A comforting and satisfying Italian wedding soup recipe! A flavorful marriage of healthy ingredients like tender turkey meatballs, spinach, carrots, and tortellini.
Do you want to know the secret to a happy marriage? For me and my hubby Jason’s love story, it’s Italian meatballs. Yes, you heard that right. Not just any meatballs, grandma’s recipe. I made a vow on our wedding day to make this comfort food dish at least once a month. Even though my timing isn’t always perfect, I think I’ve held up my part of the bargain pretty well, haha.
With love in the air this month, I thought that I would switch it up and make a delicious Italian wedding soup with tender turkey meatballs. Sounds good right? Learn how this popular soup got its name, hint… it’s not because it’s served at the wedding reception. Let’s roll!
Sometimes when you’ve got a recipe home run, keep going with it! I’ve taken my go-to traditional Italian meatball recipe, substituted lean ground turkey and made them half the size for this soup. All you have to do is broil the meatballs for a little browning and extra flavor before it gets simmered in the chicken broth. Oh, this is going to be good!
How to Make Italian Wedding Soup
Remember how I mentioned the meaning behind Italian wedding soup? Well for the longest time I thought it was just a catchy name to get people to buy canned soup with the tiny tiniest meatballs. Nope! After a little research (thanks google!) the soup is affectionately called minestra marinata, because of the harmonious matrimony of flavors of all the ingredients happily simmering in one big pot. Italian wedding soup always starts with a flavor Soup base, green, meat and sometimes pasta.
For my homemade version, I went for the gusto! Homemade turkey meatballs nestled in spinach, carrots and cheesy tortellini . It’s a one pot meal that will make your taste buds fall in love.
Want to customize your own Italian wedding soup? You can use any greens like escarole, kale or chard. Some spicy sausage or red pepper flakes would also be a nice switch up! Whatever pasta you have in the pantry will do, I just like some extra creaminess from the tortellini filling.
Are you ready to grab a BIG bowl and dig in?
When I placed this dish in front of Jason, you should have seen how his face lit up! His two favorite things, meatballs, and pasta were all in one piping hot bowl of soul-satisfying soup. My son James was excited too and wanted a few extra meatballs.
Make this Italian wedding soup for the people that warm your heart each day! It also keeps well for meal prep to eat throughout the week. This recipe makes a pretty large batch. Do you love meatballs as much as my family? What’s your favorite meatball combination? I’d love to hear!
How do you make tender turkey meatballs?
Ground turkey is very lean, so you want to have the right ratio of meat to breadcrumbs and eggs so that meatballs stay nice and juicy. I’ve found that a ratio of 1 pound meat: 1/2 cup breadcrumbs: 1 large egg gives tender meatballs. Broiling or pan frying the meatballs before simmering in the soup adds a nice golden color and creates more flavor. As the meatballs cook in the soup, it will continue to soften and infuse some flavor from the broth.
Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, , plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, , minced
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, , finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, , minced
- 1 cup carrots, , 1/4-inch dice
- 3/4 cup celery, , 1/4-inch dice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, , divided
- 8 cups chicken broth, unsalted (64 ounces)
- 8 ounces cheese tortellini
- 4 cups baby spinach, (4 ounces)
- Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to broil. Line a large sheet pan will foil and grease with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl a turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup onion, parsley, oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic, black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine well. Roll meatball mixture into 2 tablespoon-sized balls (about 1 1/4-inch in diameter). Make about 20 to 22 meatballs. Evenly place meatballs onto greased sheet pan. Broil for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until softened, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling add the meatballs and cook 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and add tortellini. Cook for 7 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions. Turn off heat.
- Add the spinach and stir into soup until wilted, about a minute. Taste soup and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve soup topped with grated parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy hot!