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Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

It’s been cold and rainy and my children have had a tough month due to walking pneumonia so I decided to make a big pot of comforting and healthy soup.  I usually use beef or turkey to make meatballs but I decided to try chicken this time.  The meatballs were very sticky to work with but they tasted really good in the soup.  Instead of using store-bought broth, I made my own broth to make this soup as healthy as possible.  I threw in spinach, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, and lots of garlic as well as some little pasta tubes.  The soup was delicious, filling, and my entire family enjoyed it – the leftovers the following day were excellent too.   You can serve this soup as is or top it with Parmesan or feta cheese.

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

How to Make Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Combine the ground chicken, egg, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, fresh parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and Italian seasoned panko crumbs together in a bowl until just combined.  Roll into mini meatballs and place onto a plate (I filled up two plates full).  Place the meatballs into the refrigerator for 10 minutes so they are easier to work with.

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs, in batches, and cook for 4-5 minutes, carefully turning halfway through to cook on the other side, until golden brown but not cooked all the way through (they will finish cooking in the soup).  Remove the cooked meatballs from the Dutch oven and place them on a clean plate.  Finish cooking the remaining meatballs.

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil to the same Dutch oven and add the onion, carrots, and celery.  Cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes then add the minced garlic.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low for 30-40 minutes.  Remove the lid and add the pasta and meatballs.  Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the meatballs are cooked through.

Add the spinach, stir until combined and slightly wilted, taste and re-season if needed, then ladle into bowls.   Top with Parmesan cheese or feta cheese if desired.  Enjoy.

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

 

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Mini Chicken Meatball, Pasta, and Vegetable Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Pam / For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Soup:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ sweet yellow onion diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 15 0 z can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of ditalini pasta
  • 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese or feta cheese as topping optional

Instructions

  • Combine the ground chicken, egg, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, fresh parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and Italian seasoned panko crumbs together in a bowl until just combined. Roll into mini meatballs and place onto a plate (I filled up two plates full). Place the meatballs into the refrigerator for 10 minutes so they are easier to work with.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches, and cook for 4-5 minutes, carefully turning halfway through to cook on the other side, or until golden brown but not cooked all the way through (they will finish cooking in the soup). Remove the cooked meatballs from the Dutch oven and place them on a clean plate. Finish cooking the remaining meatballs.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil to the same Dutch oven and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes then add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Cover and cook on low for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the pasta and meatballs. Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Add the spinach, stir until combined and slightly wilted, taste and re-season if needed, then ladle into bowls. Top with Parmesan cheese or feta cheese if desired. Enjoy.
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33 Comments

  1. Chicken meatballs, huh? I recently tried to get my family on board with chicken sausage. No luck. Maybe these meatballs would go over better–they just look so good!! Thanks for another yummy looking recipe!

    Erika

  2. If you keep wetting your hands with water when you handle chicken or turkey meatballs, they are much easier to work with.

  3. This soup looks so hearty and soothing! Love that you made chicken meatballs and your own broth – you can’t get healthier than that. I also love the pasta tubes you used. I haven’t seen those in ages. Will have to go pick up a bag on my next grocery run.

  4. I recently made Italian Wedding Soup and it was so delicious, and very similar to this recipe. I love the chicken meatballs, Pam! My children love ditalini pasta, so I know this will be a hit with them. I hope your little ones are feeling better!

  5. Amazing plate of food.
    I so love this kind of comforting and delicious food!!!!
    Thanks for your great ideas!
    Cheers,
    Lia.

  6. It looks like it was a great dinner, and maybe even lunch the next day! I do hope the kids are on the mend. It’s so hard on Mom when the little ones are ill.

  7. Mmmm, this is a wonderful looking soup.
    Ground chicken is sticky like ground turkey is, but I’m sure the meatballs are delicious.

  8. This soup looks so yummy! I really love all of your soups and like having leftovers that I can freeze and take with me for lunches.

  9. Can I just use a regular non stick pan for this? I dont have a dutch oven but want to make this for dinner 🙁

    1. Tara, I don’t see why you couldn’t! It should be fine… I do have to say though, I got my dutch oven for a steal at our local TJ Maxx, and being able to brown your meats and veggies in it and then make the soups is a definite plus with a dutch oven… I was never able to quite get the browning down as well in a nonstick pan. 🙂

  10. We made this tonight for dinner, I used some of my frozen homemade stock I had on hand, used mini shells for the pasta (what I had on hand), and added a can of rinsed white kidney beans. So, so delicious!

  11. Made this for dinner tonight. The whole family loved it! Will definitely make it again…and again and again! Thanks for another great recipe!

  12. This looks so yum, I can’t wait to try it. It;s so cold right now, I need something nice and hearty

  13. I made this soup for the third time. The more I make it the better it is. This time around I let the meatballs burn a little on the outside and it tastes great. I do have to double the recipe since I have a carnivorous husband and he didn’t like that there wasn’t enough meatballs the first time I made it. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  14. Made this last night for supper and husband and I loved it. Couldn’t find Italian seasoned panko crumbs so substituted 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of panko flakes and the same for dry Italian bread crumbs… A great healthy recipe..

  15. I just made this soup. But my kids are really picky eaters so I only made changes to the meatballs. I used ground turkey. I cooked onions, garlic and carrots until soft. Then I processed them and added this mixture to the ground chicken mixture just like it describes in the directions. If I cook the meatballs this way, my kids don’t even know that they are eating carrots. Everything else the same. The soup is very good. I will make this again.

  16. Thanks for the recipe! I was looking for ways to use ditalini pasta for my one year old son and this sounds delicious!

  17. Made this last night…it was fantastic. Light but still satisfying. I used only 6 cups of broth, as I felt it would get too thin with 8. Next time I will add a bit more pasta as well…the ditalini was really not present and I would have liked it to be more so. Even with reducing the broth, I found this made 8 normal servings. Thanks for making my house smell great once again!