Italian wedding soup with juicy mini turkey meatballs, tender orzo and spinach in a flavorful Parmesan broth.
It's a cozy, comforting and nutritious soup you'll want to make all fall and winter long.
How to make turkey meatballs
Who knew meatballs worked so well in a soup?
I mean, I’ve had Italian Wedding Soup many-a-time, but still believe whoever decided to add little meatballs to a vat of broth amongst pasta and spinach is basically a genius.
And I'm going with it.
There are numerous ways to make meatballs, but I like to keep it simple. Here are my steps:
- Soak dried minced onion. Yes, you can use minced fresh onion, but I find it easier and just as tasty to soak some dried minced onion in a little water to rehydrate it before adding it to your meatball mixture.
- It only needs about 5 minutes to soak, then toss it in the bowl!
- Add ground turkey and ground pork to the bowl. If you want to make the meatballs leaner, go ahead and use just ground turkey.
- But I like that pork has a bit more fat and flavor, so I find mixing turkey and pork to be a great combo for meatballs.
- But you do you!
- Add egg and breadcrumbs to the meat. These are binders and will hold the meatballs together.
- There are many types of breadcrumbs you can use.
- I like panko because they're light and fluffy, but you can also use traditional breadcrumbs or even soak pieces of bread and use those as your binder.
- If you're looking for an egg replacement, you can try a 'flax egg' (1 tablespoon ground flax seed soaked in 2 tablespoons of water) or use something like Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer.
- Add spices and herbs and cheese. I am talking freshly minced garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- You can also add basil or use Italian seasoning, if you'd like! There are many ways to do meatballs.
- Roll the balls! Because we're putting the meatballs in soup, I recommend making them mini or bite size.
- That way they're easy to eat on a spoon!
- Roast the meatballs. This isn't a required step, but I like to line the meatballs on a wire rack and roast them before adding to the soup.
- When cooked in the oven versus sauteing, meatballs get a brown crust on the outside (flavor!) and they cook evenly.
- However, if you'd like to keep this dish "one pot", you can saute them in a little olive oil before adding the rest of your ingredients.
How to make Italian wedding soup
- While your meatballs are cooking, bring a big pot of chicken stock to a simmer.
- Add a few tablespoons of your favorite bouillon.
- I use this because it takes the stock from being somewhat flavorful to being out-of-this-world.
- I am a fan of Better Than Bouillon paste, but like I said, whatever you like to use will work - just know that each bouillon has a unique amount of salt, so that will alter how much salt you'll want to add to the soup.
- To the simmering stock, add handfuls of fresh spinach and orzo.
- Then add the mini roasted meatballs.
- While the orzo cooks (usually takes about 10 minutes), you can make the egg mixture you'll be adding to the soup.
- If you've ever made egg drop soup, this is a similar technique.
- Simply whisk together the eggs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
- While the soup is still at a gentle simmer, create a whirlpool by gently stirring the soup in a circular motion.
- Slowly drizzle in the egg mixture as it forms ribbons in the stock.
- Once all of the egg mixture is in, your soup is done!
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
- Never skip this step when you're cooking!
Other soup recipes I know you'll dig:
- Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup
- Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup
- Thai Sweet Potato Soup
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
Also, be sure to check out my other favorite soups in my Simple Soups Cookbook! It contains 27 of my very favorite soup recipes!Print
Italian Wedding Soup
A simple brothy soup with mini turkey meatballs, orzo and spinach.
- Prep Time: 15-20 mins
- Cook Time: 20-25 mins
- Total Time: 35-45 mins
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove-Top, Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1-pound ground turkey or chicken
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon all-natural bouillon (optional)
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
- In a medium mixing bowl, soak the dried minced onion in 2 teaspoons of water for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey or chicken, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, oregano, salt and black pepper and thoroughly mix until combined. Form mixture into 1-inch mini meatballs. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart and roast 6-8 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot to medium heat. Add the meatballs and sauté 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Add stock and bouillon (if using) and bring to a simmer. Add spinach, orzo and salt and simmer 10-15 minutes, until orzo is al dente and meatballs are firm.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and parmesan cheese. Slowly drizzle egg mixture into simmering soup. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Make-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate or freeze meatballs for future use.
- Serving Size: ⅙ of recipe
- Calories: 281
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 511mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 34g
- Cholesterol: 113mg
Keywords: traditional, healthy, easy, quick, simple, weeknight, make ahead, do ahead, stew