Turkey Meatball Soup

This turkey meatball soup with spinach is a healthier riff on Italian wedding soup and is made using mini meatballs made with turkey. Also includes farro, a nutty whole grain. A weeknight fix that’s satisfying, simple, and kid-friendly.

A white enamel pot filled with turkey meatball soup.

This riff on Italian wedding soup swaps traditional beef and pork meatballs and teensy tiny pasta for turkey meatballs imbued with the lilt of lemon and nutty, chewy, outrageously satiating farro. We swear you won’t feel slighted in the least.–Renee Schettler

Turkey Meatball Soup

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 3 reviews
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  • For the farro
  • For the turkey meatballs
  • For the turkey meatball soup


Cook the farro

Place the farro and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until tender, 20 to 30 minutes (or longer if not using quick-cooking farro).

Make the turkey meatballs

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and slick the parchment with oil.

In a bowl, combine the turkey, panko, Parmesan, egg, parsley, and lemon zest. Season well with the salt and pepper.

Using 1 level tablespoon turkey mixture at a time, form small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place them on the prepared baking sheet. (You can make the meatballs slightly larger or smaller, depending on personal preference and whether you prefer to scoop up wee marble-size meatballs or want something larger that you can cut with your spoon.)

Bake the meatballs until they’re cooked through and lightly golden, 9 to 12 minutes. (If you end up making smaller or larger meatballs, you’ll need to allow them less or more time in the oven.)

Make the turkey meatball soup

In a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add the stock, season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the stock with flavor.

Drain the farro and add it to the soup along with the turkey meatballs. Let everything warm through, about 2 minutes.

If using regular spinach leaves, toss in the spinach and wait until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. If using baby spinach leaves, turn off the heat and either toss the baby spinach into the pot and turn off the heat or simply add the spinach to individual bowls and ladle the broth and meatballs and farro over the top.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. (You can store any leftovers in a sealable container in the fridge. Rewarm the soup gently over low heat. Note that the farro will absorb some of the liquid, so if you prefer the original soupy consistency, add at least 1 cup chicken stock when rewarming.) Originally published March 15, 2015.

Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

What a lovely marriage of health and flavor! Though I had my doubts about this turkey meatball soup, it actually had great flavor. That it is highly nutritious and full of warm comfort are just added benefits.

I followed the recipe directions and made mini meatballs consisting of 1 tablespoon meatball mixture each. I came out with 24 small meatballs, which were nicely browned after 12 minutes in the oven. I made the farro as directed on the package, simmering the grain for 25 minutes, which was perfect. I only cooked the farro, meatballs, and spinach in the soup for 1 minute because, as I expected, the spinach wilted in about 45 seconds.

I knew this was going to be a good recipe when I liked the turkey meatballs and hadn't made the soup yet. The turkey meatballs have a nice lightness to them with a bit of a lemon zing from the zest. The overall lightness of this turkey meatballs soup had my husband calling this a summer soup. The meatballs are my favorite part of this recipe because they're flavorful and light and could easily be eaten on their own.

I used ground turkey thighs and found that the meatballs were moist and tender. I used a tablespoon ice-cream scoop and ended up making about 40 meatballs. The 12 minutes of cooking time was spot-on for me. The meatballs don't get a lot of color but are still cooked through. This recipe is straightforward except for a potentially tricky part with the farro.

Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to cook the meatballs (and likely the farro) the day before so the actual soup-making part is faster and more appropriate for a weeknight. I'll just add the meatballs and farro a bit earlier than the spinach.

If this soup is all you're having for the meal, I think you can get 4 to 6 servings out of this recipe.


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  1. These are some tasty meatballs! The soup’s good too but I’m adding the meatballs to my recipe database to have with noodles as an entree.

  2. The Zatar and feta sounds like a lovely winning combination. What a beautiful Mediterranean addition to a healthy soup. The farro could be kept separate and ladled into the leftover soup so it wouldn’t absorb all the broth. Will definitely try it again with baby organic kale. 🥬

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