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Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs by 2sistersrecipes.com

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Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs.  Little bite-size meatballs loaded with spinach, chopped ground beef, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, then baked until fully cooked before dropping them into a simmered broth with cheese tortellini and fresh baby spinach.  This recipe is a spin on the classic “Italian Wedding Soup” as we know it.

So I took our mother’s gorgeous recipe for the Italian Wedding Soup and made a few minor changes to it, making it easier just by eliminating a few steps in the cooking process.

The outcome turned out really terrific!  

My Italian wedding soup with spinach meatballs is big on flavor and very satisfying.  It makes the perfect meal all alone.

 

 

 

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

Growing up, our mom always made this soup with escarole and her famous mini meatballs (which is a similar recipe to Mom’s Sunday Meatballs) and served it as our first course on the holidays.

She would make the soup the day before and reheat it before serving.  It was a way for our mom to organize and plan ahead for her 5-course meal for that holiday.

Still, today, her recipe for Italian wedding soup with meatballs is still amazingly light and very tasty, leaving plenty of room for what was to come. 

Mom’s recipe for Italian wedding soup with meatballs is amazing but also time-consuming.  She always made homemade chicken broth, simmering water with a whole chicken and veggies for over 2 hours. 

Then she cooks the escarole separately, strains the soup, and adds the escarole and meatballs into this delicious clear broth.  Her recipe is delicious – but, definitely time-consuming.

 

 

 

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs by 2sistersrecipes.com
 

So How Did This Soup Get Its Name?

Italian Wedding Soup, for as long as we could remember while growing up was always served as the first course at EVERY Italian wedding we have ever attended!!  Honest! 

It was a common dish to serve during the late ’60s and ’70s.  That’s how the name “Italian Wedding Soup” came about.

Every caterer up and down the east coast, especially among the Italian-American neighborhoods, all served this soup at the FIRST course at everyone’s wedding.  It was part of our culture to have a light dish, such as a soup served as the first course, back in the day.

 

 

 

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs by 2sistersrecipes.com
 

My version of the Italian wedding soup with spinach meatballs is easier.

First, I get started on making the meatballs, adding in some chopped spinach to the mixture for some added healthy greens in there.  Then baked them. 

And, the extra spinach is to toss into the soup.  The good news is fresh baby spinach doesn’t require much cooking, like escarole.

With this recipe, the prep work is mostly in making these bite-size spinach meatballs, then baking them for about 10 to 15 minutes.

 

How do I know if the meatballs have enough flavor before baking them?

Two ways to finding out.  One way is you can fry a few and taste them.  Or, bake a few and taste them that way.  Then adjust the seasonings and finish making the mini meatballs.

Honestly, I prefer them fried, even though it requires more work and time, but they turn out better when they’re fried!   Trust me on this one. 

But for this recipe, I baked them.   

 

 

A few mini meatballs draining on paper towel by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

Once you get the soup started, and the meatballs are fully baked, the rest is easy. 

Spinach meatballs are added into the soup at the end of the cooking time, just before serving. 

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs from start to finish takes about 30 minutes! 

Hey, by the way, what’s for dinner tonight?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

*You can follow along on how to make the mini meatballs, or jump to the bottom of this post for our full recipe card.

Directions to Making Mini Meatballs:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a large cooking sheet or Pyrex dish with cooking spray.  Set aside. 

2.  In a food processor, or if mixing by hand, in a medium-size mixing bowl.  Add chop meat, breadcrumbs, chopped spinach, garlic powder, salt eggs, Parmesan, and Pecorino cheeses.

 

 

 
 

3.  Mix the meat mixture until it’s well combined.  Using a small espresso spoon to scoop up a small amount and place it into the palm of your hand.  Shape into a small ball, smaller than a quarter size.

 

 

 
 

4.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  They can be placed close together, but not touching.

5.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are light brown and fully cooked.  Then transfer into the soup!

ENJOY!!

 

 

 

Don’t forget to PIN and Share!!  … thanks!

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

More Tasty Soups!

 

Yield: 2 quarts

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach Meatballs ~ Little bite-size meatballs loaded with spinach, meat, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, then baked before dropping them into a simmered broth with cheese tortellini and fresh baby spinach. Easy, delicious tasting and satisfying meal!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

For Spinach Meatballs

  • 1 (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out
  • 1/2 pound chopped ground beef
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. grated Pecorino cheese
  • olive oil cooking spray

For Soup:

  • 32 ounce chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound cheese tortellini
  • 4 to 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large cooking sheet or Pyrex dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, or if mixing by hand, in a medium size mixing bowl.
  3. Add chop meat, breadcrumbs, chopped spinach, garlic powder, salt eggs, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses.
  4. Mix the meat mixture until it's well combined. Using a small espresso spoon to scoop up a small amount and place into the palm of your hand. Shape into a small ball, smaller than a quarter size.
  5. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. They can be placed close together, but not touching.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are light brown and fully cooked.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, bring broth and water to a boil. Add cayenne pepper and tortellinis. Cook the tortellini according to the directions of the package, but undercook them 1 minute. Stir in the fresh spinach. Finally, add in the already baked mini spinach meatballs.
  8. Taste the broth, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  9. Ladle into individual soup bowls and serve. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese at the table. Stores leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freezer for a future weekday meal.
  10. Yields: 2 quarts, and about 65 mini spinach meatballs

Are you cooking with us?  If you try this recipe, let us know and leave a comment! Have fun and snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram @2sistersrecipes, and on Pinterest 

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Happy Cooking and Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna and Liz

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Joanne
    March 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    You know I love me some Italian wedding soup! This sounds awesome!

  • Reply
    Jayanthi Sindhiya
    March 3, 2015 at 6:35 am

    The soup looks warming

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you Jayanthi! Nice to meet you and welcome to our blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    March 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    This is probably the best recipe that I've ever read for Italian Wedding Soup. A first for me to see the tortellini included, but wow, what a brilliant addition! I always bake meatballs first before tasting too; yucko on tasting raw meat as you said. This is a keeper! Pinned!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 3, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks Roz! I make it easier since I don't have the a lot of time in the kitchen as our mother did. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 2, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    My gosh, this looks delicious! I love the spinach meatballs and reading about the history of this soup, which I have yet to try making myself. When I do, it will be this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Oh thank you Sue for you total confidence! You're so nice! Thanks for the lovely compliment.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    March 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Oh my look at those adorable bite-sized meatballs! Love the spinach in the mix and LOVED the story about the name of the soup. Your mom must be an amazing woman. Isn't it so wonderful the way we remember family traditions centered around food and happy events like weddings and holidays. This soup looks perfect!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 3, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you Tricia! So true, so many stories to cherish and to share; it is wonderful!

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