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Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Homemade Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs is hearty, filling, and jam-packed with everything from meatballs to noodles, beans to veggies. This comfort food soup recipe has it all!

Didn’t I warn you that ground turkey was going on sale? And when ground turkey is on sale, recipes are sure to follow. Here’s what I made with my second pack of ground turkey in one week: Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs.

Mr. 11 is a huge fan of Italian wedding soup, so I figured that this was a great use for ground turkey — and he did put away a full bowl of soup super quickly, with only one complaint: That the meatballs should be smaller and “cuter.” So, there you go: Make your meatballs smaller and cuter than mine, if you want to meet his exacting specifications!

Bowl of Italian wedding soup

And, apparently, my homemade Italian Wedding Soup is… oy… “just as good as the can.” Um, thanks, Mr. 11. Even though canned Italian wedding soup pretty much tastes like salt to me, I will try to take his compliment in the spirit in which it was intended. 🙂 Psst — This is BETTER than the can!

Some Italian wedding soup ingredients

I originally got the inspiration to make this easy Italian wedding soup recipe while shopping at ALDI, which doesn’t carry any of the traditional tiny Italian pastas one might normally use. They did, however, carry these small bags of La Moderna tiny shells pasta, so I just went with those. (Why not, right?) I paired my tiny pasta shells with a pack of fresh organic spinach + some pantry ingredients to make this big batch of hearty Italian wedding soup.

Oh yeah, and what happened to my first pack of ground turkey? That turned into these turkey taco stuffed sweet potatoes, of course!

Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

– for the meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
Sea salt, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil

– for the soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 a medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
2-4 cups water
1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
1 cup dry small shells (or other small pasta)
5 oz baby spinach

– for serving

Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, to taste

Directions

Italian wedding soup meatball ingredients

In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, and spices with your hands until well combined (being careful not to over-mix). Form the turkey mixture into about 40 small meatballs. (See Note)

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the meatballs in a couple of separate batches (being careful not to crowd the pan) and brown them for about five minutes, turning occasionally. Remove browned meatballs from the skillet to a large plate (they will not be cooked all the way through, but will finish cooking in the soup).

saute onion, celery, and carrot

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or soup pot until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and saute for about 7-8 minutes until veggies are beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add broth, beans, water, and spices and bring to a full boil. Add in the pasta and meatballs, and bring the soup back to a slow boil. Continue to cook at a slow boil for 9-10 minutes, until pasta is al dente and meatballs are cooked through.

finished Italian wedding soup in pot

Stir in spinach, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for another couple of minutes, just until spinach is wilted. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve your Italian wedding soup garnished with additional grated Parmesan, to taste.

Note: You can make the meatballs even smaller, if you like, but might reduce the browning time a bit if you choose to do so. Note that I also started with two cups of water, but added a couple more after the pasta cooked because it soaked up a lot of the liquid. Start with two, and see how you feel about the broth-to-stuff ratio in your own soup before adding more.

Meatballs, meatballs, we li-ike meatballs…

homemade Italian wedding soup with turkey meatballs

Way back when Mr. 11 was a much smaller Mr. Preschool Guy, they used to sing a random song at school: “Meatballs, meatballs, we li-ike meatballs… Go line up, and wash your hands!” Well, what are you waiting for? Get washed up for dinner, get ready to tuck into a bowl of comfort food, and enjoy this easy recipe for Italian wedding soup with turkey meatballs.

This hearty & flavorful soup recipe is jam packed with veggies, pasta, beans, and meatballs. Just add a warm, crusty loaf of bread on the side for a simple yet filling meal — or, go lighter with a side salad.

Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs, printable recipe

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5 from 4 votes

Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

This hearty & flavorful soup is jam packed with veggies, pasta, beans, and meatballs; just add a crusty loaf of bread on the side for a simple yet filling meal.
Course dinner, Soup
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

– for the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

– for the soup

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 cup dry small shells or other small pasta
  • 5 oz baby spinach

– for serving

  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, and spices with your hands until well combined (being careful not to over-mix). Form the turkey mixture into about 40 small meatballs. (See Note)
  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the meatballs in a couple of separate batches (being careful not to crowd the pan) and brown them for about five minutes, turning occasionally. 
  • Remove browned meatballs from the skillet to a large plate (they will not be cooked all the way through, but will finish cooking in the soup).
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or soup pot until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and saute for about 7-8 minutes until veggies are beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Add broth, beans, water, and spices and bring to a full boil. Add in the pasta and meatballs, and bring the soup back to a slow boil. Continue to cook at a slow boil for 9-10 minutes, until pasta is al dente and meatballs are cooked through.
  • Stir in spinach, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for another couple of minutes, just until spinach is wilted. 
  • Taste and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve your Italian wedding soup garnished with additional grated Parmesan, to taste.

Notes

You can make the meatballs even smaller, if you like, but might reduce the browning time a bit if you choose to do so.

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Recipe Rating




Angela

Monday 25th of March 2019

This is insanely delicious! Made this as my "pack it" lunch for work this week, but daughter #2 & I had a bowl for lunch yesterday. I used elbow macaroni because that's what I had. This has almost a creamy mouth feel, and TONS of flavor.

Another winner from Rachel!

Lori Jamroz

Friday 26th of June 2020

I Agree~ WITH EVERY WORD!! I made it too, & grew up on it having an Italian Grandmom & Mom, Sooo, we ALL LUV IT!! (I've learned "short-cuts over the yrs, BUT this IS a GREAT recipe!! )

Katrina

Sunday 9th of September 2018

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing! Kids even enjoyed it! Only change I made was I added half a zucchini that needed used, and frozen spinach instead of fresh. Love this, and will be making again! Thank you!

Frieda

Saturday 12th of May 2018

I just found your website and love the Aldi meal plans. I make almost identical turkey meatballs but, instead of bread crumbs I use 1/2 cup of crushed Tuscan Garden classic caesar croutons from Aldi and I don't need to any seasoning except a little salt. Can't wait to try the soup and lots of your other recipes.

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