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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: 20 min
Cook Time: 25 min


1 lb lean ground chicken
4 qt low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups acini de pepe
2 cups orzo
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 egg(s), medium
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
⅓ cup parsley, fresh, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
6 cups baby spinach, washed

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  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.

Helpful Tip

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
Protein18 g
Fat9 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbohydrate17 g
Fibre1 g
Sugar2 g
Cholesterol45 mg
Sodium220 mg
Per 410 g serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A10
Vitamin C6
Vitamin B63
Vitamin B1223