Italian Meatball Soup (One Pot)
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Quick, easy Italian meatball soup recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot over stovetop in 30 minutes. Loaded with pasta, vegetables, meatballs.
This is different than “Italian wedding soup,” which I will be sharing soon. However, it is just as delicious and comforting. It’s hearty and bursts with Italian flavors. If your family loves meatballs as much as mine, then try these Cocktail Meatballs (One Pot) or these Instant Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs.
How to make meatball soup from scratch?
- Heat oil– Do this over medium-high heat.
- Saute onions and garlic- Until garlic is fragrant and onion is slightly tender.
- Add remaining ingredients- This includes meatballs, frozen vegetables, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaf.
- Mix- Continue cooking uncovered and bring to a boil.
- Add dry pasta– Let it simmer and cook until pasta is tender and cooked through.
- Enjoy– Discard bay leaf and garnish with fresh parsley and basil.
What sides to serve with Italian meatball soup recipe?
This soup pairs perfectly with breads like breadsticks, garlic bread, dinner rolls, a crusty baguette, pita bread, biscuits, naan or homemade biscuits and even Grilled Cheese Sandwich (One Pan).
A simple green side salad or a Cucumber Tomato Salad (One Bowl) will also compliment this dish perfectly.
How to keep meatballs from falling apart in soup?
When meatballs fall apart, it’s typically the “binding” ingredient that is the culprit, which includes eggs and breadcrumbs. Make sure you are using the correct quantity of both ingredients. Remember that adding too much bread crumbs will make meatballs loose and not adding enough bread crumbs will make them dry and not hold together too well. Similarly, if you add too many eggs, the meatballs will become soft and soggy and if you don’t add enough, they will be too dry and fall apart.
Also, make sure they are pan-fried first before being added in the soup Pan-frying makes them firmer and helps them hold their shape better. You can also buy frozen pre-cooked pan-fried meatballs, which is a quick solution for a busy weeknight meal. That’s what I used in the recipe below.
Turkey meatball soup– Use store bought turkey meatballs for a leaner healthier protein.
Chicken meatball soup– Use ground chicken meatballs or replace them altogether with shredded rotisserie chicken.
Garnish options– Such as shredded cheese, fresh dill, chives, rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, green onions, dollop of sour cream, fried onions.
Use other herbs and seasonings– Such as Greek, Cajun, Indian or Mexican seasoning blends.
Add tortellini– Replace dry pasta with your favorite cooked tortellini. Mix it in near the end in the final 5 minutes.
Homemade meatballs vs. Store-bought meatballs– Both will taste wonderful. Store bought ones will save time on a busy night. This is also a great way to use up leftover homemade meatballs.
Add other vegetables– Such as sliced mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, or bell peppers.
Add zoodles– Spiralize zucchini into noodles and use that in place of pasta for a healthier option.
Make it spicy– Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
Make it creamy– Add half and half or heavy cream or even coconut milk to make a creamy version of this tomato based soup.
Add cheese– Mix in cream cheese or top with freshly shredded cheese (such as mozzarella or parmesan).
Tips and Techniques
Pasta absorbs broth– Serve this soup immediately because as it sits, the pasta will absorb the liquid making the soup thicker. If this happens, simply add more broth to thin it out to your desired consistency.
How to make soup thicker? Continue heating to reduce the liquid by allowing it time to evaporate. You can also mix in heavy cream but that will alter the flavor
How to make soup thinner? Simply mix in more broth or water.
Use a nonstick pot– This prevents the soup from sticking and burning at the bottom of the pot.
Use low sodium broth– This prevents the soup from becoming too salty.
How to store soup with pasta? Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add more broth or water because the pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid, making the soup too thick.
Can you freeze meatball soup? Yes, it can be frozen but without pasta. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month and when you are ready to enjoy it, heat on stovetop and add dry pasta and cook until pasta is tender.
Can this soup be made ahead of time? Yes, you can make it 1 day in advance but DO NOT add the dry pasta and keep it refrigerated in the fridge. About 30 minutes prior to serving, add dry pasta and cook on stovetop until pasta is cooked through.
What pasta to use?– I used Acini de pepe pasta but you can use other small pastas such as mini elbow, mini shells, orecchiette, ditalini, orzo.
Adjust amount of Italian seasoning– Use more or less, based on your preference.
Use mini meatballs– The regular sized ones are too big and messy to eat in this recipe.
More One Pot Soup Recipes
- Tomato Basil Soup Recipe (One Pot)
- One Pot Lasagna Soup
- Tomato Tortellini Soup (One Pot)
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup (One Pot)
One Pot Italian Meatball Soup
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 cup Onion, Finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic , Finely minced
- 1 bag Meatballs, Frozen, Cooked, 1.5 pound bag
- 2 cups Frozen vegetables
- 6 cups Beef broth, Low sodium
- 1 can Crushed tomatoes, 15 oz. can
- 1 can Tomato sauce, 16 oz. can
- 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3/4-1 cup Acini di pepe pasta, Dry, Uncooked
- 1 tbsp Parsley, Fresh, Finely chopped, For garnish
- 1 tbsp Basil, Fresh, Finely chopped, For garnish
- Heat oil in a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and onion is slightly tender.
- Add cooked meatballs, frozen vegetables, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaf.
- Mix and bring to a boil.
- Then, add dry pasta and let it simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until pasta is tender and cooked through.
- Discard bay leaf.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and basil. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop. Additional broth or water will need to be added when reheated since the pasta absorbs a lot of the liquid and makes the soup thick and chunky.
Happy cooking everyone!