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Chicken Meatball and Escarole Soup

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Served with crusty bread, this quick spin on Italian wedding soup makes a satisfying dinner. Handle the chicken mixture gently; packing the meat too tightly will make the meatballs tough.


  • 3 Tbs. plain fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 small carrot, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium celery stalk, cut into small dice
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 3- to 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • 5 cups thinly sliced escarole

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 220
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 730
  • Carbohydrates (g): 10
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 20


  • Put the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and moisten with 1/2 Tbs. water. Mix in the Parmigiano, parsley, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the ground chicken and egg and mix until just combined. Scoop out 1 Tbs. of the chicken mixture and, with damp hands, roll it into a 3/4-inch meatball. Transfer to a plate and shape the remaining meatballs.
  • Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1 tsp. salt; cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, rosemary, and 2 cups of water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the escarole and continue to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the escarole is wilted, about 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmigiano.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • User avater
    joyfulleah | 12/21/2020

    I've made this so many times! Love the clean clear broth and yummy meatballs. I usually double it!

  • lynnebair | 01/11/2014

    This is a very easy, pleasant, and healthy soup. It's a good addition to the chicken soup idea for those who aren't well, as a lot of people aren't this winter. It is still important to have interesting and nutritious things to eat!

  • cozette | 02/24/2012

    Great recipe. We added a 15 oz. can of cannelini beans (drained), extra escarole and chicken stock and doubled the meatbells (they're great). This recipe will be one of our regular evening meals.

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