When we start to hit the fall months, our schedules heat up like crazy, and all I want for dinner is comfort food. Between my husband’s coaching and my kids’ sports, having something tasty and warm that doesn’t take a ton of time to prepare is exactly what I need. While I often rely on my crock pot, some nights all I crave is a quick soup, which is where this Italian meatball soup comes in.
I love that it comes together in about a half hour, making it a perfect weeknight dinner. I love how using Hunt’s diced tomatoes help save time and stress when I have hungry people demanding dinner now. Couple that with being a one pot meal, and this is one of our favorite quick dinners during the fall and winter months. It has a ton of flavor, but it isn’t spicy, so it’s plenty kid friendly. After all, who doesn’t like meatballs? Between the tomatoes and onion and carrots, there are plenty of veggies in this dish, too, making it a smart choice when trying to find a balance with your nutrition, too.
This makes plenty for dinner for four with leftovers for the next day, and the wee ones love taking it in their lunch the next day. I love dinners that stretch just a little bit, making them that much more economical, too.
The best part about this Italian meatball soup recipe is that I tend to have the majority of ingredients I need on hand, so I can pull it together without going out for tons of fancy ingredients.
While you can make this with dried basil and parsley (use one-third the amount called for in the recipe if using dried herbs instead of fresh as they’re more concentrated when dried), I love that when I pop into Walmart to stock up on my Hunt’s fire roasted diced tomatoes (mmm the fire roasted flavor!), I can also grab any fresh produce I don’t already have sitting in my fridge, like the fresh basil and parsley I use for this Italian meatball soup.
Because you only need a bit of the basil and parsley, I make sure I store them properly so that they don’t go bad before I use up the rest of them. Storing herbs in your fridge is super simple. Just snip off the ends like you would flowers and stick them in a small cup or jar of fresh water. Make sure none of the leaves are in the water, and use the produce bag over top when you put them in your fridge. All you have to do is change the water every few days, and they last way longer without having to buy another kitchen gadget to save your herbs.
Italian Meatball Soup
Making this soup is pretty simple, too. I like to get all my ingredients out and prepped so that I can cook more quickly. I’ll start by chopping my onion, peeling and slicing my carrots (two whole carrots generally gives you a little more than a cup, which is what you’re looking for – go ahead and throw any extra in; unlike baking, this isn’t an exact science), and chopping my herbs. Do you know how to quickly and easily chop herbs? This quick video shows you an easy technique.
Once I have everything laid out, I’m ready to start cooking.
Using a heavy pot, turn the heat to just below medium and let your pot warm up. By heating the pot before adding any oil, you let the pores open up, so the oil can enter them, which creates an almost non-stick surface. Once your pan has warmed up, add the oil and let that heat up, as well. When your oil starts to shimmer in the pan, you know it’s ready.
Add the carrots and onion, and turn the heat down just a little bit. You want them to cook without burning while you form your meatballs.
In a separate bowl, add your ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, parsley, and basil.
Using your hands, mix the ingredients until they’re mixed throughout the meat evenly.
Once that’s ready, form golf ball size meatballs. I like to roll my meatballs and place them back into the same bowl on the side so that I don’t dirty another container. You should end up with about 20 meatballs once you’ve used all the mixture.
Once your meatballs are formed, check on your onion and carrots. The onions should be translucent without browning. Add the chicken stock and the Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes to the pot, including the juice with the canned tomatoes. Personally, I love the flavor of the fire roasted tomatoes, but Hunt’s has several different kinds of diced tomatoes, so feel free to use your favorite, whether that’s the spicy red pepper, roasted garlic, or original diced tomatoes.
Bring the mixture to a boil, turning the heat up slightly to help speed the process along. Once it is boiling, add the meatballs to your mixture, one by one to ensure they don’t splash. If any are protruding from the broth, stir gently to ensure they are all beneath the surface. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
After ten minutes of simmering, add the pasta to your Italian meatball soup and stir to distribute. Let this cook for another seven minutes, then serve immediately. Dinner done in just 30 minutes and oh so perfect for this chilly fall weather!
- 2 T oil
- 1 c onion, chopped
- 1 c carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 c breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 c chicken broth
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 c uncooked pasta
- Using a heavy pot, turn the heat to just below medium and let your pot warm up, then add the oil and let that heat up, as well. When your oil starts to shimmer in the pan, add the carrots and onion, and turn the heat down just a little bit.
- In a separate bowl, add your ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, parsley, and basil. Mix the ingredients by hand, until they're mixed throughout the meat evenly. Next, form golf ball size meatballs.
- Once your meatballs are formed, check on onion and carrots. The onions should be translucent without browning. Add the chicken stock and the diced tomatoes to the pot, including the juice with the canned tomatoes.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, turning the heat up slightly to help speed the process along. Once it is boiling, add the meatball, one by one to ensure they don't splash. If any are protruding from the broth, stir gently to ensure they are all beneath the surface. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
- After ten minutes of simmering, add pasta and stir to distribute. Let this cook for another seven minutes, then serve immediately.
- Top each bowl with fresh grated Parmesan and some fresh basil leaves to add a special presentation.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 322 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 76mg Sodium: 699mg Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Protein: 21g