Grandma’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe: A Slow-cooker Recipe for This Classic Soup by Ann Marie G.H. Patitucci

Soups Dinner Lunch
2 months ago
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe: A Slow-cooker Recipe for This Classic Soup

My mom has made Italian wedding soup my entire life. I remember eating it at holidays and at big Italian family dinners when I was a kid. We had it the last time we visited my parents in New York. The smell alone made me nostalgic for my childhood spent with my siblings and cousins.

True confession: I’ve never attempted to make Italian wedding soup. I’ve always been afraid that I’d mess it up and be disappointed. Good news: this Italian wedding soup recipe is very similar to my mom’s and can be made in the slow cooker! Slow-cooker cooking is more my speed and this soup is delicious. Bonus: it freezes well!

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 1/2 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
Servings: 4 to 6



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated into a powder 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped


  • 1 1/4 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup acini de pepe pasta or orzo, uncooked
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • fresh parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Gently combine the meatball ingredients. The goal is tender meatballs, so don’t overwork the meat. Roll the meat into 1-inch balls for a total of approximately 35 meatballs or 1/2-inch balls for approximately 70 mini meatballs.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches for 2 to 3 minutes (the insides of the meatballs will finish cooking in the soup). Remove the meatballs and transfer them to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken broth and Italian seasoning. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  4. Add the pasta and cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted, about 3 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and serve.

Notes: A tip if you’d like to freeze your leftovers or make a double batch and freeze half: cook and store the pasta separately because it absorbs a lot of broth during storage. When it’s time to thaw and serve the leftovers, add the pasta to your serving bowls and ladle the soup on top.

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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Donna John
Love Italian wedding soup! Can't wait to try this. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Italian Wedding Soup is one of those things you might expect to see at holidays and special events. How fun to make it at home, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead !
I love the little pasta balls or orzo in this soup...

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