Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Sometimes I go through phases where nothing is jumping out at me as a must make item which leads me to occasionally asking for suggestions or requests. Usually the requests are general, as in no specific demands are made of that particular dish. I like it that way. It gives me creative freedom. I don’t mind more specific requests but having free range definitely makes it more fun.

This particular request came with no strings attached. I actually had to look up what Italian wedding soup was. I hadn’t heard of it before Josh mentioned it. It’s very similar to chicken noodle soup, where in it has veggies, broth and noodles. Plus, there is an addition of a leafy green vegetable and meatballs. After determining what was ahead, I went to work browsing recipes and comparing. Many seemed to call for very basic meatballs. To me, that was the most important part of the soup. If the meatballs were too bland and basic, then it just wouldn’t be a winner. The meatballs needed to be awesome.

I’ve only made meatballs once before. It was a slow cooker recipe that called for tossing uncooked meatballs into sauce. Half of the meatballs survived while the other half did not. I was unsure of that recipe from the start but went with it. That exact experience is why I was having issues with many of the recipes I found for this soup. If a recipe calls for putting uncooked meatballs into the crock ever, I’m going to disregard that and do my own thing. So not only did I not like the meatball recipes but I didn’t like the methods I was finding. Let’s also add that there really aren’t that many great slow cooker recipes for this soup, at least that I could find.

I opted for a spiced up baked chicken meatball recipe that turned out to be so good. I mean really good and that’s coming from someone who thus far hasn’t been a meatball fan! I’ve tried them before but eh, none did it for me. The soup was extremely flavorful and would have been great even without the meatballs. This recipe turned out far better than I ever could have hoped for. Trust me, try this.

Cook Time: 4-8 hours

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup


Soup ingredients:
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 - 3/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg onion soup mix
7 C chicken broth

Meatball ingredients:
1lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes


Prepare veggies by mincing garlic, slicing carrots into discs, slicing celery and chopping onion. The onion can be as small or as large as you prefer. Add all dry ingredients listed above to slow cooker followed by chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

While your soup base begins to cook, prepare meatballs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Work with a wooden spoon or your hands. I figure you're going to get messy rolling the meatballs so why not jump right in there and and work the ingredients with your hands. I think you'll find this will be easier and do a better job than you could ever do with a spoon, but if you're squeamish use a spoon or maybe a food processor.

When your meat mix is fully combined, pinch off enough to make roughly 1" balls. Don't worry too much about the size, just shoot for them to all be similar in size to eachother. Place rolled meatballs onto prepared baking sheet. Space 1 - 2" apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until the center is no longer pink and internal temperature reaches 180.

Cool and slice meatballs into quarter sections. You'll want to try a bite before it makes it into the soup, trust me. Just go ahead, take a bite. Yummy delicious zesty meatball. You might even get lucky and see a red pepper flake or two.

When 2 hours remain for your soup, add meatball pieces to slow cooker. Gently stir and replace the lid.

**When 30 minutes remain add 6oz chopped fresh spinach and 1 1/2 cups pasta of your choice. Gently stir and replace lid.

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2 Responses to “Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. #
    Donny — October 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

    This was absolutely fantastic. Thank you for sending some to work with the hubby for me. Most Italian wedding soup I’ve had has been bland, but this one is anything but!

  2. #
    Jill — November 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I made this tonight, and it was awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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