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white bowl filled with soup with a blue background and fresh herbs

Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup

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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 stovetop directions.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword Crockpot, Italian Wedding Soup, Slow Cooker, soup
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6
Calories 254


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.

Stovetop Instructions

  • 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.


Nutrition information calculated using almond flour, egg, beef and escarole.
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.
If you prefer a more traditional meatball, use breadcrumbs in place of the almond flour, and parmesan cheese in place of the nutritional yeast.
For more recipe notes & ingredient modifications, see the blog post above.
Note: I have not tried this recipe yet in the Instant Pot.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1136mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8543IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg