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Italian Wedding Soup
with turkey meatballs / orzo

Active: 25 minTotal: 25 min

Leftover turkey meatballs from earlier in the week get a totally different flavor profile in this Italian-inspired soup that is a version of a soup we featured in 2014.
Smarts: Orzo is a small, rice-shaped pasta that cooks fast. Feel free to use any pasta shape here, but adjust the time to be sure the pasta is cooked through.



Turkey Meatballs:
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Turkey, ground - 1 lb (look for ground dark meat turkey if available; sub ground beef or pork)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
Italian Wedding Soup with Meatballs:
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Carrots - 8 oz, chopped
  • Chard, any type - 4 leaves, leaves and stems chopped and separate
  • Turkey meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~12, halved
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Stock, any type - 5 cups
  • Cheese, parmesan rind, (opt) - 1
  • Pasta, orzo - 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 2 oz, grated

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Onions / Carrots / Chard - Prep as directed. Combine onions, carrots, and chard stems in one container. Store chard leaves separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Green onions - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  3. Make meatballs - (Skip if made ahead for Tuesday.) Mix white parts of green onions (reserve green parts), ground turkey, eggs, panko, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm meatballs. Brush a sheet pan with some oil and spread meatballs out on the sheet pan. Bake at 375F / 190C degrees until meatballs are cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Halve meatballs - Slice meatballs in half (or quarters if meatballs are large).


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions, carrots, and chard stems to heated oil with a pinch of salt. Saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and oregano until fragrant, ~1 minute more.
  3. Add stock and parmesan rind (if using) and bring to a simmer. Stir in orzo and simmer until orzo is nearly tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add meatballs and chard leaves. Continue to simmer soup until orzo is tender and meatballs are warmed through.
  5. Move soup off heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  6. Serve soup with grated parmesan and green parts of green onions sprinkled over top if you’d like. Enjoy!

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This meal has 24 reviews

Did 1/2 chicken sausage and 1/2 ground chicken to make the meatballs and it turned out! Will do all sausage next time and see how it goes.

By: Miguel
Posted: Jan 19, 2020
Diet: Gluten-free

Fantastic! I doubled the meatballs and froze half, used 1 lb beef & 1 lb turkey. Used spinach instead of chard, and used 2 packs of miropoix mix. Needed all of the broth as well.

By: Elissa
Posted: Dec 21, 2019
Diet: Original

Used spinach instead of chard but otherwise followed the recipe. We loved this!

By: Lindsey
Posted: Mar 06, 2019
Diet: Original

Delicious! I think maybe there were a few too many meatballs, but overall I loved it.

By: Chelsea
Posted: Mar 01, 2019
Diet: Original

Straightforward, quick & easy weeknight meal. I read the reviews before I cooked & decided to double the seasoning. Unfortunately, it still needed even MORE seasoning. Other than that, it was just ok.

By: Bianca
Posted: Feb 28, 2019
Diet: Original

The vegetarian version was bland and boring.

By: Karen
Posted: Feb 27, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian