Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup
Do you love soup? My goodness, it is one of our all-time favorite dinners. Homemade soup is so much better than canned and not hard to make either. Ranking in my top three soups would be this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup. Loads of flavor, filling for a meal, and amusing to look at and eat.
Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is made with a simple chicken broth base, meatballs that are made with both beef and pork, fresh spinach, Parmesan cheese, and more. Let me show you how to make this easy soup and you will be making it soon too.
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How Do You Make Italian Wedding Soup From Scratch?
First thing is to make the meatballs. Mix all the meatball ingredients together and roll into 1-inch meatballs. Lightly spray a sided baking sheet. Place meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 15 min. in a 400F oven.
Lean ground beef
Kosher Salt and Freshly ground pepper
Meanwhile, add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano, and chicken stock to a slow cooker. Add the cooked meatballs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.
Add the pasta and spinach to the soup pot in the last 20 – 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Use a small pasta for the soup like an orzo or acini de pepe. Whichever you use, just make sure the pasta is tender before serving.
Note: If not serving the entire soup right away then cook the orzo according to the package directions. Serve the soup over the orzo in portions. Store the soup and the orzo separately in the refrigerator and serve again. Do this so the orzo won’t absorb all the liquid from the soup while being refrigerated.
Where did Italian Wedding Soup Originate?
If you are a romantic and picture a wedding couple in Italy happily enjoying this soup on their wedding day I am sorry to burst your bubble. The soup does though have a happy ending as Italians are very romantic people.
According to AboutFood.com, this soup originated in Naples and its original Italian name is really minestra maritata, which means “married soup” in relation to the “marriage” or unity of all the ingredients. It often appears though as part of a traditional Italian Easter, Christmas, or San Silvestro (December 26) feast.
The original soup’s ingredients consisted of some leafy bitter greens like chard or kale with a meat broth made from pork, beef, ham hocks, or sausage.
The Americanized version (and the one that I love) adds in tiny meatballs and spinach as the greens, traditionally this soup was heavy on the veggies and didn’t include meatballs at all. This was never considered a fancy soup and was really just items of leftovers or what was on hand thrown in.
Can You Freeze Italian Wedding Soup?
Yes, you can freeze Italian Wedding Soup but I would freeze the soup without the pasta so it doesn’t absorb the liquid. Let the soup cool and freeze in small containers or one large one if you are going to serve it as the whole soup again.
Make fresh pasta once the soup is thawed and serve the pasta and then the soup on top.
If you do have leftovers with the pasta in the soup just add more broth when serving again so the soup isn’t too thick.
What Goes Well with Italian Wedding Soup?
Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty and healthy meal on its own but we usually like to serve a bun to dunk into the broth. You can also up the veggies if you like and serve with a side salad served with Italian dressing or an Italian Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing.
The soup is already loaded with veggies like onion, carrots, celery, and spinach so it could be considered a meal all to itself. A delicious salami sandwich or other Italian meats would be wonderful too.
Finish off the meal with Italian Anise Cookies as they would be the perfect ending to a delicious Italian dinner. This is also a nice change-up from other heavy Italian meals and can be enjoyed in the warmer months like spring and summer too.
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- 8 oz. lean ground beef
- 8 oz. ground pork
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
- 1 large egg
- Kosher Salt and Freshly ground pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
- Parmesan, grated for serving
Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix all the meatball ingredients together and roll into 1-inch meatballs.
Lightly spray a sided baking sheet. Place meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 15 min.
Meanwhile, add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano, and chicken broth to a slow cooker.
Add the cooked meatballs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.
Add the spinach and pasta in the last 20 - 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
Top with Parmesan and serve.
Note: If not serving the entire soup right away then cook the orzo according to the package directions. Serve the soup over the orzo in portions.
Store the soup and the orzo separately in the refrigerator and serve again. Do this so the orzo won't absorb all the liquid from the soup while being refrigerated.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
DOWAN 22 Ounces Porcelain Soup Bowls, Cereal Bowls, Lightweight Bowl Sets 4, Chip Resistant, Dishwasher & Microwave Safe, Nut Bowls, White Bowls, for Rice Pasta Salad Oatmeal
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver
Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set & Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, Lid Lock, Stainless Steel (33969A)
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 427Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 568mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 35g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.