Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup

A classic vegetable soup with a spicy addition. Mini chicken meatballs give an extra kick and heartiness to this easy dish.

Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

It’s currently 83 degrees as I write this, clearly not soup weather. I promise this wasn’t the case a week ago when I made the soup, it was a nice cool spring day. The Mr requested Italian wedding soup again but I decided to switch things up a bit. I wanted mini meatballs and a similar, but different, variety of vegetables. Let’s not forget the differently shaped pasta, that’s important.

Did you know that the shape of pasta can change the whole feel and taste of a meal? It can. Okay, maybe not but I like to think it can. Why would they make so many varieties and sizes if they do practically the same thing? Is it necessary to have spaghetti and angel hair pasta? Can’t we live with just one of those? Why are some pasta shapes ribbed and others not? Critical questions that need to be answered.

Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

If it’s too hot for soup where you are, bookmark this for a cool day. It’s comforting a dish you’ll be glad to try. The mini meatballs require a bit of planning, best to prepare them a day ahead, but absolutely make this soup. They give a nice kick and heartiness to what could otherwise be a basic meal. The vegetables can easily be changed up depending on what you have on hand or if you have a favorite that you absolutely want to include. A lot of minestrone soup recipes call for tomatoes, I don’t like tomatoes so I didn’t include them. Feel free to add tomato paste or some crushed tomatoes if you’re a fan.

Spicy mini meatballs in a classic vegetable soup, cooked long and slow. Pair with your favorite hot sandwich for a perfect cool weather comforting meal. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or may be frozen for up to several months.

Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Yield: Serves 6-8

Cook Time: 5-10 hours

Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup

A classic vegetable soup with a spicy addition. Mini chicken meatballs give an extra kick and heartiness to this easy dish.

Ingredients:

Meatball Ingredients:
1lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2C seasoned breadcrumbs
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 - 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Soup Ingredients:
6C chicken broth
2C potatoes, cubed
1C carrots, chopped
1C celery, chopped
1/2C yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4C pasta (I used mini shells)

Directions:

To prepare meatballs; in a large bowl combine meatball ingredients. Mix well by hand or with a wooden spoon. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the small end of a melon baller (in between 1/2 and 1 tsp in size), scoop out meat and roll to form even balls. Space evenly on prepared baking sheet. Cover and store refrigerated until ready to make soup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake meatballs for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Add broth and spices to slow cooker.  Chop vegetables, small enough that you can easily fit a variety in a single spoonful. Mince garlic. Add garlic and vegetables to slow cooker, followed by mini meatballs. Stir gently.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 10. In the last 30 minutes of cooking add pasta.

**If you aren't a fan of spicy foods, omit the red pepper flakes or cut the amount down by half or slightly more.

Baked by Rachel original



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25 Responses to “Slow Cooker Mini Meatball Minestrone Soup”

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    1
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — May 14, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I love teeny tiny meatballs. Even when I make meatballs for pasta dinner I make them pretty small. Just something about getting 6 small ones vs 2 big ones.

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    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos — May 14, 2012 at 8:29 am

    That looks so comforting! And the mini meatballs are adorable :)

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    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — May 14, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Mmm, this looks too good! I’m all about the slow cooker these days. This is a winner in my book! :D

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    Deborah — May 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I’m a fan of year round soup – no matter the weather. Love these meatballs!

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    Kathryn — May 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    It’s definitely cold enough here in England for soup, love those mini-meatballs!

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    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — May 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Such a gorgeous bowl of soup! I’d love it anytime of year.

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    brandi — May 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

    today is cold and rainy. perfect weather for this!!

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    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — May 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I love meatballs in my soup :) These are so cute! and tasty!!!

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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — May 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Hah, my mom and I just had that pasta shape debate. She’s convinced linguine tastes different than spaghetti and I refuse to admit it. Pasta is pasta. Same thing, different shapes. ;)
    ps- it’s supposed to be 75 here today and I’ve pulled out the slow cooker b/c I have this chicken dish in my head that won’t leave. It’s fine ;)

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    Lauren — May 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I wish I had this for lunch today! Love the mini meatballs!

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    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    i’m such a huge soup fan – i eat it all year long, whether it’s hot or cold outside. i love italian wedding soup, so i’ll have to try this spin on it!

  12. #
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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Love this fabulous comfort food recipe, Rachel! It looks so warm and satisfying for a chilly day.

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    Cassie — May 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I will eat soup all year round without any issue, especially minestrone. I love all of the flavors, and these meatballs are a perfect addition!

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    Tracey — May 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Ah, mini meatballs – seriously one of the cutest foods out there! I love the way you lined them all up on the tray. The soup sounds delicious!

  15. #
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    amanda @ fake ginger — May 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I loooove meatballs in soup so much! This looks delicious even if it is hot outside!

  16. #
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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — May 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    This sounds so good and heart warming! Love that it’s cooked in a slow cooker! Thank you for your sweet note on my blog!!

  17. #
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    Jamie | My Baking Addiction — May 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I love those adorable little meatballs! This sounds amazing.

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    natalie (the sweets life) — May 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    i’m thinking St. Louis is done with cool weather, so i bookmarked this to make in several months :)

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    Jeanette — May 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Love that plate of mini meatballs – my kids would love this soup.

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    The Squishy Monster — May 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    oooh, yum! This looks fantastic!!

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    myfudo — May 15, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Slow cooked perfect soup….fine by me, whatever the weather. I am happy to know I can rely on recipes when the weather is totally unpredictable. Blame it on the weather ;)

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    Baker Street — May 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

    That’s comfort in a bowl. Looks super delicious, Rachel. :)

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    Amy's Cooking Adventures — May 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    How unique! It sounds like a wonderful combination of flavors!

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    It is never too hot for soup. I could seriously eat soup in 100 degree whether. The AC just has to be on :)

    I can’t wait to try this! I just love the meatballs (who doesn’t) and it’s an added bonus that this can be made in a slow cooker!

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    love cooking — May 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Woo…this is nice. But I am thinking try to cook it in pot and not cook for long hours, and then make meatballs noodle soup. :)

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