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Instant pot italian wedding soup in 3 white bowls with parsley scattered around them.

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup

Instant pot Italian wedding soup is the perfect bowl of comfort! It’s jam packed with little pearls of pasta, a whole bunch of spinach, flavorful Italian herbs and seasonings, and hearty meatballs. Plus, it’s healthy, quick to throw together, and super easy to make! Whether you’re feeling under the weather, it’s a cold dreary day, or you just need a delicious recipe to feed your friends and family, this soup can do it all!
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 326kcal
Cost $20


For the Soup

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 celery diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 6 cups chicken broth or broth and water combination
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cup acini di pepe or other small pasta (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 to 8 oz baby spinach
  • freshly shredded parmesan cheese for garnishing

For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chicken (see notes for substitutes)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  • Prepare all of your ingredients so that they are ready to go into the instant pot when it’s time.
  • Make the meatballs: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley, salt, pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Scoop, separate, and roll the mixture into 1 to 2 tbsp-sized meatballs. (I had about 26 meatballs. You might have a bit more or less depending on their size.)
  • Set your instant pot or pressure cooker to the “sauté” setting. (See notes if you don't have a "sauté setting.) Allow it to heat up for about a minute, then add in 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully swirl the oil around so it coats the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the meatballs to the pot. Try not to overcrowd them. You can cook them in batches if you need to. Allow the meatballs to cook for about 3 minutes without touching them. After 3 minutes, try lifting them from the pot. If they are stuck, let them cook for another minute or two. The meatballs will release from the pot once they are perfectly golden brown.
  • Flip the meatballs over and allow them to brown the same way on the other side. When done, remove them from the pot and place them on a clean plate.
  • With your pot still on the sauté setting, add in the other 2 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, other 2 minced garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoon parsley. Use the vegetables to scrape the chicken scraps from the bottom of the pot. (If you don’t scrape the pot properly, it will stop mid-cooking and give you a burn warning!) Stir and cook until the carrots soften a bit and the onions start to become translucent.
  • Turn off the sauté setting. Add back in the meatballs, along with the chicken broth, oregano, basil, acini di pepe, salt, and pepper. Gently give everything a stir, being careful not to break apart the meatballs.
  • Cover the pot with the lid and set the valve to “seal.” Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Allow the pot to naturally release for 15 minutes before flipping the valve to “vent” and manually releasing any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and gently stir in the spinach until it wilts.
  • Serve soup hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top and a side of your favorite crusty bread!


  1. I love using ground chicken because of its texture and flavor. You can also use ground turkey, ground pork, or a combination of any of these 3 meats. If you want to keep the soup light and healthy, I would generally stay away from using ground beef for this recipe, as it could make the broth greasy and weigh everything down.
  2. Acini di pepe are really tiny pearls of pasta. When they cook, they puff up a bit. If you have trouble finding them in the pasta aisle of your grocery store, you can substitute with israeli couscous, pastina, or orzo instead.
  3. This instant pot Italian wedding soup freezes really well. Simply allow it to cool completely before spooning it into airtight freezer-safe containers. Place the soup in the freezer and it should last about 6 months. To reheat the soup, allow it to defrost overnight and pour it into a pot over medium heat on the stove to warm through.
  4. If your instant pot or pressure cooker doesn’t have a sauté setting: you can bake the meatballs, onions, carrots, and celery in the oven before adding them to the pot. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick spray. Place the vegetables on the pan and very lightly drizzle them with olive oil. Then, place the meatballs on top. Cook all together in the oven for about 15 minutes, checking on the vegetables every so often to make sure they don’t burn. 
  5. To make this soup on the stove: Instead of using a pressure cooker, place a large stock pot over medium heat. Follow the general instructions listed in the recipe, using this as a basic guide: Brown the meatballs at the bottom of the pot, remove them, and sauté the vegetables. Add the meatballs back in, along with the other ingredients listed in step 7. Bring the soup to a low boil and cook for about 9 minutes, or until the pasta becomes tender. Then lastly, add in the spinach.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1453mg | Potassium: 916mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6365IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3mg