Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is absolutely fantastic! Make a big batch of this soup on a very cold and snowy Saturday, turn on your favorite movie, relax and enjoy. Serve Italian Wedding Soup with loads of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and big chunks of buttered Italian bread. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a “snow day” here in Wisconsin. (Some warm chocolate chip cookies might help!)

Facts About Wedding Soup

The term “wedding soup” comes from the Italian phrase “minestra maritata” which simply means “married soup.” Which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination or marriage of greens and the meat. The minestra maritata is a pheasant recipe that came about like most soup recipes. Out of necessity and with ingredients on hand. Italian Wedding Soup is served usually served at Christmas and Easter but is not served at weddings.

italian wedding
italian wedding

Recipe Tip

In order to make the meatballs for this soup uniform, or in other words, “all the same size” here is a recipe tip you will want to try. Making all of the meatballs the same size basically means they will all cook at the same rate. This is a good thing because you don’t want to bite into a meatball that hasn’t cooked all the way through. Here’s the tip: use a small melon baller or cookie scoop. We like to use Onieda Cookie Scoop.

Italian Wedding Soup

Delicious served with garlic bread.
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  • For Meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 12 to 16 buttery crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • For Soup:
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  • Directions for Meatballs:
  • Combine all meatball ingredients.
  • Form mixture into small meatballs anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 inches in diameter*
  • Fry meatballs in a large skillet, until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat. Drain.
  • Directions for Soup
  • Combine all soup ingredients except spinach and orzo pasta.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, add spinach, pasta and meatballs.
  • Cook until pasta is tender and soup is heated through. About 1 hour.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @lynnturnips on Instagram with the hashtag #turnips2tangerines

*Make it an Italian Dinner Night at your house tonight. Serve steamy bowls of Italian Wedding Soup and Classic Italian Lasagna. Don’t forget the Gelato! Recent Recipes: Layered Hamburger Bake