This Healthy Italian Wedding Soup is a lighter version of the classic but sill full of rich flavor. Tender chicken meatballs are swimming in a flavorful broth with plenty of veggies. You’ll love this soup!

The Best Healthy Italian Wedding Soup

I’m a big fan of a one pot meal and a good hearty soup is my favorite. Soups are quick, easy, filling, and I love them. This Italian Wedding Soup has been on my menu countless times since I first made it and I am still not tired of it!

Seriously, this soup is the perfect combination of all my favorite things. It has tender chicken meatballs, a flavorful broth, hearty white beans, and plenty of fresh veggies. Served with a side of crusty bread and an extra dusting of parmesan, this soup is cozy perfection.

Watch How to Make This Recipe

Not only is it delicious, this Italian Wedding Soup is incredibly easy to make and comes together fairly quickly. It’s a great weeknight dinner option!

Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup?

This soup gets it’s name from an Italian phrase, “minestra maritata” which means “married soup”. The reference to marriage is actually referring to the marriage of flavors between the green vegetables and the meat in the soup!

Italian wedding soup ingredients

Soup Ingredients

Ground Chicken: typically Italian wedding soup is made with meatballs made from a combination of ground pork and ground beef. In this recipe we’re going with leaner ground chicken instead.

Almond Flour: to ensure the meatballs are nice and tender you’ll add a bit of finely ground almond flour to the meat mixture.

Parmesan: just because the meatballs are made with ground chicken doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor. Grated parmesan adds a delicious bite of extra flavor.

Egg: you’ll need just one egg to help bind the meatballs together.

Veggies: we’re building a flavorful soup base with a combination of onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.

Herbs and Seasoning: dried bay leaves and Italian seasoning help to add even more flavor to the soup.

Cannelini Beans: traditionally, Italian wedding soup includes small pasta but to keep this recipe entirely grain free we are adding in a few cans of white beans instead. They keep the soup nice and hearty!

Chicken Broth: grab a low-sodium variety so that you can better control the amount of salt in the soup.

Spinach: after the soup has simmered you’ll stir in some fresh spinach to finish things off.

meatball mixture in bowl

Ingredient Swaps and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Protein – don’t have ground chicken? no worries! you can easily swap it for ground chicken sausage or ground turkey. You could also use half a pound each of ground pork and ground beef.
  • Almond Flour – if you need to keep the recipe nut free you can swap the almond flour for gluten free panko breadcrumbs, regular panko breadcrumbs, or Italian breadcrumbs.
  • Cheese – you can easily swap the grated parmesan for your favorite vegan grated parmesan or just leave it out entirely. Grated pecorino Romano would be great in the meatballs, too!
  • Spinach – swap the spinach for another hearty green like kale (tuscan or curly both work well!), chard, or escarole if you prefer.

meatballs on parchment paper

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Make the Meatballs: Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Use a spoon or silicone spatula to stir everything until well combined. Use a tablespoon size cookie scoop to scoop and roll the meatballs and then place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Cook the Meatballs: Heat a large dutch-oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Once your pot is hot, add in a tablespoon of olive oil and then add a few of the prepared chicken meatballs. Cook the meatballs for 1-2 minutes per side until they are golden brown. Remove the meatballs from the dutch oven and set aside. Continue this process in batches until all of the meatballs have been browned.

browned meatballs in pot

Make the Soup: Now it’s time to make the soup! add a drizzle of olive oil to the dutch oven and then add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes until softened. Next, add the bay leaf, lemon juice, cannelini beans, chicken broth, parmesan rind and meatballs to the dutch oven. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes. Next, add in the spinach and stir until wilted.

Serve: Before serving be sure to remove the parmesan ride and bay leaf. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley!

soup ingredients

Can You Make This Recipe in the Slow Cooker?

Yes! You can easily make this soup in the slow cooker. Here are a few simple steps:

  • Step One: Prepare and brown the meatballs in a large skillet. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and place them in the base of your slow cooker.
  • Step Two: Sauté the veggies and garlic in the same skillet you used to brown the meatballs until the onion is translucent. Transfer the sautéed veggies to the slow cooker base.
  • Step Three: Add all of the remaining soup ingredients, except the spinach, and cook on high for 2-3 hours.
  • Step Four: Stir in the spinach and let cook for 5-10 more minutes until wilted. Serve and enjoy!

healthy italian wedding soup in pot

More Reader Favorite Soups

Get all of the best reader favorite soup recipes, here!

I hope you give this Healthy Italian Wedding Soup recipe a try a try! It’s a quick and flavorful soup that’s perfectly comforting.

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print
healthy italian wedding soup in two bowls

Healthy Italian Wedding Soup

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 clove finely minced or press garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Soup

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 215 oz cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 48 oz chicken broth
  • parmesan rind
  • 5 oz spinach
  • parmesan, for serving
  • fresh parsley, for serving

Method

  1. Prepare meatballs: Add the ground chicken, almond flour, grated parmesan, whisked egg, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes to a mixing bowl. Use a spoon to stir everything until well combined. Use a tablespoon size cookie scoop to scoop and roll the meatballs and then place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. The meatballs are relatively small so you should have around 22-24 meatballs.
  2. Cook the meatballs: Heat a large dutch-oven (this is the same one you will use to cook the soup) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of olive oil and then add a few of the prepared chicken meatballs. Cook the meatballs for 1-2 minutes per side until they are golden brown. Remove the meatballs from the dutch oven and set aside. Continue this process in batches until all of the meatballs have been browned.
  3. Make the soup: Add a drizzle of olive oil to the dutch oven and then add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes until softened. Next, add the bay leaf, lemon juice, cannelini beans, chicken broth, parmesan rind and meatballs to the dutch oven. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind and bay leaf. Add in the spinach and stir until wilted.
  4. Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

Keywords:

Italian wedding soup, italian wedding soup recipe, what is italian wedding soup, how to make italian wedding soup, why is it called italian wedding soup, healthy italian wedding soup

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Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: THE MINDFUL HAPA

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18 Comments

  1. The meatballs were absolutely delicious. Next time I will make them a little smaller. The first night we had the soup it tasted a bit vinegary – the next day it was more mellow. If you are going to eat it right away I might reduce to 1/2 a lemon. The broth was very light and refreshing. I will definitely make this again. The only substitution was I didn’t have any almond flour so I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour. I think it worked out fine.

  2. I just made this and the house smells wonderful! I used store bought meatballs to save some time in a rush, and also added some pearl cous cous for grain. I have a sore throat and am looking forward to this soup soothing it!

    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      I’m so glad you could make it work for you, Rachael! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. I loved this recipe. My whole family (including my toddler) really enjoyed it. It was a great way to use some leftover veggies. Thanks for the time and energy you apply to your recipes, Ashlea!

    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      I’m so glad y’all loved it, Courtney! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. This soup exceeded my expectations so I will be making this all winter. Do not skip the Parmesan rind!

  5. This soup turned out delicious! It will definitely be going into my weekly recipe rotation as a regular 🙂

  6. Best soup ever! This is my favorite soup of all time and I’ve shared it with everyone! I usually don’t use the Parmesan rind because I try to avoid dairy most of the time but it does make the soup taste extra delicious! Making it again as I type this.
    Thank you.

  7. I love this soup! It is a staple on rotation in my home!!

  8. Really delicious!! Definitely will make again

  9. When I saw the Instagram post I knew I had to try this. We loved it! I had never used almond flour in meatballs before and they came out so light, I was shocked. The only modification I made was to bake the meatballs at 450 for 15 min then added them to the soup for the last 10 min of simmering. The soup was overall light and flavorful and I am looking forward to having as lunch today. Thank you for another great recipe!!

  10. I saw this recipe in my Instagram feed, and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. It came together easily and was so tasty. I will be adding this to my recipe rotation for sure.

  11. This was a delicious and easy recipe. Love how quickly it came together and the leftovers taste even better if that’s possible! The chicken meatballs were especially tasty. I think I will double the amount of meatballs next time, so I can stash the extras in the freezer to pair with steamed veggies for quick lunches.

  12. casey colodny says:

    not only was this soup beautiful and smelled delicious, it made my friend feeling under the weather soooo happy!

  13. Martha Engeman says:

    This is a delicious nutritious version of Italian Wedding soup. It’s going in my regular soup rotation.

  14. This soup was delicious! I didn’t have Parmesan rind and I added some dittalini pasta in place of some of the beans. So yummy!!!

  15. This is the perfect comfort food for winter. I love that it’s also full of healthy ingredients. I will definitely be making this again!

  16. This was so good! I halved the soup base and cooked off half of the meatballs in the oven to freeze for another soup batch later on as I’m only cooking for myself, and it is delicious! So easy!