Meatball Soup

By Rena |

This easy Meatball Soup is filled with tender meatballs, hearty beans, and a warm tomato broth. It’s a tasty and comforting weeknight dinner that’s perfect for a chilly day! Plus it has plenty of protein and nutrients for a healthy dinner.

Ladel scooping meatball and bean soup.

If your family loves meatballs, this Meatball Soup will become their next favorite dinner. Tender ground beef meatballs are simmered in a rich broth with tomatoes, beans, and plenty of seasonings. Top with parmesan cheese for an easy Italian soup that everyone will love. 

Looking for other meatball recipes? Try our Italian Baked Turkey Meatballs or these Healthy Turkey Meatballs in Curry Sauce.

Why you’ll love this soup

  • Flavorful! This soup is made with garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasonings, and Parmesan cheese for a simple but delicious flavor. 
  • Easy to make. This soup is easy to make and great for prepping ahead or freezing for later. 
  • Nutritious and filling. This soup is protein-rich, full of fiber, and packed with veggies for extra nutrients. It’s hearty and healthy all at the same time.
top view meat ball soup

Ingredients you will need

This is just a list of ingredients you will need to make this Italian Meatball Soup. Full measurements are listed further down below.

Whole wheat breadcrumbs
Milk
Egg
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Lean ground beef
Beef broth
Cannellini beans
Crushed tomatoes
Garlic
Italian Seasoning
Parmesan cheese
Fresh thyme

Ingredients for easy soup in bowls on counter.

How to make meatball soup from scratch

  • Prep oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Soak breadcrumbs: In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and milk and allow it to soak for a bit.
  • Make meatballs: In a large bowl, add all the remaining meatball ingredients. Add in the soaked breadcrumbs and use your clean hands to thoroughly mix.
  • Form meatballs: Next, take a spoonful of mixture and roll it to form a 1.5-inch diameter meatball. Place on the prepared sheet pan, then repeat with remaining meat mixture.
Meatballs formed on sheet pan with more meat in bowl.
  • Cook: Bake at 400F for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Boil broth: Once the meatballs are almost done, place the broth in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
  • Finish soup: Add in the cooked meatballs, beans, tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 18-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Garnish: Serve soup hot and topped with shredded parmesan and fresh thyme. Enjoy!
Adding cooked meatballs to pot of soup.

Tips and substitutions

  • Breadcrumbs: We use whole wheat breadcrumbs, but you can use regular or a gluten-free substitute as well. 
  • Ground beef: Use a lean ground-beef for a low-fat, high-protein meal. Another meat option would be to use ground turkey.
  • Beans: Cannellini beans can be substituted with great northern or navy beans. 
  • Broth: Use canned broth or beef bouillon and hot water. 
  • Italian seasonings: We used an Italian Seasoning mix, but you can substitute it with another or a homemade mix. 
  • For tender meatballs, be careful not to overmix the meat mixture. That will make the meat tough. 
  • To avoid overcooking, simmer the soup gently instead of boiling it.
Top view of pot of soup with ladle inside and towel underneath.

Variations

This meatballs soup recipe is easy to modify, so use whatever you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to change it up.

  • Add baby spinach in the last few minutes to get your greens in. 
  • Add other veggies, like mushrooms, frozen carrots or peas, or green beans. 
  • Use ground turkey instead. You can also substitute the beef broth for chicken broth to align the flavors. 
  • Add regular or gluten-free pasta in the last 10-12 minutes of cooking time. A small tubular pasta will be best. Note that if storing leftovers with pasta, the noodles may become soggy.
spoon scooping meatball soup

frequently asked questions

What makes meatballs moist and fluffy? 

The secret to moist and tender meatballs is to soak the breadcrumbs. They absorb all the moisture from the milk and keep the meatballs soft. 

How long does meatball soup last in the fridge? 

You can store leftover soup in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Can this soup or meatballs be frozen? 

You can store cooled soup in a sealed container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave. You can also bake the meatballs and freeze them for up to three months, then thaw at room temperature and add to soup when ready.

Ladle scooping meatball and bean soup.

More soup recipes

close up meatball soup

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Ladel scooping meatball and bean soup.

Meatball Soup

This easy Meatball Soup is filled with tender meatballs, hearty beans, and a warm tomato broth. It’s a healthy and comforting weeknight dinner that’s perfect for a chilly day!
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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

Soup

  • 4 cups beef broth or bouillon
  • 30 oz cannellini beans 2 cans, drained and rinsed
  • 30 oz crushed tomatoes 2 cans, undrained
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Start by preparing the meatballs.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and milk and allow it to soak for a bit.
  • In a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients of the meatballs. Add in the soaked breadcrumbs and use your clean hands to thoroughly mix.
  • Take a spoon of mixture and roll it to form a 1.5-inch diameter meatball. Place on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with remaining meat mixture.
  • Bake at 400F for about 12-15 minutes.

Soup

  • Once the meatballs are almost done, place the broth to a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the cooked meatballs, beans, tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat for about 18-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Serve soup hot and topped with shredded parmesan and fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Breadcrumbs: We use whole wheat breadcrumbs, but you can use regular or a gluten-free substitute as well. 
  • Ground beef: Use a lean ground-beef for a low-fat, high-protein meal. 
  • Beans: Cannellini beans can be substituted with great northern or navy beans. 
  • Broth: Use canned broth or beef bouillon and hot water. 
  • Italian seasonings: We used an Italian Seasoning mix, but you can substitute it with another brand or a homemade mix. 
  • For tender meatballs, be careful not to overmix the meat mixture. That will make the meat tough.
  • To avoid overcooking, simmer the soup gently instead of boiling it.
  • Storage: Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • Freezing: Freeze cooled soup in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Freeze cooked meatballs for up to 3 months, then thaw and add to soup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 2488mg | Potassium: 842mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 419mg | Iron: 8mg
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