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Italian Meatball Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 404
Italian tomato Meatball soup with basil and pasta in a bowl with a spoon

This Italian meatball soup is everything we love—it’s as easy as soup + meatballs! A tomato-y broth, noodles and some mini Italian pork meatballs make for a hearty supper everyone’s gonna love.

Let’s Break This Down

Meatball soup is just about as TMP as can be. We love meatballs (they’re the perfect dinner food, end of story) and we make soup like it’s going out of style. So the whole concept of meatball soup is just right up our alley. In fact, this is not our first meatball soup recipe ever! Remember this beauty? Anyway, we loved that recipe so much that we just had to play around with the concept and see where else it could take us. And that playing around led us here! To this Italian herb-inflected, tomato-y soup recipe, studded simply with small Italian pork meatballs (or ground chicken works, too) and tiny pasta.

Ingredients for Italian meatball soup pasta, basil, stock, onion, pork, garlic, tomatoes
bread crumbs, eggs, basil, port, salt and italian seasoning in a bowl for meatballs
Italian meatballs meat in a bowl
raw pork meatballs rolled on a baking sheet

The Meatballs!

The tiny little 1-inch meatballs that buoy around in this soup are nothing short of classic Italian pork meatballs, on a smaller scale. All of our usual rules, tips and tricks apply—don’t over-mix the meatball ingredients, and wet your hands a bit as you roll the meatballs to keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your palms. Here’s what you’ll need for the meatballs:

  • Ground pork. Or, if you’d like to keep things a bit leaner, it’s fine to use ground chicken.
  • Egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt
Italian pork meatballs browned in a soup pot
onions softened in olive oil in a soup pot with a wooden spoon

The Soup!

So, here’s the reason why this soup is so easy—the ingredients in the soup itself overlap a LOT with the meatball ingredients. Less to keep track of (and less to think about grabbing from the store) is always a great thing, right? So, in addition to everything on the meatball ingredients list, you’ll need:

  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Broth (chicken or vegetable—either works!)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Pasta. Which brings us to.....

The Pasta!

The type of noodle you choose will make a bit of a difference in terms of texture (duh), but it’s fine to use what you have on hand—within reason. Long, thin pasta varieties aren’t the right choice for a meatball soup like this. Think bite-sized, tiny—something you might use in a minestrone! Here are four varieties of pasta that we especially love for this recipe:

  • Ditalini
  • Tubetti
  • Rotelle (wagon wheels)
  • Casarecce
pasta being added to italian meatball soup in a black soup pot
tomato based Italian meatball soup in a soup pot with pasta

Put It All Together and You’ve Got ITALIAN MEATBALL SOUP!

This recipe really is about as simple as they come, but we’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks for making sure that your tomato meatball soup really hits it out of the park.

Here’s how to make our easy meatball soup.

  1. Mix and roll the meatballs! If you’ve got helpers in the house, enlist their help! This is by far the most “work” of this easy soup recipe.
  2. Brown the meatballs! This takes about 8 minutes, and a set of kitchen tongs will come in VERY handy.
  3. Make soup! Sauté onion, then garlic to make a fragrant base, then dump in stock, water, salt, Italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes, meatballs and pasta.
  4. Simmer until the pasta is cooked!
  5. That’s it! You made meatball soup. Easy, huh?
tomato pasta pork meatball soup with basil in a soup pot

Tools You’ll Need:

Italian Meatballs Forever and Ever.

We love all meatballs. We really do! We love red curry meatballs, and Swedish meatballs and Asian meatballs. But, for pure comfort, we turn to Italian meatballs. They’re classic, the ones we grew up with. They taste like home.

Meatball Soup for Supper? We Want To Hear About It!

If you try this easy meatball soup recipe, we’d love to know about it! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see it & share it. Happy eating!

Italian Meatball Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 404


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ lb small circular pasta, or small elbow noodles
  • Extra Fresh Basil, for serving, optional
  • Parmesan, for serving, optional

Italian Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork (or ground chicken)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning


  1. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs and form them into 1” balls. These are “mini” meatballs.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the meatballs until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Set meatballs aside.
  3. Sauté the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Note: If using chicken, you may need to add more olive oil.
  4. Pour in the stock, water, salt, italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes and meatballs, bring to a boil.
  5. Add pasta and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chopped basil.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 404
  • Protein 20 g
  • Carbohydrates 34 g
  • Total Fat 21 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Cholesterol 85 mg
  • sodium 345 mg
  • Total Sugars 4 g

Italian Meatball Soup

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Shelley Ouskan

    hi, i hope you are doing well. i was wondering if the taste would be different if i use ground beef and ground sausage.

    It will be a little different but it should still taste good! Hope you enjoy Shelley!

  • Simone R

    this was delicious! i was a little worried the broth wouldn't be flavorful enough but it absolutely was. i added a little calabrian chili oil and a couple tablespoons of cream at the end. the meatballs were simple to make and really good!

    We love calabrian chili oil! What a great idea!

  • Paul McCartney

    Very good. My family said it was the best soup they ever had.

    Yay! Thank you so much! Glad your family love it!