holding a spoonful of Italian wedding soup

Low Carb Italian Wedding Soup

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cups 1x


Enjoy a steaming bowl of this delicious and healthy low carb soup!  This traditional recipe for Italian wedding soup is made with bite size homemade beef and sausage meatballs, spinach, and pasta.  It’s best served with freshly squeezed lemon juice, crusty bread, and a fresh Caesar salad.



For the Meatballs

  • 8 ounces hamburger (80% lean, 20% fat) (226g)
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage (226g)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (60 ml)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (17g)
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese (17g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped (138g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock (1.4 liters)
  • 2 cups unsalted beef broth (473 ml)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (97g)
  • 7 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (22g)


Making the Meatballs

  1. Make the panade to keep the meatballs moist.  Tear the crust off the slice of bread and cut into small cubes. Pour the milk over the bread, let it soak for 10 minutes, then mash with a fork.  While the panade is soaking, line an 11 by 17-inch cookie sheet with paper towels.
  2. Mix together the meat, egg, cheese, panade, and spices with your hands.  Don’t overmix, or the meatballs will be tough.
  3. Roll the meat mixture into 3/4 inch or 1 inch diameter meatballs and place on the prepared tray.  You’ll want between 30 to 40 meatballs; the smaller, the better.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add 1/3 of the meatballs so the skillet isn’t over crowded.  Gently turn the meatballs over so each side gets browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  As the meatballs cook, turn the heat down to medium low.  In this step, the meatballs will be only partially cooked, but will finish cooking in the soup.  Drain the meatballs on the paper towel-lined baking tray.

Making the Soup

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Fry the onion for 3 minutes over medium high, then add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Pour in the chicken and beef broth and add two bay leaves, then cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Gently stir in the pasta and meatballs, then cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Let the soup simmer for 12 minutes.
  4. Stir in the fresh spinach, salt, and black pepper, and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in the lemon juice.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve with homemade bread (like this pull apart skillet cheese bread) and a fresh salad.


  • This soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and frozen for up to one month.
  • Make the meatballs ahead of time.  Just freeze the uncooked meatballs on a baking tray until firm, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to one month.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: easy, healthy

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