This hearty, easy meatball soup combines Italian-style meatballs, chopped veggies and pasta, all simmered in a rich tomato broth. Add a side of your favorite salad, and you've got dinner!

Meatball soup served in a bowl and garnished with parsley

We've been all about comforting soups and stews lately. We've rotated through some family favorites including: Avgolemono, Mushroom Barley Soup, and Italian Minestrone.

Adding to the list an ultra comforting soup: easy meatball soup, because why choose between saucy meatballs and soup when you can do them both!

Italian meatball soup in large pot with  ladel

Italian meatball soup

The gist of this recipe: Tender Italian-style meatballs, chopped vegetables, and pasta simmered in a rich and tasty tomato broth, seasoned with a bit of dried oregano and sweet paprika. I like to finish with some fresh parsley and a good sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

There are two obvious components: the meatballs + the broth (or soup)

  • The meatballs. The meatball recipe itself is pretty much the one I use for my Italian baked chicken meatballs--infused with a little grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and dried oregano. The main difference here is that in the meat mixture, I used 90% lean ground beef, which has plenty of flavor but still leaner than other beef options. You can absolutely make chicken meatballs, turkey meatballs, or even use a combination of meats like ground beef and Italian sausage using the same recipe.
  • The tomato broth. I love a hearty broth, and this one hits all the right notes for me. It starts with sauteing some onions, carrots, celery and garlic. You can use any broth you like. Low-sodium beef broth will give you a slightly richer flavor, but you can use vegetable broth or chicken broth. For the tomatoes, I love using canned whole peeled tomatoes here, which break up nicely adding more texture to the soup. To season the tomato broth, I used the same flavors used in the meat mixture, dried oregano, sweet paprika, and a bit of fresh parsley.
ingredients for meatball soup

How to make meatball soup

Time needed: 55 minutes.

How to make meatball soup: step-by-step. Print-friendly recipe below

  1. Make the Meatball Mixture

    In a large mixing bowl, add 1 ½ pounds of ground meat (beef, chicken, or turkey). Add minced garlic (2 cloves), 1 raw egg (whisked), ½ cup Parmesan cheese, ⅓ cup bread crumbs, 2 teaspoon dry oregano, and ½ teaspoon sweet paprika. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and mix to combine. Meat mixture for meatballs in a mixing bowl

  2. Form meatballs and broil

    Turn your oven broiler on.
    Take about 1 ½ tablespoons of the meat mixture and form a meatball. Set it on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Continue forming the mixture into meatballs (whatever size meatball you started with, stick to it). Line all the meatballs up on the sheet pan.
    Broil for about 8 minutes or until the meatballs are browned (they will have a chance to cook some more later in the soup)Broiled meatballs on a baking sheet

  3. Make the soup

    Grab a large pot. Heat a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Now add chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or so until softened, stirring regularly.
    Add 5 to 6 cups broth (if you like your soup more chunky, start with 5 cups), canned tomatoes (28 ounces of peeled tomatoes with their juices). Season with about 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/ teaspoon sweet paprika, kosher salt and black pepper to your taste.
    Cook for about 10 minutes over medium/medium-high heat, then add in the broiled meatballs and ¾ cup of any small pasta you have such as ditalini, small shells or elbow pasta.
    Cook for another 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Garnish with parsley.Meatball soup served in a large pot. Serving spoon in the pot

  4. Serve

    Transfer the meatball soup to serving bowls. You can add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top. And if you enjoy spicy food, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy! hot meatball soup served in a bowl with Parmesan cheese

Leftovers and storage

This meatball soup recipe makes a good amount to serve 6 or so people. For our small family, we typically end up with a little bit of leftovers which makes for a great lunch the next day.

You can store leftover meatball soup in the fridge for 3 days or so in a tight-lid glass container. Be sure the soup has completely cooled before you store in the fridge. Warm over medium heat, adding a little bit more liquid if needed.

Can you freeze leftover meatball soup?

If you're into meal prep want to make this soup ahead to freeze for later, you can. But, I recommend that you leave the pasta out and cook the meatball soup according to the recipe but without the pasta (you can cook the pasta later and add it to the soup).

Let the soup completely cool before you freeze. Divide it in portions, allowing room at the top of each container.

Thaw frozen meatball soup in the fridge overnight. Warm through over medium heat. And as mentioned earlier, you can add separately cooked pasta at this point.

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Meatball soup served in a bowl and garnished with parsley

Easy Meatball Soup


Description

This hearty, easy meatball soup combines Italian-style meatballs, chopped veggies and pasta, all simmered in a rich tomato broth. Add a side of your favorite salad, and you've got dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

For Meatballs

  • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef (or ground chicken or ground turkey)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 raw egg, whisked
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve EVOO)

For the Soup

  • Extra virgin olive oil (Private Reserve EVOO)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 to 6 cups broth (vegetable or beef broth)
  • 1 28-oz can peeled tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup dry small pasta like ditalini or small shells
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

 


Instructions

  1. Place the meatball ingredients in one large mixing bowl. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil. Mix until the meat mixture is well incorporated.
  2. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 ½ tablespoon each (whatever size you choose, stick to it). Arrange the meatballs on a large, lightly oiled sheet pan and broil for 5 to 8 minutes until browned (they will cook some more in the soup).
  3. In a large pot, heat about 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth and tomatoes. Season with oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook over mediu/medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the meatballs and pasta. Cook for 10  minutes or until pasta is cooked.
  6. Remove from  heat and stir in parsley. Transfer to serving bowls, and if you like sprinkle a bit more grated Parmesan cheese. If you like heat, add some crushed pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Leftovers and storage: You can store leftover meatball soup in the fridge for 3 days or so in a tight-lid glass container. Be sure the soup has completely cooled before you store in the fridge. Warm over medium heat, adding a little bit more liquid if needed.
  • Can you freeze this meatball soup? If you're making this as meal prep to freeze for a later time, do not add the pasta, instead make the recipe as stated without the pasta. Cool completely and portion in freezer-safe containers, leaving enough room at the top of each container, to freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Warm over medium heat. Cook the pasta separately and add to the soup.
  • Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean products including extra virgin olive oils and spices.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Meatball Soup, Italian Meatball Soup

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I did this soup for my adult family. The trouble is they ask for it at least once a week now and only Dad can make it. I don't do much cooking but apparently I pull this off. Fantastic recipe. Thank you Suzie.

  2. oh my! This soup is amazing! Served with crusty toasted bread to soak up the flavorful broth and the grating of parm you recommend. FYI for anyone wondering on the salt to taste: I usually do about 1 tsp salt per pound of hamburger in recipes, but only did 2 1/2 tsp for my 3 pounds of hamburger for these meatballs bc of the parmesean cheese. (We have a large family!) The meatballs were so good, but did need a bit more salt so next time I'll do the tsp/pound like usual.

    1. Sure! You could do that it a pinch, but I feel like homemade meatballs have so much more flavor, so I hope you're able to give that a try sometime, too!

  3. This soup is AMAZING! Suzy, my husband LOVES you... almost as much as I do! 😉 Girl, your food is incredible! AND... we are loosing weight eating it... who knows how! My husband will ask... is it a Suzy night! Too Funny!

  4. Susy!
    This my first attempt at your meatball soup. It's simmering as I write this! I love soups & stews so I'm looking forward to trying it! I have a friend since childhood who was greek. Her mother & grandother were always cooking delicious meditrainian dishes. Lemon rice soup grape leaves
    baklava...I was hooked! Thanx for the site? Randy

  5. Loved it! This soup was so flavorful and comforting on a cool, rainy evening. My husband said it was his new favorite soup!!

      1. Hi, Dawn. You could give it a try, but the flavor profile might be slightly different. Sometimes, tomato sauce has some added herbs/spices.

  6. Excellent recipe, as always! The meatballs make this soup and the flavors are wonderful! Thanks for another great dish!

  7. This looks delicious. Is it possible to omit the Parmesan cheese? Would I have to add anything to compensate for moisture?

  8. Looks amazing, can't wait to make this,, have made several of your other recipes, they are wonderful.

      1. OMG! made this tonight it was wonderful!! We like a little heat so added some diced chili peppers, we loved it. Thank you love your e-mails and recipes!

  9. I love a good soup! The meatballs really add to the heartiness of this. We loved it.

  10. This looks like the perfect comfort soup. We are still getting nice cool nights so we're still having quite a bit of soup. I love the homemade meatballs. I'm going to save this for next weeks menu.

  11. This is the most amazing dish!! My whole family loved it! We're obsessed! Thanks for sharing!

  12. This was so delicious and so easy to make. Adding it to my rotation. My picky boys liked it too!

  13. Hi suzy love your recipes, but curious on the picture. You have green peppers in the picture but not in the recipe did I miss something?

    1. Thanks for catching that! I updated the recipe. I do use 1 small bell pepper, chopped in the soup.