Madeline’s Italian Wedding Soup: A Perfect Marriage of Delicious Ingredients

Italian Wedding Soup in a bowl


It is said that Italian Wedding Soup comes from the Italian “minestra maritata” which means “married soup”. It means that it’s a marriage of ingredients, and all wedding soups are going to have a mix of vegetables and meat.

Italian Wedding Soup cooking in a pot

And my Italian Wedding Soup is just that! I learned to make this from my mother, who learned from my grandmother, and in my Madeline fashion, I love to “doctor it up” and make it my own! It’s a special soup in our family, and I remember as kids we loved the little meatballs in the soup! We’d try to get as many as we could in our bowl! 

Italian Wedding Soup when the little meatballs are added


Now you will see lots of variety in how this soup is made in Italian homes and restaurants. I like to make mine a little thicker than you will see in the restaurants, but most of all of us start with a chicken stock base. You can use a stewing chicken, fryer chicken or just some wings and breasts which is what I do because it’s a little easier to work with. A can of diced tomatoes, and the typical carrots, celery and onion and Italian seasonings go into the pot as well! Now many Italians put fresh escarole in the soup, and many times we have done that, but my mother started using frozen spinach. I know, you are thinking, “frozen spinach?” But I promise it is DELICIOUS! 

And the favorite among the family is the “little meatballs”! I don’t make my traditional meatball recipe, but just use ground meat and add grated pecorino Romano cheese, a little salt and pepper (maybe some basil and parsley). And for whatever reason, I scramble a few eggs, and while the soup is at a high heat boil, I pour them in and they boil up to add fluffy goodness into the soup! 


My Italian Wedding Soup is a tradition that I love to share with family and friends whenever I can. I make a huge pot when I make it (double and triple the recipe most times), and then I am able to gift it in 2 quart containers / mason jars so it can be enjoyed by others. And this soup freezes perfectly, too! And of course, it really does represent a marriage of ingredients, just like so many of us when we share our lives with others, whether it is a traditional marriage, partnerships, working relationships, or dear friendships! We all bring our talents and qualities to each other, a blend that becomes a beautiful marriage in so many ways! 

Until next time,

Let’s get cookin’


Madeline's Signature Italian Wedding Soup

Looking for an Italian Wedding Soup that warms your heart and soul with the perfect vegetables, chicken and little meatballs that will transport you to Italy? Well you have to try my Signature Italian Wedding Soup! A marriage made in heaven!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homeadechickenandspinachsoup, Italianspinachsoup, Italianweddingsoup, Madelinessignatureitalianweddingsoup
Author: Madeline Kohler


  • 1 4 - 8 Quart Pot with Lid
  • 1 9" x 11" aluminum or glass pan
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Chef's Knife
  • 1 Medium Mixing Bowl


Italian Wedding Soup (minus the little meatballs)

  • 3 chicken thighs I use boneless for ease
  • 2 chicken breasts I use boneless for ease
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced in ¼ round slices
  • 2 cups celery, chopped in ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 cups onion, sliced in ⅛ - ¼ inch slices
  • 2 tbsps olive oil I use my Blended Oil Seasoning and do not add additional salt and pepper.
  • ½ tsp poultry Seasoning
  • 10 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp parsley paste You can substitute 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped, or 1 tsp basil paste You can substitute 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 20 ounces chopped spinach frozen, and thawed
  • ½ cup grated cheese locatelli, parmesan, or pecorino Romano
  • 4 eggs scrambled

Little Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef makes about 50 small meatballs 1-inch in diameter
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grated cheese locatelli, parmesan, or pecorino Romano


Italian Wedding Soup (minus the little meatballs)

  • Sauté chicken breasts and thighs in garlic and olive oil on medium heat for about 10 - 15 minutes turning over once so the meat browns a little.
  • Add celery, carrots and onion and sauté for 5 minutes with the chicken in the pot.
  • Add chicken broth, poultry seasoning, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low so soup is simmering on stovetop.
  • Follow Little Meatballs recipe while soup is simmering at this point. Then move to step 6 where you remove the chicken pieces and shred the chicken.
  • Remove chicken pieces and shred on a cutting board, and return to pot. (Sometimes you can just break apart the chicken pieces in the pot with a large spoon as it will be tender enough to shred.)
  • Add spinach to soup, and stir, then add cooked meatballs and any juice from pan into the soup. Bring soup up to a boil.
  • Scramble 4 eggs, and pour into BOILING soup.
  • Stir soup until eggs are cooked (1 - 2 minutes), then reduce heat to low.
  • Add ½ grated cheese and stir.
  • Simmer for 30 more minutes until ready to serve.

Little Meatballs

  • After step 4, while the soup is simmering before adding the spinach, meatballs and eggs, heat the oven to 400° on roast or bake setting.
  • Put ground beef, ¼ cup of grated cheese, salt and pepper together in the mixing bowl. Blend gently until cheese, salt and pepper are combined into the ground beef.
  • Roll 1 inch meatballs or use a small melon scoop to form a ball and place in the aluminum pan or glass dish.
  • Bake for 8 minutes or until meatballs are browned.
  • Return to soup recipe.


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