Italian Meatball Soup | Best Beef Recipes


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Italian Meatball Soup is quick and easy comfort food that takes just 30 minutes to make! Whether you whip up my easy homemade meatballs (recipe included!), or already have some on hand, this soup is a simple way to put dinner on the table everyone will love. Packed with flavor, my meatball soup combines juicy meatballs with a rich tomato broth, and tender pasta! Perfect for a cozy family dinner.

A close up of Italian soup with meatballs in a large pot
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Soup with Meatballs

I have always been a big fan of easy meatball recipes. They’re so simple and make great leftovers, but there is so much you can do with a good meatball! One of my family’s favorite meatball recipes of all time is this Italian soup with meatballs. We all start to crave it even before the weather cools down!

Italian Meatball Soup is a great dinner for a warm and cozy night at home. It’s incredibly easy to make in just 30 minutes, so if you’re on a busy schedule, don’t worry: you have the time! Not to mention, it is so easy to prepare ahead of time and you can use leftover meatballs, so it’s a dream for weekly meal prep.

The flavors of this meatball soup recipe meld together perfectly and are even better the next day. Adjust the flavors to your family’s tastes, add more veggies, swap out ingredients- you can get a lot of mileage out of this simple soup recipe!

Three bowls of Italian soup with meatballs topped with Parsley

Meatball Italian Soup Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • Ground beef (85% lean is best)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Italian seasoning
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

Tip: You can also use any of my other meatball recipes to make this Italian meatball soup recipe. See the following, or my full collection of meatball recipes (link)!

You can also use ground pork or Italian sausage for the meatballs. Or, use a mix. Ground turkey may also be used, but keep in mind turkey dries out more easily than other ground meats, and takes longer to cook. Use a meat thermometer if you aren’t sure.

ingredients for Italian meatballs to go with soup, with labels

For the Soup

  • White onion
  • Grated carrots
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Beef broth
  • Crushed tomatoes (canned)
  • Vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • Italian seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Ditalini pasta
  • Red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
ingredients for Italian tomato soup base to go with meatballs, with labels

How to Make Meatball Soup

Preparing the Meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven broiler to 500°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add all meatball ingredients excluding the olive oil. Mix with clean hands until completely combined, but don’t over-mix.
    mixing ground beef for meatballs in a bowl
  3. Using a Tablespoon measure or a small ice cream scoop, create small meatball portions from the meat mixture, and roll them with your hands.
  4. Line the meatballs in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet with some space between them.
    meatballs rolled and placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush the meatballs with olive oil.
    brushing meatballs with oil
  6. Broil meatballs for 8-12 minutes, or until browned.
    broiled meatballs for soup on a baking sheet

Assembling the Meatball Soup

  1. While the meatballs are cooking, add onion, carrots, garlic, and olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened and fragrant.
    vegetables cooking in a pot for meatball soup
  3. Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
    adding seasoning to soup base in a pot
  4. Bring the pot to a simmer (not a boil). Once they’re out of the oven, add the meatballs, pasta, and red bell peppers.
    adding meatballs, pasta, and parmesan to soup in a pot
  5. Simmer for 10 additional minutes, or until the pasta is al dente (just slightly underdone).
  6. Top with fresh parsley or fresh basil as desired, and serve! Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese for a little extra cheesy goodness.
    Italian meatball soup cooking in a pot

Meatball Soup Recipe Tips

  • Make extra meatballs and freeze them to use again later. They’re great for quick weeknight meals! You could even use them for my Italian Wedding Soup.
  • You can alter the spice level by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes used.
  • Feel free to add more vegetables, such as spinach, zucchini, or kale.
  • Don’t feel limited to ditalini pasta! You can also use orzo, quinoa, acini de pepe, barley, or small shells. These all work great with the flavor of the tomato sauce broth.
  • As the pasta cools, the starch from the pasta will thicken the soup broth. You can add more broth or water when you reheat it to thin it out.
  • It is so easy to double or even triple this recipe to make plenty for leftovers. No ratios for any of the ingredients need to be changed, just use double or triple of everything.
  • Stock works best for flavor in meatball soup recipes, but you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth if it’s what you have on hand.

Storing Leftover Meatball Soup

To store leftover Italian meatball soup, allow it to cool to room temperature first. Then, transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing Italian Meatball Soup

This meatball soup recipe freezes very well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bags. You can store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight, and follow the reheating instructions below.

Reheating Leftover Meatball Soup

To reheat the soup, place it in a pot over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally until it’s warmed through. If you’re reheating frozen soup, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight first, then heat as instructed.

close up of Italian meatball soup in a pot with a wooden spoon

Recipe for Meatball Soup FAQ

Can I use frozen meatballs to make this recipe?

Absolutely, but I recommend thawing them overnight in the refrigerator first. If you add them while they’re frozen it will bring down the temperature of the whole soup and take longer to cook properly, which won’t be good for the pasta.

Can veggie meatballs be used?

If you want, you can use premade veggie meatballs for this recipe. I have tried this for vegetarian friends with additional veggies added, and it is so tasty!

Can the meatballs be made in advance?

Absolutely! You can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours beforehand. You could even prepare the broth at the same time and store both in separate containers until ready to assemble the soup. Just broil the meatballs, bring the broth to a simmer, and proceed with the instructions starting at step 4.

Beef Soup Recipes

I hope you and your family enjoy this hearty soup with meatballs as much as mine does!

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📋 Recipe

A close up of Italian meatball soup in a bowl
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Italian Meatball Soup

Italian Meatball Soup is the perfect comfort food: it’s quick, easy, and flavor-packed! Ready in 30 minutes.

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time23 minutes

Total Time33 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Italian

Keyword: Italian meatball soup, meatball soup, meatball soup recipe, recipe for meatball soup

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 529kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting board

  • Knife

  • Large pot

  • Spoon

  • Spatula

  • measuring spoons and cups

  • Baking sheet

  • Cookie scoop Small size (scoop diameter: 1.6inch/4cm, 1.2Tbsp/23ml/0.8oz).

See our Beef Temperature Chart for helpful tips on cooking any cut of beef!

Instructions

Preparing the Meatballs

  • Preheat the oven broiler to 500°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, add all meatball ingredients excluding the olive oil. Mix with clean hands until completely combined, but don’t over-mix.

    1 pound ground beef, ⅓ cup grated parmesan, ⅓ cup breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Using a Tablespoon measure or a small ice cream scoop, create small meatball portions from the meat mixture, and roll them with your hands.

  • Line the meatballs in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet with some space between them.

  • Using a pastry brush, brush the meatballs with olive oil.

    1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • Broil meatballs for 8-12 minutes, or until browned.

Assembling the Meatball Soup

  • While the meatballs are cooking, add onion, carrots, garlic, and olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.

    1 cup white onion, 2 carrots, 2 garlic cloves, 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened and fragrant.

  • Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.

    4 cups beef broth, 20 ounce crushed tomatoes, 1 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock, 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Bring the pot to a simmer (not a boil). Once they’re out of the oven, add the meatballs, pasta, and red bell peppers.

    1½ cup ditalini pasta, ½ cup red bell peppers

  • Simmer for 10 additional minutes, or until the pasta is al dente (just slightly underdone).

  • Top with fresh parsley or fresh basil as desired, and serve! Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese for a little extra cheesy goodness. Adjust to taste with additional salt and pepper as you prefer.

    2 Tablespoons parsley, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, Salt, pepper

Notes

  • Make extra meatballs and freeze them to use again later. They’re great for quick weeknight meals! You could even use them for my Italian Wedding Soup.
  • You can alter the spice level by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes used.
  • Feel free to add more vegetables, such as spinach, zucchini, or kale.
  • Don’t feel limited to ditalini pasta! You can also use orzo, quinoa, acini de pepe, barley, or small shells. These all work great with the flavor of the tomato sauce broth.
  • As the pasta cools, the starch from the pasta will thicken the soup broth. You can add more broth or water when you reheat it to thin it out.
  • It is so easy to double or even triple this recipe to make plenty for leftovers. No ratios for any of the ingredients need to be changed, just use double or triple of everything.
  • Stock works best for flavor in meatball soup recipes, but you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth if it’s what you have on hand.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1324mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4366IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 5mg

Isabel Laessig
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