Easy, delicious and hearty enough for dinner, this Italian meatball soup is made easy starting with store-bought fully cooked meatballs. Slow cooker option, too!

Italian meatball soup in bowls

It’s always great to have easy dishes like this Easy Italian Meatball Soup up your sleeve. It is the perfect combination of easy, delicious, vegetable rich, hearty, comforting and warm.

I love all the little parts that go in to this soup – meatballs, vegetables, greens and pasta, all in a tomato flavoured broth. It’s a great combination of flavours and textures! Serve with garlic bread for an easy and delicious dinner!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Meatballs – frozen, fully-cooked meatballs make this soup super easy! If you can’t find fully cooked meatballs, you can use either frozen or fresh, butcher-made uncooked meatballs and cook them in the oven according to instructions before adding to the soup.. Of course, you can certainly make your own meatballs, if you prefer.

Canned Tomatoes – the recipe specified canned diced tomatoes, but any canned tomatoes will work here. If whole, simply hand-crush before using.

Tomato Paste – the tubes of tomato paste are perfect for recipes that just need a small amount. I always keep a tube in the fridge for just such needs.

Pasta – I’ve used and specified Ditalini pasta, but any small pasta will work just fine here.

Recipe Tips

  • Carrots. It is always really disappointing when you make a dish like this and upon first spoonful, discover that the carrots aren’t cooked through. You can avoid that by cutting your carrots into small pieces and taste testing your carrots for done-ness, before adding the pasta to this soup. Keep simmering until they are tender, then add the pasta to finish.
  • If you want to up the fibre quotient, some white or red kidney beans would not be out of place in this soup.
  • Like some heat with your warm soup? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes when you are sautéing the vegetables.
  • If you have leftovers, you will find that the pasta will continue to soak up liquid from the soup, resulting in a thick soup. It will thin slightly with re-heating. If you need to thin further, add a bit more chicken stock or water.
  • Be sure to season well with salt and pepper, as needed, to really bring the flavours together.
Italian meatball soup in bowls

Crockpot option!

Add all ingredients except pasta and spinach to your slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 5-6 hours. Add pasta and cook, covered an additional 15-20 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted, then serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.

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Italian meatball soup in bowls

Get the Recipe: Easy Italian Meatball Soup

Easy, delicious, hearty and vegetable rich, this Italian meatball soup is made easy with store-bought Italian meatballs. Start with frozen, fully-cooked meatballs or pre-cook fresh meatballs before adding to soup.
4.92 stars from 12 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced 1/4-inch
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced 1/4-inch
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, optional
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained,preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or 1 tsp basil and 1/4 tsp of thyme and oregano leaves
  • Parmesan rind, or 3/4-inch cube of Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 20 frozen, fully cooked Italian meatballs, about 1 inch *see notes
  • 3/4 cup ditalini pasta, or other small pasta
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat on the stovetop. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, if using and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender (taste to be sure). Discard bay leaf.
  • Pour in can of tomatoes. Add Italian seasoning, Parmesan rind, if using, and a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine. Add meatballs. Continue simmering soup another 15 minutes, to allow the flavours to come together.
  • Add pasta and simmer a further 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper and/or Italian seasoning, as needed. Remove from heat and stir in baby spinach until wilted.
  • Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.


Leftovers will thicken in the fridge. Thin when reheating with a little more chicken stock or water.
If you can’t find fully cooked frozen Italian meatballs, you can use fresh and pre-cook them before adding to soup.
Crockpot option! Add all ingredients except pasta and spinach to your slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 5-6 hours. Add pasta and cook, covered an additional 15-20 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted, then serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.
Be sure to read the “Cook’s Notes” in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Soup
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 848mg, Potassium: 793mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 5675IU, Vitamin C: 31.8mg, Calcium: 99mg, Iron: 3.1mg
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