Italian Meatball Soup with pesto is a cozy, comforting meal, perfect for any day.
Juicy meatballs and a variety of fresh vegetables simmer together in a pesto-flavored chicken broth, complete with pasta, for a filling and delicious experience.
Why This Recipe Italian Meatball Soup Works
SIMPLICITY - Combining easy-to-find ingredients creates a wholesome meal without fuss.
FLAVORFUL - The mix of ground turkey and Italian sausage offers a perfect balance of flavors.
TEXTURE - The soup boasts a variety of textures, from tender meatballs to crisp vegetables.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS
MEAT - We use a combination of ground turkey and ground Italian sausage to make our meatballs.
SEASONINGS - We'll use a bit of garlic, minced shallots (or sweet onion), salt, and black pepper.
EGG AND BREAD CRUMBS - The 'glue' that binds the meatballs and helps us shape them. While I love Panko bread crumbs in many recipes for the meatballs I recommend unseasoned traditional bread crumbs.
BREAD CRUMBS - Helps to give the meatballs a perfect texture.
TO MAKE THE SOUP
ONION, CARROTS, CELERY - These classic vegetables add depth and a slight sweetness to the soup. If you hate chopping, you have to check out my new favorite kitchen tool.
SEASONING - Red pepper flakes and (storebought) pesto are our 'secret ingredients.' Of course, you can always make homemade pesto, and if you want to experiment a bit further, you can try our parsley pesto.
PASTA - I recommend using a short pasta.
SPINACH - Gives the soup an extra boost of protein.
CHICKEN BROTH - It's the base for our soup. I highly recommend choosing low-sodium soup.
How To Make Italian Meatball Soup
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Meatball Preparation - Combine ground turkey, Italian sausage, minced garlic, salt, pepper, beaten egg, shallots, and breadcrumbs. Form into small meatballs.
- Cook Meatballs - In a skillet, brown the meatballs in olive oil. Set aside once cooked.
- Vegetable Sauté - In a large pot, sauté onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until tender.
- Soup Assembly - Add chicken broth, cooked meatballs, pasta, and seasonings to the pot. Simmer until pasta is cooked. Stir in spinach and pesto before serving. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Success Tips
- MEATBALL SIZE - Keep meatballs small for even cooking and easy eating.
- VEGETABLE PREP - Dice vegetables uniformly for a consistent texture. This ridiculously simple mechanical kitchen 'gadget' has sped up my prep time exponentially.
- SPINACH ADDITION - Add spinach at the end to retain its color and texture.
- CRUSTY BREAD - Serve with a side of crusty bread or our homemade Air Fryer Biscuits. Both are perfect for dipping.
- GRATED CHEESE - Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino for an extra flavor boost.
- FRESH HERBS - Garnish with fresh basil or parsley for a pop of color.
- SIDE SALAD - Pair with a Creamy Cucumber Salad for a wonderfully wholesome meal.
MAKE AHEAD – Yes, this soup is great. Make the soup a day before an event and refrigerate it. It also allows the flavors to meld beautifully, making it taste even better when served.
STORE - Refrigerate the soup in an airtight container. It will stay fresh and delicious for 3 to 5 days. Don't be surprised if you enjoy the soup on day 2 even more than on the first day.
FREEZE - This is a great option for meal planning. Make sure the soup has cooled down completely. Portion out the soup and freeze. When you're ready to enjoy it again, thaw it in the refrigerator.
REHEAT - Reheat the soup in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even warming. But make sure the soup doesn't boil.
More Easy and Delicious Soup Recipe
LASAGNA SOUP - All the taste of lasagna in a quick, easy-to-eat soup.
TORTELLINI SOUP - Enjoy a simple, comforting soup filled with cheese-filled tortellini and savory broth.
HAMBURGER SOUP - robust, meaty soup combining the satisfaction of a hamburger in a warming bowl.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP - Savor the creamy, sweet richness of butternut squash in this smooth soup.
CREAMY CRACK CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP - Rich, addictive flavors in a comforting chicken noodle soup.
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Italian Meatball Soup
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Cook ground turkey, Italian sausage, garlic, salt, egg, black pepper, shallot, and breadcrumbs until just combined to avoid overmixing.
- Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. Cook the meatballs in the skillet, turning them gently, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, sautéing until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add pesto and pasta to the pot, stirring to coat the pasta well.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is tender, approximately 10-12 minutes.
- A few minutes before serving, add spinach to the pot and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the soup. Stir gently to combine and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then serve hot.