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This lovely Italian wedding soup recipe combines flavorful meatballs with sliced escarole, orzo pasta, and finely chopped carrot. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley and extra Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
50 mins
20 mins
4 servings

Warm up with a hearty bowl of Italian wedding soup. This top-rated soup recipe is the perfect bowl of comfort that everyone will love. Want to know the best part? This Italian wedding soup only requires a few ingredients and comes together in less than an hour.

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian wedding soup is a hearty Italian soup consisting of noodles, vegetables, meatballs, and broth. It was originally a "peasant dish," meaning it's made from inexpensive ingredients that anyone could find.

Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup?

Even though it's called "wedding soup," this soup has nothing to do with weddings. The name comes from the Italian phrase "minestra maritata," which actually means married soup. But it's not the marriage we think of — it's actually referring to the marriage of the ingredients and the flavor it produces.

What Is In Italian Wedding Soup?

Most Italian wedding soups contain these ingredients:

Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, and onion powder to create the meatballs.

This recipe calls for chicken broth — though reviewers have had luck using different broths too.

This soup has escarole and carrots. You can also add onions or celery if you want more color.

This recipe calls for orzo.

What Type of Pasta Goes In Italian Wedding Soup?

This particular recipe calls for orzo pasta, which is what we like to use. But you can really use any small pasta you have on hand, like ditalini or acini de pepe.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's what you can expect when making this Italian wedding soup:

Make the Meatballs

Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, and onion powder and shape into small meatballs.

Make the Soup

In a pot, boil broth and add escarole, orzo pasta, chopped carrot and meatballs. Cook at a slow boil until the pasta is al dente.

What to Serve With Italian Wedding Soup

Italian wedding soup really does have it all, so don't feel pressured to serve it with anything! However, we like serving this soup with a warm dinner roll.

How to Store Italian Wedding Soup

Store completely cooled Italian wedding soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You may need to add more broth or water when you're ready to reheat the soup, as the pasta tends to soak it up. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.

How to Freeze Italian Wedding Soup

Italian wedding soup freezes well. Ladle the completely cooled soup into individually portioned zip-top freezer bags. Freeze flat for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove until warmed through.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I love this soup. The only changes I made was to use mild Italian sausage for the meatballs, which I made in advance, and I used baby spinach leaves instead of escarole," says slowcooker. "I added the spinach during the last minute of cooking. This is a great weeknight soup."

"I made this for the first time on Easter. My husband and I had had it before but my guests were delighted. It was better than any I had tasted. It has become a family favorite, and I like that it is so simple to make," raves one Allrecipes community member.

"This soup is the best! I added chopped celery and used less pasta to make it more soupy!! Or if I have leftover chicken, I add that also. My whole family loves this, especially in the winter months," according to one Allrecipes community member.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into 3/4 inch balls.

  • In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling; stir in escarole, orzo pasta, chopped carrot and meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Nutrition Facts

416 calories; protein 27.3g; carbohydrates 43.3g; fat 14.2g; cholesterol 86.8mg; sodium 1211mg. Full Nutrition