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Bowl of Italian wedding soup

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired


Italian Wedding Soup Recipe – a dreamy, delicious Italian Wedding Soup recipe that is perfect with shaved parmesan cheese and crusty bread!




  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 23 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs


  • 2 tablespoons butter (sub ghee, plant-based butter or olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 herb bundle
  • 12 handfuls fresh kale or spinach
  • 3/41 cup acini de pepe


  • basil pesto
  • parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
  • sourdough bread with butter


  1. Form Meatballs: Combine Meatball ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Take approx. 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of the mixture (depending upon how small or big you want them) and form into meatballs. 
  2. Sear Meatballs: Bring a large Dutch Oven (5.5qt) to medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil; swirl to coat the pan. Sear meatballs (in batches) on all sides until they are nice and browned. Remove from Dutch Oven (they won’t be fully cooked, that’s okay we don’t want them to be yet) and place on a plate; set aside. 
  3. Deglaze Pan and Make Soup: Add a splash of the chicken broth (the rest will be used later) and use a spatula to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add butter and let melt.  Add garlic and move around the pan until it becomes fragrant, approx. 30 seconds. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add chicken broth, salt, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, white wine, cannellini beans, herb bundle, kale and the meatballs (along with any juices that have settled on the plate).
  4. Simmer: Cover and let simmer approx. 10-15 minutes or until veggies are firm but tender and meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Acini de Pepe: Meanwhile, cook acini de pepe per package instructions or check out this tutorial (see Notes).  
  6. Serving: place some cooked acini de pepe in a soup bowl. Ladle the soup over top. Add a few dollops of basil pesto along with a generous amount of grated or shaved parmesan cheese. Serve with sliced sourdough bread and butter!


  • Option to Bake Meatballs: for best results I recommend searing the meatballs because it adds more flavor and deliciousness to the soup, but I totally get it if you want to simplify things a bit! To bake the meatballs: place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes or until they are fully cooked (this will ultimately depend upon how big your meatballs are – it could take up to 25 minutes if they are bigger).
  • Chicken or Turkey Meatballs: you could definitely sub in ground chicken or ground turkey for the beef/pork combo if you want. 
  • Acini de Pepe: I recommend cooking the acini de pepe separately simply because this soup make a lot and you are likely to have leftovers. If you cook the pasta in the soup it will only continue to soak up the broth as it sits – so leftovers may become mushy and not much broth will remain. If you want to cook the pasta in the soup you certainly can, add it in Step 3 when you put the meatballs back in – and maybe add an extra cup of chicken broth. 
  • Acini de pepe substitute: if you can’t find acini de pepe you could sub orzo in a pinch – again I would recommend cooking it separate. 
  • Toppings: you HAVE to try the pesto on top (just grab store bought pesto to make things easy) and lots and lots of parmesan cheese – and then this soup is made for dipping buttered bread in it! 
  • Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 


  • Serving Size: 6 oz
  • Calories: 329
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 1437.3 mg
  • Fat: 15.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.6 g
  • Protein: 23.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 97.6 mg

Keywords: italian wedding soup