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Studded with chicken meatballs and filled with veggies, this Italian Wedding Soup is a lightened up take on the classic. This hearty soup is family-friendly and would make great leftovers. Opt to make it lower carb by skipping any added pasta, or go ahead and make it the classic way with your favorite pasta shape.
Healthy Italian Wedding Soup
There is nothing like a hearty soup for a cool winter day! And this Healthy Italian Wedding Soup does not disappoint. The soup has some similar flavors to a classic chicken soup, but instead of the chicken there are tiny meatballs added along with hearty greens. If you are wondering why it’s called Italian Wedding Soup, it isn’t because this is traditionally served at weddings! The name refers to the marriage of flavors between the meatballs and the greens here. And they really are a great combination! This healthier version uses nutrient-dense kale and lightened up ground turkey or chicken meatballs. We’ve opted to leave out the pasta here for a more low-carb take, but feel free to cook some of your favorite small pasta shapes here.
- Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey
- Chicken Stock (homemade or store-bought)
- Almond Flour (this is used to bind the meatballs)
- Herbs and Spices
- Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
Can you change the greens for something else?
We’ve opted to use kale here. But feel free to change it add in spinach or escarole instead. If adding spinach, you don’t need to cook it as long so add it in towards the end along with the meatballs.
How to Add Pasta
The exact timing of when you add in the pasta will depend on the type of pasta you are using, but it will be added in when you are simmering the soup. Check out the cook time on the box of pasta and simmer it for the length of time specified.
Do you need to bake the meatballs?
We opted to bake the meatballs and then add them into the soup to simmer. If you prefer to sear the meatballs on the stove first or even add them in raw to cook in the broth that works too.
Can you make this soup ahead of time?
Soups are the ultimate make ahead meal and it’s freezer-friendly! This would be a great meal prep item to make a double batch of. Freeze some to eat later, and eat some throughout the week for lunches or dinners. Once frozen, leave in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and them simmer gently on the stovetop until reheated.
If you like this soup recipe, check out these others:
PALEO ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
- 1 lb. ground chicken or ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese optional
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 carrots peeled and diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 celery stalks diced fine
- 1 yellow onion diced fine
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large handfuls kale or spinach chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock homemade or store-bought
- ½ cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
- Add ground meat, egg, almond flour, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, herbs, salt and red pepper flakes to a large bowl and mix together until fully incorporated. Roll meat mixture into 1-½” balls (about 3 tablespoons each) and place on the rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked through to a temperature of 165ºF degrees.
- Meanwhile, make the soup: Heat oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Once hot, add carrots, garlic, celery, onion and salt and pepper and cook until beginning to soften about 10 minutes.
- Add in greens and cook until they are wilted.
- Pour in chicken stock, bring up to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. If adding pasta, this is when you would add it here depending on the shape of pasta. Add in cooked meatballs and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Add in herbs, parmesan cheese and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- If turkey or chicken meatball mixture is difficult to work with, you can chill the mixture in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so, or you can use a cookie scoop to scoop the mixture. Also, using wet hands or even food safe gloves makes working with the ground turkey / chicken mixture easier.
- Omit cheese for Whole30 and Paleo friendly.
- This soup is a great meal prep option and even freezes well.