Italian Wedding Soup

A classic Italian wedding soup recipe, with little bits of pasta, shredded chicken, spinach and of course those little meatballs!

This wedding soup recipe is the very first one that I ever posted on my little corner of the Internet here. I grew up eating it at countless restaurants, at home and, of course, at weddings. My mom would make it occasionally, but it wasn’t until last summer when I fell in love with it again. I’m usually not one to devour soup during the summer months, but I was going through the first trimester of my pregnancy, and spent many days not very interested in food at all.

Wedding soup is definitely an Italian tradition that I grew up with. The last time I tried to make the soup it came out lacking some flavor and a little watery. I played with some recipes and came up with what’s below, and it’s amazing! SO tasty and hearty – I loved it!

Italian Wedding Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

A classic Italian wedding soup recipe, with little bits of pasta, shredded chicken, spinach and of course those little meatballs!


For the Meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, grated
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites

For the Chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Soup:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 cups chicken broth
Salt & pepper to taste
¾ cup acini di pepi or other small pasta
8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped


1. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into small (½-inch) balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a large stockpot and fill with water until it is covering the chicken by at least one inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken to a large plate. Shred the chicken and set aside. Empty water from stockpot.

3. Melt butter in the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Gently add the meatballs to the soup and cook for 7 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken. Cover again and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. You can eat as soon as the chicken is re-heated, but allowing it to simmer for a little longer allows all the new flavors to meld together.

(Source: Combination of my mom and Elly Says Opa!)

This recipe was originally published on February 11, 2007.