Italian Wedding Soup

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Italian Wedding Soup is a cozy soup recipe for fall! Classic soup with homemade meatballs, orzo pasta, and escarole in a savory broth.

Classic Minestrone is easily one of the most well known, and well loved, Soup Recipes. This Italian Wedding Soup is another traditional recipe that is sure to be your new favorite soup!

Italian Wedding Soup in pot with spoon and parsley garnish


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.

Italian Wedding Soup meatballs on baking tray

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.

Italian Wedding Soup meatballs browning in pot


Italian Wedding Soup in bowl with spoon and parsley garnish


What kind of meat should I use?

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.

Can I add eggs to this soup?

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.

What type of pasta should I use?

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.

Can I use different vegetables?

A good substitute for escarole is baby spinach or curly endive. Add other veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, kale, or canned tomatoes.

Can I use different seasonings?

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.

Can I make this soup vegetarian?

Yes, you can substitute the ground beef for impossible beef and the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and leave out the egg.

Italian Wedding Soup in pot with spoon and parsley garnish

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.



  • 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.
Italian Wedding Soup in bowl with spoon and parsley garnish

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Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a cozy soup recipe for fall! Classic soup with homemade meatballs, orzo pasta, and escarole in a savory broth.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs , beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Wedding Soup:

  • 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.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 696mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3910IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg
Italian Wedding Soup Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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