Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Beef Main Dishes Recipes Slow Cooker Soups and Stews

Cook time Cook time: 7 hours

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is a cozy mix of broth, juicy meatballs flavored with parmesan and herbs, plus pasta and fresh vegetables. Hearty and satisfying, with lots of delicious variations we’ll be sharing below!

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of hot soup? After enjoying this recipe, try our Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings, Instant Pot Corn Chowder, and Zuppa Toscana as well!

Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a rustic dish of homemade meatballs, pasta, and spinach cooked in a light and flavorful broth. It’s also a great way to “sweep the fridge.” For instance, chop up any stray vegetables you have in the crisper and throw them in the pot.

Got some pasta you want to use up? Add it in there as well! You can skip the meatballs altogether, or use other kinds of meat to fit your taste. This soup is tasty, versatile, and extra perfect on a cold day!

What is the meaning of Italian wedding soup?

The original name of the soup in the Italian language is “minestra maritata.” It directly translates to “married soup.” It has roots in Campania and Naples, and was traditionally served as part of rituals like the annual pig slaughter, the Feast of Santo Stefano, Christmas, and Easter.

What goes into Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup


  • Meats: We’re using ground beef, but you can go for the classic combo of ground pork and beef.
  • Herbs: Parsley, Italian herbs and oregano give the meatballs a subtle warm, herby flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs: The crumbs help the meatballs retain their structure while cooking.
  • Seasonings: Grated parmesan and simple salt and pepper plus a dash of olive oil keep it simple and delicious.


  • Aromatics: Mince some fresh garlic and diced yellow onion.
  • Vegetables: Dice up a carrot and celery, then chop some fresh baby spinach.
  • Broth: Hot, flavorful chicken broth is our main cooking liquid.
  • Pasta: For a heartier bowl, we’re adding acini pasta to the dish.

How do you make Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup from scratch

  1. Slow Cook. Start by adding the broth and other soup ingredients to the slow cooker. Next, let them cook for a few hours, for a rich and deep flavor. Once that is done, start of the meatballs, of if you have them handy just drop them into the crockpot.
  2. Make the meatballs. Take the ground meat and the rest of the meatball components together, knead, and mold into rounds (a tbsp. each). Shallow-fry in batches in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway. Add them to the cropckpot. Also, add the pasta and the spinach.
  3. Serve. Ladle into bowls and enjoy hot with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Variations:

  • Use other meats: Make leaner meatballs out of chicken or turkey, use pure beef or pure pork, or mix in some crumbled sausage and bacon.
  • Include more veggies: Feel free to add almost any veggie here, such as mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet corn kernels and peas, kale, squash, potatoes, zucchini, cabbage, and more.
  • Vegetarian: Use veggie stock and ground plant-based meat for the meatballs.
  • Other types of pasta: Use orzo or couscous instead of acini. In fact, any type of pasta you have on hand will work, such as spaghetti, macaroni, and fettuccine! Just break them up into small pieces.
  • Low carb: Use almond flour instead of bread crumbs to bind the meatballs, and skip the acini for riced cauliflower or low-carb pasta.
  • Grains: Stir in some quinoa, brown rice, or barley.

Is Italian Wedding Soup healthy?

Yes. The meatballs pack a lot of protein, while the soup is loaded with nutrients from the spinach and other vegetables. If you want to lessen the carb content, simply replace the acini pasta with low-carb alternatives or remove it altogether.

You can also make it healthier by using leaner meats and adding more fresh vegetables.

Is Italian Wedding Soup eaten at weddings?

Despite the name, it’s not actual wedding fare in Italy or anywhere else. Instead of a marriage between couples, it refers to different ingredients of the soup, and how they blend perfectly together. 

What goes with Italian Wedding Soup:

Warm dinner rolls or crusty bread will round up this meal nicely since this hearty meatball soup is already filling on its own. However, you can also serve it with roasted chicken, grilled pork skewers, garlic butter Swai fish, or beef tenderloin.

Topping suggestions:

Try topping it with seasoned and toasted panko, more grated parmesan, or even melted cheddar on top. Some toasted pine nuts and slivered almonds are also delicious toppers that add excellent texture.

You can also scramble an egg, swirl the hot broth, and slowly pour it into the hot.

How to store leftovers:

Cool all the leftovers first, then pour into an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply microwave until both the soup and meatballs are hot. You can also rewarm by simmering on the stove. 

How to freeze/how to thaw:

You can keep this in an air-tight container, or pour it into Ziploc bags for easier storage. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, defrost overnight inside the fridge if you’d to eat it the next day, or on the counter to thaw it faster.

Heat up the thawed contents in the microwave, or warm it up by simmering on the stove.

Recipe tips:

  • Use both lean pork and lean beef for less fatty meatballs. We recommend using grass-fed organic ground meat for the best flavor.
  • Instead of chicken, you can also use beef, pork, or veggie stock.
  • No oregano or parsley in stock? Simply swap with Italian seasoning.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Save Recipe
5 from 5 reviews

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is a cozy mix of broth, juicy meatballs flavored with parmesan and herbs, plus pasta and fresh vegetables.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 7 hours Total time: 7 hrs 30 mins





Add to the slow cooker:

Make the meatballs:

Nutrition information

Calories: 375 Carbohydrates: 38 Protein: 26 Fat: 14 Saturated Fat: 4 Trans Fat: 1 Cholesterol: 77 Sodium: 1601 Potassium: 796 Fiber: 4 Sugar: 4 Vitamin A: 6211 Vitamin C: 29 Calcium: 152 Iron: 5
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I’ve never tried making Italian wedding soup at home. Looking forward to trying this recipe.


Tara Pittman

My husband would love this soup. I love that I can make it in the slow cooker.


Amber Myers

I love when I can use my slow cooker. I am excited to try this soup out. It'll make a delicious dinner.



That looks so good! I love how easy it is to make with the crockpot. Just set it and forget it. That's my fav.


Jenn @ EngineerMommy

I love italian wedding soup so much. I need to try to make it in the slow cooker. delicious!


Eileen M Loya

The soup looks really delicious. I like that it is a no fuss recipe, letting all the flavors blend in while slow cooking. Saved the recipe and will be making this soon.


Sara LaFountain

This soup was so delicious! Even my kids asked for seconds and thirds and they typically do not like soups.


Briana Baker

Yum! Italian Wedding soup is my favorite soup! I'll have to try this recipe!



Oh my, I need to try this soup! My slow cooker is about to be busyyyy!!


Nikki Wayne

I'll try this sometime 😃 my family loves eating different kinds of soup.



I've never heard of this soup before. This looks so amazing though. I definitely need to try it.



I've never had Italian wedding soup before. That would be perfect to have on those rainy days.



Oh wow, love the name of this soup. It looks so vibrant and tasty. Love the pasta you used.



What a cute pasta! It would be fun to make this soup for my kids. I actually have never had this soup myself.



Slow cooker italian wedding soup sounds yum. I need to try it. Great comfort food.


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