Delicious and cozy Meatball Soup prepared in just 30 minutes with hearty meatballs gently simmered in a rich tomato broth loaded with garlic, herbs, and veggies.
An Easy and Quick Meatball Soup Recipe
This classic yet timeless Meatball Soup is made in one pot featuring tender meatballs simmered in a fragrant tomato broth with tomatoes, carrots, celery, and kale for added color and flavor. It is the ultimate cozy soup that will warm you inside and out! Meatball Soup is a wholesome meal that can make a perfect lunch and a stellar dinner. While homemade meatballs are always great and relatively easy to make, for this recipe, I almost always opt for the frozen, ready-to-go meatballs. I don’t even let them thaw. I like to keep my dinners easy as often as possible. BUT, if you want to make your own, grab this recipe for my oven baked meatballs.
Why We Love This Soup
- Ultimate Comfort Food: There’s nothing like the warmth and richness of meatballs simmering in a tomato broth to warm your soul and fill your belly.
- Frozen Meatballs: Got a bag of pre-cooked meatballs in the freezer? Perfect! This recipe transforms them into a gourmet meal.
- 30-Minute Miracle: No need to spend hours in the kitchen; this soul-soothing soup comes together in just 30 minutes! Perfect for those busy nights.
Meatball Soup Ingredients
- Olive Oil: Used to sauté the veggies.
- Yellow Onion & Garlic: They add a sweet, aromatic, and savory base to the entire dish.
- Carrots: Sliced into thin coins.
- Celery Ribs
- Oregano, Thyme, and Parsley: These aromatic herbs add a depth of flavor.
- Pre-Cooked Meatballs: They are simmered until tender in the savory broth, soaking up all the flavors.
- Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: The tomatoes add a smoky and rich base.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: It can be substituted with beef, bone, or vegetable broth.
- Kale: Tossed in towards the end.
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese: Grated on top, adding a creamy, salty finish.
How To Make Meatball Soup
- Cook the veggies and aromatics. Heat up the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a heavy soup pot. Add the diced onions, celery, carrots, and parsley to the hot oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in the chopped oregano, thyme, and minced garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 seconds.
- Cook the meatballs. Add the frozen meatballs and continue to cook for 5 minutes. You do not have to thaw them out. If using homemade raw meatballs, make sure to cook them before adding to the soup.
- Add tomatoes, broth, and kale. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and continue to cook for 12 minutes or until the meatballs are tender. Stir in the kale and cook for 2 more minutes. You can also use spinach.
- Finish. Taste the soup for salt and pepper and adjust. Remove from heat, add parmesan cheese, and serve.
Helpful Tips And Variations
- Meatball Options: I use prepackaged meatballs for this recipe, but if you want to make your own from scratch, I suggest baking them for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through, before adding them to the soup.
- Meatless Option: If avoiding meat, you can always use plant-based meatballs. I love these Meatless Italian “Sausage” Meatballs. If avoiding red meat, turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs will work perfectly.
- Herbs: Whenever possible, use fresh herbs for this Meatball Soup, but if you don’t have those on hand, you can use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. If you don’t have those two on hand, a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning also works.
- Kale: For those who can’t understand the love for kale, use baby spinach leaves instead.
- Veggies: To amp up the veggie factor, add a couple of cups of frozen vegetables during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Add Pasta: This soup is really good as it is, but if you want to make a hearty meal, you can add small dry pasta (like ditalini) to the soup right when you bring the soup to a boil and let the pasta cook with the rest of the ingredients.
Serving Suggestions For Soup
You can serve this soup with a side of my No-Knead Skillet Bread to sop up all that tomato goodness. If avoiding bread, move on over and try this soup with a side of my Creamy Garlic Mushrooms with Bacon. This La Scala Chopped Salad would be terrific right before digging into a bowl of meatball soup.
How To Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in a soup pot set over medium heat. You can also use the microwave to reheat the soup.
- To freeze, pour the soup into an airtight container and store it in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. I try to make this recipe in bigger batches to freeze, then we always have it on hand for a quick and delicious meal.
- To thaw, place the frozen soup in a Dutch oven or soup pot and cook over medium heat until heated through. Stir occasionally.
More Soup Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into thin coins
- 2 celery ribs, sliced into half moons
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, you can also use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, you can also use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound frozen pre-cooked meatballs
- 28 ounces canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, you can also use beef broth, bone broth, or vegetable broth
- 5 ounces baby kale leaves
- grated fresh parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot set over medium-high heat. To the heated oil, add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and parsley; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the veggies are just tender, stirring frequently.
- Stir in thyme and oregano; season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 seconds. Add minced garlic and cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add in the frozen meatballs and continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium; continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until meatballs are tender and soup is hot.
- Stir in kale and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Top the soup with grated fresh parmesan cheese and serve.
- Mix Up the Meatballs: I often go for store-bought meatballs for this recipe, but you can also use homemade. Make sure the meatballs are cooked before adding them to the soup.
- Go Meatless or Poultry: Plant-based meatballs or those tasty Meatless Italian “Sausage” Meatballs are a great alternative. Chicken and turkey meatballs are also a win!
- Herbs: Fresh herbs are king, but if unavailable, a dash of dried oregano and thyme or a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning has you covered.
- Swap That Kale: Not a kale fan? No worries, baby spinach is a fantastic substitute.
- Veggie Boost: Throw in a couple of cups of frozen veggies in the final 5 minutes of cooking for extra nutrition, crunch, and color.
- Add Pasta: Level up the heartiness by adding small pasta when the soup boils, cooking it to perfection with the rest of the ingredients.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.