Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs marry leafy greens, pasta and carrots to live happily ever after in this Italian Wedding Soup. While this is a popular soup for weddings the name refers to the vegetables and meats marrying well together. Minestrata Maritata. Married soup.

This Italian American version is lighter than the traditional Neapolitan version that uses an abundance of meat including prosciutto on the bone, sausage, beef and chicken with escarole and cheese like mozzarella and parmesan. The meat is slowly simmered for hours then shredded and added back into the soup, making for a hearty main dish.

Their truly exists a harmony of flavors with tender meatballs, greens, carrot coins and tubetti pasta swimming in a sea of garlic laced broth. Warm, satisfying and altogether delicious!

Italian Wedding Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs marry leafy greens, pasta and carrots to live happily ever after in this Italian Wedding Soup.


1 pound ground beef, 80-85% lean
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2-3 medium-ish carrots, sliced into coins
1 large yellow onion, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed between fingertips
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups swiss chard, kale or spinach, rough chopped, stems removed
8 ounces tubetti or ditali pasta
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
parmesan cheese, fresh grated, for serving


  1. Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and combine well using a fork. Use a rounded teaspoon full of meat to form meatballs, rolling them in the palm of your hand; set on a platter.
  2. In a large soup pot heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat, add carrot and onion saute until onion is soft and tender, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add garlic and basil; saute until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil, carefully drop in meatballs one at a time. Add greens; season broth well with salt and pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes, tasting halfway through and seasoning as needed. Skim any gray sludge or grease that rises to the top off the soup.
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta in plenty of boiling water; drain; drizzle with olive oil and toss. Stir parsley into soup. To serve add a few spoons of pasta to a soup bowl, ladle soup over top and serve with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.


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  1. Michele says

    I have to tell you, I have never tried Italian Wedding Soup, but this looks delicious!  I didn’t know why it was called Italian Wedding Soup until now.  Thanks for sharing.

  2. teresa says

    it’s dreary and rainy today, the perfect day for a comforting bowl of soup like this.  mmmm, LOVE it!

  3. Raina says

    This is one of my favorite soups.  I remember my grandmother making it when I was young.  Yours sounds delicious.  I will definitely make it and cannot wait to taste it:)

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