Old-Fashioned Italian Meatball Soup

Make an old-fashioned meatball soup with this classic recipe! The recipe starts off by sautéing the vegetables on the stovetop, which creates a delicious base flavor. Then add the meatballs, tomatoes, oregano, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 25 minutes and then add the potatoes and zucchini for an extra flavour boost. Finish the soup off with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley for an extra boost of color. Making a delicious and nutritious meal that your family will love is simpler than you think!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the best way to prepare the vegetables for this recipe? A: To give the soup an extra depth of flavor, we recommend dicing the onion and celery finely. The garlic should be minced and the potatoes should be peeled and diced. The zucchini should be diced as well.

Q: Is this recipe vegetarian-friendly? A: Though this recipe does call for meatballs, it would be simple to make it vegetarian-friendly by substituting the meat for protein-rich plants such as tofu, seitan, or tempeh.

Q: How can I store the meatball soup? A: This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can also be frozen in containers for up to three months. Reheat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick and easy meal.

Old-Fashioned Meatball Soup

4 from 3 votes
Recipe by Addrecipes Course: Soups, Stews And Chili RecipesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


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This is my number-one soup recipe, perfect for a cold rainy day, handed down to me by my mother. It will make you feel all fuzzy inside especially when the weather isn’t so nice. I hope you all enjoy it as much as my family has.


  • Stock:

  • 1 gallon 1 water

  • 3 cups 3 tomato sauce

  • 1 yellow onion, quartered

  • 4 tablespoons 4 chicken bouillon (such as Knorr®)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon 1 dried oregano

  • Meatballs:

  • 3 pounds 3 lean ground beef

  • 3 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 uncooked white rice

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon 1 seasoned salt (such as Season-All®)

  • 1 tablespoon 1 dried oregano leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 ground cumin

  • 10 10 small baby potatoes

  • 5 5 large carrots, sliced diagonally

  • 5 5 stalks celery, sliced diagonally

  • 2 2 zucchini, chopped

  • 2 cups 2 thickly shredded green cabbage

  • 1 1 lemon, sliced into wedges (optional)

  • 2 2 avocados, chopped (optional)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


  • Pour water into a large stockpot over high heat. Stir in 3 cups tomato sauce, yellow onion, chicken bouillon, garlic, and 1 tablespoon dried oregano. Bring broth to a slow boil.
  • Combine ground beef, eggs, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, white rice, 1/4 cup cilantro, seasoned salt, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cumin in a large bowl. Squeeze mixture with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
  • Scoop 1/4 cup of beef mixture and form in a ball. Lower gently into boiling broth. Repeat with remaining beef mixture.
  • Stir potatoes, carrots, and celery into the broth. Cover and simmer until meatballs and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cabbage. Cover and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with avocado and 1/4 cup cilantro.

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