Healthy Italian Wedding Soup

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 in a pot with ground chicken meatballs and kale.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.

A pot of Italian wedding soup with kale.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Egg
  • 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.

A bowl of Italian wedding soup with ground turkey meatballs.

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.

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5.0 rating
3 reviews

Paleo Italian Wedding Soup

Studded with 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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Yield 4-6
Cuisine Gluten-free
Cook Time 25 minutes
Recipe Type: Soup
Difficulty: Easy
Total Time 35 minutes
Author: Lexi


For Meatballs:

For Soup:

  • 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


      1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
      2. 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.
      3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked through to a temperature of 165ºF degrees.
      4. 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.
      5. Add in greens and cook until they are wilted.
      6. 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.
      7. Add in herbs, parmesan cheese and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

      Recipe Notes

      1. 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.
      2. Omit cheese for Whole30 and Paleo friendly.
      3. This soup is a great meal prep option and even freezes well.


      Loading nutrition data...

      February 26, 2020

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      Join The Discussion

      11 Responses

      1. I made this soup last week! My goodness it was easy to assemble and smelled SO good as it was being prepped. The meatball recipe was what made it stand out (in my opinion). It last us almost four days because we made ourselves pace the meal 😉

      2. Made this last night and it was a big hit! Perfect easy soup for a lazy Sunday. I didn’t even miss the little pastas that are traditionally in this kind of soup. Thanks for the recipe Lex! I will definitely be making a double batch next time.

      3. So good! Thank you for this! Italian Wedding is one of my favorites 🙂 it was so flavourful even without the pasta in it!

      4. This review is long overdue. I’ve been using this recipe for several years and has become a family favorite. We love the ‘turkey balls’ by themselves and oftentimes I have to swat my family away from them while I get the soup portion going. I’ve made this recipe for several friends that were sick and everyone rants and raves about it. Bravo!.

        5.0 rating

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