Italian Wedding Soup


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.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

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


  • ½ pound extra-lean ground beef

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • 5 ¾ cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups thinly sliced escarole

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

  • cup finely chopped carrot


  1. Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and onion powder in a bowl.

    meatball mixture in bowl

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Shape beef mixture into 3/4-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined tray.

    formed meatballs on tray

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Heat broth in a large pot over medium-high heat until boiling. Stir in escarole, orzo, carrot, and meatballs and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook at slow boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until pasta is tender yet firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.

    Italian wedding soup in pot

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Serve hot and enjoy!

    Overhead view of Italian Wedding Soup with carrots, greens, orzo pasta and meatballs in a white bowl


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

416 Calories
14g Fat
43g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 416
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 1211mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 676mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love