Short-Cut Italian Meatball Soup

This Italian meatball soup is cozy, comforting and ridiculously easy to make. You only need six ingredients and 15 minutes to make it.

Overhead photo of two bowls of meatballs soup

Just over two months ago, also known as pre-crazy era, I started playing around with an easy Italian meatball soup recipe made with frozen meatballs and jarred marinara after trying a similar one on Skinnytaste.

It was surprisingly good – like comforting spaghetti and meatballs served up soup-style – and, after I tinkered with the recipe a bit, ridiculously easy. Two months ago a 15-minute short-cut soup recipe seemed fun and kitschy. These days, it’s the dinner I’ve made several times when motivation and focus are on the low side.

This is a small-batch soup recipe that serves two people although you can double it to serve four. It’s cozy, satisfying and comforting. Everything soup should be but without all the work.


With the exception of the fresh parsley, all of the ingredients last a long time in the fridge, freezer and pantry so this is an easy dinner to turn to when it seems like there’s nothing to make.

photo of the ingredients
  • I use low-sodium chicken broth for the base of the soup (plus some water) but you can use veggie broth, too. If you don’t have either on hand water will work, too, in a pinch.
  • Jarred marinara sauce brings all of the Italian flavors to the soup without having to chop anything. Everything like onions, garlic, and herbs are already in the sauce. Pick a brand pf sauce that you love.
  • For the meatballs, look for frozen Italian-style ones that are on the smaller size. I’ve used both turkey and beef meatballs that are between a half ounce and one ounce big.
  • For the pasta, I love to use fusilli but any short pasta will work. You might need to add more or less cooking time if you use a different shape.
  • I like to add chopped parsley right at the end that adds a bright freshness and some grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish.

Three Steps to Make the Soup

  • Combine the broth, marinara and water together in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Add the meatballs and, once the liquid is boiling again, add the pasta.
  • Cover the pan and simmer the soup for five minutes or so. Uncover and then simmer for another five to seven minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  • Add the parsley, stir and serve. Garnish with more parsley and the Parmesan cheese.

This soup is best when it’s made because the pasta has a tendency to soak up the broth if it sits too long in it. So, any leftovers will be delicious but not as soupy.

If you need a dose of comfort without spending tons of time to get it this is the recipe to try. I hope you love it ❤

Happy soup-making,

close-up photo of bowl of soup

More Short-Cut Recipes


Short-Cut Italian Meatball Soup

photo of one bowl of soup with meatballs and pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This Italian meatball soup is cozy, comforting and ridiculously easy to make. You only need six ingredients and 15 minutes to make it.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces frozen Italian-style beef meatballs (see note)
  • 3 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • Bring the broth, water and marinara sauce to a boil over high heat. Add the meatballs and as soon as the liquid starts to boil again add the pasta. 
  • Adjust the heat so you maintain a low boil, about medium heat. Cover and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer the soup for 6 to 7 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of parsley to the soup and stir. Garnish each serving with the grated cheese and the rest of the parsley.


Choose smaller meatballs that are 1/2-ounce or 1-ounce big. You can use beef meatballs or turkey meatballs.

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 473
  • Sugar: 7.9g
  • Sodium: 1501.8mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.9g
  • Fiber: 4.7g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 61mg

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  1. This soup is so tasty! I love recipes that make me feel like a good mom. It was super fast to make-which was nice, how even when working from home am i always out of time?
    but tasted like it took much longer. My kind of dish! Thanks!

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