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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4.98 from 36 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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  1. Tom from Portland says:

    5 stars
    I usually make “Zupa Toscana” for the family about once every other week and decided to switch it up after watching this recipe on YouTube. I have to say I much prefer this! It’s a lot lighter, I don’t feel like a fatso after two bowls and bread like I do with my normal winter soup (might be the lack of heavy cream and pork sausage, lol).

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Tom, we’re so happy you enjoyed this one!

  2. William Belfi says:

    5 stars
    I made your Italian Wedding Soup recipe two times. Once with beef meatballs and then with Turkey meatballs. Both were delicious but we prefer the Turkey. Including two greens in the soup is genius as it adds to the nutrition as well as the taste and texture. We now make it on one day and enjoy it another night in the week.
    Bill Belfi

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Bill, we’re so happy you’ve been enjoying this soup and really appreciate the comment!

  3. Perri K Feldman says:

    5 stars
    Followed the Italian wedding soup recipe exactly and it received 5 stars from the whole family! Delicious 😋

  4. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    Made this soup this weekend and won over my very picky grandmother, who hasn’t been eating much this week. Much appreciated.

  5. ThePontificator says:

    5 stars
    Acini di pepe: the pasta cut whose name is as fun to pronounce as it is to eat.

    Long overdue to make a batch of this soup.

  6. Robert Remisiewicz says:

    I just discovered you today. You deserve an Academy Award Your explanation and directions are tremendous.
    WoW !!!!!!!!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Roberty, we appreciate the comment and glad you found us!

  7. Caria says:

    5 stars
    Love, love, love the meatballs. The soup is great as well. As the weather cools, I’ll be making it again. While forming the meatballs, it reminded me how I dislike making appetizer. After making forty – I was done. Next time I will get help forming the meatballs. 🙂

    1. James says:

      Hi Carla, so happy you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for the comment!

  8. Karen says:

    5 stars
    Hi Jim,

    This recipe looks delicious and can’t wait to try it. If I can’t find the pasta mentioned in the recipe, I think I would substitute Israeli couscous because it seems to be about the same size when cooked and I have added it to soups before. I love all your videos and recipes, thanks!😊❤

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Karen, thanks for the comment and so happy you’re enjoying the recipes and videos. Yes, Israeli couscous would be similar in size to acini di pepe. Hope you enjoy!

  9. Koni Billings says:

    5 stars
    Love this for the central part of the meal, out on the patio, as it is not a heavy meal. The turkey creates a light mild meat, the soup base is the star. Want something a bit more? Crusty grilled bread. Chilled wine, and fresh summer fruit. Perfect.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Koni, I’m so happy you enjoyed the soup and really appreciate your comment!

      1. Joe Nilo says:

        4 stars
        Hi Jim
        I subscribed to your YouTube channel a couple of months ago and use it often for a sanity check on dishes I don’t make often and for full on recipes for dishes I haven’t made before. But as always, I find something I do differently and can’t help but mention it. I never cook the acini di pepe (okay, we all call it “‘ah-jeeni ‘pape”) in the soup. The starch all comes out and makes the soup cloudy and stretchy. I cook it separately in some water with Better Than Bouillon (thank you for singing its praises) and put it in the bowl before ladling the soup on it. Also, if you have any leftover soup, it soaks up all the broth and becomes huge gelatinous globs. Best to you and your family in the New Year.

  10. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    Hi Jim and Family! Thanks for another excellent recipe. I have made this a few times in recent months and will again today. I’ve loved this soup since I was a child and this recipe is easy and delicious!! I am the person who recently asked a question and then rated your EXCELLENT Lasagna Pie recipe. In that, I had to use Asiago cheese instead of Pecorino Ramano (grocery delivery mistake) but happily, I had enough left to make Asiago cheese Italian bread to go with this yummy soup tonight. I know this pairing will be so delicious, our kiddos are excited (little ones LOVE tiny meatballs), and we can’t wait for dinner time.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed this one as well!