I fell in love with Italian Wedding soup when I was going to University- at the cafeteria in U of C's Engineering building, of all places. I wasn't an engineering student, but my best friend was. And she let me in on one of the best-kept secrets on campus- they had amazing soup and it was cheap! Those words were music to a starving student's ears. I have yet to come across a version that was as good as that one until I created this Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe (with frozen meatballs)!
This delicious soup recipe is also Weight Watchers friendly @ 4 WW points.
I don't know about you, but I don't have time to make little homemade meatballs for soup. That is definitely not happening in this girl's world. Making meatballs is time-consuming. And if I'm making meatballs, I'm going to make my Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs for a special or holiday dinner.
Because making meatballs for a special occasion dinner is one thing, it's an entirely different story for soup! And that's why I use frozen Italian meatballs. I buy a huge bag at Superstore for $10 and it will make a triple batch of this soup. It ends up being around $1.00 per serving for this healthy Italian Wedding soup. So, like the soup at the Engineering building cafeteria, this soup is also awesome and cheap!
For this easy recipe, you'll also need:
- chicken bouillon
- white onion
- Italian parsley
- minced garlic
- Parmesan cheese
- Acini de Pepe
*see recipe card for quantities
Although you can make this easy soup recipe in advance, I still like to make it when I get home from work (when the craving hits) and that's why I created this shortcut version. This is THE BEST Italian Wedding Soup!
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Spinach: you can use frozen or fresh spinach or substitute other leafy green vegetables, such as kale.
- Italian Parsley: you can use regular fresh parsley if you can't get Italian, but I do recommend Italian because its flavor is stronger than regular parsley, similar to basil or oregano. It also holds up better to cooking and is ideal for hot dishes. It should be added toward the end of the cooking process so that it can best retain its taste, color, and nutritional value.
- Acini de Pepe pasta: is a tiny pasta that is round in shape (like tiny pasta balls). You can find it at your local Italian store, online, and in some cases, at your grocery store. However, if you can't find it, orzo pasta, which is a small pasta (rice-sized), is a great substitute. Just keep in mind that the cooking time for orzo is a little longer.
- Meatballs: instead of ground beef meatballs, you could lighten this up even more by using ground chicken meatballs, turkey meatballs, or mini meatballs.
- Add-ins : you could add in some shredded carrots (or diced carrots) for a veggie boost and some color!
💭Italian Wedding Soup History
You may wonder where the name Italian Wedding soup comes from? The term "wedding soup" actually comes from the Italian phrase "minestra maritata", which means "married soup," in reference to the flavor produced by the combination or "marriage" of the greens and the meat or the marriage of flavors. Although, it's more accurately translated as “wedded broths.” Despite the name, this soup is not served at Italian weddings. Instead, the name refers to the dish’s unique flavors, betrothed as they are blended and simmered, achieving a brothy, meaty tasty union. If you want to learn more about the origin of this soup, click HERE or HERE.
🥗 Side dishes
This easy Italian Wedding soup is really a meal in and of itself, especially if you serve it with bread. If you want to keep it very WW friendly, try it with my 0 (zero) point Everything Bagel Cloud Bread Recipe.
It also goes well with salad, such as my Spinach Salad with Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing.
This Easy Italian Wedding Soup with frozen meatballs is only 4 WW points.
Refrigeration: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
Freezing: Once cooled, freeze this homemade soup for up to 3 months in a freezer-friendly sealed container.
👪 Serving Size
This homemade Italian Wedding soup recipe makes 12 servings. However, you can half, double, or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
If you are looking for a hearty soup that's quick, easy, and healthy, you'll love this version of this classic Italian soup. And since it's always soup season, dig in because this soup is healthy and Weight Watchers friendly! And if don't think you have time for it, think again! This soup can be made in 30 minutes and tastes like it took hours.
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below
"I am 67 years old and only started cooking in January after the passing of my wife in November. All my children and grandchildren visited me last week and I cooked your soup for them. Without exception they all loved it! My two daughters and two of my sisters have all requested the recipe. I shared with them both the recipe and your website. Again, thank you so much.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
📋 Easy Italian Wedding soup recipe (with frozen meatballs)
- 12 cups water
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (12 cups chicken stock)
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1.5 pounds bag frozen, pre-cooked Italian meatballs * or ⅓ a 1.8 kg bag
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach * or fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup Acini de Pepe
- parmesan cheese
- Italian parsley
- Bring the water, with chicken bouillon (to make chicken broth) powder, garlic, onion and frozen spinach to a boil in a large pot.
- Add the meatballs (from frozen) and the pasta and continue cooking at a low boil until both the pasta and meatballs are cooked (approx 20-25 minutes). Pasta should be al dente. Add Italian parsley and parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately (ladle soup into bowls and garnish) or freeze for later.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese as desired, as well as additional Italian parsley.