This Italian Meatball Soup is loaded with vegetables, beef meatballs, and a flavorful Italian broth. You’ll never find a more satisfying and hearty soup! Perfect for meal prep and freezing, this Italian Meatball Soup recipe is ready in just over an hour. Serve with crusty bread for dipping!
It’s no secret that I love meatball recipes, especially Italian Meatballs! My Authentic Italian Meatballs recipe is an easy, one-pan dinner that pairs perfectly with pasta, and if you’d rather set it and forget it, these Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs are absolutely packed full of flavor!
The Best Italian Meatball Soup
I don’t normally like to do two soup recipes in one week but this Italian Meatball Soup recipe is so good it’s worth it! This Italian Meatball Soup is loaded with vegetables and homemade beef meatballs in an incredible savory Italian broth!
With this hearty Italian Meatballs soup, I combined two of my favorites: beef vegetable soup and meatballs. It’s such a comforting and filling soup that’s perfect for this time of year. Best of all everything is made in one pot, which means fewer dishes to do later. As a busy family, that is everything on busy weeknights!
As for the homemade Italian meatballs, they are super cheesy and tender. I sauté them in a hot pan for only a couple of minutes on each side to get a nice crust and tons of flavor. Sautéing them helps them keep their shape better so they don’t fall apart when I finish cooking them in the soup. When you cook meatballs in a soup broth it makes them super tender and also flavors the broth.
TIP: Don’t have time to make homemade meatballs for this Italian Meatball Soup recipe? No problem! If you are short on time you can always substitute frozen or pre-made turkey, chicken, or beef meatballs. Also, you can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken if that’s what you have on hand.
Italian Meatball Soup Ingredients
- Beef: The meat I used in this Italian Meatball Soup recipe was lean ground beef. Feel free to substitute beef for ground chicken or turkey.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are an excellent binding ingredient for meatballs, keeping the perfect shape and texture.
- Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds saltiness and a slight cheesy sharpness to the meatballs.
- Egg: Eggs are another fantastic binding ingredient for meatball recipes, as well as other recipes like cakes and muffins.
- Seasoning: Italian seasoning is added to both the soup and the meatballs, giving them that effortless Italian flavor that we love! I also seasoned the soup with salt and pepper to balance the flavors and added a couple of may leaves.
- Vegetables: Classic soup vegetables: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes. The veggies bulk the soup recipe up in quantity and also add extra nutrition to this healthy Italian Meatball Soup recipe.
- Tomatoes: This time I added canned fire-roasted tomatoes to give a hint of smokiness to the soup broth.
- Broth: I wanted an extra beefy flavor, so I went with beef broth, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable broth if that’s what you have on hand.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Just a teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce amplifies the flavor 100%. It gives a hint of tanginess and tastes amazing!
How to make Italian Meatball Soup
- Make homemade beef meatballs: Firstly, add ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning to a large bowl. Mix to combine and portion into small/medium size meatballs.
- Brown the meatballs: Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot. Add meatballs making sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I had to do two batches). Cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Take meatballs out of the pan and set them aside.
- Make soup base: Next, add in onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. (If there is not enough leftover oil from the meatballs add some more in.) Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in broth, tomatoes, seasoning, bay leaves, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add meatballs back to the soup and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through and the potatoes are tender.
- Serve: Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve this soup with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. I also recommend a side of garlic bread or homemade focaccia for soaking up the broth!
Storage and freezing
- Leftovers: This soup makes wonderful leftovers. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The more the soup sits the more the flavors develop. Reheat soup gently in a saucepan until warm. You may have to add more broth as needed.
- Freeze: This soup also freezes really well because there aren’t noodles in this Italian Meatball Soup! Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months!
How long does it take to cook the meatballs?
Whether it’s a simmering sauce or a brothy soup, raw meatballs take about 50-60 minutes to cook through. I cut this time down a little by browning them in a medium-hot pan first. It also sears them perfectly and helps the meatballs retain their shape while simmering in the soup. After browning them, they only take about 15 minutes to cook through after they’ve been added to the Italian Meatball Soup broth. It’s so much quicker and easier this way!
How do you keep meatballs from falling apart in soup?
There are a few key points to keep in mind when making meatball soup:
- Use binding ingredients: In this Italian Meatball Soup recipe, I added breadcrumbs, parmesan, and an egg. These 3 important ingredients work together to keep the meatballs intact while they’re cooking.
- Brown the meatballs: Before adding the meatballs into the soup, brown them in a medium-hot pan with a little oil. This creates a sear on the meatballs, keeping the outside bound together.
- Simmer, don’t boil: A simmer is all we need to cook these Italian meatballs in. A rolling boil may be too rapid and break the meatballs up into pieces.
Here are more soup recipes to enjoy!
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- The BEST Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
Italian Meatball Soup
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 whole egg
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 medium carrots diced
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- 2 cups potatoes diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese for serving if desired
- basil for serving if desired
- Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and Italian seasoning to a large bowl. Mix to combine and portion into small / medium size meatballs.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a large pot.
- Add meatballs making sure not to over crowd the pan. (I had to do two batches).
- Cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Take meatballs out of the pan.
- Add in onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. (If there is not enough leftover oil from the meatballs add some more in.)
- Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, seasoning, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce.
- Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add meatballs back to the soup and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through and the potatoes are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with parmesan cheese and basil if desired.