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Easy Meatball Soup with Spinach

This easy meatball soup with spinach is an amazingly flavorful soup recipe that you can make any day of the week.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 691kcal


  • Wide pot


Beef Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground beef 90/10
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme lightly crushed between your fingers
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg optional
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk or use a mix of milk and heavy cream
  • 1 cup panko
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying


  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup pearl couscous or fregola or ditalini
  • 5 ounces spinach, arugula, or kale or use a blend
  • ½ cup fresh parsley chopped; a pinch reserved for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Meatballs:

  • In a large bowl, combine the minced shallot dry parsley, garlic powder, paprika, white pepper, crushed red pepper, dry thyme, and nutmeg.
  • Add the lightly beaten eggs, panko, and milk and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add the beef to the bowl and season all over with salt. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until completely combined. Optional: Take a small piece of the mixture and fry it in the pan to taste for seasoning and then adjust the seasonings as desired.
  • Spoon out a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a meatball. Continue on until all the meatballs have been formed.

Fry the Meatballs:

  • In a wide, deep pot heat the oil over medium until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer, cooking them in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until well-browned all over (About 8-10 minutes per batch). They do not need to be cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Start the Broth:

  • If the pot seems dry, add a touch more oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the diced onion. Cook for 6-7 minutes until beginning to soften and just turn golden around the edges.
  • Melt the butter into the onion. Once frothy, add the minced garlic, dry thyme, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Simmer the Broth:

  • Add the pearl couscous to the broth and reduce heat to low. Carefully add the meatballs to the broth. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the couscous is al dente and the meatballs are cooked through.

Finish the Broth:

  • Taste and season the broth to your preferences. Add the spinach and all but a pinch of the parsley. Cook 5 minutes longer or until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Ladle the meatball soup into bowls and garnish with parlsey. Enjoy!


Calories: 691kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 865mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1160IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 5mg