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Italian wedding soup in a white bowl with a sprig of thyme

Italian Wedding Soup

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Italian Wedding Soup is full of vegetables, pasta, and little meatballs; it’s perfect comfort food on a chilly night and it comes together in no time. It’s kid and husband friendly, so add it to your menu today!

When autumn rolls around soup reappears on the dinner menu. Your family will beg you to make this Italian Wedding Soup Recipe after slurping down their first bowlfuls! This easy soup recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal and will warm you from the inside out!

Italian Wedding Soup in a white bowl with a red handled spoon

Italian Wedding Soup

The weather has turned, the boots, gloves and jackets are strewn throughout the house, and soup has become a regular offering on our dinner menu. This Wedding Soup is one of our favorites! With meatballs, pasta and a flavorful broth, it’s well loved by the whole family.

I have a weak spot when it comes to meatballs. And when they’re floating in a delicious, doctored up chicken broth, the results are delicious!

Italian wedding soup in a white soup bowl and a bamboo handled soup spoon


How to Make an Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

If you can chop, you can make this soup! It’s a great recipe for new cooks and comes together on the stove top in no time at all.

  • Chop onions, carrots, and celery and saute in olive oil along with some minced garlic before chicken stock and dried spices are added to the mix.
  • Make meatballs from scratch or use frozen meatballs depending on how much time you have.
  • I mix up some simple homemade meatballs, cook, then drop into the soup to simmer for a while. Since I like some color on the meatballs, I saute them first. Usually at least one side gets flat, but I love the added flavor that comes with browning. An alternative is to drop the raw meatballs into the simmering soup to cook.
  • PRO-Tip: Browning your meatballs first results in a Maillard reaction, a chemical process that gives browned foods their amazing flavor and aroma!
  • For a quick dinner, I make meatballs with ground beef. For more tender meatballs, replace about 1/3 of the ground beef with ground pork.
  • Watch the sodium content of your chicken broth. Some store bought broths are extremely salty, so you will not want to add any extra salt.
  • Vary your spices depending on what you enjoy. Stick with Italian flavors like thyme or Italian seasoning. Fresh herbs chopped and added at the end of the cooking time gives a nice fresh punch.
  • Pasta and spinach are the final additions. Italians like to use escarole or kale so feel free to substitute for your greens. Use any small pasta like orzo or acini de pepe.
  • PRO-Tip: If you have a leftover rind of Parmesan, add that to the pot while simmering this soup. It will add an amazing depth of favor.
  • My 100% Italian friend and fellow food blogger, Roz, swirls in a mixture of eggs and Parmesan before serving. Check out her yummy version here.
Overhead view of a bowl of Italian Wedding soup with a bamboo handled spoon holding a meatball

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Soup

What is Italian Wedding Soup?

It's an Italian recipe with a clear, flavorful chicken broth base, some kind of meat, like meat balls, greens and pasta.

Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup?

There is a misnomer that this soup got it's name because Italians would feed it to newlyweds to provide sustenance for their wedding night. Instead, the Italian name for this soup, Minestra Maritala, which refers to the delicious marriage of this soup's ingredients, translates to Married Soup in English. From this translation, came speculation about the name, most of it unfounded.

What Should You Serve with Wedding Soup?

Make sure to pass around some real Parmesan, or parmigiano reggiano, to sprinkle over your hot soup. Other dishes will be dependent on whether the soup is a starter or an entree. If it's a starter, you can go hog wild with an Italian menu or antipasti, tossed salad, lasagna and an Italian dessert. If it's the entree, serve a nice crusty bread and a green salad.

You may need these supplies to make the Italian wedding soup recipe:

Plus, Add These Ingredients to Your Shopping List:

  • Staples: Olive Oil, salt and pepper
  • Medium Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Thyme, dried or fresh
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Small pasta
  • Fresh spinach
  • Eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  • Parmesan
  • Ground beef or frozen meatballs

More Soup Recipes You’ll Love:

Italian wedding soup in a white bowl with a sprig of thyme

Italian Wedding Soup

An easy dinner recipe that's perfect on a chilly fall or winter night!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 6 servings



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, I used orzo
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (if your stock is salty, you may not need any additional salt)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil oil in large stockpot. Saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute just until fragrant, do not brown. Remove to medium bowl. Add the rest of the oil to the pan, then the celery and carrots and cook until tender. Add stock and thyme and let simmer.
  2. Make meatballs by combining cooked minced onion, ground beef, salt, bread crumbs and egg. When well combined, make meatballs (1/2-1 inch in diameter). At this point you may saute them or drop raw into simmering soup. Simmer until the meat is cooked through. Add pasta and cook until done. Right before serving, stir in spinach till wilted.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1004mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 35g


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Italian Wedding Soup | Easy and perfect for a chilly autumn or winter meal!
This post was shared first in January, 2012. Photos and text were updated in 2019,

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

84 comments on “Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. Now that the weather has cooled again I find myself making more soup to warm up our hungry tummies.
    I’d love a bowl of that tortilla soup

  2. Perfect recipes – a soup for every night of the week. So gray, this is perfect!

  3. Soups on eh Liz? What time should I head over. I will have one bowl of the wedding soup and tortilla please. They look fabulous!

  4. I don’t know which one to choose. If I pick one I will be unjust to the other two. They all look delicious and comforting!

  5. I updated a soup post yesterday.
    Soups are ideal for wintry evenings with the family and friends. They are so comforting, nutritious and most importantly, they make us warm from within;-)

  6. yummy soups! we’ll be having soups soon too, our weather has gotten quite wintry too.

  7. Love soups every time my dear winter or summer, yesterday I made a chickpeas soup, yours look delicious:)

  8. Among all, I will go for the lentil soup, thats very delicious.

  9. The wedding soup is very similar to one I do and I’m going to have to try the tortilla soup. It’s a good thing I love soup or January wouldn’t be tolerable! I really want the lobster bisque, though. Today at our house, it will be broccoli soup.

  10. It’s a very gray and rainy day here – these soups look perfect! But which one to pick is the problem…………

  11. Wow. I’m swooning over that Lobster Bisque. I’ve always wanted to try to make it from scratch, maybe this will be the year!

  12. Your soups look wonderful, especially the tortilla soup. and I will be trying them soon. We have had an unseasonably warm January, but we are still eating soup.

    Supposedly, snow is coming tomorrow, just when I have to drive to Chicago to a wake.

  13. I had NO idea that you could cook the meatballs by simply dropping them into the soup. I hate the browning step, because I seem to be cursed with having them fall apart on me. I’m totally going to try this method next time. Thanks! That lobster bisque looks heavenly, btw. I might have actually sighed over it at 6am. YUM

  14. I’ll take a BIG bowl of that spinach and lentil pleasssssse 😀

  15. I usually have at least three liquid days within a week, when I eat just soup for lunch 🙂 I usually make vegetable cream soups, I think you have my pumpkin and my pea cream soup at Face. Love those.
    I recently started making beet cream soup and it is lovely as well. I cook beets with parsnips, blend it, add some garlic and cream and it is lovely and incredibly healthy.

  16. They all look delicious! This is the perfect time for soups!

  17. I love soup thats what has taken 12 pounds off in two months so happy to be on the soup diet! I am going to try that lobster one when I am off of it !!

  18. I love these recipes for soup, keep em coming! 🙂

  19. Lobster and Tortilla soup are two of my favorites. Delish!

  20. your food photos look so yummy fresh

  21. I’m impressed you made the lobster bisque, wow!
    I make tortilla soup often and have yet to try the Italian wedding soup but I keep seeing it so probably need to try! Thanks for sharing your soups, always inspirational and yummy to see;-)

  22. Bookmarking these! I love soup and practically live on it this time of year. These look wonderful, Liz!

  23. Oh how I love soup, especially this time of year! I made one of our favorites, curried cauliflower, tonight for dinner. Yum. Chicken tortilla is another favorite of mine! I can’t wait to try yours. And I’ve never made Italian wedding, so it’s probably time. Yours looks so good!

  24. I love bisque’s for their creaminess. All soups look good.

  25. YUMMO..Thanks for the recipe..This looks mouthwatering..I have bookmarked it..


  26. It turned to soup weather overnight here! Need to add it to the menu this week!

  27. That’s a big post. Yummo is the corect word, Aarthi! 🙂

  28. Delicious recipes. All three look so good!! Thanks Lizzy!

  29. ;_______________;

    Why must you taunt me with these soups. WHY.

    New goal added, need to learn to (properly) make some of these soups in the future.

  30. Soups on is right!! Lovely soups! I would eat all of them. 🙂

  31. Those are all AWESOME soup recipes, Lizzy…but I will go for the Tortilla Soup & Lobster Bisque which are both my favorite!

  32. I wish I had a bowl of lobster bisque now! Yummy!

  33. The lobster bisque sounds the best, but they all sound extremely tasty!

  34. Dear Lizzy, With these chilly days here in NY…all of these soups look very inviting. Blessings, Catherine xo

  35. Oh my gosh Lizzy, those all look so good that I would have an impossible time picking one and would end up making them all lol

  36. Aren’t you generous! I would have made these soups into 4 posts, lol! They all look great

  37. These all look amazing… it’s super chilly in Seattle I need to get my soup on! Love the recipes.

  38. Aww thats a whole assortment of delicious soups dear!I think I have to have an event on soups just for ya:)I love the thought of lemons in my lentil soup so that sounds really tasteful to me – anyway, still waiting for you at my place;)

  39. Looks wonderful! I love Italian wedding soup, great looking recipe 🙂 I’ve never made it myself, high time I change that.

  40. You have been a busy lady! That tortilla soup looks like it would be my favorite for sure. Too bad about the lentil soup, because lentils are so delish.
    I’ve been making a lot of soups lately too and my husband last night said “let’s take a little break from the soup, ok?” WHAT?! Ok…so no more soups for a few nights, but then, well…soups back on!

  41. Just did the wedding soup (rolling all those tiny meatballs) and now eyeing that lobster bisque. We’re cold, also. But never when soup is simmering.

  42. Soup and cold weather just go together so well! All of these soups look fantastic! However, I’ll take some of that Italian Wedding soup, Yummy! We just finished off a pot of pea soup in our house.

  43. This collection is just in time. I have been making a lot of soups too. Love the Italian Wedding!

  44. All those soups look SO fantastic! There is something about this season that has me craving soup so much! In fact, I had soup for dinner last night! Thanks for sharing all those beautiful pics and the recipes!

  45. Snow is coming here, too! These all look terrific, but the tortilla soup looks the best to me. I might add some hominy, for no other reason than I love it and don’t use it much.

  46. I like every one of these soups, each one is fabulous.

  47. Amazing soups!! Love that spinach lentil one :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  48. Delicious line up here. I am saving soup post since my husband has to go in for surgery soon. All of these look tasty, great pics.

  49. Soup is definitely the way to my heart. I could live on homemade soups each night of the week. I have a total soft spot for Italian Wedding Soup!

  50. We’re finally getting snow tomorrow so these recipes will be perfect for the day. I’ve never made Italian Wedding soup although I’ve heard it’s delcious. I’m partial to Tortilla Soup so I may have to try your version. Either way, I’m saving these to try each for a cold winters day.

    Thanks for sharing.

  51. I’m surprise that the Tortillas soup being so humble and simple is actually your best choice. Honestly, out of three soup, I would prefer the Tortillas soup too 😀

  52. Thank you for sharing all these amazing, appetising soup recipes. I have never heard of Italian wedding soup before.

  53. Looks good, I know my favorite would be the tortilla soup too! I just love soup and could eat it all the time my family on the other hand no so much. thanks for the recipes 🙂

  54. GREAT soup round-up! LOVE Italian wedding soup – and yours look absolutely stunning…as do all the other soups! Stay Warm!

  55. wow, three great recipes on one blog post! I never made lobster bisque, actually I don’t know if I ever had lobster bisque, I think I need to make it!

  56. perfect picture

  57. What great soup recipes. I love soup season!

  58. I would love some of that lobster bisque. So decadent!

  59. Ooohh these all sound so delicious! There hasn’t been quite enough soup in my house yet. I definitely need to try these out. Yum!

  60. Thanks for sharing your delicious soups, Lizzy! Love the Italian wedding soup, and I always love the little meat balls in them.
    The recipes are great for each and every one you shared. Also want to make the tortilla soup, next!

  61. Soup is something I don’t nearly make enough of. I love your ambitious and I think the first I’d try would be the Italian Wedding Soup.

  62. Oh it’s that cold over there? Everyday is sunny at 60F. We have no snow in the mountain this year yet. It looks like it’s going to rain next week, and hopefully I was hoping to post some winter recipes. LOL. Forgot other areas are having cold weather~~!

  63. Congratulations on Top 9!

  64. Wow these all sound so good. I love soup for dinner.

  65. Congrats on the top 9, this looks amazing!

  66. Every soup sounds better then the best! OK lobster would be my first pick. Really great recipes! Bookmarked.

  67. I am going to try each one of these. We love soup and I enjoy making it during the winter months, but have run out of ideas. Thank you for these!

  68. I would love to come home to any of these soups, Lizzy! Congrats on Top 9!

  69. Congrats on the top 9 today!

  70. So many delicious soups! It would be hard to choose…might just have to try them all! 🙂

  71. Some lovely adventurous soups there
    I’ve heard of Italian wedding soup, such a lovely fanciful name.

  72. What better way than to warm up than having a comforting bowl of wedding soup… beautiful photo too!

  73. A well balanced, and very delicious soup…perfect for the season, Liz.

  74. Oh my – gotta, gotta, make this soon! Yum. Perfect for these first snow fall days …

  75. I forgot about this yummy soup. Thanks for the reminder and for all the great tips!

  76. What a comforting bowl of deliciousness! Italian Wedding soup is like a whole meal in one bowl. 🙂 ~Valentina

  77. Love wedding soup, its so warm and nourishing on these cool days. Hope you are doing well

  78. I can understand why your family devours your recipe for Italian Wedding Soup!  I need to make your little meatballs in your recipe.  I love to make big batches of them and freeze them.  Oh, thank you so much for the shout-out in your post.  You’re so kind, Liz!  xoxo

  79. Liz, I’ve been craving Wedding Soup and was just about to look for a good recipe. Problem solved! Yours looks fantastic! Love the flavors. And how appropriate that it’s called Minestra Maritala for it’s marriage of flavors. Although the wedding night theory is a lot more racy! In my mind, I always thought it was because it was so delicious that you could serve it on the most special of occasions! 🙂

  80. Liz, we love Italian Wedding Soup, it’s the perfect comfort food in fall and winter. I enjoy that it is very flavorful with all those veggies and meatballs. And it looks rather pretty in big soup bowls as well. You are absolutely right about the ‘marriage’ of flavors and textures here. One treat of a soup, that’s for sure.

  81. Looks wonderful and the shape is so interesting. I can imagine how good it tastes! That’s my kind of recipe! I go weak in the knees for anything these delicious recipe and this is one of my kind. 🙂

  82. And to think we had Campbell’s soup for dinner. On a cold dreary day like today, this would have been a better option.

  83. I can always use another soup recipe. As usual, I appreciate all your tips and advice. When I use your recipes (which is often) they never fail me.

  84. One of my favourite soups! I posted a recipe back in 2014 and still make it the same way today. Such a satisfying combo of flavours. Definitely going on my list this fall/winter.

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