Easy Italian Meatball Soup

This easy Italian meatball soup is rich, delicious and EASY~using frozen meatballs to cut prep time in half.

Easy Italian meatball soup

This recipe is an adaptation of this fabulous Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup, literally one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten. I wondered if a meatball version of the fab soup would turn out yummy, and it did!

I served this alongside spaghetti to my daughter and her basketball team. They devoured it, and many went back for seconds. It was a hit.

Since I wanted to create an yummy soup that was easy, making homemade meatballs was out of the question. I decided to use Trader Joe’s cocktail meatballs since I had them on hand and because I like their small size. They worked beautifully!

If you live near The Fresh Market, it has several of the key ingredients easily accessible. The Parmesan rind is key, and TFM has rind-on parmesan chunks in the deli cheese case for only a few dollars. They also sell the red wine in small bottles near the register. Either the merlot or cabernet sauvignon is perfect.The Drake’s cheese filled tortellini is in the freezer case. It is my favorite cheese tortellini and comes in a box that has enough to make 2-3 batches of this soup.

There was just enough soup left over for two small bowls the next day. Jud and I ate it for lunch, and it was as good or better than the day before. This is definitely a keeper of a recipe for us.

If you try either of these tortellini soups, please leave comments with your opinion! I love love hearing your thoughts as well as your suggestions. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Easy Italian Meatball Soup

Easy Italian Meatball Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This soup is rich, savory and delicious. Don't tell anyone you used frozen meatballs (they will never know).


  • 4 TB Extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 package frozen meatballs (I used Trader Joe's cocktail meatballs)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (or substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 TB Italian seasoning
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Parmesan rind (or a small hunk of Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 (9- or 12-ounce package) fresh or frozen tortellini
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste


  1. Heat 2 TB oil in skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add frozen meatballs; sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. Cook until meatballs develop a slightly brown, crusty exterior.
  4. Remove meatballs and set aside.
  5. Add 2 TB oil to Dutch oven; heat over medium heat until sizzling.
  6. Add the onions; sprinkle with sea salt & pepper to taste.
  7. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds, just until you start to smell its aroma.
  9. Add the red wine and increase the temperature to high.
  10. Allow the liquid to cook out at a rolling boil.
  11. Add the canned tomatoes and juices to the pot.
  12. Use kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks.
  13. Add the chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, Parmesan rind, and meatballs.
  14. Bring the liquid to a boil, and add the tortellini.
  15. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  16. Add tortellini; cover pot and allow to simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  17. Add spinach to the pot; cover and simmer until wilted (2 minutes).
  18. Taste and adjust seasoning. (Remove Parmesan rind if used.)
  19. Garnish with additional parmesan.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 9894Total Fat 258gSaturated Fat 109gCholesterol 1155mgSodium 14215mgCarbohydrates 1456gSugar 123gProtein 436g

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