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Italian Wedding Soup
with meatballs / orzo

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min
With meatballs from earlier in the week, this classic Italian soup is loaded with colorful vegetables and orzo pasta for some extra substance. This soup was last featured here.
Smarts: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Turkey Meatballs:
  • Turkey, ground - 1 lb (look for ground dark meat turkey if available)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1/4 cup
Italian Wedding Soup with Meatballs:
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Carrots - 8 oz , chopped
  • Oil, olive - 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
  • Turkey meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~12 , halved
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 2 oz , grated


  1. Onions / Carrots - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make meatballs - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Mix ground turkey with eggs, panko, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Form into 1.5" / 4 cm meatballs. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)

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  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. If meatballs were not cooked ahead (for Monday): Add cooking oil and then meatballs to Dutch oven. Sear until golden brown on a few sides, ~5 minutes. Pour stock (portion for meatballs) into pan with meatballs. Lower heat to medium and cover with a lid. Cook, covered, for another 6 to 8 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Set meatballs aside and return Dutch oven to heat. When meatballs are cool enough to handle, slice in half.
  3. To heated Dutch oven, add olive oil. Add onions and carrots with a pinch of salt. Saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and oregano until fragrant, ~1 minute more.
  5. Add stock (portion for soup) and parmesan rind (if using) and bring to a simmer. Stir in orzo and simmer until orzo is nearly tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add meatballs and spinach. Stir until spinach cooks down slightly. Continue to simmer soup until orzo is tender and meatballs are warmed through.
  7. Move soup off heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  8. Serve soup with grated parmesan on top if you’d like. Enjoy!



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