italian wedding soup

Recipe At-A-Glance

This hearty soup is a meal on its own! By using lean ground turkey, tons of dark, leafy greens and quinoa, you get a nutritional powerhouse soup that is incredible tasty.

Ready in 45 minutes

We started our birth classes last weekend, and it was awesome. Both Craig and I really enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot. Unfortunately though, the instructor did a lesson on pregnancy nutrition, and unfortunately, she went on for about 15 minutes about the importance of dark, leafy greens for pregnant women. And unfortunately, dark leafy greens are pretty strongly on my “don’t bring anywhere near me” list—and they have been for my entire pregnancy. I’ve managed to sneak a few handfuls of spinach in a smoothie here or there, but for the most part, my body wants nothing to do with greens.

chard garden greens

So, I’m trying to bring myself back around to eating greens again. I will not be eating any raw kale salads anytime soon (blech), but I will maybe be able to squeeze some leafy greens into my everyday eats, like into this Italian Wedding soup, which is packed with four cups of kale and two cups of spinach.

italian wedding soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a favorite in our house! I love that the meatballs, veggies and beans make it feel like a hearty, full meal. Sometimes soups can feel a little light, which is awesome when it’s 95° out, but when it’s 30° and snowing (like it was on the day I made this), you want something with a little bit of heft—and this soup has some heft!

Many Italian Wedding Soup recipes have pasta in them, but Craig isn’t eating pasta right now, so I subbed in protein-packed quinoa. The quinoa was such a fun addition to the soup! Not only did it add a ton of nutrition, but it also felt a little bit like a teeny, tiny pasta.

italian wedding soup

Hopefully this is just the first step in bringing greens back into my life. Maybe I’ll eventually get back to my normal green-loving self.


Italian Wedding Soup with Quinoa

Italian Wedding Soup with Quinoa

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This hearty soup is a meal on its own! By using lean ground turkey, tons of dark, leafy greens and quinoa, you get a nutritional powerhouse soup that is incredible tasty.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (use gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons dried Oregano

For the Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup quinoa


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Form into 1" meat balls, set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add in the meatballs and sear on all sides, remove meatballs from pan.
  3. Add in onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until just tender and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add in the white beans, kale, spinach and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the greens have wilted.
  4. Add in the quinoa and the meatballs, and continue cooking for another 25-30 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.


Keep this soup gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs in the meatballs!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1469mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 26g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.


What’s your favorite way to get in dark, leafy greens?


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      1. Thanks for the update – that was my best guess for the meatball reintroduction. I used Italian sausage for the meatballs (with oat bran instead of breadcrumbs) and extra kale instead of spinach, as that’s what I had on hand. The soup was delicious and lasted several meals.

  1. When I was expecting I couldn’t stand the smell or taste of pork. A pork chop would send me running to the bathroom. It is quite amazing what pregnancy does to a woman.

    I enjoy my greens in scrambled eggs, on pizza and in salads. I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can enjoy summer salads again.

  2. You could try colcannon as well – mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage and some bacon. IT definitely didn’t hit my pregnant lady gag reflex.

  3. I honestly put them in everything I can – raw in salads, in my smoothies, wilted over pasta, made into chip (perfect for kale!)….you name it, I’ll do it 🙂