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!
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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.
Just a few staple ingredients make a delightful and hearty dinner any night of the week.
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.
- 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.
- Simmer. Next add the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
More Easy Soup Recipes
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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