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Meatball Soup

This easy meatball soup recipe comes together in one pot in less than 45 minutes! It’s super hearty, flavorful and sure to be a family favorite!

Bowl of meatball soup topped with fresh basil.
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Italian Meatball Soup

Whenever I make homemade meatballs for dinner, I love to make a double batch and freeze extras to use for easy weeknight dinners. They taste delicious reheated in this soup or Italian wedding soup, on a meatball sub or served over egg noodles in a creamy Swedish meatball sauce.

This recipe is a new favorite at our house! It’s such an easy dish to make and comes together in one pot in less than 45 minutes. Plus it’s perfectly hearty and full of flavor.

I love to make my homemade meatballs with this soup (if you haven’t tried them, they are amazing!). I usually make a big batch to keep in the freezer and pull out for this recipe or serve over cooked pasta with marinara. However when I’m in a pinch, I’ll use frozen store-bought meatballs and just thaw them before adding to the soup.

It tastes delicious with freshly grated parmesan and basil on top. And don’t forget to serve each bowl with a warm breadstick or slice of homemade french bread. Seriously so delicious!

Recipe Ingredients

Just a few staple ingredients make a delightful and hearty dinner any night of the week.

Chopped onion, celery and carrots on a cutting board.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Aromatics: Chopped onions, celery, carrots and minced garlic are cooked in olive oil until caramelized and tender. Their fragrant aroma is the foundation of this soup.
  • Meatballs: I like to use fully cooked meatballs for this soup, because it makes it super easy and super quick to come together. You can use easy homemade meatballs, turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs
  • Pasta: Ditalini pasta works really well in this soup, but elbow macaroni is a great substitute in a pinch.
  • Tomatoes: Dice tomatoes give a nice acidity and texture to this soup.
  • Broth: Beef broth acts as a great backdrop to the meatballs.
  • Seasoning: Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper gives the perfect amount of flavor.

How to Make Meatball Soup

This soup comes together in less than 45 minutes, and only takes a little bit of sauteing and simmering.

Italian meatball soup in a white pot with a wooden spoon.
  1. Saute. Cook the chopped onions, carrots and celery in a large pot until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the pre-cooked meatballs and garlic and cook a few more minutes.
  2. Simmer. Next add the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook. Then add the pasta and cook and additional 10 minutes (or until cooked al dente). It will continue to cook once off the heat, so make sure you don’t over cook the noodles.

Cooking Tips

  • To make healthier: You can use turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs and cut out the pasta. You could also add in more vegetables and 2 to 3 cups of baby spinach or kale during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking.
  • Convenience: Use prechopped veggies, frozen garlic cubes and store-bought meatballs to make it even easier.
  • Noodles: I love using Ditalini pasta, but elbow noodles work great too. You could even use small pasta shells.
  • Toppings: We always add fresh shaved parmesan and fresh basil on top of ours. It finishes it off with the perfect flavor!
Italian wedding meatball soup with a wooden spoon.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use store-bought meatballs in this meatball soup?

Of course! Store-bought meatballs are great in a pinch. Frozen meatballs, especially, are great in this soup. Just be sure to thaw for a couple of hours prior to adding to the soup.

Can I make this soup in a crockpot?

Absolutely! I would still sauté the aromatics first to give the soup a nice depth of flavor. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours, and add the pasta the last hour of cooking.

Can I use raw meatballs?

The answer is yes, but I find that precooked meatballs hold their shape better and have a better texture than meatballs cooked in the soup. I would recommend using precooked meatballs if you can.

Freezing + Reheating

You can absolutely freeze this meatball soup, however I’d recommend leaving out the pasta so that it doesn’t get mushy. Let cool completely, then pour in a freezer bag or container. Don’t fill it all the way to the top – you want to leave enough room for the soup to expand. Then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Let thaw in the fridge overnight or microwave to thaw. Then reheat in a pot in the stove until warm. While the soup warms, cook the pasta in a separate pot. Then mix it in with the leftover soup and enjoy!

Bowl of meatball soup.

More Easy Soup Recipes

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bowl of meatball soup

Meatball Soup

4.94 from 16 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This easy meatball soup recipe comes together in one pot in less than 45 minutes! It's super hearty, flavorful and sure to be a family favorite!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 pound fully cooked meatballs (see note if using frozen)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) beef broth , use up to 2 cups more (see notes)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ¼ cup Ditalini pasta , or elbow noodles
  • Salt , to taste
  • Ground black pepper , to taste

Optional for serving: Parmesan cheese and Fresh parsley or basil

    Instructions

    • In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, carrots, and celery and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add the garlic and cooked meatballs and cook an additional 2 minutes.
    • Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Add the noodles and cook and additional 10 minutes, or until al dente. Salt and pepper, to taste.
    • Ladle into bowls and enjoy topped with parmesan and basil, if desired. 

    Video


    Notes

    Broth: This is a thicker soup, so if you prefer more broth add an extra 1-2 cups of broth or water. You could also just use less noodles (3/4-1 cup). 
    Frozen meatballs: If using frozen meatballs, set out to thaw before adding to the soup. 
    Variations: This recipe tastes delicious with my easy homemade meatballs. You can also use turkey meatballs if preferred. 
    Freeze: You can absolutely freeze this meatball soup, however I’d recommend leaving out the pasta so that it doesn’t get mushy. Let cool completely, then pour in a freezer bag or container. Don’t fill it all the way to the top – you want to leave enough room for the soup to expand. Then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    Thaw + Reheat: Let thaw in the fridge overnight or microwave to thaw. Then reheat in a pot in the stove until warm. While the soup warms, cook the pasta in a separate pot. Then mix it in with the leftover soup and enjoy!
    Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat it in the microwave 1 to 2 minutes, or until it’s heated through.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 794mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3814IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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