Copycat Olive Garden Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Beat the chilly nights with this Italian wedding soup recipe that’s inspired by Olive Garden’s own version! This special rendition also features a medley of tender meatballs, vegetables, and pasta in a flavorful broth. On the whole, this soup is without a doubt the epitome of cozy and comforting! It’s delicious on its own, but serving it with these crunchy bagel croutons makes it a next-level meal.

What’s in our Italian Wedding Soup?

italian wedding soup recipe ingredients

This Olive Garden Italian wedding soup recipe is a must-have in your meal plan ⁠— whatever the season is. It’s pure comfort food, with a flavor and texture that’s equal parts meaty, hearty, and totally nourishing. 

Here are the Italian wedding soup ingredients you’ll need:

For the Meatballs:

  • Breadcrumbs – These hold the ground meat together and keep the meatballs from drying out.
  • Parmesan cheese – Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese as they taste much fresher and better than the store-bought ones.
  • Ground nutmeg – It will add a fantastic flavor and a nice texture to the meatballs. 
  • Yellow onion – Make sure to mince the onion!
  • Ground meat – This Italian wedding soup recipe uses ground beef and ground pork. You can also combine the ground meat with sausage to make the meatballs. 
  • Egg – It’s used to bind everything together, so the meatballs won’t fall out easily.

For the Soup:

  • Roux – This Italian wedding soup recipe uses olive oil and all-purpose flour for the roux.
  • Beef Broth – Feel free to use chicken broth if you don’t have beef broth.
  • White Wine – It intensifies the taste of this wedding soup with meatballs.
  • Pastina – If you don’t have pastina, you can also make this Italian soup with orzo, acini de pepe, or any type of pasta that’s suited for soups.
  • Spinach – Either fresh or frozen spinach will do. However, the traditional Italian wedding soup usually includes kale, endive, or escarole.
  • Seasoning and spices – We used garlic, onion, chili flakes, salt, and freshly ground pepper to add flavors to this Italian meatball soup.

How to Make Olive Garden-Inspired Italian Wedding Soup

This Olive Garden wedding soup is a cinch to prepare. In  an hour or so, you’ll get to have  this comforting soup on your dinner table. It’s one of the best Italian recipes worth adding to your dinner rotation! Here’s how to make this easy Italian wedding soup recipe at home:

  1. Prepare the meatballs. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, nutmeg, half of the minced onion, egg, and ground meats. preparing the meatballs for the italian wedding soup recipe
  2. Chill the mixture for 15 minutes, and then form the meatballs. Make sure that they’re perfectly rounded and of the same size. You can shape the meatballs with your bare hands. Using a small ice cream scoop, however, quickens the process and guarantees equal-sized meatballs. forming the meatballs, uncooked meatballs on a baking tray
  3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the meatballs until fully cooked. For the best Italian wedding soup, try browning the meatballs first to give them a nice texture. After that, drain the cooked meatballs and set aside.sauteing the meatballs, browned meatballs
  4. Heat up the remaining oil and saute the minced garlic cloves and the remaining minced onions.sauteing the garlic and onions
  5. Add the all-purpose flour to the onion mixture to make a roux. Continue cooking until the flour turns to light brown.adding flour to the pan
  6. Add with white wine and reduce briefly.adding white wine to the pan
  7. Next, add the spinach, pasta, chili flakes, and beef broth. Simmer for10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender and spinach is completely cooked.adding the spinach, pasta, chili flakes, and broth to the pan
  8. Add the meatballs to the soup and continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes. Then, season with salt and pepper.adding the meatballs to the soup
  9. Garnish your homemade Italian wedding soup with basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese.garnishing the italian wedding soup with grated cheese
  10. Serve this Olive Garden wedding soup while it’s still hot and enjoy!

Copycat Olive Garden Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

How To Make Copycat Olive Garden Italian Wedding Soup

Cozy up on a winter night with this Italian wedding soup recipe that tastes just like the one from Olive Garden. It’s a cinch to prepare and absolutely delicious!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 15 mins


For the Meatballs:

  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs, store-bought or homemade
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated or powdered
  • tsp ground nutmeg
  • 10 oz yellow onion, minced and divided
  • ½ lb ground beef, (or ground chicken)
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1 egg

For the Soup:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, large, minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • cup white wine
  • 1 lb spinach
  • ½ lb pastina, (or orzo)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 2 qt beef broth
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper, freshly ground

For Garnish:

  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • basil leaves



  1. Form the meatballs first. Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, nutmeg, half of the onions, ground meats, and egg. Mix until well-combined.
  2. Cover, then transfer to a chilled area for at least 15 minutes. Allow the meat to firm up.
  3. Shape the blended mince into roughly 3 oz meatballs using your hands or any tool of your choice.
  4. Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Next, add meatballs and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until caramelized and fully cooked. Then, drain onto paper towels and set aside.


  1. In a soup pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Saute the remaining half of the onions until translucent, along with the garlic.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and whisk as you make a roux. Roast until the flour turns light brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Deglaze with white wine and reduce briefly.
  4. Add the spinach, pasta, chili flakes, and beef broth. Simmer until the pasta is tender and spinach is cooked for roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Return the meatballs to the soup and heat for another 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust as desired.
  6. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • To save time, make this wedding soup with frozen meatballs instead of making your own from scratch.
  • To store for later use, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.


  • Sugar: 6g
  • :
  • Calcium: 286mg
  • Calories: 711kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 52g
  • Cholesterol: 104mg
  • Fat: 39g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Iron: 7mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 20g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Potassium: 1147mg
  • Protein: 35g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Sodium: 1757mg
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 8697IU
  • Vitamin C: 32mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called Italian wedding soup?

The original name of Italian wedding soup in Italian is minestra maritata, which translates to “married soup.” Contrary to popular belief, this recipe is not a traditional soup for weddings. This quintessential soup is called “Italian wedding soup” just to imply the marriage between the meat and the vegetables in the soup. Given its irresistible flavor, it’s truly one of the best Italian soup recipes out there!

Can I put eggs in my Italian wedding soup?

Yes, you can add eggs to your Italian wedding soup recipe. Adding eggs to the soup, in fact, delivers a creamy and delicious mouthfeel. Simply whisk the eggs with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Then, add the egg mixture to the soup and simmer until your soup is ready!

Does Italian wedding soup freeze well?

Yes, Italian wedding soup holds well in the freezer! Be sure to let the soup cool completely before placing it in the freezer. Then, transfer the wedding soup in a freezer-friendly container. If stored properly, it can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Soup Recipes


If you’re looking for the best soup ideas to warm you up, try this Italian wedding soup recipe. It’s a blend of meatballs, vegetables, and pasta. Top it with grated cheese and basil leaves, then serve while still hot. It’s perfect for cold nights, especially when paired with a crunchy companion!
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