This meatball soup recipe is a tasty and simple way to enjoy homemade or store-bought meatballs. It has a delicious tomato broth and plenty of pasta.
Meatballs are one of the best comfort foods out there, and adding them to soup is like a warm hug in a bowl! If you already have meatballs in your freezer, you can have this soup on your table in about 40 minutes.
How to make meatball soup (overview):
Start by making the meatballs (either make your own - I use my recipe for Italian meatballs or use your own recipe or store bought meatballs). Sauté the onion in a soup pot, then stir in the garlic, followed by the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, and meatballs. Bring it to a boil, then add the pasta. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper as needed and stir in the fresh basil. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
You may also like my Lasagna Soup.
Recipe notes & tips:
- You can use frozen meatballs.
- A can of diced tomatoes (with juices) may be used to replace the crushed tomatoes.
- You can use a different kind of pasta if you prefer, but be mindful that pastas have different volumes and you may end up with more or less if you use something other than fusilli/rotini.
- This soup is pretty flexible. Feel free to throw in additional herbs or vegetables depending on what you've got in your kitchen!
- Add in a handful or two of fresh spinach towards the end of cooking time as an easy way to get more greens.
- Some varieties of crushed tomatoes can be thicker than others (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes and they're fairly watery), so add more broth if needed if the soup ends up a bit thick.
- The pasta will absorb more of the liquid the longer it sits, so you may need to add a splash more beef broth or water to leftovers when you're reheating them.
- Leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge. You can freeze leftovers, but keep in mind that soups with pasta don't always freeze that well (the pasta becomes puffy), but it'll still taste good.
Love meatballs? Try these recipes:
What to serve with meatball soup?
Try some garlic bread (or fresh sourdough/other crusty bread) or a side salad (try one with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing).
Questions about this Italian meatball soup? Let me know in the comments below.
Italian Meatball Soup
- 1 pound meatballs see note
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes I used fire roasted
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped small
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1.5 cups fusilli pasta
- 1/4 cup fresh basil torn/chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese (for serving) optional, to taste
- Prep time for this soup doesn't include making meatballs from scratch. If needed, make the meatballs (use my meatball recipe and you'll have about half of the batch left over for other meals) or use store-bought or your own recipe.
- Add the olive oil and onions to a soup pot over medium-high heat and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, and meatballs. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
- Add the pasta once it's boiling.
- Reduce the heat and simmer it (covered, with the lid slightly open) for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Stir it a few times to ensure the pasta isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Note: Some brands of crushed tomatoes are thicker than others. Add more beef broth if the soup has become too thick (this soup is meant to be quite brothy).
- Stir in the basil and season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve with parmesan grated over top if desired.
- Meatballs vary a lot in size and ingredients, so add as many as you think people will eat. I added 12 from my homemade recipe since they're fairly large.
- Served 4-6 depending on how many meatballs are added/how hungry people are, and what else it's served with.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. The meatballs in this calculation are the generic ones in the nutrition calculator.