Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

A comforting and classic soup, packed full of vegetables and spicy mini meatballs.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup Recipe from

It’s hard to pick a favorite soup. Growing up it was always chicken noodle. A basic but very classic soup that no one can resist. Once I got into making my own and getting more creative with them, putting my own twists on them and such, it got even harder to choose a favorite. I first shared an Italian wedding soup recipe just over two years ago. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. Time sure does fly. I’ve made it several times since as it’s easily become a favorite.

The cold has settled in, along with a bit of snow. I thought it’d be the perfect time to whip this up, with a few changes… because I can’t help myself. It was perfect before but it’s even better now. So that would make it doubly perfect, right? The biggest changed I made was to make mini meatballs. I love mini meatballs in soup. I promise, whether you’ve made an Italian wedding soup before or not, you need this one in your life. It’ll become a new favorite.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup Recipe from

Not only has the weather been grey from rain and snow, but daylight savings time is over so it’s dark super early. Like 5 o’clock on the dot annoyingly nearly pitch black kind of dark super early. This meant getting to work first thing in the morning and remaining extra hopeful for a few pictures. I really need to get some lighting setup for the winter. It’s only November and I’m already freaking out about the super grey and dark days.

I totally get the snowbird thing now. Sunshine and happiness year round. Two homes. Just a magical world. Only I’m not 70 so it’s not happening.

I promise, whether you’ve made an Italian wedding soup before or not, you need this one in your life. It’ll become a new favorite. It’s full of flavor, spice and perfect array of textures and colors… and let’s not forget the mini spicy meatballs!

*Notes: 1. Meatballs may be prepared and cooked ahead if desired. 2. We like the meatballs with a nice kick but if you aren’t up for that, don’t use as much of the red pepper flakes. If you aren’t a fan at all then feel free to omit that completely.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

A comforting and classic soup, packed full of vegetables and spicy mini meatballs.
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Slow cooker
Servings: 8


Soup ingredients:

  • 2/3 C carrots sliced
  • 2/3 C celery chopped
  • 3/4 C onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 7 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 6 oz baby spinach chopped
  • 1 1/2 C pasta

Meatball ingredients:* (see note)

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes* see note
  • 1 large egg


  • Add prepared vegetables, seasonings, onion soup mix and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, prepare meatballs. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients, shaping small meatballs. (See this post for size reference). Place meatballs 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add meatballs to slow cooker in the last hour of cooking. When 30 minutes remain, add chopped baby spinach and pasta. Gently stir and replace cover.
  • Divide among bowls and enjoy.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel


As a preview to something amazing coming up, New West KnifeWorks offered one of their beautiful knives to review. Pay close attention here… you want to know about these knives. I splurged not too long ago and bought their Super Bread knife. So when they offered a knife for me to review, I was definitely excited.

This fierce and cute (yes knives can totally be cute… I’m a girl… sue me) knife is a must have for your kitchen. The Mr was the first to try it and I agree with everything he found. It’s balanced perfectly and feels great. Both of those are things I was always told to look for in a good knife. It’s true. A knife must feel good in your hand. But on top of that, it works beautifully on every chopping need you may have.

Do you remember this little fiasco cutting cheese. I mean really… cheese! The New West KnifeWorks Chopper doesn’t hesitate on cheese even the slightest bit. It works like a dream with fruit and veggies and clearly I could go on and on.

And being a girl, you know I love the handle options. Have you ever seen such beautiful handles? When ordering your knife, you get to choose the wood finish. So many pretty choices. I’m in love with this handle. Even better, I love that this is full tang and you can see the proof. Bonus points: 100% made in the USA.

*Disclosure: I was provided with a knife to review and use in my home. All opinions are my own. 

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36 Responses to “Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — November 9, 2012 at 7:33 am

    My husband’s family is Sicilian – this recipe looks dead on!! Will need to make asap for hubby. :)

  2. #
    Erin@theLawStudentsWife — November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am

    As a WI resident, I totally share your desire to turn into a snowbird! Since that’s not happening anytime in the next, oh, 4 decades, I’ll just curl up with this soup instead.

  3. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — November 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Italian wedding soup but this looks awesome!

    • #
      Rachel — November 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      You need to have it sometime!

  4. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — November 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Italian wedding soup is my ALL time fave! Being totally sick right now only makes me want this even more!!!

  5. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Wow, the knife is gorgeous and what a great recipe!

  6. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I have one of these knives on its way to me and I can’t wait to try it after your review. And this soup – amazing! The slow cooker spin is perfect!

  7. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — November 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I never think about making soup in the sloe cooker. I really need to give that a try

  8. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — November 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    This looks so good! I love fall soups, I’ll literally make every recipe I can find! I also love when it gets dark at 5pm. My friends think I’m crazy… but it’s really just such a “cozy” time of year, I think! :)

  9. #
    Caren — November 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    This soup looks delicious! I have to make this soon, especially with my slow cooker obsession :-)

  10. #
    Cindy Brickley — November 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love Italian wedding soup and this one looks like a keeper. I will be making this very soon, just a trip to the grocers and it’s on!

  11. #
    Tracey — November 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Italian wedding soup is one of my absolute favorites! I’ve never made a slow cooker version though, definitely need to put this on the to-do list.

  12. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — November 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I am totally making this!! Mmmmm

  13. #
    Adele — November 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I made this soup yesterday and it was AMAZING! Extremely flavourful! Thanks for the recipe!

  14. #
    Tina — November 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    what kind of pasta did you use????

    • #
      Rachel — November 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      I used small shells but have also used ditalini in the past.

  15. #
    Melissa — December 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I just made this soup and it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!….I used escarole instead of spinach. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. #
    Nicole provrncal — December 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    The meatballs are amazing soup is not done yet

  17. #
    Tina — January 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Made this soup this afternoon! Absolutely delicious and so comforting to eat while laying in bed and fighting a cold!

  18. #
    Bekah — March 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Do you recommend only using a crock pot? If I make it on the stovetop, should I just add more liquid? I have a new dutch oven that I just love making soup in :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

      This recipe is specifically written and timed for a slow cooker, so if you were to use your Dutch oven I wouldn’t have timing recommendations for you but you should keep the ingredient amounts the same.

  19. #
    Bekah — March 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Well, I ended up making it just like you wrote it yesterday in my crock pot. So good!! I made 126 teeny meatballs out of one pound of ground chicken, they were adorable :) Lots of flavor, a little salty for me, I probably will leave out the extra salt the next time. Thanks a lot …

  20. #
    Jamie — December 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I’m not usually a comment poster but I love this soup too much not to! I’m making it for the third time today. My boyfriend is a very picky eater and he also loves it! So delicious and so easy! Thanks so much for a great recipe, that’s a HUGE hit in our house!!

    • #
      Rachel — December 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this :)

  21. #
    Kim — January 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Made this for dinner last night. It was delicious!!

    • #
      Rachel — January 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

  22. #
    Therese — February 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Very close to my recipe. I use escarole and shall have to try the spinach and chicken meatballs instead of ground beef. I like trying new things too!

    • #
      Rachel — February 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Enjoy!! :)

  23. #
    katie — February 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

    This is my all time favorite soup! I’m actually having my mom make me mini meatballs so i can make italian wedding soup once the baby is here! :)

    • #
      Rachel — February 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Such a great idea! :) Easy meals are a must.

  24. #
    Kris — December 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Does the cooking time change if you double the recipe or will 4 hours still work?

    • #
      Rachel — December 17, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Because the meatballs are already cooked, roughly 4 hours should still work. Just check how firm the vegetables are and judge from there. Enjoy!

  25. #
    Jessica — January 18, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Delicious! I used 99% fat free turkey for meatballs. I also added raw meatballs with veggies and broth in first step and cooked on low for 6-7 hours. Added spinach and pasta last half hour. Worked great and saved a step so I could be away for a while.

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2015 at 9:39 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

    • #
      Kelli — October 15, 2021 at 6:12 pm

      Did you cook the pasta before hand?

    • #
      Rachel — October 18, 2021 at 9:23 am

      The pasta goes in uncooked.

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