This classic Italian wedding soup recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Bite-sized meatballs nestled in a flavorful broth with tiny pasta dumplings and fresh greens come together for a warm and satisfying meal.

Looking for a delicious Italian wedding soup recipe? 

If you’re searching for a delicious and heartwarming soup that’s surprisingly easy to make, then look no further than Italian wedding soup. This classic dish is like a warm hug in a bowl, filled with flavorful chicken, bite-sized pasta dumplings, and fresh spinach. It’s the perfect solution for those cozy nights in.

If you want to learn how to make the best Italian wedding soup in less than an hour, you’re in the right place! This easy recipe is packed with great flavor and is perfect for the whole family. 

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian wedding soup, despite its name, isn’t actually served at Italian weddings. It’s a classic Italian-American soup that’s become a beloved comfort food, similar to other Italian soup recipes like minestrone and pasta fagioli.

The origin story is a bit of a mystery, but most theories point to it being an adaptation of “minestra maritata” (married soup) from southern Italy. This traditional soup combined vegetables and meat in a flavorful broth, symbolizing the “marriage” of flavors. Italian immigrants in America likely put their own spin on it, introducing tiny pasta dumplings (sometimes called acini de pepe or pearl couscous) and meatballs.

Today, Italian wedding soup comes in many different variations. Some use chicken broth and chicken meatballs, while others opt for a richer beef broth or a combination of meats like ground beef, pork, or even Italian sausage. The tiny pasta dumplings are a signature element, often made with a mixture of bread crumbs and egg. It’s a hearty soup, perfect for chilly winter months, and can be enjoyed as a light meal or a satisfying starter.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • CLASSIC – This Italian wedding soup recipe delivers a cozy and familiar taste, packed with juicy meatballs, tiny pasta dumplings, and a rich, flavorful broth. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will warm you up from the inside out.
  • EASY – This recipe comes together in under an hour, making it a lifesaver for busy weeknights. With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, you can whip up a delicious and satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

What You Need to Make Italian Wedding Soup

  • Ground chicken breast: We’re making homemade chicken meatballs for this soup.
  • Saltines, crushed: A classic thickener for Italian wedding soup, adding body and a touch of salty flavor. You can also use bread crumbs to thicken the soup.
  • Onion & Garlic powder: Flavor base for the broth.
  • Celery salt & Celery: Enhance the savory notes in the soup.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds a pop of freshness and green color.
  • Egg: Binds the crushed Saltines together to create tiny dumplings.
  • Chicken broth & Water: The base of the soup, providing liquid and chicken flavor.
  • Carrots: A colorful vegetable that adds sweetness and a bit of texture.
  • Red pepper flakes: (Optional) A kick of spice.
  • Montreal Roasted Chicken seasoning: A blend of herbs and spices that complements the chicken flavor.
  • Paprika: A touch of smokiness and color.
  • Spinach: Wilted greens for a touch of freshness and vitamins.
  • Ditalini pasta: Tiny pasta shapes that cook quickly and add a starchy element to the soup. Cook to al dente for best results.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, saltines, onion, garlic powder, celery salt, parsley, and egg until well combined. Using your hands or a small scoop, portion out the ground chicken mixture into 85-90 meatballs and place on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, combine chicken broth, water, carrot, and celery and bring to a boil. Add seasonings and pasta and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce low heat and add spinach and meatballs to the soup. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • For the best flavor, use fresh, leafy greens like spinach or baby kale. Add them towards the end of cooking so they wilt slightly but retain their vibrant color and freshness.
  • For juicy and tender meatballs, don’t overmix the meatball mixture. Overworking it can lead to tough meatballs. Gently combine the ingredients until just incorporated.
  • Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese for a slightly tangy kick. 
  • If you’re not a fan of chicken meatballs, feel free to use ground pork, ground turkey, or ground beef to make your homemade meatballs.

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, set a small pot on the stovetop on medium heat. Reheat until warm. 

What to Serve With This Authentic Italian Wedding Soup

This delicious soup wouldn’t be complete without a side of rosemary garlic crusty bread or a baguette.

Ladle up a steaming bowl of this Italian wedding soup and enjoy a taste of comforting goodness – perfect for chilly nights or anytime you crave a heartwarming classic. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 


Italian Wedding Soup

from The Meltaways


  • 16oz ground chicken breast
  • 1 sleeve Saltines, finely crushed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 teas garlic powder, divided
  • 1 teas celery salt
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1/2 teas red pepper flakes
  • 2 teas Montreal Roasted Chicken seasoning
  • 1 teas paprika
  • S&P
  • 1 bunch (or bag) spinach
  • 8 oz (uncooked) ditalini pasta


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Saltines, onion, garlic powered, celery salt, parsley and egg together until well combined. Using your hands, or a small scoop, portion out the ground chicken mixture into 85-90 meatballs and place on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.

In a large stock pot, combine chicken broth, water, carrot, and celery and bring to a boil. Add seasonings and pasta and boil for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add spinach and meatballs to the soup.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve.


Recipe FAQs

Absolutely! Simply omit the meatballs and use vegetable broth for an equally delicious vegetarian option. You can add chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, or zucchini for extra texture and nutrients.

Absolutely! Store-bought meatballs can be a convenient time-saver. Choose good quality meatballs made with a blend of meats for the best flavor.

This can happen if the meatball mixture is too loose or the meatballs aren’t chilled before cooking. Make sure your mixture is firm enough to form balls, and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.




  1. My sister had the same issue! and it’s weird when she’s worried when she doesn’t see anyone. The soup sounds comforting 🙂 I can have this for dinner everyday 🙂

  2. That soup looks so very comforting.
    And if it’s any comfort to you, I used to be that way about pregnancy…. maybe not that paranoid 🙂 But I got over it and am happy mothering my brother’s kids to death and my furry ones. 😀

  3. I am more afraid of the ripping and tearing of the lady parts. And the pain. and not being able to take naps. I mean!?! 😉

    Totally posting IWS this week, although my recipes are not NEARLY as beautifuls as yours, friend.

  4. I was just telling hubs how I wished there were Italian wedding soup in the crop this weekend and he agreed. Must make again soon!

    If you don’t want your own kids – maybe you can just be a super aunt? You get to spoil them and play with them, leaving all of the bad stuff for the parents. 🙂

  5. I sometimes look at my kids and wonder if I was really parenting material to begin with. I can tell you that adopting four was a lot easier on my body than having 1. I was a nervous wreck for all 9 months! ‘nuf said.

    Your soup looks wonderful. Italian Wedding Soup has long been one of my favs.

  6. oh my gosh-I haven’t laughed so hard in a while! I promise its not that bad though 🙂 that soup looks amazing!!! like I want to drop everything I’m doing right now and go make it amazing! nice job!

  7. what a perfect soup, Kita! and also, fear is what keeps us alive!
    that being said, if the day ever comes I think you would make a great mom!

  8. I am the same way! Every time my period is late (which is every time), I get super paranoid. And not just because I’m young (in my opinion too young to have kids) but because the thought of having kids freaks me out. I am so glad I’m not the only one. I can appreciate kids if they aren’t mine and are in a good mood, but as soon as they start crying– I’m out of there.

  9. I feel the same way you do, except about having a second child. I just don’t think I love my son and love being his Mama, but another one? We’re pretty stocked up, too. Thanks for the shoutout on the soup and I’m so glad y’all liked it! 😀

  10. okay – that should read: “I just don’t think I can handle it (as in a 2nd baby). I love my son and love being his Mama, but another one? ”

    Boy didn’t I make myself look like mother of the year?

  11. Oh, I love this soup!!! I need to try it with chicken meatballs and ditalini next time. As someone who got pregnant almost instantly after getting married, I never had any fears! My fears now are for my children not to have children too soon!!!

  12. You are not alone. The thought of having children freaks me out a bit as well. I talked to my dad about this and he said that I’m too young to want children – but I wonder if that will ever change?

  13. Haha! I want to be a parent someday but I’m not ready YET so I can still relate 🙂 It’s definitely a big step, and not for everyone! But this soup, however, is definitely for everyone… I used to make Italian Wedding Soup in college for my roommate, using a recipe from HOME EC (ha!). I think I like yours better though, the one I used had beef. This looks delish Kita!

  14. You are hilarious! Parenting is tough, and it used to scare the crap out of me! But just like the rest of life, you figure it out and move one. Well not really move in, since they are with your for life, but you know what I mean! I never used to want kids, but then I got married and after a couple of years I did. So who knows!!

  15. It freaks me out too, but I definitely want kids. But, I have friends that feel the same is you! Who knows what the future will bring though!

    I love this soup. I love ordering Italian wedding soup, but I have never tried making it myself! This must change!

  16. LOL! I suspect you are not the only one who fears it. If it’s not for you – it’s not. I’m glad you’re content and you realize it! …and you’re a hoot! The soup looks delish!

  17. Haha, nice! I certainly don’t want to be pregnant anytime soon (as in, ever), and since I am married to a woman, my panic is very subdued.
    The soup looks fantastic!

    1. I loved this comment! 😀 That has to be such a bonus.

    1. It would be highly inappropriate of my to make church jokes now wouldn’t it?

  18. You are not alone! While I don’t rush off and buy tests, I run home and want to overdose on my birth control every time a pregnancy is announced to me. I swear they have to be contagious. Don’t drink the water!

    It’s also refreshing to not the only woman who knows she doesn’t want to be a mother. I get so much “oh, you’ll change your mind” but the older I get, the less I can handle kids.

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