Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup) 


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.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
9 cups

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.

What Makes This Recipe Healthy?

This recipe is full of nutritious vegetables, including onion, carrots, celery, garlic and spinach, each with several health benefits. This soup is a great way to eat more vegetables for a varied and balanced diet. The chicken meatballs are also a good source of protein, which is an essential macronutrient.

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 and Jan Valdez


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 ⅓ cups chopped yellow onion

  • cup chopped carrot

  • cup chopped celery

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 6 cups unsalted chicken broth

  • 6 ounces orzo, preferably whole-wheat

  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 24 cooked chicken meatballs (12 ounces), such as Easy Chicken Meatballs (see associated recipe)

  • 4 cups baby spinach

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


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

  2. 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.

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

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

    Bowl of Easy Italian Wedding Soup on a gray cloth background


Large pot or Dutch oven

Associated Recipes

Easy Chicken Meatballs

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

415 Calories
19g Fat
36g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 415
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 26g 52%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Vitamin A 5270IU 105%
Vitamin C 20mg 23%
Folate 23mcg 6%
Sodium 728mg 32%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 3mg 19%
Magnesium 68mg 16%
Potassium 681mg 14%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles