Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

This version of Italian wedding soup is rich and comforting, with silky broth, flavourful chicken meatballs, and leafy spinach.


  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • 1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground chicken
  • 4 qt low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (500 mL) acini de pepe
  • or
  • 2 cups (500 mL) orzo
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 egg(s), medium
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) parsley, fresh, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • +
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach, washed


  1. Cook acini de pepe pasta in unsalted water until a dente. Drain and set aside. Do not overcook as the pasta should be firm when added to the soup.

  2. Pour the chicken broth into a large soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to simmer.

  3. Tear bread into tiny pieces by hand. Make meatballs by mixing together torn bread, ground chicken, egg, minced garlic, onion powder, freshly-ground black pepper, minced parsley and Parmesan cheese. Form into half ounce (1 Tbsp/15 mL) meat balls. A one-quarter cup (60 mL) measure can be cut into four pieces and then formed into balls by hand. If you have the patience you can make your meatballs smaller (e.g., 1 ½ tsp size).

  4. Gently place meatballs in simmering broth, cover and bring back to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

  5. Stir in washed baby spinach and the cooked, drained acini de pepe pasta. Allow spinach to wilt and pasta to heat through but do not overcook.

  6. To serve ladle the soup into bowls garnished with more Parmesan cheese.

The popular Italian wedding soup consists of a green vegetable and meatballs in chicken broth. The term "wedding soup" is likely a mistranslation from Italian as “minestra maritata” means "married soup" but refers to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. Optional seasonings include basil or other greens like escarole or Swiss chard. Soup can be very high in sodium. Here we used a low-sodium broth. A home-made chicken broth is usually even lower in sodium. Hand torn fresh bread is a good substitute for the higher sodium bread crumbs.

Nutrition Info

  • Per 410 g serving Amount
  • Calories 210
  • Protein 18 g
  • Fat 9 g
  • Saturated Fat 2 g
  • Carbohydrate 17 g
  • Fibre 1 g
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Cholesterol 45 mg
  • Sodium 220 mg
  • Per 410 g serving % Daily Value
  • Potassium 10
  • Calcium 8
  • Iron 15
  • Vitamin A 10
  • Vitamin C 6
  • Vitamin B6 3
  • Vitamin B12 23
  • Folate 15
  • Magnesium 7
  • Zinc 8

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