Lemon Chicken Meatball Soup.
We love this lemon chicken meatball soup! Tender lemon chicken meatballs are cooked in a parmesan broth with pasta and veggies. This recipe is satisfying, comforting and easy to make!
I’m your soup girl!
Little tender and juicy chicken meatballs in parmesan broth with lots of lemon, veggies and pasta. If this isn’t comfort food I don’t know what is!
I love a good brothy soup. Sure, chicken noodle soup fits the bill, especially if we have some fresh sourdough. Everyone loves that and it’s the ultimate comfort food. But we also like to change things up.
Since I have little kids, I can’t change things up TOO MUCH or else dinner time can become nightmarish. But! Something like this, with familiar flavors, shapes and scents is always a winner. And adorable meatballs help too.
This recipe is a mashup of a few of my favorite soups. First, my lemon chicken soup. It’s an oldie but goodie and if you love bright and refreshing citrus flavors, it is for you. Next, my mini chicken meatball pesto soup! We LOVE this soup. It’s easy but different and unique enough that it feels special and fun to eat. And finally, my chickpea parmesan soup. Simple, to the point, satisfying and cozy.
You guys go crazy for that one.
That’s how we got here!!
There is something about tiny little meatballs in soup that is just so delicious. My kids love it – they think it’s fun to eat. The meatballs don’t HAVE to be tiny, but I love when they can fit on a spoon with some of the other ingredients in the bowl. You can make any size meatballs that you want, as long as they are cooked through in the soup!
I like to add fresh lemon zest, garlic and parmesan right there in the meatball. That way we have a layer of flavor – and then I add that stuff to the soup too. I use a parmesan rind, which is just the hard end cut off of a piece of parmesan cheese. It makes ALL the difference in soup. You won’t believe the richness it imparts in the broth. You remove it before serving, but be sure to let it simmer and cook in the broth with everything else.
Fresh lemon zest goes right into the soup too! You can always add more if you really love lemon. And a touch of lemon juice too. This brightens everything up and makes it taste light and almost spring-like.
When it comes to the pasta, I love to use annellini – the tiny “o” shaped pasta that is reminiscent of spaghettios! I use it in my homemade spaghettios too and not only does it cook quickly, but it cooks nicely in broth too. If you can’t find the annellini, any tiny cut of pasta will work. Ditalini, even farfallini – anything that will cook in a few minutes. I like to keep the pasta smaller than the meatballs, so keep that in mind.
As with most soups, you can add anything you love into this. Make it a clean-out-the-fridge soup, add extra veggies or a few handfuls of kale or other greens. Use ground turkey or beef for the meatballs and spice it up with some crushed red pepper. You really can’t go wrong!
As usual, you can make this ahead of time – just cook the pasta separately and store it separately in the fridge. Otherwise, it will soak up most of the broth, which I sort of love anyway at the end of a soup.
Lemon Chicken Meatball Soup
Lemon Chicken Meatball Soup
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus extra for topping
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan, plus more for topping
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 parmesan rind
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 10 ounces frozen spinach
- 12 ounces tiny cut pasta, like ditalini or annellini
- 1 lemon, juice freshly squeezed
- lemon wedges, for serving
- In a bowl, combine the chicken with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, half of the minced garlic, lemon zest and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until just combined, then form the mixture into mini meatballs.
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single later, browning on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on a plate.
- Keep the pot over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Stir in the onion, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs back to the pot.
- Add in the broth and the parmesan rind. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the frozen spinach and lemon juice. Stir in the pasta. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve in bowls and serve with parmesan, lemon wedges and fresh lemon zest.