Easy Italian Wedding Soup #SundaySupper

by Anne Papina on January 13, 2013

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

When it comes to meal time, do you sit at the table or stand and graze? For the longest time, I’ve been a grazer. Heck, when you’re single, what’s to stop you from foregoing a plate entirely and noshing straight out of the pan? So bad, I know. What’s worse, I eventually turned Morgan into a grazer, even though he preferred a sit down meal. And he’s not the only one to adopt my lazy ways. Then last year, I decided to turn that all around. No more eating at the trough. Being a newlywed, it was all part of the “nesting” thing.

When I looked to the Web for inspiration, I stumbled across the Sunday Supper Movement. Perfect! Eventually, when I relaunched this site in July, I became a participating member, and I’m so honored and excited to be here to celebrate Sunday Supper’s one year birthday. This week, I’m bringing to the table an incredible Easy Italian Wedding Soup, inspired by none other than the Sunday Supper Movement founder, Isabel aka Family Foodie.

You might be surprised to learn that Italian Wedding Soup has nothing to do with weddings at all and is, in fact, a mistranslation of sorts. Minestra maritata, literally “married soup,” refers to the combination of meats with greens. In Italian, to say two things go well together, they are said to be married, or maritata. This age-old Neapolitan staple was loaded with lots of meats and greens–much heartier fare than today’s standard Italian-American version. Isabel’s Easy Italian Wedding Soup is quite filling, though, as it’s chock full of mini pork meatballs, but the delicate blend of chicken broth, spinach and a little pasta help keep it light. It’s super easy to prepare, too, and as we work our way through another cold snap here on the Left Coast, I was glad to have a steaming bowl of this soup to keep me warm.

Shall we begin?

soaking bread

First, let’s soak that french bread in the milk. Once it’s all good and soggy, squeeze the milk out (yes, with your bare hands), and put it in a larger mixing bowl for the meatball mixture.

meatball mixture

Add the remaining meatball ingredients to this bowl and mix well. You should start with a wooden spoon and finish off mixing with your hands for best results. What can I say? Meatballs are messy business!

Mini Pork Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 375F, and get your pan ready. Scoop (2 teaspoons) the meat mixture and shape into little balls, lining up on the pan about 2 inches apart.

Mini Pork Meatballs

Bake these bad boys for 10-12 minutes or until no longer pink inside. While the meatballs are baking, put the chicken broth in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.

spinach mixture

Blend the spinach, eggs, Parmesan cheese and white pepper in a bowl. Then drop by the spoonful into the boiling broth, stirring well after each addition. Reduce the heat and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Now add the meatballs and Orzo pasta to the soup and let simmer an additional 20 minutes or until the pasta is done.

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Serve piping hot with a little Parmesan on top and a crusty loaf on the side. Enjoy!

4.8 from 6 reviews
Easy Italian Wedding Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicate blend of chicken broth, spinach and pasta, and chock full of mini pork meatballs make this easy Italian wedding soup perfect for a cold winter's day.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 10 oz package of chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 4 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz Orzo pasta
  • Mini Pork Meatballs (recipe below)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Drain spinach, squeezing all the water out.
  2. Mix spinach, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and white pepper in a bowl.
  3. In a large pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Drop spinach mixture by the spoonful into the boiling broth, stirring well after each addition. Lower heat and simmer about two minutes.
  4. Add the Orzo pasta and meatballs, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through.

4.8 from 6 reviews
Mini Pork Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These mini pork meatballs are bursting with flavor and the are the perfect addition to Italian wedding soup.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
  • 2 slices french bread
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ lb lean ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  1. In a medium bowl, soak the bread in the milk until soggy all the way through. With your hands, squeeze the milk out of the bread and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon (or better yet, use your hands).
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Using a small cookie scoop (ie, two teaspoons full), shape the meat mixture into small balls, and line in rows on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done.


We are celebrating this week’s birthday event by choosing recipes from contributors that have inspired us in the past year.  With 52 weeks of inspiration, it was hard to pick just one. Let’s see what others are serving up.

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 

Sunday Supper Veggies: 

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 

 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

What a fun event filled with such good food! I only wish I could actually taste each one. Oh wait! I can. I have the recipes. Time to get cooking…

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy @ gottagetbaked January 13, 2013 at 2:35 am

Anne, I love that you used one of Isabel’s recipes. Your wedding soup looks absolutely delicious, hearty, filling, yet also light and nutritious. I could totally go for a giant bowl of it right now! Happy Sunday!


The Ninja Baker January 13, 2013 at 3:22 am

Wonderful to learn about the history of Italian Wedding Soup. And equally wonderful that you shared this perfect-for-winter soup. Thank you, Anne!


veronica gantley January 13, 2013 at 3:25 am

I had no idea the history all all. Awesome recipe that I know my family will love. So glad you shared one of Isabels recipes.
veronica gantley recently posted..Raspberry Hot Chocolate for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite January 13, 2013 at 3:57 am

Oh I was a terrible grazer when I was single, it is so easy to do. Getting married saved me as far as good eating habits was concerned. 🙂
Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite recently posted..Drunken Meatballs #SundaySupperMy Profile


Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) January 13, 2013 at 5:04 am

This recipe is on my to-make list! It’s one of my favorite soups. BTW, beautiful photos!


Pam @ The Meltaways January 13, 2013 at 5:13 am

Italian Wedding Soup is one of my all time favorites and you just reminded me its been a while since we have had it. After seeing your beautiful pics I know I have to remedy that soon!
Pam @ The Meltaways recently posted..GlutenFree Chicken Brushetta for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Hezzi-D January 13, 2013 at 5:40 am

I made this soup a few weeks ago and it was delicious! Your meatball recipe sounds great too.
Hezzi-D recently posted..Hot Spinach Parmesan Dip #SundaySupperMy Profile


Lane @ Supper for a Steal January 13, 2013 at 5:40 am

Mmm those meatballs look so delicious. This is on my must try list!
Lane @ Supper for a Steal recently posted..Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce | Happy Birthday #SundaySupperMy Profile


Sherron@SimplyGourmet January 13, 2013 at 6:05 am

Fabulous soup! I have been wanting to try this soup for a while and this recipe looks and sounds like a great fit for my family. Thanks for sharing it for Sunday Supper.
Sherron@SimplyGourmet recently posted..264. Gluten Free Rosettes and Patty Shells #SundaySupperMy Profile


Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen January 13, 2013 at 6:12 am

Beautiful bowl of soup!! Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorite soups. You have outdone yourself with this one!!
Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen recently posted..Pork Loin with Port Shallot Sauce ~ Happy Birthday #SundaySupperMy Profile


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 13, 2013 at 6:14 am

Wow, this soup looks amazing! I love the meatballs!


Katy January 13, 2013 at 6:32 am

What a beautiful soup! Even if it’s not actually for weddings, I think you could get away with it at a winter wedding!
Katy recently posted..Cherry Tart for a Special Birthday #SundaySupperMy Profile


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts January 13, 2013 at 6:51 am

Yum! What a comforting and delicious soup. So perfect for these super cold nights!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Honey Butter Dinner Rolls #SundaySupperMy Profile


Angie @ Big Bear's Wife January 13, 2013 at 7:20 am

ooo I love Italian Wedding soup! (I totally didn’t know that it didn’t have anything to do with weddings tho) haha. Learn something new every day 😉
Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Chicken Noodle Soup #SundaySupperMy Profile


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen January 13, 2013 at 7:21 am

Wow, it looks amazing for such an easy recipe! Those meatballs are calling my name, I love them with pork!
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Soft Pretzels with Spicy Beer Cheese Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile


Tara January 13, 2013 at 7:25 am

I love soup and this is one of my favorites for sure, your pictures make my mouth water!!
Tara recently posted..Pepperoni and Mozzarella Pull Apart by Noshing With The Nolands inspired by In the Kitchen with KP #SundaySupperMy Profile


Family Foodie January 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

I am so honored your chose one of my recipes to celebrate this memorable event! Thank you for your amazing and inspiring recipes every week. I have so many of your beautiful recipes on my mus try list.
Family Foodie recently posted..Portuguese Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches #SundaySupperMy Profile


Amanda @ MarocMama January 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

If it tastes half as good as it looks this is a winning recipe!


Audrey's Mamma January 13, 2013 at 7:53 am

What a unique way to make meatballs! This soup is so intriguing I am going to have to try it as well. Yum!
Audrey’s Mamma recently posted..Spiced Pumpkin Ricotta Oat Muffins #SundaySupperMy Profile


Jen @JuanitasCocina January 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

Okay, I’m drooling! DROOLING! I need to make this one too!
Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..Pulled Pickled Pork ~ #SundaySupper Turns One!My Profile


Soni January 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

This soup looks delicious!! I love meatballs and will have to try this soon!
Soni recently posted..Pumpkin Donut Puffs #SundaySupperMy Profile


Shannon @VillageGirlBlog January 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

This looks so good! A must try for sure.
Shannon @VillageGirlBlog recently posted..Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas for #SundaySupper BirthdayMy Profile


Chris Baccus January 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

It’s the season for hearty soups and this one looks like a must add.
Chris Baccus recently posted..Kale, White Bean and Sausage SoupMy Profile


Conni Smith January 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

Hands are the best kitchen tools there are 🙂 This soup looks so lovely! Beautiful job 🙂


M Luisa January 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

My husband definitively would love this soup!!I hope mine would look as tasty as yours.


Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips January 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

This looks amazing and I think would satisfy even my hubby who doesn’t think soup is a meal.
Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips recently posted..Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken from The Meltaways for #SundaySupperMy Profile


sunithi January 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Always wanted to make Italian soup & this looks like such a wholesome recipe ! Yummm ! On my bucket list !


Renee January 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm

If it wasn’t 75 degrees today I’d be making this soup. Too hot though. I’m saving the recipe for the next cold snap. There has to be another one soon.
Renee recently posted..Goat Cheese Rigatoni Alfredo for #SundaySupperMy Profile


kelly @ kellybakes January 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I LOVE Italian Wedding Soup!! This looks perfect for a day like today–rainy, grey and miserable. In fact, I’m tempted to run to the store to buy ingredients for this!
kelly @ kellybakes recently posted..Nutella Shortbread Bars for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom January 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Wow, your Italian Wedding Soup looks delicious!!!!! LOVE! and thank you for explaining where ” Italian Wedding Soup” comes from. . I never knew why it was called that! 🙂


Jennie @themessybakerblog January 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm

An extra serving for me please! It looks so good.
Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream ~ #SundaySupperMy Profile


Martin D. Redmond January 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Great post! I’ve not had this before, but it looks fantastic. Perfect for a cold day like today!


Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie January 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

What a stunning bowl of soup! And I bet it tastes amazing! Can’t wait to try this.
Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie recently posted..Baked Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas #SundaySupperMy Profile


Sarah January 14, 2013 at 6:08 am

I think I want to make this soup with swiss chard. Doesn’t that sound lovely too. Winter weather always make me want soup and this soup would make me so happy right about now.
Sarah recently posted..Happy Birthday #SundaySupper Pork Ragu and mini mac and cheese cupsMy Profile


Sarah January 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

My stepbrother’s been bugging for this lately, definitely bookmarking!
Sarah recently posted..Beef Stroganoff for #SundaySupper’s Birthday!My Profile


Bea January 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

It sure is freezing on the left coast. We actually had some snow flurries earlier this morning in Portland. This soup looks fantastic. Thank you so much for the explanation – I was wondering whether it was a typical soup for Italian weddings. I am glad to know better now 🙂
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Faye Leong January 15, 2013 at 5:26 am

This soup looks so good, Anne! Love the way you make the meatballs. Thank you and Isabel for the great recipe!
Faye Leong recently posted..Coconut Curry Chicken Soup #SundaySupper 1st Birthday CelebrationMy Profile


Cindys Recipes January 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I love Italian Wedding soup. You can make it over and over and never make it the same way! Change the greens, kind of meatballs, etc.
Cindys Recipes recently posted..My New Gardening Series at FFF Daily Dish!My Profile


Melanee January 1, 2014 at 7:28 am

I used ground turkey instead of the pork and that was really good. Lovely — I have always loved cooking meatballs in the oven instead of forking them around a frying pan! The Frugal Gourmet (Jeff Smith) used to be on PBS and shared that trick. Been doing it ever since!! I have also added in a can of small navy beans, drained, to increase the fiber. Thanks for sharing this recipe!


Anne Papina January 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

So glad you enjoyed it! Baking them is SO much easier, isn’t it? I used to watch the Frugal Gourmet all the time–in fact, I have one of his cookbooks! I really should dig into it again–it’s been way too long!


Easy Italian Recipes March 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

Hi! Your Italian wedding soup has been nominated as one of the “Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net”. To vote for it, please visit http://easyitalianrecipes.org/soup-recipes/best-italian-wedding-soup-recipes-on-the-net-vote-for-your-favorite/ (your recipe is positioned at #122).


Anne Papina March 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Awesome, thanks!


Jesselyn Andersyn May 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

Thanks for the enlightening and entertaining history /lowdown on one of my all time favorite foods. But in breaking with tradition and almost all variations on it: I usually use ground LAMB, lots of fresh Spinach and sometimes switch out the Orzo for Achini de Pepe OR lately, Mediterranean/Israeli/Pearl Couscous. And if I happen to have some Mushrooms (wild…) to saute ~ they go in too. I could eat this blissful concoction all day long!


Anne Papina May 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hi Jesselyn, thanks for stopping by! I can’t wait to try your suggestions–the lamb sounds especially tempting with the pearl couscous. I’ve been on a huge maitake mushroom kick lately–I’ll bet they’d be perfect in there!


melissa September 3, 2015 at 5:50 am

Does this recipe freeze well? If so, how should i go about freezing?


Anne Papina November 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Hi Melissa–so sorry for the delayed reply–I just found a bunch of blog comments trapped in my spam folder! I’ve never tried freezing this, so I couldn’t say for sure; however, I see no reason why this wouldn’t freeze well. I often freeze broths for later use, and that always works out well. I just freeze stuff like this in plastic containers such as Tupperware. Leave a little space at the top so it has room to expand. Hope this helps!


Officiant October 23, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Two of my favorite things: Italy and weddings. This looks delish.


Emily D'Souza July 18, 2019 at 8:16 am

OMG, I tried these at Home and they were delicious.
Thank You so much for sharing this lovely recipe.


Anne Papina July 19, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Glad you enjoyed it!


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