Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup Freezer Meal

Slow cooker italian wedding soup

This slow cooker Italian wedding soup freezer meal is one of those recipes you enjoy eating for breakfast lunch and dinner! 

This is by far the most incredible Italian wedding soup ever! I cant even order Italian wedding soup in restaurants because its not as good.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup is super easy and delicious!

The meatballs are best homemade but you can purchase pre-made meatballs if you like. Cooking in the slow cooker gives the broth and soup so much flavor!

Its like smelling grandmas Italian wedding soup cook all day long and looking forward to that bowl of soup at dinner. Full of love and comfort, but easy and fast to make! Freezer meals are amazing because they free up your time allowing you to live!

Making this fast freezer meal will free up your week to enjoy your family instead of stress out about cooking dinner.

Why you will love this slow cooker Italian wedding soup!

  • Easy to Prep
  • Extremely Tasty
  • Healthy (Soy Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free)
  • Family Friendly
  • Great for Guests! 

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Why is it called Italian wedding soup?

Italian wedding soup was traditionally called this because of the marriage of flavors and ingredients in the dish. An authentic Italian wedding soup recipe does not have meatballs like our American version and contained vegetables almost exclusively. 
Italian wedding soup was also considered to be a peasant dish in the past. Its crazy to me that historically some of our favorite meals came from families using what they had to create unexpected delicious flavors passed down through the generations. 

Ingredients you will need for this Italian Wedding Soup. 

  • Ground Italian Sausage
  • Chicken Broth
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Salt
  • Bay Leaf
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Acini di pepe
  • Frozen or Fresh Spinach
  • Optional: Parmesan Cheese (garnish)

What is Acini Di Pepe?

Its a tiny ball pasta that is THE BEST choice for this dish. In my pictures for this recipe I was unable to find it because of COVID, so I choose another small pasta. 
But I HIGHLY recommend trying to find acini di pepe in the store and using it in this dish as the pasta. You wont regret it and it may even become your new favorite soup noodle. 

Can I use frozen pre-cooked meatballs?

Yes, If you do not want to make the meatballs from scratch you can use a pre-cooked frozen meatball. Though I like to make my own and this recipe calls for your own meatballs to keep it preservative free and a bit more clean. 

I also find that pre-cooked frozen meatballs never taste as good as a homemade meatball. 

How to make this Italian wedding soup recipe in the crock pot?

Just throw everything into a crock pot and let it cook for you. No mess, no fuss and a delicious home-cooked dinner! This Italian wedding soup crock pot recipe is amazing!


What kind of meat can I use?

Using ground Italian sausage is great for the flavoring that sausage brings to the dish. But you can also sub the sausage for ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork if desired. Be sure to flavor your ground meat with salt and pepper if you do not use Italian sausage. 

What to serve with Italian wedding soup recipe?

Serve with a side of artisan bread, a baguette, or garlic bread (can you tell I love bread…)

Or if your looking for a low carb option your can serve a side salad or bowl of fruit on the side as well. 


How to store this slow cooker Italian wedding soup?

After cooking store in fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Do I need a slow cooker for this recipe?

You can use a slow cooker or crock pot for this recipe. It is designed to be fast and easy so you do not have to take the time to cook all night.

Can I use an instant pot instead?

Of course! This can easily be an instant pot Italian wedding soup. I have included detailed directions for this instant pot Italian wedding soup version. 
If you are tight on time or a last minute cook then throw everything in the instant post and adjust cook time. For slow cooker to instant pot conversion times click here to get a simple instant pot cheat sheet. You will never have to guess or research an instant pot cook time again!

*See FAQ’s and specific tips following recipe below. (so you don’t have to scroll for a million years to find the food 😉 ).

How do you make this Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup? 👇 

Italian Wedding Soup

This instant pot Italian wedding soup can alsobe cooking in a slow cooker or crock pot. It is by far our family's number onefavorite recipe!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup, Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup
Servings: 8 Adults
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Hannah Stewart


  • Slow Cooker or Crockpot


  • 1 lb Ground Italian Sausage
  • 6 cup Chicken Broth
  • 3/4 cup Carrots diced
  • 3/4 cup Onion diced
  • 3/4 cup Celery diced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Acini di pepe
  • 6 oz Frozen or Fresh Spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese (garnish) Optional

Supplies for freezing:

  • 1 Gallon Freezer Bag


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll sausage into tiny meatballs (I can usually make about 40 from one pound).
  • Cook in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place in slow cooker.
  • Add broth, carrots, onion, celery, salt, bay leaves, pepper, and garlic into slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • Add pasta and spinach during last hour of cook time for low, half hour of cook time for high.
  • Serve and enjoy! Optional: Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Freezer DIrections:

  • Label Freezer bag with Recipe name, cooking from frozen directions and expiration date (todays date plus three months).
  • Cook meatballs as instructed above and set aside to cool before placing into labeled gallon freezer bag.
  • Add carrots, onion, celery, salt, bay leaves, pepper, and garlic into gallon freezer bag. Do not add broth until day of cooking.
  • Add meatballs into gallon freezer bag when cool.
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months.

Cooking from Frozen Directions:

  • Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok)
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into slow cooker
  • Add broth to slow cooker
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.
  • Add pasta and spinach during last hour of cook time for low. Half hour of cook time for high.
  • Serve and enjoy! Optional: Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Instant Pot Cooking Directions:

  • Turn on saute setting, add 1 tbsp olive oil and saute the onion, carrots and celery for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients, except the spinach, and stir.
  • Close lid and set steam release to the sealing position.
  • Set pressure cooking to high pressure for 3 minutes. It may take a few minutes for your instant pot to come to pressure.
  • After the cycle is done, turn off your instant pot and let natural release for 15 minutes. Then release the remaining steam or pressure.
  • When your pin drops back down open lid and add in your spinach. It may need to be stired in and sit for a few minutes to incorporate into the soup. Serve and enjoy!


  • See FAQs for answers to common questions and substitute recommendations. 

if you liked this recipe give it a share!

Tag @My_FamilyDinner or #MyFamilyDinner

How freezer meals will change your life.

Makes homecooking Easy

Only spend one hour in the kitchen for a whole week of dinners. Day of, throw your freezer meal in the slow cooker or instant pot and enjoy dinner!

feel confident

Knowing you have a fool proof systen for something that is easy and works gives you confidence in the kitchen. So wether you're a seasoned chef or occational home cook the method of freezer cooking will work for you!

Eat Healthier

Because you're prepping the freezer meals with fresh foods you're eating healthier. Anytime you cook at home instead of eating out you get the benefits of healthier food.

Enjoy less stress

Have you ever felt the pressure of forgetting about dinner, or having to cook at the end of a long day?! No more, just grab something out of the freezer and you're good to go.

Frequently asked questions

No problem! Just throw the freezer meal in your slow cooker and you’re all set. If it doesn’t fit thaw it for a few minutes in warm water. (You may need to add an extra 30 minutes cook time if completely frozen when cooking).

You can use a gluten free pasta, or no pasta to make this recipe gluten free.

Omit the parmesan cheese garnish for dairy free.

Make your own homemade broth for a lower sodium dish. 

Use homemade ground turkey for the meatballs for low fat. 

Whether you make this Italian wedding soup recipe in the instant pot or slow cooker you can switch it up with the pasta.

Acini di pepe is by far my first choice. But sometimes you cannot find it. In this case here are some good alternatives. 

  • Orzo
  • Pastina
  • Small Stars
  • Israeli-style couscous
  • Tapioca Pearls

A serving size assumes 1 1/2 cups of instant pot Italian wedding soup at 421 kcal per serving. 

Absolutely. There are detailed cooking instructions for instant pot Italian wedding soup in the recipe above.

If you’re interested in an instant pot cheat sheet for cook times click here!

I like using frozen spinach. It’s easy to pop into the soup, doesn’t have to be chopped and I don’t worry about it going bad in the fridge if I buy it fresh. 

However this choice is totally up to you. Fresh kale or spinach will go really well in this soup if you do not want to buy frozen, or if you prefer one vegetable over another. 

Don't forget to pin this recipe and save it for later! 👇

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