Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup
This Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup is an easy prep, gluten-free & dairy-free take on the classic everyone knows and loves!
A delicious, cozy soup packed with veggies, leafy greens and hearty, tender meatballs.
Also includes a stovetop option for easy weeknight cooking!
about this crock pot italian wedding soup
Chillier temperatures mean one thing: it’s soup and stew season!
I make soup year-round but when temperatures drop, it’s time to break out the cozy recipes.
And it really doesn’t get much cozier and comforting than classic Italian Wedding Soup.
I knew I wanted to do an easy gluten-free, dairy-free version but one that kept all the flavor of the originals too.
So this one is packed with aromatic vegetables, leafy greens, a warming broth and hearty, tender meatballs.
I love the ease of making this recipe in my crockpot but included stovetop directions for you too!
the best meatballs for crock pot italian wedding soup
I used my bread-crumb free, egg-free meatballs but you can use any pre-made frozen meatballs.
Or make your own meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for even easier prep.
The meatballs can be made with all beef as written or you can lighten it up by substituting ground chicken or ground turkey for the beef.
how to make sausage italian wedding soup
Make it sausage wedding soup by using ½ pound bulk sweet Italian sausage in place of ½ pound ground beef in this recipe or 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage links.
Just add the sausage to the soup in place of the meatballs
Then at the end of the cook time, remove, slice, and add back to the soup.
ingredients & modifications
There’s lots of ways you could customize this Italian Wedding Soup to make it your own, here’s a few easy ideas to get you inspired:
Add 1-2 cups cooked small pasta such as tubetini or ditalini (at the end of cook time).
Add 2 cups cooked rice such as arborio or long grain white rice (at the end of cook time).
Make it vegetarian by replacing the meatballs with 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans, such as cannellini, and using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
For an egg free version, skip the added egg.
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor without containing any dairy. Find it on the bulk aisle of your natural foods store, or in the baking section. It adds an essential “cheesy” flavor to the recipe, so I would not recommend skipping it.
Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing ⅓ cups whole rolled oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. You can purchase pre-made oat flour at many grocery stores and natural food markets or online. If you are gluten-free be sure to buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free.
In place of escarole you can use another sturdy, dark leafy green such as Italian kale.
If you prefer a more traditional meatball, use breadcrumbs in place of the almond flour, and parmesan cheese in place of the nutritional yeast.
how to store & freeze leftover soup
Homemade Italian Wedding Soup keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
more paleo & gluten-free soup recipes
this recipe is…
I hope you’ll make this healthy Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup recipe soon.
If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup
For the Meatballs
- 1/4 cup grated onion , (from about ½ medium yellow onion)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 2 tbsp almond flour , (or oat flour)
- 1 lb 15% ground beef , (grass-fed if possible)
For the Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 2 cups escarole , (or sturdy, dark leafy green such as Italian kale)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 quart reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups water (filtered if possible)
To Add at the End
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional Serving Suggestions
- chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, extra virgin oil for drizzling, crusty bread
Slow Cooker Instructions
- To make the meatballs, mix together the grated onion, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and almond flour in a large bowl until well combined. Add the meat, stirring until all the ingredients are well incorporated, clean hands work best, being careful not to overmix.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Set aside.
- To a 6-quart slow cooker add the onion, celery, carrot, escarole (or kale), garlic, salt, stock, and water, stirring to combine. Add the meatballs and stir gently to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
- At the end of the cooking time, whisk the egg in a small bowl. Uncover and pour the egg in while the soup is still simmering, stirring until ribbons form. Add the lemon juice and spinach, stirring to wilt the spinach.
- Taste and add additional salt or lemon juice to taste.
- Make the meatballs by following step 1 above.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, stirring to combine. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onions soften, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrot, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the escarole (or kale), stock, water, and meatballs. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are very tender.
- Uncover and follow steps 5-6 above.
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