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Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup

I’m just over here… tapping my foot… waiting for the Fall weather to arrive! Once that cool breeze hits, I’m all about the sweaters, boots, scarves, pumpkin spice, and soup!

Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese

Believe it or not, I only have a handful of soup recipes that I make on the regular, and they are simple classics like Thai Curry, French Onion, Seafood Chowder, and of course Chicken Noodle. Up until now, I was perfectly content rotating through these quintessential recipes… but then ChefsPlate introduced me to THIS bowl of deliciousness: Italian Meatball and Orzo Soup.

Pot of Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup

It’s everything you want in a Fall soup, and more! A beautifully flavourful broth. Mild Italian meatballs. Pasta. Zucchini. Spinach. All perfectly brought together with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It’s like a deliciously warm hug on a spoon, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for when that cool Fall breeze hits my face!

What’s great about this recipe is it can be customized and still produce a delicious result. Try kale instead of spinach. Use alphabet pasta instead of orzo for a kid-friendly version. Kick up the spice by using spicy Italian sausage. The possibilities are endless!

Pork meatball on spoon from Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup

I’ve made this soup 3 or 4 times now and it’s always a hit! Emily loves it just as much as I do! Since she is not a total pro at using a spoon (show me a 20-month old who still doesn’t spill the contents of their spoon down the front of them), I usually strain off the broth and serve her the orzo, meatballs, and zucchini. She happily gobbles it up!

If you’re looking for a hearty, warm soup to add to your weekly rotation, believe me, this one is it!

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Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup

  • Author: Inspired by ChefsPlate
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Soup


This soup is truly comfort in a bowl! Fresh zucchini, spinach, orzo pasta and mild Italian meatballs are simmered in a flavourful broth and then topped with umami-rich Parmesan cheese! 


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion salt, Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato pesto
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together sausage, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion salt, and Italian seasoning. Using your hands, roll sausage into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add shallot and saute 2-3 minutes, just until soft. Add zucchini and saute 2-3 minutes, just until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. 
  3. To the pot add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and stir in orzo pasta. Gently pour in sausage meatballs. Cook over medium heat until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and pesto. Stir until spinach is wilted. 
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and serve topped with a generous sprinkle of grate Parmesan cheese.

Keywords: One pot meatball soup, Italian meatball soup, easy orzo soup

Bowl of Fall-inspired Italian Meatball & Orzo Soup

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  1. I really enjoyed this soup! I added some ditallini pasta and some stuffed tortellini . I didn’t have sun-dried tomato pesto so I puréed some sundried tomatoes from a jar along with some pesto and added it to the soup. It was very flavorful and yummy!

    1. Thank you Mikki! Yes this soup can be frozen. If you are making it with the intent to freeze, I suggest slightly undercooking the orzo, so when it’s reheated they aren’t mushy!