This classic Italian Wedding Soup recipe has savory meatballs in a flavorful broth with spinach and pasta! It’s easy to make on the stove top or in the crock pot!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  • ½ lb. ground beef85% lean
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 eggbeaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs,
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheesegrated
  • 3 cloves garlicminced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsleyfinely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • 1 yellow oniondiced
  • 1 ¼ cups carrotsdiced
  • 2 celery ribsdiced
  • 3 cloves garlicminced
  • 8 cups chicken broth,
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¾ cup acini de pepe pastauncooked
  • 4-5 cups fresh spinach
  • salt/pepperto taste

To Garnish

  • Parmesan cheesefreshly grated
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Stove Top Method (See notes for Crock Pot & Instant Pot Methods)

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, don’t overwork the meat. Roll into 3/4-inch balls.
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches for about 2 minutes. The middle of the meatballs will finish cooking in the soup. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and soften over medium heat for 6 minutes, until softened. Add a splash of olive oil during cooking if needed.
  • Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked meatballs and simmer gently while you boil the pasta separately until al dente. Drain once cooked through and add the pasta to serving bowls. (Otherwise the pasta tends to absorb the broth during storage. If you don’t anticipate leftovers, you can cook the pasta in the soup or add the cooked pasta to the pot of soup.)
  • Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve!


    • Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for 3-4 months. 
    • This soup freezes very well, be sure to store without the pasta and boil fresh pasta for serving.

    Crock Pot Method

    • Assemble and brown the meatballs as outlined in recipe card above.
    • Transfer to the Crock Pot along with the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning and chicken broth.
    • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
    • If possible, boil the pasta separately and add it directly to serving bowls. This ensures it doesn’t absorb all of the broth if you have leftovers. Alternatively, you can add the pasta to the crock pot of soup and cook on low for 30 minutes. 
    • Stir in the Spinach and heat through until wilted, about 3 minutes.
    • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and serve!

    Instant Pot Method

    • Gently combine the meatball ingredients and roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
    • Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and add the olive oil.
    •  Brown the meatballs in batches for about 3 minutes, until all sides are brown.
    • Remove the meatballs and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, mustard powder, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce & sauté for 1 minute.
    • Add the chicken broth. Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pot to release the brown bits, this helps mitigate the burn indicator that we tend to see with Instant Pots.
    • Add the meatballs.
    • Close the lid and seal the valve. Pressure Cook for 5 minutes.
    • Flip the quick release valve and allow the steam to escape.
    • If possible, boil the pasta separately and add it directly to serving bowls. This ensures it doesn’t absorb all of the broth if you have leftovers. Alternatively, you can add the pasta to the pot of soup, press the sauté button, and cook for 9 minutes.
    • Stir in the spinach, garnish with fresh Parmesan and serve!

    Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.


    Calories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 23gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1755mgPotassium: 604mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 6733IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 4mg

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