Make THE BEST Italian Meatball Soup with simple homemade meatballs, pasta and a creamy tomato broth. This incredibly flavorful soup recipe is easy to make in one pot in just 25 minutes!

meatball soup in saucepan with serving spoon

There’s nothing better than digging into a big bowl of warm, comforting soup. Unless it’s filled with THE BEST Italian meatballs and a rich and creamy tomato base, then it’s even better!

I took my famous Italian meatball recipe and turned it into my new favorite soup recipe. The meatballs are tender and juicy, the soup base is so incredibly flavorful and the little pasta noodles cook perfectly right in the soup.

After you prepare the meatballs, the entire soup recipe is made in one pot, in just 25 minutes, making it perfect for a comforting weeknight meal!

So what makes this THE BEST meatball soup ever? Three things!

  1. My famous Italian meatballs. Yes, you could use frozen meatballs to make this recipe, but these meatballs are famous and easy to make in just 25 minutes. Plus, you can make them ahead of time, freeze them and add them to the soup anytime you want!
  2. Three cheeses. Yes, I added cream cheese, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese to the soup. It’s just a little bit of each, but it’s just enough to add the perfect amount of creaminess to this soup!
  3. Beef broth. Using a rich beef broth as the base of the soup adds a delicious layer of flavor to the soup.

All-in-all this soup is a must-try dish that is guaranteed to a be a hit with everyone in your house!

ingredients for meatball soup

Ingredients

  • Olive oil – or another vegetable oil, like avocado or canola oil.
  • Onion
  • Garlic – fresh minced garlic cloves are always preferred for the best flavor.
  • Beef broth – I highly recommend using beef broth, over chicken broth, in this recipe, as it adds a deep, rich flavor to the base of the soup.
  • Tomato sauce
  • Crushed tomatoes – if you can’t find a can of crushed tomatoes, you can purchase a can of whole tomatoes and use your hands to crush the tomatoes before adding them to the soup.
  • Italian seasoning – click the link for my homemade recipe. It only takes 5 minutes to make and will add so much flavor to the soup. You can also use pre-made Italian seasoning purchased on the spice aisle at the grocery store.
  • Salt + black pepper – to season the soup. Feel free to adjust the salt to your taste.
  • Cooked Italian meatballs – while you can use pre-made frozen meatballs in this recipe, I highly recommend clicking the link to the left and making my famous homemade meatballs. They’re so easy to make and you can even cook them in advance and add them to the soup later. I always make a double batch of the meatballs and store extras in the freezer specifically for this purpose!
  • Small pasta – I used ditalini noodles, but macaroni or small shells would also work in this recipe.
  • Spinach – fresh spinach leaves are preferred, but frozen spinach can be used if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Cream cheese – place the cream cheese on the counter while you prepare the soup, so that it softens and easily melts into the soup.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese – you’ll want to use grated mozzarella cheese, so that it easily melts into the soup.

Instructions

I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

If you don’t already have cooked meatballs, you’ll want to start by making the meatballs. Use this Italian meatball recipe, it only takes 25 minutes to make and you can cook the meatballs in the oven, while you start preparing the soup on the stove.

You can use cooked meatballs straight from the oven, from the refrigerator or from the freezer to make this soup recipe. Because the meatballs are fully cooked, they will not fall apart in the soup.

tomato sauce in large pot on the stove

Step 1: heat olive oil in a large pot, or dutch oven, on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and garlic in the pot. Add beef broth, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.

meatball soup in pot

Step 2: add Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, meatballs and pasta to the pot.

soup simmering in pot

Step 3: keep at a rapid simmer for 10 minutes to cook the pasta and heat up the meatballs.

spinach and cheese in pot of soup

Step 4: add spinach leaves, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese to the pot. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted into the soup.

Ladle into bowls and feel free to top with more fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil or Italian parsley.

meatball soup in bowls with wooden spoon

Tips and tricks

  • If you’d like to sneak in some more vegetables, feel free to add diced carrots, celery, mushrooms and/or bell peppers to the pot with the onions.
  • You can leave out the cheese if you’d like. The first time I tested this recipe, it was without the 3 cheese addition, and it was still totally delicious!
  • Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. This soup is super easy to reheat on the stove in a pot over medium heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to reheat the soup and meatballs completely.
  • If the soup is too thick when you reheat it, add an extra 1/2 cup beef broth.
  • Frozen meatballs can be used instead of making your own. You do not need to adjust the time. The meatballs will defrost and heat through in the soup as it cooks on the stove. I recommend using smaller meatballs for this recipe that are the size of a golf ball, or smaller.

What to serve with it

This soup is delicious on it’s own, but also great with a salad or garlic bread for dipping! Try it paired with any of these recipes.

meatball soup in pan with spoon

More soup recipes

  • French Onion Meatball Soup another must-try meatball soup recipe!
  • Pasta Fagioli Soup – have extra ditalini pasta? Make this popular Olive Garden copycat recipe!
  • Taco Soup – a Bond family favorite, for decades!
  • Potato Soup – a soup recipe passed down through generations of my husbands family. Seriously the most creamy potato soup recipe you’ll ever try!
  • Creamy Tortellini Soup – another popular Italian soup recipe that’s easy to make in just 15 minutes!

And don’t miss more than 150 other delicious Italian recipes!

meatball soup in skillet with serving spoon
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Meatball Soup

Make THE BEST Italian Meatball Soup with simple homemade meatballs, pasta and a creamy tomato broth. This incredibly flavorful soup recipe is easy to make in one pot in just 25 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound cooked Italian meatballs, approximately 20 meatballs
  • 1 cup small pasta, ditalini, macaroni or small shells
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed, softened
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Instructions

  • If you don’t already have cooked meatballs, you’ll want to start by making the meatballs, using this Italian meatball recipe.
  • Add the olive oil to a large pot on the stove over medium high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Pour the beef broth, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes into the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, cooked meatballs and pasta.
  • Keep at a rapid simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  • Stir until the cheese melts into the soup, cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Notes

  • You can use cooked meatballs straight from the oven, from the refrigerator or from the freezer to make this soup recipe. You do not need to adjust the time. The meatballs will defrost and heat through in the soup as it cooks on the stove. I recommend using smaller meatballs for this recipe that are the size of a golf ball, or smaller. Store-bought frozen meatballs can be used to make this recipe even easier.
  • If you’d like to sneak in some more vegetables, feel free to add diced carrots, celery, mushrooms and/or bell peppers to the pot with the onions.
  • You can leave out the cheese if you’d like. The first time I tested this recipe, it was without the 3 cheese addition, and it was still totally delicious!
  • Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. This soup is super easy to reheat on the stove in a pot over medium heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to reheat the soup and meatballs completely.
  • If the soup is too thick when you reheat it, add an extra 1/2 cup beef broth.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 465kcal (23%)Carbohydrates 33g (11%)Protein 25g (50%)Fat 26g (40%)Saturated Fat 10g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 74mg (25%)Sodium 1740mg (73%)Potassium 899mg (26%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 1611mg (32%)Vitamin C 16mg (19%)Calcium 197mg (20%)Iron 4mg (22%)
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