER HEARTY AND DELICIOUS SOUPS
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Make a classic meatball mixture of ground veal and ground pork, or lighten up the meatballs with ground turkey or ground chicken. Use frozen meatballs in a pinch, or add more flavor with Italian sausage or chicken sausage.
Whisk two eggs and slowly stir into hot broth before serving. Stir in one direction slowly so the eggs don’t curdle. Simmer for 30 seconds until eggs are set and serve.
Mini pastas, or pastina, that you can use instead of orzo are ditalini, tubetini, mini stars, and acini de pepe. You can use larger pasta but it won’t be quite the same.
A good substitute for escarole is baby spinach or curly endive. Add other veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, kale, or canned tomatoes.
Give Italian Wedding Soup a kick with red pepper flakes. You can add more Italian seasonings like thyme, oregano, basil, or sage to the broth or the meatballs.
Yes, you can substitute the ground beef for impossible beef and the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and leave out the egg.
Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup
- Prepare the meatballs and roll into 1 inch balls. Brown meatballs and add to slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients, except for orzo and escarole, to pot and stir to combine.
- Optional: sauté onions, carrots, and celery before adding to the crockpot.
- Cover with lid and cook on low 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Stir in orzo pasta and escarole and cook on low for 30 minutes until pasta is tender.
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
- Mix and form meatballs into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate on a baking tray 10 minutes, or until firm.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté function and add oil to pot.
- Sauté onions, celery, and carrots until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Deglaze pot with 1 cup chicken broth, scraping off any brown bits on bottom and sides of pot.
- Add meatball and remaining broth to Instant Pot.
- Secure lid and seal pressure valve. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes.
- Quick release pressure and turn Instant Pot to Sauté.
- Stir in orzo and escarole and cook until pasta is tender.
MORE EASY ITALIAN DINNER RECIPES
HOW TO STORE ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
- Serve: Italian Wedding Soup can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours or on warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours.
- Store: Cool Wedding Soup before storing in an air tight container and refrigerating up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over low-medium heat.
- Freeze: Place cooled Wedding Soup in a sealed container and freeze up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop.
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- 2 stalks celery , thinly sliced
- 2 carrots , thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups escarole , sliced thinly (fresh spinach is ok too)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a large dutch oven boil the orzo until 1 minute less than the directions on the box, then drain and rinse and dry out the dutch oven.
- While orzo is cooking make meatballs by gently mixing the beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl until combined.
- Scoop beef mixture with 2 tablespoon sized scoop onto a tray.
- Add the olive oil to your clean dutch oven and fry the meatballs until browned then remove them from the pot in batches.
- Add the celery, carrots, onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent then add in the chicken stock, onion powder, and escarole and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Stir the meatballs and orzo back into the pot and cook 3 minutes to bring them up to temperature before serving.