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Forget the marble-size meatballs you find in many versions of this Italian Wedding Soup. In this easy recipe, they're full-size, full-flavored and plenty filling.

EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2019; updated November 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

Despite its name, Italian Wedding Soup is not related to actual weddings. Instead, Minestra Maritata, as it's called in Italian, refers to marriages in ingredients and flavors. Italian Wedding Soup is a brothy soup typically featuring meat (most notably meatballs), greens like spinach or escarole and small pasta like orzo or ditalini. The addition of other veggies like onions carrots and celery results in a perfect "marriage" of ingredients in a soup that's warm and comforting.

How to Make Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is easy to make and we've streamlined it even further so it fits neatly into a weeknight meal plan. Meatballs in Italian Wedding Soup tend to be on the small side which can be a challenge to pull together if you're in a hurry. Instead, we use larger meatballs in our soup to save on prep time. You can buy pre-cooked frozen meatballs to add to your soup or make a homemade batch ahead of time as we do here. We also use baby spinach which can be added right to the soup without removing stems or chopping.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add orzo, oregano and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is just tender, about 9 minutes.

  • Stir in meatballs and spinach; cook until the meatballs are heated through and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.

  • Serve sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil.

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Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
415 calories; protein 25.8g; carbohydrates 36.1g; dietary fiber 3.7g; sugars 5.2g; fat 19g; saturated fat 4.7g; cholesterol 100.6mg; vitamin a iu 5269.9IU; vitamin c 20.3mg; folate 22.9mcg; calcium 165.3mg; iron 3.4mg; magnesium 67.6mg; potassium 680.9mg; sodium 728mg.

2 fat, 1 1/2 lean protein, 1 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 medium-fat protein