Turkey Meatball and Spinach Soup — Damn Delicious

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Turkey Meatball and Spinach Soup

A quick and easy hearty soup for any night of the week. And you can even cook/prep/freeze the meatballs beforehand!

I recently had to fly to NY for a quick work trip but I brought back a very nasty cold. So even though it’s not exactly soup weather in California, this turkey meatball soup was just what I needed.

It’s an incredibly hearty, cozy soup with big, plump turkey meatballs and wilted spinach throughout. It’s perfect for a cold night or even as a light lunch for any season.

You can also prep the meatballs beforehand and throw it in the soup when ready to serve. Just know that after this, you may want to add turkey meatballs in all of your soups!

Turkey Meatball and Spinach Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

A quick and easy hearty soup for any night of the week. And you can even cook/prep/freeze the meatballs beforehand!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in meatballs; reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in spinach until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.

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This looks delicious, but when do you put the spinach in?

You can add the spinach at the very end, just until wilted.

Looks amazing! You have such a gift for making recipes simple and straight forward!

I love meatballs in soup – it’s a great change to shredded or chopped meats. This soup looks so fresh and delicious!! Can’t wait to make it! I hope you’re feeling better, Chungah!!

Great soup- warming, filling and yummy!

This is definitely just what you need when you’re not feeling well! Hope you get better asap. Pinning this soul soothing soup!

Derrrrriiicouussss. I’ve been looking for a soup and this may be it! Thanks so much for the recipe. Pinned 🙂

Reminds me a bit of Italian Wedding Soup which equals deliciousness. Simpler though! Can’t wait to try it. And yes. The northeast has an “instantly catchy cold” circulating as fast as hurricane Joaquin lol. Feel better!

If I’m gluten free – what would you suggest to substitute for panko?

I recommend substituting gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs.

I use the gluten free panko breadcrumbs and will occasionally add in a gluten free pasta and it tastes great!

I have been using your recipes for a couple of meals now and I love them. I love to cook but don’t have much time. These are all so simple. Thanks for this Blog!

Making this now and it smells great! Just wondered if you have tried freezing it?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

Since the Parmesan is added prior to serving, this should freeze well.

I make a chicken wild rice soup as well as a vegetable soup that freezes well. I often make a double batch with freezing in mind. I do like to add Green’s such as spinach or kale to brought the soups. With the turkey meatball soup, I will plan to leave the green’s out of the portion of the soup that will be frozen or reheated a night later so that they don’t end up being over cooked. The plan is then to add the greens partway through the reheating process before serving. When using kale, I remove the tough spines/stems as they can tend to be bitter. I also chop up the kale fairly fine to make it more easily chewable.

How much extra flavour do you think the parmesan gives the soup? If I had to leave it out would it be a big loss?

Nope – there should be plenty of flavor to go around even without the Parmesan – it’s simply an added bonus. 🙂

I made this the other night and it was delicious! It’s hard to find good ground turkey recipes but this is one of the best recipes I’ve tried and it’s a keeper. My husband brought it for lunch the next day and said it was even better. Thank you!

Made this tonight, it was so delicious!

I’m really excited to try this recipe but I have man in the house whose stomach won’t be satisfied with a vegetable soup and meatballs (no matter how many meatballs he gets).
Do you have any suggestions for sides that would work well with this soup?

My absolute favorite side dish is the garlic parmesan roasted potatoes. But please feel free to check out all of my side dish recipes here.

Thanks for the suggestion! I made the soup & meatballs and love them! Your recipe for the roasted potatoes is also a winner 🙂
Thank you!

great meatballs! damn, I love it! I want to make it 😀

I made these tonight, and they were a fail for me. They were mushy, didn’t hold their shape ,and fell apart in the frying pan. I added extra crumbs and seasonings because the mixture seemed wet , and I couldn’t really get a whiff of the seasonings after it was mixed up. Maybe it was the ground turkey. I don’t know, but I won’t make again.

Vicky, I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined but if too much breadcrumbs are added, this can ruin their ability to hold their shape.

Thank you for responding, but the meat mixture was very, very wet, and I felt that it needed a little bit more crumbs.

I made this yesterday and it was soooo tasty. A few meatballs fell apart in the frying pan, but I found if I browned them over a lower flame and cooked a little bit longer did the trick. The aroma of the meat and the sautéed vegetables was wonderful! I’ll be making this dish again!

look delicious… i will try to make it soon…

Do you ever bake the meatballs instead of frying…hoping to quadruple the recipe and thought it would save time…any recommendations?!

Yes, you can certainly bake these!

Love this recipe! My kids can’t get enough!

This is indeed a great recipe. I cooked it several times already. I use low fat ground turkey breast and ad small or medium potato that I cut in small pieces. I feel like potato adds some softness to the soup. It goes well with both turkey and veggies.

If I am making the meatballs for future use, do I cook them before freezing?

Hi! I’m looking to make this recipe, but as sort of a meal prep meal. Do you recommend keeping it for a few days? Not sure if you’ve tried re-heating if you’ve had any leftovers and how it keeps.

I actually have not – sorry!

Trying this for the first time and surprised at the calorie amount. Maybe 5 meatballs is more than necessary??

This has become a cold weather staple in our house! Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, and makes great leftovers for lunch. We like to add a bit of pasta to the soup (small shells or ditalini) – but if you’re keeping it for leftovers, keep the pasta separate (otherwise it soaks up all the broth). Delish!

Just received this recipe can’t wait to try it if you add orzo would you cook it on the side and add it as you enjoy the soup?

Yes, you can certainly do that!

What is the serving size? It just says there are 4 servings in the recipe, but not how much a serving is.

Hi Sharron, unfortunately we don’t provide serving sizes, just that the recipe technically (on average) feeds four people. You’d have to divide in four to see how much you end up with per serving. Hope that helps!

It does. That’s what I had planned on doing. I just wanted to be sure. Thanks!

I make this soup all the time and it’s so easy and so AMAZING! I’ve started adding a package of tortellinis in so that my boyfriend and I can eat if for a couple of days. Your recipes are so incredible, I am a huge fan!

Come join me in my culinary adventures where we’ll be using simple, fresh ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated and elegant meals for the everyday home cook.

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