Spaghetti and Meatball Soup


Spaghetti and Meatball Soup is a quick and easy soup is made in no time flat. Too fun (and delicious!) to resist.


I’ve been really into making soups on Sundays lately because, I don’t know, it just kind of feels right. What can I say – a big pot of something warm & bubbly simmering on the stove all afternoon, leaving enough leftovers for lunches all week really does it for me. ;)

This week I modified my recipe for Spicy Tomato & Turkey Soup with Ditalini, and made Spaghetti & Meatball Soup.


I almost couldn’t handle the preciousness of this bowl of soup. I mean, mini meatballs floating amongst tiny spaghetti noodles? Too. Freaking. Cute!


Start the Spaghetti & Meatball Soup by shredding carrots, zucchini and onion, and sauteing them in a big soup pot. You don’t have to add veggies to this soup, but I thought they’d be good to bulk it up, and it’s a really easy way to get them into your diet. Well, plus Ben and I went a little crazy at a Mexican restaurant last night, and I was feeling the need to be ultra healthy today…


Oh, I forgot to mention I shredded the veggies up in THIS! The new 14 Cup Cuisinart Food Processor Ben got me for Christmas. It’s my pride and joy!


I’ve wanted this baby for years. It’s big, bad, and everything I thought it would be.


And more, obviously, as it came with slicing and shredding blades which make slicing and shredding veggies a cinch.

DSC_0341  DSC_0342  DSC_0345

Faster than a salad shooter, I’m tellin’ ya. (BAHAHA, remember those?! My Mom was obsessed. ;) )


Anywho, after the veggies are soft, add chicken broth and marinara sauce to the pot, and bring it to a boil.


I used local Gino’s Marinara Sauce. It’s amore.


Sprinkle in Italian seasoning, red chili pepper flakes, and the star of the dish, mini meatballs.

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My local grocery stores carry locally made Graziano’s mini meatballs, which are fantastic.


Finally, add cut spaghetti, or any small pasta, and simmer until cooked.




Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

Serves 6


Spaghetti and Meatball Soup is a quick and easy soup is made in no time flat. Too fun (and delicious!) to resist.


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large carrots or 10 mini carrots, shredded
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, shredded or finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 42oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 24oz marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1lb mini meatballs
  • 1 cup dry gluten-free or regular cut spaghetti or other small pasta


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot, add vegetables, season with salt & pepper, and saute until soft. Add in chicken broth, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and red chili pepper flakes and bring to a boil. When boiling, add in meatballs and spaghetti. Simmer until pasta is cooked. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese, if desired.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


This was fantastic! Gino’s is a little spicy, so the soup had a nice kick, and the mini meatballs and petite spaghetti noodles just made it fun. I kind of felt like a giant, or something?


Since the carrots and zucchini were shredded, and were the same size as the noodles, I felt like I was getting to eat triple the amount of pasta too. It was awesome. Definitely make this!!!



What’s your can’t-live-without kitchen tool/appliance/gadget?

Mine is definitely my food processor. Even before I got the big one, my 4-cup mini was my go-to appliance in the kitchen. It’s great for chopping veggies, mixing batters, making ice cream, and ton of other things.

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  1. I seriously need to make this soup!!!

    We have a tiny mc-tiny kitchen, so I had to choose between a food processor and my kitchen aid mixer…. I chose the kitchenaid, but as soon as my house gets an upgrade, I WILL be getting me a cuisanart!!!!!!!

    In other news, do you think you can get those meatballs at all the local hy-vees?? There is no way I can top those in the homemade dept

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.08.2012

      Eesh, I’m not sure – I would hope so though! I would ask the guys at the meat counter – they would know for sure! :)

  2. Nancy 01.08.2012

    Love my immersion blender, especially this time of year when I make lots of soups.

  3. Kim 01.08.2012

    I cut up 1 -2 apples everyday because I like slices better than chomping right into the apple. Have you ever found an apple slicer that works? I’ve bought several, but never found a great one. Thanks, Kim

  4. Lindsey 01.08.2012

    I love my Vitamix and my indoor grill equally :) I probably use the Vitamix more but the grill is soo handy!
    I am so telling my hubby that Ben liked The Help, I have been begging for us to see it and he won’t watch it! haha

  5. Oh, this soup looks great! YUM!

    My must have appliance is my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I’m not quite sure how I ever lived without it!

    I need to get a food processor…I don’t have one and I think it is one of the appliances that I need to place on my must have list!

  6. JV 01.08.2012

    Vitamix. I probably use it 6 days a week!

  7. Haaaa! I had Monterrey last night too! ;)

    I have a confession, I don’t own a food processor! I KNOW I need one. My parents have one they never use, so I keep meaning to “borrow” it when I’m at at their house, but I always forget.

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!

  8. This is a great idea! I love spaghetti and meatballs. Making a soup out of it sounds delicious, and it looks so cute. :)

  9. The soup reminds me of a not disgusting version of spaghetti o’s! I couldn’t live without my food processor either. I have a tiny cuisinart. Someday I will have a bigger one with awesome attachments!

  10. Soup Sunday. This is definitely a trend I can get behind!
    and those MEATBALLS. those are the cuuuuuuuuuuutest. i’ve never seen such tiny meatballs!
    I got a vitamix for Christmas which is supposed to chop veges pretty well. I wouldn’t know. I’m too scared to use it for the first time hahaha. It’s just so clean right now! I can’t work up the courage to throw an onion in to get chopped!

  11. That looks GREAT!! My 13 year old chef and training says we have to try this one. :) I love the campout on the floor movie night too – fun!! :)

  12. Amy 01.08.2012

    that soup, I want that soup!!!! I hope I can find those mini meatballs in my local grocery store!

  13. Elena Ballam 01.08.2012

    My Vita Mix blender!! My husband and I make smoothies almost every morning.

  14. M. 01.08.2012

    Hi, I just reading your blog on Friday and have already made 3 recipes from it! Thanks for all the ideas.

    My must-have kitchen tool is a simple one – it’s those little plastic scrapers you get with Pampered Chef stoneware. Love all my stoneware, I don’t even use metal or glass pans anymore.
    But those little scrapers are so handy on all dishes for cleaning up dishes but also scraping away flour from counters if I have a dough recipe that I had to knead.

  15. Ohhh, that blanket nest and movie night looks fantastic :-) My boyfriend is just getting back from a trip to Colorado today, so we may have to do the same thing if we can find some movies we agree on.
    Your soup recipe looks delish! I’m adding it to my list of things to try.

  16. Megan 01.08.2012

    What Hy-Vee did you get the meatballs at? I want to make your Wedding Soup this week!

  17. We also do Soup Supper Sundays ’round here. I’m adding this in for later this month, using Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs. They are not mini, though, so I won’t feel like a giant. :-(

    Oh, and I guess my favorite kitchen gadget is the Pampered Chef food chopper. Since I had my babies I’ve been super sensitive to onions and can’t chop them by hand anymore. So it’s the perfect solution!

    • Kristin from MN 01.09.2012

      I have one of those choppers too! I like how easy it is to use and clean!

  18. Lauren 01.08.2012

    We love watching movies in front of the fire….so fun!

  19. Natalie 01.08.2012

    My boyfriend gave me a food processor for Christmas too! It’s my first one and I’ve been using it ever since :)

  20. Chelsea 01.08.2012

    The Help was phenomenal! I loved it so much. Hangover 2 though? It grosssedd me ouuuut BIG time.

  21. I think mine would have to be my crock pot…it is hands down the most used thing we registered for, I must use it once a week, I love it! A close second would be my food processor, it just makes things so easy. We got a kitchenaid mixer for Christmas, so by next year it might take the cake :)!

  22. kellyo 01.08.2012

    I got a Cuisinart for a wedding gift…25+ years ago. It has been a great workhorse in my kitchen.

  23. My cornflower blue Kitchenaid Electric Mixer – though I’ve just gotten it, I’m absolutely smitten! So much baking left to do!

    • jessica 01.08.2012

      I love my Kitchenaid Electric Mixer too! Mine is red! I use it for everything, ice cream, cookies, pancakes, pizza dough and even corn bread. Soup looks delicious, I’ve never thought about marinara in soup, great idea!

  24. Jami 01.08.2012

    I made this soup today after reading your feature last week. It was so easy and SO good. In fact, I was telling my husband that there were several variations we could do and here you’ve beaten me to the punch. I normally make homemade broth soups on the weekend since they take so long to simmer but I loved how easy this recipe was!

    I also love my cuisinart food processor. In fact, my husband used it today to make Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Restaurant salsa – another must try!

  25. Melissa 01.09.2012

    For me, it’s definitely my Griddler. I blame you for that–I had to have one after you raved about it, and it’s totally my fav now!

    I agree about The Help. I wish they had talked more about Skeeter’s relationship, too. They just kind of left it like he was a total jerk, which wasn’t the whole story, ya know? I watched Friends with Benefits and it was really cute! One of those, eh, this might be really dumb movies that pleasantly surprised me!

  26. Allison 01.09.2012

    It looks like an amped up, adult version of spaghetti o’s [not say adults can’t eat the childhood fave] ;) I saw that recipe or a similar one on Pinterest and pinned it- def planning to make it! Great idea adding some shredded veggies to bulk it up… I’ve never seen mini meatballs in my grocery stores- I wonder if I used bigger ones and cut them up, if they would hold their shape or crumble?

  27. CycloneMom 01.09.2012

    I would have to say my KitchenAid mixer since I bake as a hobby. (Best thing is it was free–a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law when she upgraded to a larger one) This Christmas my hubby bought me an extra bowl (after I told him “buy me this for Christmas”, lol). Love having an extra so I don’t have to wash one after cake/cupcake batter to make frosting.

    I finally got a food processor for Christmas–never had one before. Love it already! I’m making the spicy tomato soup today and it will be a cinch to shred carrots. I’m also going to purée the beans because I hate the texture of beans but want all the benefits.

    Next I need a new blender. I made a Green Monster yesterday and I’m sure my neighbors down the street could hear it. I kept having to stop and push things down. Looks like I may need a Vitamix! ;)

  28. Melissa 01.09.2012

    I agree with you on the “The Help” i really like the movie, but would have enjoyed it more had i not read the book, but it was good!

  29. Ris 01.09.2012

    This soup looks amazing! I will definitely be trying it soon. And that setup for a movie night looks pretty awesome too!

  30. Bethany 01.09.2012

    Totally agree with you on “The Help,” the dresses weren’t the right colors!!!!

    I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time this weekend intent on getting the Cookie Butter you talked about… It’s a seasonal item and they were out :-( But I did get some almond butter!

  31. That soup looks fantastic!! Yummy! Currently I couldn’t live without my blender… Which oddly enough died this AM. Ill be shopping for a new one tonight for sure!

  32. I felt exactly the same about both movies. And I’m very jealous of your food processor, I’ve been wanting one of those bad boys for a long time!!

  33. For sure my kitchenaid mixer!

  34. Erica 01.09.2012

    Most of the HyVees should have the Grazianos mini meatballs- ours has them behind the meat counter. If not, check out the Graziano store on the South side… a little bit of heaven!!!

  35. Kristin from MN 01.09.2012

    I just made meatball and spaghetti soup this week too! I saw a recipe on the blog Life as a Lofthouse. It was delicious! I like your idea of adding the veggies! My only complaint was it doesn’t work so well for leftovers cuz the noodles sucked up all the broth. Did you have that problem?

    I love my mini bamboo cutting board. I use it every day!

  36. Sarah 01.09.2012

    What a cute bowl of soup, I’m a sucker for mini anything!

    I felt the same about Hangover 2, it just seemed like the same movie – but on another continent. But, it did have Bradley Cooper…. :)

  37. AbbieD 01.09.2012

    Question IGE…I’ve only looked at Hy-Vee Windsor Heights but didn’t see any Gino’s marinara. Do they keep it with all the other pasta sauces? I did see the Gino’s Italian dressing in a cooler in the produce section so I didn’t know if they kept the marinara in a “special” spot.

    Or maybe W.H. just doesn’t carry it. ???

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2012

      Yep right with the other sauces. If they don’t have it in stock, just ask the manager and they’ll start carrying it for you!

  38. Cheoy Lee 01.09.2012

    This looks so warming its incredible. I’d pour on the pepper (the more sneeze-inducing the better!) and enjoy!

  39. Gail Orcutt 01.09.2012

    Wait until you use your food processor to make a cheesecake. It’s SO easy!

    I actually liked ending for the movie “Sarah’s Key” better than the book.

    I’ve eaten at Tartine three times in the last week! Have you tried it? Everything is great.

  40. Mary 01.09.2012

    I have the exact same food processor as you, and it truly is a noble beast!! I’ve had it for five years now, and I’ve used for making tremendous amounts of baby food for my three ravenous boys, among other culinary adventures. I can’t live without it! Let’s hear it for the 14-cup Cuisinart! Woo Hoo!

  41. AbberJabber 01.09.2012

    Haha, my husband and I had the exact same movie night on Saturday! We both loved The Help, although I hadn’t read the book yet.

  42. […] screen for ten hours straight, only releasing their sweet death grip long enough to slurp down Spaghetti & Mini Meatball Soup, and one of my, cough, 12 Chobani Greek yogurts, cough for […]

  43. Jeri 01.09.2012

    ok this is twice now that I have seen you use the mini meatballs from Hy-Vee, yet I have spent HOURS in Hy-Vee trying to find them. WHERE are they???

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2012

      They are usually by the Italian sausage and ground turkey. Just ask the meat counter guys the next time you can’t find them!

      • Jeri 01.10.2012

        Thank you so much, I will do that this week when I go grocery shopping!

  44. Cristy R 01.10.2012

    I just got a Breville Smart oven for Christmas and it has become my cant-live-without tool. Before it was my Vitamix. Making this soup NOW. Can’t wait to taste!!!!

  45. I’m so not from where you are that I haven’t got the slightest idea what a Hy-Vee is… lol. I’m going to try out your recipe tomorrow and I CAN’T WAIT! I couldn’t find any already prepared meatballs at my grocery so I’m going to do it myself (oh yikes. That’s an undertaking).

    I haven’t seen the Help yet, but I LOVED the book. Your summary of Hangover 2 make me laugh out loud, literally, because just two nights ago my boyfriend and I watched it, and I said the exact same thing.

    My can’t-live-without kitchen tool is definitely my Blendtec blender, because I am seriously smoothie-obsessed. Coming in at a close second are my Pampered Chef garlic mincer (people actually chop garlic? for real?) and my programmable Cuisinart coffeemaker, without which I would not get up in the mornings. :)

  46. TeachNRun 01.12.2012

    I made this for our family this week. We loved it! A piece of garlic bread and side salad were perfect sides. Thanks for sharing :)

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  49. Jenna 02.07.2012

    This looks really good and easy if you have pre-made meatballs. Gonna try this soon.

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