Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
Beef & Pork | Published Jan 18, 2021 | Updated Jan 18, 2021 | By Tawnie
You’re going to fall in love with this Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe, trust me! 🌟
Table of contents
We eat a lot of soup during soup season in our household! From Tomato Tortellini Soup to Crockpot Minestrone we love it all!
What is Italian Wedding Soup?
Italian Wedding Soup consists of green vegetables and a meat (usually meatballs or sausage). It’s quite popular in the United States but is it a staple in Italy.
This post was sponsored by Ajinomoto in 2019. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Kroll’s Korner running!
This Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe is…
- Full of flavor but low in sodium thanks to MSG
- A family favorite recipe
- Comforting and easy weeknight meal
- Can be made in the slow cooker/crockpot
- Perfect for soup season
- Can be prepped in advance (making meatballs, chopping vegetables, etc.)
Ingredients needed for wedding soup
For the meatballs:
- Ground pork and ground beef: We love using a mixture of both!
- Fresh White Bread: use bread to bind the meatballs
- White onion: have you ever tried grating your onion on a box grater and adding into your meatballs? It’s a fun way to include the onion flavor but not the texture!
- Cheese (Pecorino Romano and Parmesan)
For the soup:
- Chicken broth: or vegetable broth. If you have homemade, use that!
- Greens🙁 such as baby spinach, endive, kale)
- Orzo or Acini di Pepe: or any small pasta shape of your choice
- Sage: fresh if you can!
So, what is MSG anyways?
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. It’s a seasoning and ingredient that is the purest form of umami. MSG combines sodium (like that in table salt) with glutamate, which is the most abundant amino acid in nature and one of 20 that make up protein! (Not so scary, right?)
Is MSG safe for me to consume?
YES, MSG is safe to consume. Over the past 30 years, scientists, regulatory agencies and public health organizations have verified MSG’s safety.
Why did MSG get a negative reputation?
It all started back in 1968 with a letter to the editor of a prestigious medical journal that described the author’s anecdotal account of generalized weakness, palpitations and numbness in the arms after eating at a Chinese restaurant.
He noted that any number of ingredients may have caused his symptoms – sodium, alcohol from the cooking wine, MSG. However, the letter spawned the idea that MSG may be associated with such symptoms, which was coined “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.”
And that’s how the bad rap of MSG began…
But let’s be clear. MSG is NOT an allergen!
Some people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, however reactions have not been consistently demonstrated in double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials.
To learn more about MSG safety you can visit this link here!
Why use MSG in cooking?
- For sodium reduction! One part MSG to two parts table salt gives foods a flavor boost while decreasing sodium by 25 percent, compared to salt!
- It brings out the deliciousness of food: it adds dimension to the flavors. In fact, just one half teaspoon can enhance the flavor of a pound of meat, or 4-6 servings of vegetables, casseroles or soup all while decreasing the need for salt.
- Some studies have shown that it is possible to maintain food palatability with a lowered overall sodium level in a food when MSG is substituted for some of the salt.
- Palatability of plant-based foods: MSG can be used to build savory, rounded flavors that enhance plant-based dishes.
- Because it’s safe to consume!
How to make this Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
Wedding soup is actually really easy to make. This soup may look complex or complicated, but trust me it’s a soup anyone can make. Promise!
My favorite combination for the meatballs is ground pork and ground beef but you can use ground chicken or chicken sausage if desired.
- Prepare the meatballs. Recipe will make ~35 small meatballs.
- Cook onions, celery and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent. Then add in garlic and sage, and stir for 1 minute. Add in broth. Bring to a boil.
- Then add in meatballs. Once they float to the top they will most likely be done.
- Stir in the greens ( I used baby spinach). Spoon cooked orzo into bowl, followed by a ladle of the soup and finish with Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano and serve.
Can I make Italian Wedding Soup in the Slow Cooker?
Yes! (One of my favorite ways when I have errands to run!)
In a slow cooker, add in the broth, onions, celery, carrots, sage, salt and garlic. Cook on high for 4 hours.
Make your meatballs and cook them in the oven at 400° F for 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Blot them with paper towels and then add into the soup.
Once you are about 20 minutes out from eating dinner, add in the pasta and greens. Serve warm!
What to eat with Italian Wedding Soup?
Salad or bread are some of our favorites to enjoy with wedding soup.
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!
Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
For the meatballs:
- 8 oz. pork, ground
- 8 oz. beef, ground
- 2 slices fresh white bread, crust trimmed, torn into pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
- 1/2 medium white onion, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp. MSG or salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire (or sub milk)
For the soup:
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. sage, fresh, chopped
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups Orzo, cooked
- 8 cups greens (baby spinach, endive, kale, or escarole)
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, garlic, onion, parsley, cheese, MSG, egg and Worcestershire. Once combined, then add in the ground pork and beef. Gently combine with clean hands or a spoon until thoroughly mixed.
- Roll mixture into small meatballs using your hands or a cookie scoop and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Recipe will make ~35 small meatballs. Set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a large soup pot along with the onions, celery carrots, salt & pepper and sweat over low heat for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Do not brown them.
- Then add in garlic and sage and stir for ~1 minute.
- Add in the broth and bring to a boil.
- Then add in the meatballs. Once they float to the top they will most likely be done. Be sure to check internal temperature with a meat thermometer (Beef and pork should reach 145°F).
- Stir in the greens (I used baby spinach).
- To serve, spoon cooked orzo into a bowl followed by the soup and finish with grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano on top
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie
My daughter loves any recipe that calls for MSG! I am certainly going to to give this recipe a shot, but with a vegetarian twist!
Wonderful, thank you so much!
This is my all-time favourite soup. And love that you made the meatballs bigger-the better 🙂
Thank you so much! 🙂 You can totally make them smaller too!
Tawnie, could you fix the ingredients and directions? Sage isn’t mentioned as an ingredient but then is used. And it looks like onion and garlic should be in meatballs but then is used in soup.
My sincere apologies. The post has been updated! I hope you love this recipe!
The soup was delicious. Love your blog and recipes!
Thank you so much!!
I love adding Orzo to soup- this sounds SO good. Now that the weather is finally cooling down, I’m adding this to our dinner rotation!
Thank you Emily – I hope you love it!!
Aghhhh. Love following you but the love for MSG is killing me. I myself am allergic to it 100%. I suffer from chronic migraines. Not headaches- migraines. Stay in bed all day, sensitive to light/sound and often throw up. I’ve found that I have to be extremely careful with what I eat and often times if I eat anything w/MSG on accident this sends me into a migraine spiral.
Killing me that it’s making a come back for what I’m assuming are sponsored posts. Love your content but I’d just recommend doing some more research on it before getting behind it 100% & saying that it is not an allergen.
Hi Kate! I am so sorry you have to experience those symptoms. I would never want to discount your personal experience (or anybody’s!). If you feel the need to avoid MSG, please do so! This would mean that you would also need to avoid foods like tomatoes and aged cheeses, which contain inherent MSG. If you’re fine with those, it’s probably not the MSG that’s giving you a migraine. And while this is a sponsored post, the information is based on research and opinions are 100% my own! Thank you so much for being a fan of my content, I truly appreciate your option and taking time to comment. Feel free to email me if you’d like to talk more about this, I’d be happy to continue the discussion! email@example.com
I have never tried Italian wedding soup. It’s looks like a flavorful and comforting soup for these cool autumn days.
What a hearty soup! This is everything a gourmet dish should be, and then some! Excited to have this for dinner tonight!
It won’t be soup weather for a while but when it is I’ll definitely making this one! Such a hearty soup for lunch.
Hi Ellen – I totally get it. Living in the Central Valley it stays warm here for quite a while. But, we have been getting cooler mornings and nights so that gets me excited!! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you love this one! xo
I wasn’t aware of the history of MSG – thank you for sharing!
Hi Sepana, you are so welcome. I am glad you learned something new! 🙂 xo
I haven’t used MSG in cooking but definitely need to. Thanks for breaking down the science & showing MSG isn’t scary at all. BTW this Italian wedding soup looks delicious! I’ll definitely be making it this soup season
Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much! I hope you pick up MSG in the store soon to experiment with it! xo