Easy 5-Ingredient Chicken Meatball Soup with Kale & Parmesan Recipe

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You know that we love a good short cut. Keyword “good”—we love food, and so recipe shortcuts are fine as long as the resulting meal is still delectable. We’d never sacrifice tasty food in favor of speed. But when you can have both a yummy meal AND extra down time thanks to a speedy, simple recipe? Well, who’d say no to that? This simple, healthy chicken meatball soup recipe has a bit of an Italian wedding soup vibe, with a little pesto stirred in for a powerful bunch of herby, savory richness. Using pesto in this way is not an idea we can claim to have originated, though. Credit for this particular stroke of genius goes to someone who will likely remain unnamed forever, but we like to imagine some French or Italian women, who was trying to liven up a simple soup and happened to have a little pesto left in the mortar and pestle and voila—soupe au pistou (as soup with pesto stirred into it is known in Provence). The soup was magically more delicious, the pesto was used up and dinner was done, and she felt like kind of a genius. You, too, can feel like a bit of a genius when you whip up this easy meatball soup.

chicken meatballs, ditalini in chicken broth in a stock pot
chicken meatballs, pasta and kale in chicken broth in a stock pot

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Stock pot

  • Sharp knife

  • Ladle

See also  Healthy Ginger Garlic Steamed Vegetables Recipe

More 5-Ingredient Soup Recipes to Try

  • Cauliflower Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana

  • 5-Ingredient Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • White Bean Soup with Bacon

Proof That Making a Great Meal Doesn’t Have To Be Hard.


  • 6-8 cups
    chicken stock

  • 1 (12 oz) bag
    frozen chicken meatballs

  • 12 oz
    short pasta such ditalini or anellini

  • 1/2 cup
    pesto, plus more for serving (homemade or store-bought)

  • 2 cups
    kale (1/3 of a bunch), stemmed, leaves chopped
  • salt, to taste

Serving Suggestions

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Parmesan


  1. In a large pot set over high heat, bring the 6-8 cups of broth plus 2 cups water to a boil.
  2. Add in the chicken meatballs and (uncooked) pasta, bring the liquid back up to a boil, and cook until the pasta is al dente (not completely softened) and the meatballs are warmed through. This will depend on the size of your pasta and cooking time on the meatball package, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 more minutes.
  4. Stir the pesto into the soup, season to taste with salt and serve, topped with any additional toppings you have on hand: black pepper, more pesto, red chili flakes, Parmesan.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount

  • Calories612
  • Protein29 g
  • Carbohydrates74 g
  • Total Fat22 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol8 mg
  • sodium1634 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

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