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One-Pot Italian Wedding Soup



Mini Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey (90-94% lean)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (preferably whole-grain)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (~1½ cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, finely diced (~1½ cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped (~3/4 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*
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chef notes

No bouquet needed! This beautiful bowl is not actually served at weddings, but rather it’s a fun play on the "marriage" of flavors and textures from the veggies and meat.

But I still recommend saying "I do" to a bowl! This soup has it all: mouthwatering meatballs, nutrient-packed produce, slurp-worthy broth and comforting pasta. Big bonus: It’s all made in one pot — no searing skillet necessary. Also, you can use any small-size pasta you have on hand; truth be told, I sometimes use whole-grain elbows — I know, I know, it’s far from traditional, but it looks and tastes scrumptious.

This soup will be delicious in good times and in bad, for a crowd or just for one. I will love this soup until dinner do we part — and you will, too.

Swap option: 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, parsley (if using), breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). 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 hands, forming fluffy 3/4- 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 tablespoon 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.

For the soup:


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 one 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.