RecipeOne-Pot Italian Wedding Soup

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 100
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Total Fat: 4 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugar: 1 g
    • Natural Sugar: 1 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg
Take Note

No bouquet needed! This beautiful bowl really has nothing to do with weddings at all. The original name (minestra maritata) actually translates to “married soup,” and it was called this because of the mixing of flavors and textures from the veggies and meat.

Although, I still recommend saying “I do!” to a bowl: It has all the elements of a win-win meal, including mouthwatering meatballs, nutrient-packed produce, slurp-worthy broth and comforting pasta. And bonus: It’s all made in one pot—no searing skillet necessary. You can use any small-size pasta; truth be told, I sometimes use whole-grain elbows—I know, I know, it’s far from traditional, lol.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes about 15 cups

Mini meatballs

  • • 1 pound ground turkey (90 to 94% lean)
  • • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, optional
  • • ⅓ cup “Italian-seasoned” breadcrumbs (preferably whole grain)
  • • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for slight heat)


  • • 3 medium carrots, finely diced (~1 ½ cups)
  • • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (~1 ½ cups)
  • • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped (~¾ cup)
  • • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon pre-minced or garlic powder)
  • • 9 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • • 1 cup dry acini de pepe or orzo pasta*
  • 2 to 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves, chopped

*You can swap in any small-sized pasta, even whole grain elbows, which I often do.


For the meatballs: In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, Parmesan, optional parsley (if using), breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and optional crushed red pepper flakes. Using your hands, mix ingredients until everything is well combined, being careful not to over-mix or they’ll become too tough.

Once combined, gently roll about 30 “mini” meatballs between your two hands, forming fluffy ¾-inch to 1-inch-sized meatballs that are not too tight or compact.

Liberally coat a large pot with nonstick olive oil spray (alternatively, you can pour 1 Tbsp oil from bottle) and warm over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook for 2 minutes undisturbed on one side. Carefully flip them over and cook another 2 minutes to sear the second side. Then toss them around for a final minute and try best as you can to sear the remaining sides. Transfer to a plate (they will not be fully cooked, as they’ll finish cooking in the soup). Repeat the same process with second batch of meatballs.

Reapply nonstick oil spray to your pot and warm again over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  If the pan becomes dry, mist additional oil spray. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.

Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the meatballs and dry pasta, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid, add the spinach, and stir until it wilts into the soup (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with optional parmesan cheese (and fresh herbs) on top.

Nutrition based on 1 cup soup with 2 meatballs; adjust math accordingly for larger portions.

Watch me whip it up!

Try this Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo!