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Meatball Minestrone Soup (Crock Pot)

Meatball Minestrone Soup (Crock Pot)
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Good Monday to you! I have a little giveaway business to take care of and then…oh, then. The. Soup. I will tell you about this tasty soup of wonder. 

But first and foremost…the winners of the Unbroken book giveaway are Jamie email address jlhspalding and Nancy email address Thanks to all those who entered and left such great book recommendations within your entry comments. I so enjoyed reading all of your suggestions. I loved that so many of you have high praise for The Hiding Place, These Is My Words, Left To Tell,  The Help, and A Thousand Splendid Suns. These fine books are among my very favorites as well.

Ok. Now. 

Brace your self for soup, my friends.

I’ve loved this hearty, fabulous tasting Meatball Minestrone Soup since the first day it touched my taste buds. A dear friend delivered a big steaming pot full to me shortly after I delivered my twin boys and I have loved it ever since. Why it has taken me so long to tell you about it…I do not know!
I can be kind of slow, you know. 

This beauty of a soup only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.
 I have a hunch that you like that sort of thing. 

It has the wonderful flavor of a true Italian Minestrone Soup with the added bonus of hearty meatballs.
Pretty sure you are going to like that kind of thing. Every person living under this roof of mine has deemed it the best crock pot soup of the year. I KNOW I like that sort of thing. 
The super bowl is on Sunday and it would make a great main course meal with little prep, fuss, fanfare, fireworks and exhaustion required. I’m definitely SURE you love that sort of thing. Who doesn’t!

Make the soup:) 

Make it and kick back, and put your feet up while it simmers away all day. Then eat it and love it and thank the heavens for fabulous tasting food.

Meatball Minestrone Soup
Time: 15 min prep + 6-8 hours cooking
Yield: 10 servings
Recipe adapted from my dear friend Heather Peterson
3 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
4 C beef broth
1 1/2 C carrots, sliced
1/2 C onion, chopped
1 C green beans, fresh or frozen
1 t basil, dried
1 t oregano, dried
1 t thyme, dried

1 (15 ounce) can Kidney Beans

1 (15 ounce) can Garbanzo Beans
6 C (about 1 1/2 pounds) Italian Meatballs, fully cooked
1 (16 ounce) box Ditalini Pasta, or Elbow Macaroni
1 (10 ounce) can tomato soup
Parmesan Cheese

1. Into a large crock pot, pour 3 cans Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes and 1 can tomato sauce.

2. Add 4 C beef broth. (I just dissolved 4 teaspoons beef soup base granules into 4 cups hot water.)

3. Slice 1 1/2 cup carrots, chop yourself 1/2 a cup of onions, and about 1 cup of green beans. Add them to the crock pot.

4. Next you will need 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 teaspoon oregano. 

Once you have the seasonings measured out, crush them between your fingers as you add them to the pot. This really maximizes the flavor. 

5. Drain and rinse 1 can kidney beans and 1 can garbanzo beans. Add them to the pot. 

6. Now for the meatballs! These Italian Style Meatballs from Costco are absolutely fabulous.

Toss about 6 cups of these frozen treasures into your pot. Cover and let the old girl cook on low for 6-8 hours.

7. When your soup has simmered away all day and you are ready to eat, cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t be tempted to add the uncooked pasta to the crock pot. The pasta will be kind of squishy and gross, and will also soak up a lot of the broth, leaving you with a thicker soup than you want. Just cook the pasta separately and all will be well. :)

8. Add 1 can of tomato soup into your crock pot. Give it a nice stir, cover the soup and let it heat through. Your soup should thicken just a bit with the addition of the tomato soup. 

9. When you are ready to serve, dish a nice healthy portion of the pasta into each soup bowl then pour the Meatball Minestrone over the top. Garnish with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. 

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Post a comment!


  1. 1
    January 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    This sounds amazing

  2. 2
    January 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm


  3. 3
    January 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    why not add the pasta to the crock pot and let it cook?

    • 4
      October 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

      it will get soggy and thick, not firm, is really gross

  4. 5
    January 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I always make a soup on Wednesdays, and this is what we will have this week. I think I'll take the anonymous suggestion and add the pasta to the crockpot. This sounds so delicious!

  5. 6
    January 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Katherine and Anonymous,
    It seems like a handy idea to add the pasta to the crock pot to cook…but please beware. The pasta will end up being kind of goopie in texture. It will also soak up most of the broth leaving you with a thicker soup than you want. This recipe will turn out best if you cook the pasta separate. Good luck! Hope you both love it!

  6. 7
    January 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Yay! It looks like I am a winner of Unbroken! I am so excited! I'm not sure how to go about getting it though. Let me know. Thanks!

  7. 8
    February 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Great idea about keepin the pasts separate. I hate how the pasts sucks up all the broth.

  8. 9
    February 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Ok, so I'm throwing it all in the pot right now. Here is my question. Why does the recipe say to put 1 tsp of each oregano, thyme and basil, but then the instructions say to only do 1/2 tsp?

  9. 10
    February 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Stacey,
    Thanks for catching my mistake! You need 1 teaspoon of each seasoning. Hope it turns out well for you, thanks again.

  10. 11
    February 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Awesome! Thanks! It already smells wonderful! The title also says Minestone soup. Not MinestRone.

  11. 12
    February 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I made this and it was great! Thanks for such an easy and yummy dinner idea :) I also blogged it today @ YUM! I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  12. 13
    February 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

    This soup was amazing, easy and relatively healthy. I used turkey meatballs from Costco. Will make it again, my family loved it. I don't like Garbanzo beans so I used Great Northern beans and added a can of Pintos.

  13. 14
    February 21, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Made this yesterday. So easy to throw together and delicious. Love your blog, Jamie!

  14. 15
    March 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    How does the soup freeze as leftovers? Any recommendations for doing this soup in a freezer cooking session? Looks delicious, thanks so much!

  15. 16
    March 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I recently did a post about freezing meals, and this very recipe was included. Here is a link.

    Good luck to you!

  16. 17
    May 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for posting your crockpot version of this recipe. I make a similar version on the stove. I use V-8 juice along with beef broth for the soup part. May have to try meatballs instead of hamburger one of these days. Sounds yummy!

  17. 18
    May 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I made this. It was yummy. A wonderful fall/winter soup. Definitely a keeper!

    • 19
      February 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Awesome weblog, it’s just like a game for me! It’s so iaomfntive and usefull, thanks a good deal! If you post more of this great stuff, I’ll visit your blog again!

  18. 20
    May 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I'm trying this tonight but I was wondering–any idea about how many servings it makes? I am trying to count calories…what fun. I just thought it would be good to know how many I was looking at before I ate too much of it ;) Thanks for sharing all your great recipes!

  19. 21
    May 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Okay, I am blind–found the “yield 10 servings”–sorry!

  20. 22
    October 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

    My question is why can’t you add the tomato soup at the beginning of the recipe? Gonna try this here in Paducah, KY. this week since the temps are finally starting to get a little cooler. Can’t wait! Thanks for all of your recipes!

  21. 23
    October 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    We made this today. Ate it tonight…Yummo! It goes to the top of our soup recipe list! Thank You for sharing.

  22. 24
    October 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    This sounds wonderful, I just checked my pantry and freezer and have all the ingredients on hand, wish I saw this this morning, but will try this Sunday as it is supposed to be a rainy nasty day. May have to try the Bonesticks to go with it. Thanks for all your great recipes Jamie.

  23. 25
    Emily N
    October 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    My family LOVED this recipe! I had to share with you what my 5yr old son said. He liked it so much that he asked about it at breakfast the next day. When we did eat it again the next night, he looked at me with a very serious face and said, “I just can’t stop eating this soup!”

  24. 26
    Cindy B.
    November 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Sounds yummy! I think I’m going to make it for my freezer meal group that I’m in. When you freeze the soup do you add the cooked pasta or do you still cook that later before serving? Thanks!

    • 27
      November 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Yes, I would cook the pasta and add it just before you serve it. Good luck!

  25. 28
    December 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Just made this soup. So yummy! We had it with warm beer bread-a perfect combination and great for soaking up that yummy broth. Thanks!

    • 29
      February 7, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      i love love LOVE IKEA food. the Sweden sausage was siuirlpceous.. =D but too bad it didn’t last long on the menu, they changed the chef’s special to fish and chip dy =(

  26. 30
    Robbie Marie
    December 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    My family LOVES this soup! It really only takes minutes to assemble and is sooo yummy! The trick is NOT adding the pasta to your crock pot! I don’t know why I never thought of adding the pasta separately before. Thank you for sharing, Jamie!

  27. 31
    January 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I NEVER comment in blogs or in any forum. But this soup was so GOOD that I must comment. It was so easy to make and my whole family loved it!!! I filled the instructions to cook noodles seperately and that was a great idea. Thanks for this new recipe.

  28. 32
    Jenny C.
    January 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Jaime, help! I guess my crockpot is not quite as big as yours – I just tried to get this going & only got 3 to 4 cups of meatballs in & it’s filled to the BRIM (I’m hoping it doesn’t overflow as it cooks). Any suggestions about the REST of the meatballs & how to add in the tomato soup later? I don’t think there’s any way I can add more to the crockpot for sure. Do crockpots potentially overflow as the cook? Please offer any help you can! Thanks.

    • 33
      January 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Hi Jenny,
      It will still turn out great, don’t worry. You can leave the tomato soup out at the end if you need to. It just thickens the soup up just a bit. If you still want to use it, you could pour the soup into a large pot, add the tomato soup (and the meatballs you couldn’t fit in at the begining) and then heat it through on the stove to finish things off. I have tried this recipe just on the stove top as well. Just let it all simmer together for about an hour.
      Hope you love it!

  29. 34
    January 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Someone might have already asked this but what size crockpot do you use? Looks like it gets pretty full and don’t want to have the surprise of mine not being big enough!

  30. 35
    February 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I love soups once, somebody give me a recipe of a Minestrone soup to help you lose weight, it was very similar, the difference they use cabbage n peas and kidney beans minus the meat. By the way this frozen meatballs loose lots of fat? Tku!!

  31. 36
    February 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and will be making it for the second time later this week. I absolutely love this soup, it was so easy to make and had so much flavor. Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. 37
    February 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    This is so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  33. 38
    March 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I googled minestrone soup recipes and found this one. I am taking it to a church potluck. I had planned to add the macaroni in the morning but the crock pot barely accomodates the soup! I didn’t really want to take two containers but …

  34. 39
    May 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Jamie, I just had to say that out of all your recipes, this one has become a family favorite and a huge hit with whomever I share it with. I have tried many of your recipes, and have never had a bad outcome. I love that your meals are hearty, fairly simple ( I am not a chef!), and have nice normal ingredients that I can find in my local store without having to pay ridiculous amounts of money. My kids, who are only 2 and 3, eat every meal I have tried, and my 3 year old usually tells me, “Mama, this is delicious!” Thanks for saving dinnertime around my house!

  35. 40
    August 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

    So, my daughter-in-law made this for our Sunday dinner. We were so crazy about how great this soup is…love it…making it tonight. So happy you are sharing your recipes, you’re an amazing cook!!

  36. 41
    September 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Jamie, my husband and I love soup especially here in Michigan as it starts to get cooler each day. The question I have is what would you recommended to use in place of the greenbeans. I really Don’t like them. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks in advance.

    • 42
      September 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Hi Janice,
      If you leave the green beans out, it will still be great. You could sub in chopped zucchini if you would like as well. Good luck!

  37. 43
    September 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for the quick response Jamie. Zucchinis a great idea.

  38. 44
    October 3, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Jaime..I made your amazing soup yesterday. I would have followed your instructions explicitly, but my husband who is retired has recently become “an expert” in the kitchen…LOL. We tried to copycat version of Olive Garden soup. But yours far exceeded theirs. It was amazing. He didn’t want the meatballs, so I left those out. He also doesn’t like garbanzo beans,so I used white northern. I only had 2 cans of tomatoes in our pantry. I used fresh tomatoes from our garden. I sent your site to a friend at work…keep up the good work!

  39. 45
    Sara L.
    October 7, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Is this cooked on high all day, or low ? Instructions say high but surely it’s low if it’s 6-8 hrs., yes ? Just wanting to be sure, thanks! Making this today, yum !

    • 46
      October 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Yes, cooking it on low for 6-8 hours would be great.
      Good luck!

  40. 47
    October 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before end I am reading this wonderful article to improve my

  41. 48
    October 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    This is so delicious!!!!!!! I made it on a Friday and Saturday it was all gone. My family loved it! So I had to cook a whole pot again the following day. Followed your recipe to a “T”, it was great. Thanks!

  42. 49
    Marshall Walters
    November 21, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Without a doubt, this is the best soup my family and I have ever, ever eaten. Next time, and soon, I think I’ll double the meatballs. Thanks.

  43. 50
    February 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Is there away that I can make this with out a crock-pot? If so what would you suggest?

    • 51
      February 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

      I have made this often on the stove top, when I don’t have the time to let it simmer in the crock pot. Just follow the instructions in the recipe, but let is simmer over medium high heat for about an hour on the stove, or until the vegetables are nice and soft for you. Best of luck!

  44. 52
    September 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

    What is the total sodium count using the ingredients you used in the recipe?

  45. 53
    September 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or gueset authoring on other
    blogs? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and woould really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would valuue your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to send me an e-mail.

  46. 54
    January 2, 2015 at 6:50 am

    I had given up on minestrone soup until I saw this with the meatballs. Thank You!! Also, some of my fam. won’t eat garbanzo’s so I will double up on the kidney beans (we use dry beans to save money….cook up a bunch of dry beans, divide into 1 and 1/2 cup increments to freeze, this amount is equal to 1 can beans). I have bottled green beans from our garden, will just put those in when adding the tomato soup. I don’t ever buy tomato soup, so thanks for the picture showing WF brand is ok to use (we just make our own tomato soup with a can of tomato sauce). Love Costco best, but in a pinch we shop at Sam’s….very glad we have both close by!

  47. 55
    Ronda Trepagnier
    January 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Hey Jamie. I tried this minestrone last night and it was excellent! My whole family loved it! I made it exactly as you show and simmered it on the stovetop. It was so easy. I will definately cook this again. Thanks so much for a good family meal experience!

  48. 56
    February 1, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Hi Jamie,
    Here’s a shout out from Nebraska! Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that this soup was DELICIOUS!!! My family goggled it up and we continued to eat the generous leftovers throughout the week. Even my 3 and 6 year old were impressed! I have enjoyed combing through your menus and adding several options to my list of entrees. Thank you for a nice variety…your pictures and tips are very helpful as well!

  49. 57
    March 5, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Everyone enjoyed this soup! So easy and so delicious :)

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