Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, soupday! If you ask us, any day is a great day for soupespecially if this Ina Garten Italian wedding soup recipe is on the menu. (Ina Garten’s chicken soup is also perfect 365 days a year.)

Served with Italian bread or fresh focaccia, this Barefoot Contessa favorite is perfect for an elegant luncheon, a sick day or a chilly winter day when you’re looking for a bowl of cozy comfort.

Loaded with mouthwatering homemade chicken meatballs, vitamin-packed spinach and cute-as-a-button miniature pasta shapes, this simple soup recipe is easy enough for beginners to master yet impressive enough to serve to your visiting in-laws.

Key Ingredients for Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup

Homemade meatballs: While store-bought mini meatballs could be used in a pinch, nothing beats tender and flavorful homemade chicken meatballs in Ina’s Italian wedding soup recipe.Baby spinach: Spinach is a must-have ingredient that adds color, plenty of nutrition and mild flavor to this simple soup.Small pasta: Save the rigatoni and egg noodles for one of these other satisfying soup recipes. For traditional Italian wedding soup, you’ll want to opt for a small pasta shape like ditalini, stelline (stars) or acini de pepe.Dill: We love the way Ina’s addition of fresh dill flavors and perfumes the yummy broth.High-quality chicken stock: While Ina recommends homemade chicken stock, a high-quality chicken stock (or even bone broth) can be used too. Since this soup has minimal ingredients, a high-quality stock rich in flavor will make a world of difference in the final recipe.

How to Make Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup



3/4 pound ground chicken1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving3 tablespoons milk1 extra large egg, lightly beatenKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons good olive oil1 cup minced yellow onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)1 cup carrots, diced in 1/4-inch pieces (about 3 carrots)3/4 cup celery, diced in 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 stalks)10 cups chicken stock1/2 cup dry white wine1 cup small pasta such as ditalini, stelline (stars) or acini de pepe1/4 cup fresh dill, minced12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed


Step 1: Mix up the meatballs

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, chicken sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, salt and pepper. Gently combine with a fork until evenly incorporated (Like Ina Garten’s meatloaf recipe, you don’t want to overmix the meat as it can result in tougher meatballs).

Step 2: Shape into balls and bake

Next, use a teaspoon to drop 1 to 1-1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you should end up with 40 to 50 meatballs). The meatballs don’t have to be perfectly roundirregularly shaped meatballs work great. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned on all sides. Set aside.

Step 3: Saute the vegetables

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened, five to six minutes, stirring occasionally.

Editor’s Tip: Mind the heat! While it may be tempting to blast your vegetables on high heat to speed up the process, low and slow is the secret to drawing out as much flavor as possible from aromatics in simple soup recipes like this one.

Step 4: Add stock, wine and pasta

To the pot, pour in the chicken stock and wine (save any leftovers for Ina’s risotto recipe) and then bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook until tender, according to the package directions.

Editor’s Tip: Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to use expensive wine when cooking. Anything you would enjoy drinking, even the cheapest wine from Trader Joe’s, will suffice. You can also omit the wine if you prefer to abstain from alcohol and opt for additional chicken stock instead.

Step 5: Stir in the dill and meatballs

Once the pasta is al dente, stir in the fresh dill and add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer for one minute and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 6: Wilt the spinach and serve

Finish the soup by stirring in the baby spinach. Cook for one minute, just until the spinach is wilted, then ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Italian Wedding Soup Variations

Ina Garten’s wedding soup is perfect for beginners due to its endless versatility. If you don’t have an ingredient on hand, you can swap it for one of these simple substitutions.

Swap out the carrots: If you don’t have carrots, leftover parsnips from Ina’s parsnip puree are a great alternative since they have a similar flavor, texture, and cooking time.Use other greens: While spinach is traditional, other leafy greens can be used instead, such as kale or Swiss chard.Try different meatballs: If you don’t enjoy chicken meatballs, swap for your favorite turkey, beef or pork meatball recipe.Gluten-free: To make Italian wedding soup gluten-free, choose your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs and pasta for the recipe. You could also swap the pasta for lentils or cannellini beans too.

How to Store Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup

Like other soups you can freeze, this Ina Garten Italian wedding soup makes awesome leftovers. Freeze for up to six months or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. To serve, warm leftovers on the stovetop in a saucepan or in the microwave until steaming.

Can you make Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup ahead of time?

Yes! Italian wedding soup is a great make-ahead meal. Prepare as directed and then store and reheat as outlined above for Italian wedding soup on-demand.

Remember that recipes with spinach will lose their color when stored. If you wish to serve the soup with vibrant green spinach, you can omit the spinach during the soup’s initial preparation. Instead, stir it into the soup upon reheating. Add the leaves once the soup is hot and cook for one minute until wilted.

Italian Wedding Soup Tips

How do I make the fresh white bread crumbs for this Ina Garten Italian wedding soup recipe?

As Ina says, “store-bought is fine,” but if you want to take your soup to next-level deliciousness, making homemade breadcrumbs is well worth the minimal effort. For an easy recipe, check out this guide on how to make homemade breadcrumbs.

What other vegetables can I put in this Ina Garten Italian wedding soup?

The beauty of Ina Garten’s Italian wedding soup is that its mild flavor lends well to loading up with additional seasonal vegetables of your choice.

For a spring Italian wedding soup, try adding diced leeks or asparagus to the soup.For a summer Italian wedding soup, stir in diced tomatoes from your garden or a handful of julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes for a more robust flavor.For an autumn-worthy wedding soup, diced sweet potato or butternut squash would add color and coziness.For a winter-inspired wedding soup, add diced potatoes and chopped fennel.

The post Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup Is So Simple, I Want to Make It Every Week appeared first on Taste of Home.