Chicken Meatball Soup with Orzo and Spinach

Chicken Meatball Soup with Orzo and Spinach

Chock full of tender, bite-sized, chicken meatballs, orzo, mushrooms, diced tomatoes and fresh spinach, this hearty, warming soup is a well-rounded meal in a bowl. And despite the short cook time, it's loaded with flavor because the orzo, onion, garlic and mushrooms are sautéed before adding the broth.

Chicken Meatball Soup with Orzo and Spinach

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 ounce cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3-1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Add the ground chicken, 3/4 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese to a mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly and form the mixture into 1-inch balls (24 to 30). Place the meatballs on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While the meatballs chill, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and sauté until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring often, until any liquid given off by the mushrooms has evaporated and they are beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the meatballs, a few at a time, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the orzo and diced tomatoes, cover again and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, until wilted. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and top with additional grated parmesan if desired.

Makes 4 servings

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