Healthier Italian Wedding Soup (Crockpot recipe)

Healthier Italian Wedding Soup (Crockpot recipe)

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade soup, filled with nourishing chicken broth, vegetables, and lean chicken meatballs.

For Christmas dinner, Bry’s mom made the most delicious Italian Wedding Soup. Seriously, I could have just eaten bowl after bowl, it was so perfectly flavorful without being overly salty. And being the good Italian mother she is, we were sent home with plenty of leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next few days. Once the soup was all gone, Bry and I knew we had to get the recipe from her. She was happy to share the recipe and now I am just as excited to share it with you.

This soup is so easy and will fill your house with the most delicious aromas The key to developing the flavor is to allow the broth to simmer all day. Yes, if you’re in a pinch you can cook it on high, but from personal experience it won’t taste quite the same.

The right amount of saltiness varies from person to person. I wrote this recipe per my sodium preference (which is quite light in salt), but Bry added a pinch more to his portion. So be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as you go. You’ll also notice that kale is used instead of traditional escarole. I was happy with my mother-in-law’s substitution as I find escarole to be a bit too biter for my taste, but feel free to use either.

Other healthy swaps include using ground chicken rather than pork or beef, egg whites instead of whole eggs, and an option for oatmeal “breadcrumbs” instead of traditional breadcrumbs. I like using oats as they’re a whole grain and I can control the sodium content. Simply place oats in a food processor and pulse until it forms a coarse powder. Stir in any seasonings of choice, for this recipe I used a sodium-free Italian herb seasoning.

So here’s a toast to trying to make recipes as good as your mom’s! (the key word is “try”, as no matter how hard I try, it’s never quite the same as the original 😉 )

Healthier Italian Wedding Soup (Crockpot recipe)

A healthy twist on an Italian classic. 
Total Time8 hrs
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Healthy, Kale, Slow cooker, Turkey
Servings: 6
Author: The Healthy Toast


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb carrots peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 lb organic ground chicken
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup rolled oats pulsed into a flour and mixed with 1 tsp Italian seasoning OR ¼ cup seasoned
  • bread crumbs
  • Pinch black pepper
  • ½ cup pearled couscous uncooked
  • 3-4 cups kale with stems removed and roughly cut into ribbons
  • Optional: freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Place chicken broth, water, and carrots in crockpot. Place on low heat, cover, and set timer for 8 hours.
  • While broth simmers, preheat oven to 350F and cover baking sheet with foil.
  • Place ground chicken and egg white in mixing bowl and combine well.
  • If using breadcrumbs, mix them into the chicken and egg whites. If using oats, first place ¼ cup rolled oats in a food processor and pulse until it forms a coarse powder. Combine with 1 tsp Italian seasoning and then pour into mixing bowl with chicken and egg whites.
  • Form chicken mixture into small meatballs, you should get around 22-24, and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Partially bake meatballs for 10 minutes and then add them into the crockpot. Add pinch of black pepper to taste then allow soup to simmer on low.
  • When there's 30 minutes remaining, add in uncooked couscous and kale. Increase slow cooker
  • to high heat and cook for a final 30 minutes.
  • Taste, adjust seasonings as needed, then dig in! Option to serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.


Adapted from My mother-in-law

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  • Donna Vitiello - Brooks AvatarDonna Vitiello - Brooks6 years ago

    I am so touch to be a part of this wonderful blog. I can’t take full credit for the recipes or it was passed down from my mom who was by far a superior cook. So thanks Kelli not only a tribute to me but to your late nana Vitiello. She would have been proud also.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Of course! The recipe deserves to be shared – thank you for letting me share it 🙂

  • Kylie @ immaEATthat AvatarKylie @ immaEATthat6 years ago

    This looks delish! I actually ordered wedding soup on one of my first dates with my now husband and I was so sure he was going to think I was crazy lol…it just sounded good though! ALSO the picture in your sidebar of you eating what I think is a s’more in your wedding dress…BEST PHOTO EVER!!! So joyful! LOVE IT!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Thanks Kylie! Haha “wedding” probably made him pause for a second on the first date, but looks like it ended up being a good sing of what was to come for your relationship 😉 And thank you! I hadn’t eaten anything the whole night, between pictures and trying to say hi to everyone that I was beyond excited to finally sit down and eat a s’more (thankfully it didn’t get on my dress).

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen AvatarTara | Treble in the Kitchen6 years ago

    I am LOVING the slow cooker lately, but I’ve never tried Italian wedding soup!! Sounds delicious, though!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Definitely give it a shot! It’s replaced chicken noodle soup as our go-to cold-weather dinner.

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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