Gnocchi, Spinach, and Meatball Soup


This is one of those soup dishes ideal for warming the soul during a winter day. This is similar to an Italian wedding soup but creamy with meatballs and potato gnocchi. I make my own chicken stock and meatballs but you can use store-bought.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

  • 4 (32 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 carrot, shredded

  • 2 cups thinly sliced escarole

  • 2 (17.5 ounce) packages potato gnocchi

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or Italian parsley

  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more as needed for serving


  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and saute onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and bring liquid slowly up to a simmer, about 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, onion powder, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll mixture into tiny 1/2-inch meatballs.

  3. Once the soup is boiling, carefully drop meatballs one by one into the pot. Bring back up to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Skim off any gray muck that comes to the top with a spoon and discard.

  4. Add carrots, escarole, and gnocchi and bring soup back to a simmer. Stir in half-and-half, spinach, and herbs. When gnocchi rise to the top, remove from heat.

  5. Remove bay leaf and serve soup with Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes:

You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

You can refrigerate the soup after the meatballs are cooked overnight and skim fat off the top the next day.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

381 Calories
22g Fat
26g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 381
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 634mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 477mg 10%

* 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.

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