A steaming bowl of Italian wedding soup to soothe and nourish body and soul!

This soup is made with bite-sized meatballs, spinach, and pasta in a flavorful broth.

It’s easy to make ahead of time and this soup freezes well.

Bowl of italian wedding soup

A Simple Rustic Soup to Love

  • Simple and rustic, Italian wedding soup is easy to make on the stove or in a Crock Pot.
  • This soup is hearty enough as a full meal for dinner, or a smaller serving makes a perfect side with an Italian salad.
  • Double the recipe because makes great leftovers and can be frozen.
  • Prepare a day or two ahead of time to allow the flavors time to ‘marry’, perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
  • This Italian wedding soup recipe is packed with leafy greens, herbs, and garlic for maximum flavor and health.
Spoonful of italian wedding soup

Ingredients in Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs A combination of lean ground beef and pork has great flavor in these mini meatballs. Ground turkey is another great option. An egg mixture with bread crumbs help hold the meatballs together.

Broth – We prefer chicken broth in this recipe. Vegetable or beef broth can be substituted

VegetablesTypical Italian wedding soup is made with spinach, but you can use other leafy greens like cabbage, endive, escarole, or kale. Carrots, onion, and celery add great flavor to the broth.

Pasta The tiny pasta in Italian wedding soup is called acini de pepe and it is about the size of grape seeds, is the perfect choice for this soup, but other tiny pasta shapes are also appropriate, such as ditalini or orzo. In a pinch, you could add or substitute potatoes cut into cubes.

Wine White wine elevates the flavor but can be left out. This Italian wedding soup recipe is super flexible to adjust to taste.

italian wedding soup with spoon

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

  1. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large bowl per the recipe below and form into 1” meatballs. Brown them in a large soup pot, then set aside
  2. In the same pot, sauté the vegetables and garlic until softened.
  3. Deglaze the pot with white wine, and add in the broth, pasta, and meatballs and simmer.
  4. Stir in spinach and serve with Parmesan cheese.
What is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian wedding soup can be served anytime! It is widely documented that the name comes from an Italian phrase, “minestra maritata”, which literally means “married soup” because the ingredients marry as they cook.
In most American restaurants and recipes, this soup usually consists of mini meatballs, a tiny pasta, and often a green like spinach. We add in garlic, veggies, and herbs
Top it all off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

What to Serve with Italian Wedding Soup

We love this recipe with crusty bread for dipping and a side salad.

How to store leftover Italian Wedding Soup

Store Italian wedding soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Wedding Soup

Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, or reheat straight from the freezer in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add some fresh spinach to the reheated soup if you want to refresh its appearance.

More Fave Soup Recipes

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Bowl of italian wedding soup
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Italian Wedding Soup

Hearty and classic, this easy stovetop Italian Wedding soup comes together quickly and is perfect for any weeknight meal!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 9 – 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried acini di pepe pasta
  • 5 ounces baby spinach fresh, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese shredded, for serving


  • Add all meatball ingredients except olive oil to a large mixing bowl.  Gently mix until fully combined.  Shape into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add about half of the meatballs and cook for about 3 minutes per side, turning to brown all over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same dutch oven and reduce heat to medium low. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Season with salt, pepper, and dill.
  • Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.  Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
  • Add pasta and meatballs to the pot and cook 8-10 minutes, until pasta is tender and meatballs are cooked through.  During the last minute of cooking, add spinach and let it wilt.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese.


If preferred, you can bake the meatballs up to 48 hours ahead of time. Place the meatballs on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes or until they are cooked through. 
Spinach can be substituted for kale if desired. Kale will need longer to cook and should be added with the pasta.
If you don’t have acini de pepe pasta, try other tiny shapes such as ditalini, orzo, or even elbow macaroni.
Store Italian wedding soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, or reheat straight from the freezer in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add some fresh spinach to the reheated soup if you want to refresh its appearance.
5 from 31 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 382 | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6440IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 3.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Soup
Cuisine Italian

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Y’all…run, don’t walk, to the store now and get the ingredients to make this soup! I don’t care if it’s not true Italian wedding soup, it will knock your socks off. Searing the meatballs is a must. This recipe develops layers of flavor starting with the meatballs. So simple and flavorful. Make it now!5 stars

  2. Do i have to use fresh spinach. My granddaughter doesn’t like spinach. Can I substitute for something else. We love wedding soup.5 stars

    1. Hi Eileen, I have only tried the recipe as written. You could try substituting for kale or you could omit it. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. Absolutely delicious! Couldn’t believe the flavor in just a few ingredients. Perfect for a cold rainy day Enjoy!!5 stars

  4. I love Italian Wedding Soup and so does my youngest , I searched thru several recipes till I came across yours. I loved all of it but decided to try 8 oz of ground veal, and 8 oz of ground turkey (dark meat) instead. It was soooo good I was asked to make it again LOL. Will add more broth next time there wasn’t enough to go around. Thank you for taking the guesswork out for me. I always thought it was more complicated than this. We are keeping this one in our recipe book to make it again.5 stars

  5. I doubled your recipe, made about 7 quarts. Gone within 2-3 days. Everyone loved it especially granddaughters who thought it was the best they every had. They ate it at my house and each took a quart home, including their mothers. This is a keeper.5 stars

  6. I am making this recipe for the 3rd time today. The 1st time I made it I made the meatballs as written and it was good. The 2nd time I used frozen meatballs cut in 1/2 and it was just as good and a whole lot easier. Today I will do the same and can’t wait to smell the wonderful aroma as it cooks in the slow cooker. (4-5 hours on LO). I add barley instead of the pasta the last 20 minutes and the spinach the last 10 minutes. One optional addition is adding 1 tsp. of sugar which just adds to the depth of flavor. My family LOVES it! Thanks Spendwithpennies!5 stars

  7. I won’t rate your recipe because mine is so much different. Just some comments on the recipe and some memories. I’m 73 years old and although your history of the name says it has nothing to do with a real wedding, I wish to disagree. Growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania in a small town consisting predominately of Italian immigrants , a couple got married at around 8AM at the local Catholic Church. After the ceremony they went to have pictures taken then they rested or napped. At around 1 PM there was a dinner held in the basement of the church with all the older Italian women making the meal – it was always the same. It consisted of (surprise, surprise) Wedding Soup, Green Salad, Baked chicken (Chicken cut up and seasoned with salt, pepper and italian herbs and drizzled with some Olive Oil – very tasty. There was also Pasta (usually Rigatoni or Mosticccoli served with homemade meatballs. I don’t remember dessert. The reception was usually held at a hall at around 7 PM where the kids ran around drinking bottles of “pop” (flavored soda) and eating cookies. There was a beautiful wedding cake but the real star of the goodies were the cookies. For weeks before the wedding the relatives and friends of the couple would make cookies. Probably 15 different varieties and a total of about 12 to 18 cookies were made for each person invited. They were wonderful. No Chocolate chips cookies and stuff like that – they were amazing. Just a little trip down memory lane! Hope you don’t mind. My wedding soup also includes shredded chicken and the meatballs are very tiny – I made some not long ago and I get about 200 of them from 1 # of meat – I use about 1/2 tsp. of the meat mixture per meatball. Never, never use large meatballs!

    I do like your website and use some of your recipes regularly. Thanks for the recipes!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this memory Jane! So happy this soup brought back such a sweet one. The cookies though!! That sounds like such a fun and delicious tradition :)

    2. Loved your story. I, too, grew up in a small town in Western Pa….Rural Valley( predominantly Italian) and our Catholic Church had to build a hall to handle all the weddings, funeral luncheons, etc. Baked chicken, roasted potatoes, polenta with browned butter and sage, salads, veggies and a huge pot of wedding soup. The dessert table was filled with all kinds of cakes, pies, cookies, layered desserts of all kind. Wonderful traditions!5 stars

  8. Amanda, this soup was fabulous! Thank you sharing. Also recently made your beef barley and that to was amazing. These are now my favorites!5 stars

  9. Never cook acini de pepe pasta in the soup. It creates too much starch. Cook separately, rinse and then add to soup. Much better taste that way.

  10. Love your recipes. I have a strange question. Most recipes use either all ground beef or a combination of ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs. Yet your soup broth is chicken broth, not beef broth? Why?5 stars

    1. That’s a great question Shirley! Traditional Italian Wedding Soup uses a clear chicken broth, and we kept to the tradition.