Fight the cold weather with a bowl of this simple, flavorful Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup!
It’s February in Minnesota which can only mean one thing: it’s freezing.
Fortunately I’ve lived here long enough to know that the best way to fight the cold is to bring the heat - or hot soup, in this case. And this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup simmers into soul-warming perfection all day long with no more than 10 minutes of effort on my end.
Homemade soup can feel intimidating. But this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup ups the ante with minimal prep time and hands-free cooking in the slow cooker – two attributes that make it hard to resist.
I guarantee that if you like chicken noodle soup, you’re going to love this recipe.
What is Italian Wedding Soup? Where does it get its name?
My friends at Wikipedia tell me that Italian Wedding Soup is actually the result of a mistranslated Italian language phrase for “married soup”, which refers to the fact that green veggies and meats go well together.
I can’t speak to the validity of the translation, but I’ll definitely attest to its goodness!
No need to stand for hours by the stove to make homemade soup. This slow cooker version makes quick work of putting steaming bowls of delicious soup on the table with minimal effort.
And I do mean minimal when describing the effort involved here. Dump the first 10 ingredients in the slow cooker and let them simmer away all day. All that’s left to do is add the pasta and spinach about a half hour before serving.
I always serve this soup with a generous topping of salty Parmesan cheese and warm baguette slices, but both of these are completely optional.
What kind of pasta do I use in Italian Wedding Soup?
This recipe calls for Israeli (or pearl) couscous because it’s easy for me to find at the grocery store. You can also substitute in acini de pepe, ditalini or any other small pasta you have on hand.
You can easily freeze this soup! Most soups freeze very well, and this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is no exception.
I like to portion my soup individually before I freeze it to make it convenient for me to pull out just the amount I need. Remember when you freeze liquids they will expand when frozen, so leave a bit of head room at the top of your container to allow for that expansion.
For best flavor, plan to use this soup within four months of freezing it.
Tip: I found these adorable mini-meatballs in the frozen section at Target. I think they are aimed at little kids, but their small size is perfect in this soup. No worries if you can’t find them. Regular-sized frozen meatballs work just as well.
More Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup - Garnish with Lemon®
- Slow Cooker Hamburger Minestrone - From Valerie's Kitchen
- Slow Cooker Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup - Garnish with Lemon®
- Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Sweet Potatoes - Aggie’s Kitchen
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili - Garnish with Lemon®
Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup
- 1 pound mini meatballs
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- ⅔ cup chopped celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup Israeli or pearl couscous or other small pasta
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- Salt to taste
- Freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese optional
- Place first 10 ingredients (meatballs through chicken broth) in a large slow cooker and gently stir to combine. Cook on low for 7 hours.
- Remove chicken breast from slow cooker and shred meat. Return chicken to slow cooker and add spinach and couscous. Cook for another 30-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- Serve warm and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.