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Healthy & Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 9 cups (4 servings)
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Italian


A healthier version of classic Italian Wedding Soup featuring tender meatballs, fiber-rich beans and kale, and a full-flavored broth. All that, and it requires just 9 ingredients!


  • 1 pound ground pork, turkey or chicken (we like half pork and half turkey)
  • ½ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • packed cup fresh parsley leaves finely chopped, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 large cloves garlic, divided
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (1 yellow onion)
  • 3 cups chopped Tuscan kale, packed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas , rinsed and drained


  • Combine ground meat, Panko, ⅓ cup parsley, egg, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix just until combined.
  • Shape meat mixture into 1 ½-inch meatballs (#24 scoop / 1.5 ounces) and arrange on a plate.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium until shimmering. Add half the meatballs in an even layer, and cook, without moving, until first side is dark brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn meatballs and cook until second side is well browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer meatballs back to plate and repeat with remaining meatballs; set aside.
    meatballs cooking in a pot in oil
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now empty pot over medium until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon salt (*see note) and cook 1 minute.
    onions and oil in a large pot with fond on the bottom
  • Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium and simmer 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in meatballs, kale and beans; simmer until kale is just wilted.
  • Off heat, stir in remaining ⅓ cup parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.


*Kosher Salt: you may be shocked to see we add 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the onions while they cook. First and foremost, it’s important that you’re using kosher salt. If all you have is table salt, start with 1 ½ teaspoons. Secondly, since this recipe uses water instead of broth, we’ve got to season the soup ourselves. 1 tablespoon of kosher salt will create a nice depth of flavor for both the broth and the soup’s components.
Gluten-free: to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free Panko bread crumbs in the meatballs.
To make this even quicker, you can use frozen meatballs. Add them into the soup a few minutes before adding the kale and beans.


Serving: 21/4 cupsCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 35gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 1065mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 1g
Keywords easy italian wedding soup, italian wedding soup recipe
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