Chilly weather calls for a nice big bowl of Italian Wedding Soup! This comforting recipe is made with cauliflower rice for a healthier low carb option. Only 3.7g net carbs per serving!
You know that damp cold that chills you to the bone? The temperature might not even be that low, but the dreary, drizzly cold just moves right through you. That’s the kind of weather that screams for this Keto Italian Wedding Soup!
It’s a rich warm broth full of succulent keto meatballs and sprinkled with plenty of Parmesan cheese. But skip the pasta and pop in some cauliflower rice instead. Now you’ve just amped up the nutrition and managed to warm yourself up at the same time.
The perfect meal for the sort of damp cold that chills you right to the bone!
Why you need this soup recipe
I have updated this recipe ever so slightly because I really wanted to include my make ahead meatballs. If you have some of these on hand, you can make this Italian Wedding Soup Recipe at a moment’s notice.
So I am giving you three options for making this delicious keto soup. You can make the meatballs at the time you make them soup, and allow them to cook in the broth. Or you can make the meatballs and pre-cook them, and then add them to the soup at the end.
Finally, you can make a big batch of the meatballs, freeze them, and add them to the soup in their frozen state. Just keep the soup simmering until the meatballs are warmed through!
That’s what I’ve been doing lately: making the full batch of keto meatballs, baking them, and then freezing them. That way, I have quick meal options on chilly days. I also love them in Keto Meatball Casserole!
Ingredients you need
- Keto meatballs: You can add them fresh, cooked, or frozen!
- Chicken broth: I like to get a good keto-friendly bone broth for the best flavor.
- Cauliflower rice: This takes the place of acini de pepe that is standard in Italian Wedding Soup. I swear you won’t taste any difference and it’s better for you!
- Spinach: You can use fresh or frozen spinach for this recipe.
- Parmesan: Sprinkle the top of your soup with plenty of Parmesan cheese for a real Italian meal.
- Aromatics: Onion, celery, garlic.
- Seasoning: Salt, pepper, oregano
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the meatballs: Prepare the meatball mixture according to the directions. You can make them as big or as small as you like. Refrigerate or pre-cook the meatballs before adding to the soup.
2. Sauté the aromatics: In a large saucepan or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, salt, and pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
3. Add the broth: Stir in the chicken broth and oregano and bring to a strong simmer. Add the cauliflower rice and the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are cooked or warmed through, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the spinach: Add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted, 2 minutes more. Season to taste and sprinkle with additional Parmesan.
I recommend making the meatballs on the smaller side for this soup. They will cook through faster and you can get more per serving. I like to make mine about ¾ inches in diameter when uncooked. They will shrink as they cook.
Most Italian Wedding Soup recipes have you cooking the meatballs right in the broth. But I really prefer them pre-cooked. They have more flavor and better texture, in my opinion.
You can cook the meatballs from frozen right in the soup! Once you get the broth simmering, add them right in and let them thaw and warm through. They are pre-cooked so there’s no worry of undercooked meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
The name actually comes from a mistranslation of “minestra maritata”. This Italian phrase translates to “married soup” and refers to the marriage of ingredients, not to actual weddings. But isn’t it nice to imagine that it’s served at nuptial feasts to honor the bride and groom?
Italian Wedding Soup typically consists of meatballs, broth, spinach, and small, round pasta called Acini de Pepe. For this keto friendly version, I have replaced the pasta with cauliflower rice. And it’s just as tasty and even more nutritious!
This Keto Italian Wedding Soup has 5.2g of carbs and 1.5g of fiber per serving. So it has only 3.7g net carbs per yummy bowl of soup.
More delicious soup recipes
Keto Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
- ⅓ recipe Keto Meatballs
Italian Wedding Soup
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 4 stalks celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups riced cauliflower
- 2 cups packed spinach leaves (or 1 cup frozen spinach)
- Additional salt and pepper
- Parmesan for sprinkling
- Prepare the meatball mixture according to the directions. You can make them as big or as small as you like.
- At this point, you can either refrigerate them and add to the soup to be cooked in the broth. Or you can pre-cook them and add to the soup at the end. You can even freeze them and add them straight to the broth from frozen.
Italian Wedding Soup
- In a large saucepan or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, salt, and pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Stir in the chicken broth and oregano and bring to a strong simmer. Add the cauliflower rice and the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are cooked or warmed through, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted, 2 minutes more. Season to taste and sprinkle with additional Parmesan.
Natalie Bourne says
I make this soup instead of cauliflower rice, I beat 2 eggs and drop it on the boiling chicken stock to make a egg drop soup… then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese yummy
Soup is absolutely fantastic and the meatballs are delicious. Thanks Caroline for another wonderful recipe!
I am trying to stay away from sweeteners so am avoiding dessert recipes, but am enjoying your savory recipes. Happy to say after making the Italian Wedding soup, my blood sugar readings were the lowest they’ve been in quite some time. Thank you.
I’m not sure what the reason for the cauliflower rice is. Is it a clone for real rice? I’ve not made this soup before, so I wouldn’t know 🙂
I talk about that in the blog post! 🙂
Dawn S. says
My Mom makes something very similar every Christmas, we’ve always just called it mini-meatball soup but if it’s fresh she uses Escarole instead….spinach when she can’t get the Escarole 🙂 I never thought to add cauli rice to my mom’s recipe instead of the tubetini she usually makes with it. Thanks!
This is so good. Thanks for yet again another delicious recipe.
Finally starting to have cooler temps in the south so, to me, it’s soup weather and time for Italian Wedding Soup ????. I love this soup, an awesome low carb version of my favorite soup ever! I do add a few carrots for color so slightly higher carb count, but I’m okay with that. I’ve also occasionally used Palmini “rice” rather than riced cauliflower with good results. Slightly different flavor profile but not a huge difference. This stuff is soooo good!
Carolyn, would frozen spinach work ok for this soup? It’s all I have and just coming off of Covid, I need something hearty like this in my life!
Sure, I can’t see why not! I am so sorry you were sick.
Joan Cook says
Cold and rainy day here in Ohio.. and so glad to see this recipe today! Making it with your focaccia bread:). You are the best!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
For about 6 yrs we have done soup Sundays during the fall/winter months. This year I have had to change my diet to low carb. I was worried about continuing our traditions but this is the second recipe we have made and it is now in the soup menu rotation. So delicious!!!! Even my non keto soup has been enjoying them!! So much flavor. I did make the meatballs with ground turkey and it was delicious!!
Made this last night and used arugula instead of spinach. Absolutely delicious!
This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is fantastic! I made it for SuperBowl yesterday and it is now in our top two soups! It’s absolutely delicious! It makes the labor totally worth it! Thanks so much for another fabulous recipe, Carolyn!
Nice recipe. Never made Italian wedding soup before! Cauliflower was a delish addition.
CHEATED with frozen Talluto’s Soup Size Italian Style Meatballs. Never had them before. I got them from Acme in Maryland (in case anyone can find them). Not super low carb, but MIGHT fit into some people’s diets: 250 Cal, Serving Size 85g, Fat 20g, Carb 5g (Fiber 1g), Protein 13g. Contains breadcrumbs.
So, funny story… I bought these mini meatballs as a lunch option for my nephew… but, over the course of 3 days, that Italian boy never picked them. What to do? lol… Italian wedding soup. Easy enough.
Yes, I know, I ignored the meatball portion of the recipe. Major substitution. That being said… Next, time… If I used frozen meatballs again, I’d increase the chicken broth from 6 to 8 cups (and use homemade instead of boxed; the broth needed more fat/richness). Instead of spinach, maybe kale or collards?
Ruth Wheatley says
I made this but did not realize I was out of chicken broth I had to compromise with beef broth It is still fabulous thank you
Have I told you lately that I love you….
Your recipes are my life!
A million thanks ❤️
Jodie Foster says
Better than making it with pasta. Omitted celery and onion added extra spinach and it was the best ever!