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Meatball Soup

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posted: 02/04/24

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Meatball Soup recipe is dreamy. It is delicious, comforting, and sure to be a hit with your whole family.

Bowls of Meatball Soup with salad and spoons beside.

When I was first married and living with my husband, I was just starting to teach myself how to cook. I was reading cookbooks, and watching cooking shows without really the intention of learning how to cook, more just because I suddenly was so interested. I’d grown up in a home that brought everyone together around delicious food, and I think without realizing it, I wanted to recreate that.

Meatball Soup was the one of the first recipes that I learned how to make. It was rich and hearty, and there was something about combining chicken stock and tomato sauce that create a taste so reminiscent of my grandmother’s cooking I could have cried. While this dish does take a little bit of work in the kitchen, it is far from complicated and I know this is a soup your family will come to love!

Making Homemade Meatballs For Soup

Homemade meatballs will always hold a special place in my heart. My grandmother’s Italian Meatball Recipe is perfect and one of my favorite recipes on Simple Joy. Making homemade meatballs for spaghetti soup is an easy step that allows us to give it the best flavor. We use Italian pork, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, seasonings, and an egg to tie it all together. Simply combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs and use a cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into balls.

The meatballs will be cooked in the soup. They can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Cookie Scoop

Not just for cookies, this scoop is perfect for making meatballs!
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Pot of Meatball Soup with salad and wine beside

How to Make Meatball Soup

Here is a brief overview of how this hearty Italian meatball soup comes together. For the full recipe including all ingredients and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Make the meatballs. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Scoop the mixture using a cookie scoop and roll into balls using clean hands. Set aside.
  • Sauté the vegetables. Cook the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make the soup. Add in the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, dried basil, and dried oregano. Add in the meatballs and bring to a roaring boil, then simmer.
  • Add the spaghetti. Cook for eight minutes while boiling. Serve with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

How to Make Breadcrumbs

Learning how to make breadcrumbs is as easy as opening your oven. This is a simple recipe with directions for making them seasoned which is perfect for making meatballs.
Close up photo of ladle of Meatball Soup over pot.

Using Turkey

If your family doesn’t eat pork or you want to lower the fat content of this soup, you can use Italian turkey sausage instead of pork. My family uses turkey sausage often in recipes; it provides a great flavor and is an awesome swap!

Adjusting Seasonings

A key part of any recipe is tasting it at the end and balancing the flavors. There are a whole number of things that you can do to balance flavors, but when it comes to tomatoes, I like to mention sugar. This is a hot button issue on social media whenever I share my spaghetti sauce, but the truth remains that if you are doing quick cooking with canned tomatoes, you might come up against some acidity. The acidity of tomatoes can easily be balanced with just a pinch of sugar.

In this recipe in particular, the sweetness of the carrots and the complexity of the meatballs can mask the acidity of the canned tomatoes. However, brands of tomatoes vary greatly, and there are some cans out there that are intensely acidic. It almost has a bitter taste. If you find that is the case when you finish this soup, you will want to add just a pinch of sugar. Start with about half a teaspoon and keep adding in that increment until you are in love with your soup but before it gets sweet.

Overhead view of a pot of Meatball Soup with salad, bread, and wine beside.

Storing and Reheating

Store any leftover Italian meatball soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep in mind that the spaghetti is going to absorb a lot of the liquid. If you know that you are going to have leftovers, you may want to divide the soup into two portions and only add half the spaghetti, saving the rest for when you reheat the soup.

Reheat portions in the microwave on half power or in a saucepan on the stove over lower heat until heated through, stirring often. Remember to only reheat leftovers once.

Freezing

If you want to freeze this spaghetti soup, follow the recipe as written up the point of adding the pasta. Allow the soup to cool and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container, leaving some room at the top for it to expand. Store in the freezer for up to three months.

When you are ready to eat the soup, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Add the thawed soup to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the dry spaghetti and cook for eight minutes. Enjoy!

FAQ

Can this soup be made gluten free?

Yes! You will want to make your own breadcrumbs with gluten free bread for the meatballs and use gluten free spaghetti.

Can this soup be made ahead of time?

Yes! But you will want to stop at the point of adding the spaghetti. Allow the soup to cool completely and store it. When you are ready to serve, pick the recipe back up where you left off and boil the spaghetti in the soup.

Overhead view of bowls of Meatball Soup with bread and spoons beside.

What to Serve With Italian Meatball Soup

Round out this hearty soup with these simple sides.

If you make this recipe for meatball soup or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Bowls of Meatball Soup with salad and spoons beside.
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Meatball Soup

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 25 minutes
This Meatball Soup recipe is dreamy. It is delicious, comforting, and sure to be a hit with your whole family.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground Italian pork (453.6 grams)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (50 grams)
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (56 grams)
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Meatball Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce (425 grams) read more about this here
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (794 grams)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (946.353 ml)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (226.796 grams) broken in half
  • fresh basil for topping
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Meatballs

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, basil, and garlic salt. Using a cookie scoop (1 tablespoon) roll out the meatballs. Set aside.
    1 pound ground Italian pork, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Meatball Soup

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender about 5 to 7 minutes.
    2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 medium carrots, 2 celery ribs, 1 medium yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Add in the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, dried basil, and dried oregano. Add in the meatballs Bring to a roaring boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
    15 ounces tomato sauce, 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 4 cups chicken stock, 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley, 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • Turn up to a boil and add in the broken spaghetti. Cook for 8 minutes.
    1/2 pound spaghetti
  • Serve with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
    fresh basil for topping, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Serving: 1.8cups Calories: 634kcal (32%) Carbohydrates: 60g (20%) Protein: 29g (58%) Fat: 32g (49%) Saturated Fat: 10g (63%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 94mg (31%) Sodium: 2016mg (88%) Potassium: 1229mg (35%) Fiber: 7g (29%) Sugar: 14g (16%) Vitamin A: 4205IU (84%) Vitamin C: 22mg (27%) Calcium: 213mg (21%) Iron: 6mg (33%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Bowls of Meatball Soup with salad and spoons beside.

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Meatball Soup

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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