Nothing more hearty and comforting than a meatball soup! What’s better? A keto soup recipe instead! Enjoy everything you love about this classic recipe but with fewer net carbs.
Soup season is basically year round for me. I love it obviously more in the colder months but to be honest, I’m not picky. In fact, I have even grilled soup before like with this recipe for smoked chicken noodle soup.
One of my favorites (besides this low carb beer cheese soup recipe) is this Italian wedding soup recipe. I use my favorite keto friendly meatballs for it and it creates an ideal 30 minute dinner and works as a great option for meal prepping too!
Get the full recipe below and read through for those oh, so helpful tips and tricks to making this the perfect comfort food dish you have been craving!
- Large Pot (or slow cooker/ instant pot optional)
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Spatula/ Wooden Spoon
What is Italian wedding soup made of?
Traditionally, Italian wedding soup is made up of chicken stock or chicken broth, meatballs, and usually greens (kale is common but I used spinach). Often times it contains a pasta or rice as well but this doesn’t quite fit well for a keto diet (pictured is a low carb pasta that is optional). The Italian flavors come from things like fresh basil or parsley and the use of Parmesan cheese.
How to make Italian wedding soup, keto or low carb friendly?
I’m going to do a quick break down of the ingredients I mentioned above and the possible substitutions you could use to keep this comforting soup keto and low carb friendly.
- Stock– You can use any stock you would like. Chicken broth or stock is the most common but veggie would work as well. If you’re looking to add things like collagen or up the nutrient game, try adding in bone broth instead.
- Meat- This traditional soup is known for its mini meatballs. I love making my keto meatballs for this recipe (they are a mixture of both beef and pork). I usually keep a batch in the freezer and can just toss the frozen meatballs right into this soup too for something quick and easy! Not into beef or pork? Make chicken or turkey meatballs or just add pulled chicken breast instead.
- Vegetables- I like adding spinach and basil to this recipe along with a traditional mirepoix (carrots, onions, and celery). Yes, I add a small amount of carrot. No I didn’t die or ruin my carb count. If this doesn’t work for you then leave it out! If you’re not a spinach fan swap for cabbage or kale too.
- Pasta Subs- If you’re looking to recreate the traditional pasta base (usually acini di pepe pasta or maybe orzo) you can choose to do a few things. The easiest is to just omit it entirely, but if you’re like me and you feel like it needs a little something else, then try adding some cooked spaghetti squash, zoodles, or cauliflower rice. I had a package of low carb pasta (affiliate link) laying around so I broke up the pieces and added that in instead. Other noodle options can include hearts of palm (palmini) or even zoodles if desired.
- Parmesan Cheese – Fresh grated is best and if you want to add some extra flavor, toss the rind into the stock while the soup cooks too!
Can I make in an instant pot or slow cooker?
Sure! I don’t have an instant pot (I know, I know… who even am I?) but you could use it like a slow cooker and get the same result. My suggestion for using these cooking methods is to first just partially cook your mirepoix on medium high heat before combining everything else.
Dump in the meatballs and stock and set it to low and leave it for the day. Wait to add any low carb pastas or pasta subs, Parmesan cheese, and spinach until you are preparing to serve it. This will keep the soup texture perfect!
How can I store the soup or reheat leftovers?
If this is for a meal prep, place the soups leftovers into glass jars for easy reheating. Microwaving works fine or reheating over the stove on low heat works great too. The soup is good for up to 5 days and any extras can easily be frozen as well.
- 1 batch of Keto Meatballs (make them small)
- 1 Carrot, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 Celery Stalk, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 Onion, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. Oil or Butter
- 4 cups Chicken Broth/ Stock
- 8 oz. Shredded/ Chopped Spinach
- Low Carb Noodles (see post above for noodle options)
- Parmesan for the top
- Fresh Basil, to garnish if desired
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Pepper
- Prep the keto meatballs per the instructions to start. Set them aside once cooked (they take about 15 minutes to make then bake).
- In a pot, melt your butter or oil and add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté about 5 min. Then add the garlic and spinach and mix about another minute or so. Season with a tsp of salt and pepper each.
- Add the chicken broth/ stock and the meatballs. Bring to a simmer and add your low carb pasta (sub with hearts of palm or zero carb noodles if desired). If using low cab pasta, cook on a simmer until the pasta is al dente and remove from the heat.
- Serve the soup with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.
Want other low carb noodle options? Try spaghetti squash noodles, zucchini noodles, or hearts of palm (palmini) as an option.