Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs is a hearty and nourishing soup loaded with flavor! Thanks to the turkey, this version is a bit lighter than traditional Italian Wedding Soup, but still every bit as delicious!

Bowl of Italian wedding soup with a turkey meatball on spoon.

We adore traditional Italian Wedding Soup but sometimes we want something a little lighter, which in this case means replacing the pork and beef meatballs with turkey meatballs.

Turkey is leaner than beef and pork making it a great option for those following a diet lower in fat, but I promise you it’s every bit as delicious as the traditional version!

Carrots, celery, and onion combine with spinach, and escarole, in a delicious broth with tiny turkey meatballs for a super nourishing soup you’ll make again and again!

We love to serve Italian wedding soup with turkey meatballs with a simple green salad and our easy no knead focaccia.

Escarole, spinach, carrots, onion, and celery on cutting board.

How to make it

  1. Begin by dicing 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, and 2 celery ribs.  About 3/4 to 1 cup of each.  In a large soup pot saute the veggies in a 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-low heat for a few minutes.
  2. Chop the escarole into ribbons, thoroughly clean ( a salad spinner works well for this), and add to the pot.  Cook for 5 minutes.
Italian wedding soup recipe process shot collage showing diced vegetables, escarole in pot with acini di pepe and adding spinach.
  1. To the pot, add 10 cups of low-sodium chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add in a half-pound of acini di pepe pasta and cook until almost done.
  2. Add in the meatballs.  We recommend using this Italian turkey meatball recipe of ours.  They have a ton of flavor, are juicy, and go perfectly with this soup. Finally, add in the spinach and taste-test the soup.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon or more of black pepper and salt to taste.  If more liquid is needed just add a cup or two more of stock or water. Serve in bowls topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Top tips

  • Turkey meatballs. The smaller the meatballs, the better when it comes to this soup. While our turkey meatball recipe shows larger meatballs, roll them as small as you’d like for the purposes of this soup. Dime sized to quarter sized are great.
  • Pasta. If making turkey meatball Italian wedding soup ahead of time, you may wish to cook the acini di pepe separately, then add when serving to prevent the pasta from becoming to soft.
  • Veggies. If you can’t find escarole, use more spinach or feel free to add any other greens you’d like. Kale and swiss chard would also be great here.
  • Use homemade stock. If possible, use homemade chicken stock for optimal flavor, otherwise, use stock made from a low-sodium chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon.
Two bowls of soup and one bowl of grated cheese on blue board.

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Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

4.98 from 36 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Italian wedding soup with turkey meatballs and escarole, spinach, veggies, acini di pepe pasta is a flavorful soup that's simple to make and always so good!


For the soup

  • 8 ounces acini di pepe pasta
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 large celery ribs diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 10 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bunch escarole washed and chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

for the meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan grated
  • 1/2 cup basil chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


For the turkey meatballs (If using storebought or premade meatballs move on to the soup instructions.)

  • Preheat oven to 375f and set rack to middle of oven.
  • Combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, grated onion, basil, parsley, parmesan, milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gently mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs (about the size of a quarter). Wet hands with oil or water between rolling to avoid meat sticking to hands.
  • Bake the meatballs on a parchment paper lined or wire rack baking tray until cooked to an internal temperature of 165f. The small meatballs should take approximately 15-20 minutes to cook. Makes roughly 40-60 meatballs

For the soup

  • In a large pot saute carrots, onion, and celery in a 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Next, add in the cleaned and chopped escarole and cook for 3-5 minutes more.
  • Add 10 cups of low sodium chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add in the acini di pepe pasta and cook until almost finished.
  • Add in the meatballs and heat through until warm. Finally, add in the spinach leaves and taste test the soup. Add a 1/2 teaspoon or more of pepper and kosher salt to taste. Serve with grated cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!


  • The full Italian turkey meatballs recipe can be found here.  The original recipe was for full sized meatballs.  The only modification made in this recipe was to make them smaller and reduce the cooking time.  
  • Small turkey meatballs are excellent in this soup.  The diameter of a quarter is a great size to shoot for.
  • If required add more liquid and to personal preference.  Extra chicken stock or water can be used. 
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.  To reheat, simply microwave or reheat on stove top.


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.1g | Protein: 48.2g | Fat: 26.1g | Saturated Fat: 4.1g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 2.9g | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Norma Wiley says:

    Love all of the recipes
    What I love about you is you you’re honest and like all of us cooks we don’t do everything exact like you said about the meatballs to put in the soup

  2. Andrea Runde says:

    5 stars
    One of the best soups ever – thank you dear James and also to your wife, son and daughter. 🙂

  3. Joanne Matthews says:

    5 stars
    James and Tara:
    I am from Long Island and have moved to Summerville, South Carolina. We really miss the deli salads. After making your macaroni and potato salad I feel as though I am transported back to my wonderful deli’s on Long Island. Your Italian recipes bring me back to my childhood with recipes as spectacular as my Mom’s and Grandmother’s. You are amazing chefs and I thank you for providing all of us with your great recipes. I can’t eat out down here as the food is so different than what I am used to. Thank you, thank you thank you!
    Joanne Matthews

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Joanne, we’re so happy you’ve been enjoying the recipes and appreciate your comment!

  4. Ge ge Eisen says:

    5 stars
    Very easy and very italian. Some of these recipes are lost to even the italian relatives. I’m 71years young and you have filled in the gaps for me. I love your videos. Thanks and God bless you and yours.

  5. Jackson Boylan says:

    5 stars
    Love this soup, sorry no Turkey meatballs for me! Beef/Pork oven baked recipe is etched in my brain.

    Born and raised in Stony Brook, although long gone, that’s where I learned to cook….from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx transplants!
    Italian….??? You betcha!!

    1. Tara says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jackson! We actually do have a traditional Italian Wedding soup recipe on the website if you prefer – that one has the beef/pork meatballs.