Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is an easy and delicious soup filled with frozen meatballs, ancini de pepe pasta, carrots, and spinach. This is a hearty and comforting healthy soup that is made in the crock pot to make weeknight dinner a breeze! Bonus: It can be made into a freezer meal.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

It's soup season and I am absolutely loving all of the soups we've been making! I've made SO many freezer meal soups (you can check them out here!) and this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is my newest and favorite. It's also a big hit at the dinner table and a family favorite of ours.

Looking for other meals with meatballs? Check out my Enchilada Meatball Pasta Bake and Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole!

The History of Italian Wedding Soup

I've always wondered what Italian Wedding Soup was and why it was named that way. I've had it many times, but just didn't understand the name - is it served at Italian weddings? Does making it usually result in an upcoming wedding? Turns out neither of those hypotheses were right. The soup is named for an Italian phrase meaning "married soup" meaning the flavors came together so well, they were "married." Mystery: solved!

Italian Wedding Soup with Frozen Meatballs

Many Italian Wedding Soup recipes call for homemade meatballs and while YES, meatballs from scratch are super delicious, I really wanted to embrace the ease of store-bought frozen meatballs. I make sure I buy a good brand of them (Simek's is my favorite and I use their mini meatballs in this soup) with wholesome ingredients and this brand makes super tender meatballs. There is definitely no flavor lacking in this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup!

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup


This recipe has very basic ingredients which all come together for spectacular flavor!

  • Onion - diced white onion or yellow onion are used for flavor in this recipe.
  • Carrots - carrots add some color, nutrients, and flavor to this soup.
  • Garlic - fresh garlic is minced and added to this soup.
  • Italian Seasoning - I use dried Italian seasoning for ease in this recipe. You could definitely use fresh herbs if you have them on hand or want to. Italian herbs include thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Frozen Meatballs - as mentioned, I found a brand of frozen beef meatballs that I absolutely love in this Italian meatball soup. Miniature meatballs, turkey meatballs, and Italian meatballs would also work well.
  • Acini de Pepe - if you can't find this type of pasta, feel free to substitute any other small pasta such as orzo or ditalini pasta.
  • Chicken Broth - chicken stock, beef broth, or vegetable broth would also work.
  • Baby Spinach - I use chopped fresh spinach in this recipe.


Homemade Meatballs - if you have the time and prefer homemade meatballs, you can make my Homemade Beef Meatballs made with ground beef, instead of using frozen meatballs. However, I would recommend making them into smaller mini meatballs so they are easier to eat in the soup.

Different Protein - you could also skip the meatballs and use ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken sausage, ground turkey, or rotisserie chicken instead.

Different Greens - if spinach isn't your favorite, you can definitely use a different green like kale, collard greens, or omit them altogether. In addition, you can use frozen spinach instead of fresh baby spinach.

Different Pasta - I love using ancini de Pepe because they are small and work well in this soup but if you can't find that, you can use orzo, ditalini, elbow, or even tortellini.

Add more Vegetables - this recipe is very easy to adapt and add more vegetables, if you want! Chopped zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers would all be delicious.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Step by Step Recipe Instructions

This Italian Wedding Soup recipe comes together very quickly in the slow cooker. It is a great recipe for a busy day, with minimal prep work.

Prep the vegetables. The only prep is chopping the onion and carrots, which go into the crockpot, along with the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, broth, and meatballs.

Cook. The slow cooker soup is cooked for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 on low.

For the last 20 minutes, add the pasta. If you use larger pasta than acini de pepe, you may need to cook 5-10 additional minutes. Lastly, stir in the chopped spinach immediately prior to serving and stir until wilted. It will be fast!

I like to serve this cozy soup topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and along with some garlic bread or dinner rolls - it is a delicious combination!

Storage. Store leftover soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days. This soup also freezes well, but freezes best without the pasta. You can add freshly cooked pasta to the thawed and warmed soup.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe FAQs

Can I use homemade meatballs in this recipe?

Yes! I have a recipe for homemade beef meatballs that would be great in this recipe. I would make them smaller than instructed, as they will be easier to eat in this soup if they are mini meatballs.

Can this soup be made ahead of time?

Yes you can definitely make this ahead of time. However, I would cook the pasta separately if you do this, as the past will absorb the broth if it sits in it for too long. W

What is Ancini de Pepe pasta?

It is a small pearl-shaped pasta. You can find it in most grocery stores but in case you can't, you can substitute with any other small pasta.

Other Slow Cooker Soups to Consider

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #greensnchocolate.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a broth-based soup with small pasta and meatballs, named for the Italian phrase "married soup" because the flavors come together so well.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 228kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces frozen meatballs
  • ¾ cup acini de pepe pasta dried (orzo would also work)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups chopped baby spinach
  • shredded Parmesan cheese for topping


  • In a large slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the pasta and spinach.
  • Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Add the pasta for the last 20 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, and stir until wilted.
  • Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.


Freezer Meal - This recipe can easily be made into a freezer meal.  To do this, place all of the ingredients except for the pasta and spinach in a large freezer bag.  Place the pasta and spinach in two separate smaller freezer bags and tape them to the outside of the soup bag.  Freeze.  Once ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Cook according to instructions. I would use chicken bouillon instead of broth and add water prior to cooking.  
Leftovers - Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If it needs more liquid because the pasta has soaked up the broth, just add ¼-1/2 cup per bowl to make it more broth. 


Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1597mg | Potassium: 627mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5290IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
Need more ideas?Find all of my recipe pins @greenschocolate

Join The Conversation


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating