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Instant Pot Wedding Soup – Made Easy With Frozen Meatballs

One of the benefits of owning an Instant Pot is that you can make delicious soups, like this Italian Wedding Soup in a fraction of the time that it takes to make on the stove. However, even with such a short cooking time, the flavors of the soup tastes like it has been simmering for hours.

The blending of flavors is actually what gave this soup its iconic name. It’s the marriage of ingredients that produces the resulting delicious flavor in the soup.

The name of the soup comes from the Italian phrase minestra maritata, which means ‘married soup.’ It is the blend of greens, vegetables and meat which makes this soup so delicious.

instant pot wedding soup
A bowl of Wedding Soup made in the Instant Pot. An easy and delicious comfort food meal.

And just like many soup recipes, it originated as a way to use leftovers from other meals before they went bad. Add in a few fresh greens that were easily available and the Wedding soup was born!

However, don’t expect to find this soup at an actual wedding reception. Although it could possibly be served as the first course of an extravagant meal, this soup is more likely to be found in Italian restaurants or made at home.

And now that I have made it as an Instant Pot soup, I will never made it any other way! It was fast, easy and delicious!

Instant Pot Wedding Soup

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
Onion, diced
Sliced carrots
Celery ribs, diced
Garlic cloves, minced
Dried Italian seasoning
Salt
Ground black pepper
Chicken broth, low-sodium
Frozen meatballs*
Acini di Pepe pasta**
Baby spinach
Parmesan cheese

*Although I use store-bought, frozen meatballs you can definitely make homemade meatballs if you prefer. Most often cocktail size meatballs are used in this soup recipe, however, larger meatballs can be used as well.

**Acini di Pepe is the traditional pasta used in Italian Wedding Soup. You can find them at the grocery store in a rectangular box near the speciality pastas.

Look for a box of tiny bits of pasta that are about the size of grape seeds. However, if you can’t find acini di Pepe pasta you can substitute orzo or even ditalini pasta instead.

Acini di Pepe pasta
Acini di Pepe pasta is the preferred pasta to use in Italian Wedding Soup.

INSTRUCTIONS

The first step in making Instant Pot Wedding Soup is to prepare the vegetables. This recipe is prepared in minutes, and it is very helpful if the onions, carrots and celery are cleaned and cut ahead of time.

Once the vegetables are diced, set the Instant Pot to the Saute Mode and add the oil. When the front display reads HOT, add the diced onions, carrots and celery.

Saute the vegetables for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Then add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 additional minute.

Press the cancel button on the front display to stop the cooking process. Then add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, chicken broth and frozen meatballs into the pot and stir.

Lock the lid in place and move the valve to the Sealing position (if required). *Some models of Instant Pots automatically place the venting valve in the sealed position. Press Pressure Cook/Manual and set the cook time for 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.

Additional Time Required

Just like with all pressure cooker recipes, additional time is required before the cook time actually begins. For most soup recipes, including this Italian Wedding Soup, it can take between 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

That is because the pot is full of liquid and therefore requires more time for the pressure to build up inside. Once the pin raises, your cook time should begin shortly.

carrots, onions, celery
One of the best features of an Instant Pot is the saute feature which allows you to soften the vegetables before adding the remaining ingredients.

Controlled Quick Pressure Release

Once the cook time is up, slowly release the pressure by partially moving the valve to the venting position. This is called a controlled Quick Pressure Release.

If you move the valve quickly to the full venting position, you will most likely have some of the liquid spewing out of the valve itself. Instead, move it part way to allow some of the steam to escape.

You will know when you can move it completely to the full venting position, as the steam will start to become less and less. It took a total of 3 minutes for my Instant Pot 8 quart Duo to release the pressure enough so that the pin could drop.

Then carefully remove the lid facing away from your face and stir. Stir in the pasta and spinach and stir.

Then place the lid back on the pot and move the valve to the SEALING position once again. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and set the cook time for 3 minutes on HIGH pressure.

Again, the pot will need additional time to come to pressure before the actual cook time begins. However, this wait time will be much shorter than the first time because the pot is already hot.

quick release pressure
After the cook time is up, slowly move the valve to the venting position to slowly release the pressure.

Once the cook time is up, slowly perform another controlled quick release of pressure so that the liquid will not come up through the valve.

Carefully remove the Instant Pot lid and stir the Wedding Soup one final time before serving. Ladle the soup in bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Storing Instructions

Store leftover soup in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the soup for up to 3 months in an air-tight container.

Typically I wouldn’t recommend freezing soup that contains pasta. However, because Acini di Pepe is so tiny and it melts in your mouth when cooked, it is okay to freeze this soup.

Reheating Instructions

Reheating Wedding Soup in the Instant Pot is very easy to do. Simply add the soup, refrigerated or frozen, to the Instant Pot.

Then move the valve to the Sealing position and press the cook time to 0(zero) on HIGH Pressure. Yes, I really said that you are going to set the cook time to zero.

The soup will actually reheat as the pot comes to pressure. Then when the cook time starts, you can immediately perform a controlled quick release of pressure by slowly moving the valve to venting.

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
A delicious scoop of Italian Wedding soup ready to be enjoyed!

Other Favorite Instant Pot Soup Recipes

Enjoy! Mary

Small batch fudge recipe

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Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup

instant pot wedding soup

Classic Italian Wedding soup made easy by using frozen meatballs and the Instant Pot for cooking.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 18 ozs. frozen meatballs
  • 1/2 cup acini de pepe pasta, dry
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to Saute Mode and add the oil. When the front display reads HOT, add the diced onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Press Cancel
  3. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, broth and frozen meatballs. Stir.
  4. Lock the lid in place and move the valve to the Sealing position (if required). Pressure Cook/Manual on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes.
  5. Once the cook time expires, slowly release the pressure by moving the valve to the venting position, to Quick Release Pressure. Carefully remove the lid and stir. Add the pasta and spinach, stir. Place the lid back on the pot and move the valve to the SEALING position. Pressure Cook/Manual for 3 minutes on HIGH pressure.
  6. Once the cook time is up, slowly quick release the pressure. Remove lid and stir.
  7. Ladle the soup in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Notes

*It will take 10-15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the actual cook time will begin.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1029mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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