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5 from 9 votes

Chicken Noodle Soup with Meatballs

Tiny pork and beef meatballs and chicken thighs are simmered in a broth with carrots, onion, and celery and farfalline pasta, fresh parsley, and Pecorino Romano are added at the end. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8


For the tiny meatballs

  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated

For the soup

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots chopped
  • 4 large celery ribs, plus leaves chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs about 5 or 6 thighs
  • 1/2 pound small pasta farfalline, ditalini, small shells, small noodles, etc
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot saute the carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Next add in the water, chicken stock, and chicken thighs. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. As the soup cooks, skim off any scum with a large spoon and discard.
  • Meanwhile, mix together all of the meatball ingredients and form tiny meatballs about a 1/2 to 3/4-inch in diameter. Place the tiny meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and set aside.
  • Once the chicken starts to look like it will fall apart (about 40 minutes) remove all the pieces to a cutting board and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the bones, cartilage, and skin. Give the chicken meat a rough chop or shred with a fork.
  • Place the chicken meat into the simmering soup and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Taste test the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon of water) to boil. This will be for your pasta.
  • Drop the meatballs a few at a time into the hot soup and continue to cook at a simmer. The meatballs will cook quickly but can be left simmering while boiling the pasta in the next step.
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. While pasta is cooking add the parsley to the soup. Strain the pasta into a colander and serve on the side with the soup. Place the pasta into bowls and ladle soup and meatballs into each bowl. Serve with extra grated Pecorino. Enjoy!



  • Chicken base or bouillon can be used to amp up the chicken flavor of this quick soup.  
  • Recipe will make about 80 dime size meatballs.
  • The meatballs can be rolled large to save time.  If doing so, they will take a bit longer to cook in the simmering soup.
  • Any type of chicken can be used to make the soup.  Dark meat (thighs, legs, wings) is preferred since it will not overcook like white meat.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.3g | Protein: 56.3g | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 430mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 11mg