This Meatball Soup Recipe is an easy 30-minute meal for a busy weeknight. Well-seasoned meatballs, root vegetables, and nutritious broth makes this soup a hearty and delicious meal.
This soup is amazingly delicious for being kid-friendly and budget friendly. Using ground turkey or chicken for meatballs and root vegetables to round off this soup - this meal comes together in 30 minutes flat!
This Whole30 soup was inspired by one of my favorite childhood recipes - the porcupine meatballs. These meatballs have a fun twist on traditional meatballs but with the addition of rice (hence the porcupine). Once the porcupine meatballs were prepared, the extra meat mixture would then be saved for future meatball soup. It was an easy and efficient way to stretch time and money to meal prep for two meals.
We love the texture, sustenance and flavor of rice in soup but it's not Paleo nor Whole30. Besides, potatoes bring a rather generous load of carbs in this soup already and I've found that omitting rice all together doesn't compromise the flavor and texture of the soup.
Likewise, this meatball soup is without pasta, which is somewhat unusual for meatball soup.
But don't worry - this healthy Meatball Soup recipe is just as delicious.
Meatball Soup Recipe
This Meatball Soup loaded with hearty meatballs and chunky potatoes - a perfectly nourishing dinner after a long day. I appreciate that this soup is quick to make and my boys love that it's packed with ingredients that will soothe their empty bellies.
Do I need to cook meatballs before adding them to soup?
No. Some recipes call for baking the meatballs first but this 30-minute Meatball Soup is just that...30 minutes!
The key to avoiding having to cook the meatballs prior to adding to soup is to roll the meat into small balls and dropping them straight into the pot of boiling broth. Essentially, you're making small meat dumplings that will cook in the broth.
How to prevent meatballs from falling apart?
Sometimes meatballs can crumble when transferred to boiling soup.
Here are some ways to prevent meatballs from falling apart:
- consider adding an egg to the meat mixture to serve as a binder
- something starchy such as tapioca or arrowroot will also help to bind meats and fillers
- use leaner meats such as chicken or turkey for the soup
However, the meatball recipe below has enough binding ingredients that there shouldn't be a problem with them falling apart. That's why I love using ground chicken or turkey - it holds up well without the need of an egg and still tender and delicious when cooked.
Easy Frozen Meatball Soup Recipe
To maximize time in the kitchen, I always try to double or sometimes even triple the batch for the meatballs and save them for future meatball soup. It's like meal prepping without the actual meal prepping. You won't miss the few extra minutes that it takes for that extra batch and you'll be grateful that you did it when hunger strikes.
To save extra meatballs for future Meatball Soup, simply form them and flash freeze in a baking sheet until frozen solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to a large freezer bag and save for a future meal.
If you are using frozen meatballs for the soup, you do need to account for additional time to thoroughly cook the meatballs. For 1-inch round meatballs, 20 minutes should be enough to fully cook.
How long does it take to cook meatballs in soup?
Once added to boiling broth, meatballs should take approximately 7-10 minutes to thoroughly cook.
If using frozen meatballs, be sure to add additional 7-10 minutes on top of that, for a total of 14-20 minutes of cooking time.
How to Make Meatball Soup from Scratch
It's best to prepare the meat mixture first and set it in the refrigerator while working on the other ingredients.
The tomato sauce in the meatballs adds incredibly flavor and richness. If you don't have tomato sauce, whisk 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or ketchup with 1 tablespoon of water to to sub tomato sauce. Any tomato-based ingredient that has a similar texture and consistency of tomato sauce will work.
Likewise, the mayonnaise adds that creamy lush and balances the tomato sauce quite well.
Finally, a delicious soup wouldn't be as nutritious if it weren't for the nourishing broth. We always prefer using homemade bone broth in soups. Chicken broth is milder in flavor than beef broth and is perfect for this Meatball Soup. However, if out of chicken broth, feel free to sub with beef or vegetable broth.
To make this easy Meatball Soup easier, here are a few more pointers:
- Use a small scoop spoon with trigger (this one is ½ tablespoon) to create uniform meatballs.
- Keeping your hands slightly wet will help mold them and shape the meatballs to perfect uniformity.
- Double the meatballs and freeze for a future meatball soup recipe.
- Experiment with whatever vegetables you have on hand. We love potatoes and carrots but radishes, celeriac, and even brussel sprouts are delicious and would take this soup to GAPS and Keto status. If using softer veggies such as zucchini, be sure to add them towards the end so they retain their texture.
Easy Meatball Soup
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, butter, or ghee
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 carrot julienned
- 2 quarts bone broth
- 2 russet potatoes peeled & diced
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs. Mix just enough to combine well but don't overmix. Stick the meat mixture in the refrigerator to chill while working on the next steps.
- Add oil to a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until just barely soft.
- Pour bone broth and add diced potatoes. Close the pot, turn the heat to thigh and bring to a boil.
- Remove meat mixture from the refrigerator. Spoon and form ½-1" meatballs and set them aside on a large plate.
- Gently, add meatballs one at a time to the boiling broth, taking care that they do not touch each other.
- Reduce heat to medium and let cook for additional 7-10 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Check for salt and pepper and season as needed. Add parsley or dill and enjoy hot.
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This post was originally published January 2016 but has since been updated to include helpful information.