With Italian flavors, an easy method, and a short cooking time, this Meatball Soup with veggies and pasta is a favorite easy family dinner. Plus: Leftovers reheat so well!

Meatball soup in various bowls and pot.

This recipe is sponsored by Colavita

Meatball Soup

We have soup weekly in the cooler months (or really, whenever the craving hits) and this Meatball Soup has become a new favorite family-friendly soup. With a flavorful tomato base, tender meatballs, and al dente pasta, it’s both easy and cozy. Plus, you can make it with veggies blended right into the broth, use homemade meatballs or store bought ones, according to your preference, and make it ahead to reheat in the moment.

This is my latest recipe in partnership with Colavita, a family owned and operated company that offers delicious Italian pantry staples including extra-virgin olive oil, tomato products and sauces, beans, pasta and more.

(You may like my Pastina Soup and my Chicken and Stars Soup, too.)

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Ingredients You Need

Below is a look at the ingredients you need to make this easy soup recipe so you know what to have on hand and ready to go.

Ingredients for meatball soup on countertop.
  • Olive oil: I use the Colavita extra-virgin olive oil here to saute the veggies.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic, which you can mince yourself or use from a jar, adds a base of flavor in this soup.
  • Celery, carrot, and onion: Minced vegetables add flavor to this soup recipe and nutrients in the mix. You can use prepared mirepoix from the produce aisle or freezer aisle, or you can even meal prep it yourself and have frozen mirepoix on hand in the freezer.
  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth: I like to use chicken broth in most of my soup recipes, but this recipe works with any type of broth you prefer, including beef broth or vegetable broth.
  • Star pastina (or orzo): Stelline pasta or pastina are both little stars that are a really fun pasta shape to use here. You can also use orzo pasta, which is a little easier to find.
  • Mini meatballs: You can use store-bought frozen meatballs in this recipe to save a step or you can make a batch of my favorite toddler meatballs to add in. I make them with about 1 tablespoon of batter so they’re easy to eat in the soup.
  • Marinara sauce (optional): I like to add marinara sauce right at the end of the soup to add a hit of flavor, which pairs nicely with the rest of the Italian flavors in this soup.
  • Parmesan cheese, salt, and/or pepper, optional: Flavor the soup with any or all of these optional ingredients to your liking.

Meatballs for this Soup Recipe

You have options for which type of meatball you use for this recipe. First, you can take a shortcut and use frozen meatballs from the store. Look for mini meatballs in the freezer aisle or use whichever brand you like. Or, you can use any of these homemade meatball recipes:

I recommend making them with 1 tablespoon batter so they are small and a nice size for soup.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of the process involved in making this Meatball Soup recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information, including the amounts and timing.

how to make meatball soup in grid of images.
  1. Add the olive oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, and onion and cook to soften.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the pasta and meatballs cook until the pasta is soft.
  4. Stir in the marinara sauce, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, if using. Serve warm.

How to Store

Store leftovers of this Italian meatball soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Warm in a heat-safe bowl in a small pot or in the microwave, adding broth or water if desired if the mixture has thickened.

Meatball soup in two bowls with spoon.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use vegetable broth and sub 2 cups white beans for the ameatballs to make this vegetarian.
  • Make this easier by starting with pre-cut mirepoix from the produce aisle of your supermarket. Or you can freeze it in batches yourself.
  • Simmer Parmesan rind in the broth for extra flavor.
  • Use tomato sauce in place of the marinara if desired.
  • Add minced fresh basil to add more fresh flavor if you prefer.

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Meatball soup in various bowls and pot.

Quick Meatball Soup

With Italian flavors, an easy method, and a short cooking time, this Meatball Soup with veggies and pasta is a favorite easy family dinner. Plus: Leftovers reheat so well!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dinner
Calories 321kcal
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • cup minced mirepoix (or ½ each minced onion, carrot, and celery)
  • 2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces star pastina (or orzo)
  • 16 ounces mini meatballs (fully cooked)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (optional)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to a medium pot over medium heat. When warm, add the garlic, celery, carrot, and onion. Stir to coat and cook for 2 minutes, or until just starting to soften.
  • Add the broth and raise the heat to high. When the broth starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium so it simmers.
  • (Option: You can blend the vegetables and the broth in a blender to eliminate any small pieces of veggies.)
  • Add the pasta and meatballs. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the marinara sauce.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Warm in a heat-safe bowl in a small pot or in the microwave, adding broth or water if desired if the mixture has thickened.
  • Use vegetable broth and sub 2 cups white beans for the meatballs to make this vegetarian.
  • Make this easier by starting with pre-cut mirepoix from the produce aisle of your supermarket. Or you can freeze it in batches yourself.
  • Simmer Parmesan rind in the broth for extra flavor.
  • Use tomato sauce in place of the marinara if desired.
  • Add minced fresh basil to add more fresh flavor if you prefer.
  • Use frozen meatballs from the store or homemade meatballs.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 1276mg, Potassium: 339mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 203IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. Can you give a better explanation of what you mean by mini meatball? We make your meatballs on a regular basis. Would it be small than that? Is there a measurement you can give? Thanks!

    1. If making my meatballs, I use a tablespoon of the mixture per meatball. They’re a little smaller than standard so they’re easier to eat in a soup. If buying from the store, look for “mini meatballs” in the freezer aisle.

  2. The instructions call for peas and lemon zest, but I don’t see them in the ingredients list. Also, when do you add the meatballs in? Thanks – looks yum!