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Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup is a healthy twist on a classic childhood favorite; it’s a winner with kids and adults!

spaghetti ring and meatball soup in white bowl

Growing up my mom was a huge advocate of healthy, balanced meals. Foods like SpaghettiOs were considered junk and names like Chef Boyardee were taboo.

My sister and I loved eating at our friends’ houses where we could feel like normal kids and eat things like frozen fish sticks and boxed mac and cheese!

Of course, looking back I appreciate my mom making sure we ate healthy. This take on homemade SpaghettiOs is a compromise that moms and kids can agree on. With homemade meatballs and lots of veggies in a tomato-based broth, this Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup is a filling, nutritious meal!

The first time I made this soup for my niece she was about 7 years old. She loved it! And so did her mom (my sister), and even my mom.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Kids are happy with mini meatballs and pasta rings. And moms are happy with veggies!
  • This soup is perfect for meal prep because it freezes really well! I like to portion it out into individual servings so I can easily thaw just 1 serving or as many as I need.
  • You don’t need fancy ingredients to make this. And you probably already have just about everything on hand in a well-stocked kitchen.
overhead view of spaghetti ring and meatball soup

The Best Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 90% lean ground beef
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Egg
  • Egg white
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Ring or O-shaped pasta
  • Extra-virgin oliv eoil
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Water
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned tomato paste
  • Bay leaves
  • Dried Italian seasoning

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, egg white, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together, being careful not to over-mix. Form the meat mixture into small balls that are about 1/2 tablespoon each (I get about 60 balls), and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Soup Base:

In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and sauté another minute.

Add the water, diced tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, dried Italian seasoning, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook (covered) for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Step 3: Cook the Pasta:

While the soup simmers, cook the pasta in a separate pot to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 4: Add the Meatballs to the Soup and Let Them Cook:

Add the meatballs to the soup, bring the soup back up to a simmer (with the lid slightly ajar), and cook for 10 minutes more.

Step 5: Finishing Touches:

Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked noodles and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. 

Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup FAQs

Should I Cook Pasta Separately For Soup?

Yes! When I make pasta for soup, I typically cook the pasta in a separate pot and then add it to the soup once it’s cooked and drained. Otherwise, I find that the pasta’s starch can make the soup much too thick.

How Do You Reheat Soup with Pasta?

If the soup is left to sit for a couple hours before serving or if you have leftovers, it will thicken quite a bit because the pasta absorbs the liquid. To reheat, you can thin it out a bit by adding more water or tomato sauce and heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.

More Kid-Friendly Soup Recipes to Make

spaghettio soup with parmesan cheese

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Spaghetti and Meatball Soup Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
With homemade meatballs and lots of veggies in a tomato-based broth, this Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup is a filling, nutritious meal!

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, egg white, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together, being careful not to over-mix. Form the meat mixture into small balls that are about 1/2 tablespoon each (I get about 60 balls), and set aside.
  • In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
  • Add the water, diced tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, dried Italian seasoning, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook (covered) for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, cook the pasta in a separate pot to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the meatballs to the soup, bring the soup back up to a simmer (with the lid slightly ajar), and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked noodles and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
  • Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • The Pasta: I used O-shaped pasta (it’s called rings at my grocery store).
  • Cooking the Pasta Separately: When I make pasta for soup, I typically cook the pasta in a separate pot and then add it to the soup once it’s cooked and drained. Otherwise, I find that the pasta’s starch can make the soup much too thick.
  • Reheating: If the soup is left to sit for a couple hours before serving or if you have leftovers, it will thicken quite a bit because the pasta absorbs the liquid. To reheat, you can thin it out a bit by adding more water or tomato sauce and heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1122mg | Potassium: 966mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5828IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Spaghetti Ring and Meatball Soup, SpaghettiOs Soup

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

spaghetti ring and meatball soup pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 5, 2010. I updated it with more information on August 5, 2022. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).

close up overhead view of original spaghettios soup recipe
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




50 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight. It was SO incredibly delicious :) I added red pepper and a little turmeric to the soup. I also always add a 1/2 cup of milk to my meatballs. Anyway, stellar recipe. Loved it. Will keep coming back to it!

  2. Does anyone have the nutrition info so I can figure out the weight watcher points plus per serving?
    Thanks so much

  3. Theresa@OrdinaryLovely says:

    Hi Faith! It’s three years after you wrote this, but I just found this recipe the other day searching for “meatball soup” and I’m making it today!! Every year I have a “Fall Soup Party” and try a few new recipes – yours is among them this year! I’ve got the link to your site on my blog and I’ll be chatting more about the Fall Soup Party after it happens on Thursday! Thanks for the recipe! It looks delish! – Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    1. Theresa, I’m honored that you’re making my soup for your Fall Soup Party – it sounds like so much fun! Hope you enjoy it!

  4. good lord, you’ve put campbell’s to shame! what an amazing and inspired bowl of kiddie food. :)

  5. So you don’t brown the meatballs at all before putting it into the pot to simmer? Just making sure; I will be preparing this soon! :)

    1. Lauren, I add the meatballs raw and let them cook fully by simmering in the soup (similar to homemade tomato sauce with meatballs). My meatballs were pretty small (about 1/2 tablespoon), so if you make yours bigger make sure to cook them a bit longer. (You can check one to see if they’re done before serving by removing one from the soup, cutting it in half, and making sure there is no pink in the center.) I’m excited you’re planning to make this, let me know how you like it! :)

  6. Magic of Spice says:

    Oh my, I don’t even eat meat and this soup has me salivating…My kids would love this…Truly gorgeous :)

  7. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says:

    What a good auntie you are, Faith, and what a great soup for kids of all ages (including this 58 year old)! I love spaghetti, but I’m not always up for the all-day approach to cooking meat sauce we use in my family. This is such a good alternative!

  8. I used to make a soup very much like this. Very kid friendly, but adults like it too.

  9. Mmm this soup looks just perfect for those rainy nights :)

  10. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This soup with the yummy meatballs and the cute little pasta rings looks excellent!

  11. blackbookkitchendiaries says:

    oh wow… this soup looks heavenly! especially on a nice cool day. thank you for sharing.

  12. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    This soup truly does look fantastic. Gotta make up a pot of this for my kids. I too always cook the pasta separate-otherwise it gets too mushy. I agree with your sis-when we are out my kids can have at what all the other kids are eating. Life is all about shared experiences with others, right. xo

  13. The Southern Cookbook says:

    Faith, I would so choose this over that nasty canned stuff any day. I believe I will make this over the weekend, along with your garlic bread drop biscuits :)

  14. deana@lostpastremembered says:

    Nummy looking soup, Faith! I just made meatballs last week.. it must be something in the air.. fall!!! Putting them in soup is a great idea… it looked so warm and inviting and the worcestershire is a great addition to the meatballs, love it!

  15. Michelle @ Find Your Balance says:

    That first paragraph sounded like it came out of my own mouth. We had the same childhood food experience, it sounds like! When I left for college I bought a LOT of SpaghettiO’s. But that only lasted a few years. Ultimately, the values my mom taught me shaped how I eat.

  16. Your recreation of spaghetti-o’s looks crazy good! 1000 times better than the real thing. So hearty and the perfect comfort meal. I bet your niece loved it.

  17. Oh, man, your sister must be happy your niece is so willingly into healthy food! It just goes to show that kids can like healthy food and enjoy it, so long as you introduce it to them the right way!

    That being said… say what you want about Chef Boyardee, but that stuff is delicious. o.O I know, gross, but deliiiiiiiiicious.

    But obviously your soup is far superior! :D I would love to cuddle up with a bowl of this stuff, especially since it’s getting rather cold now…

    PS – As for the meatball ice cream question (got any meatballs leftover? :P) I thiiink it would probably be slightly sweetened but definitely more savory. I’m actually considering making it now. Haha. XD

  18. What a delicious soup, Faith! Especially the meatballs, I love meatballs! The weather is finally fall-ish down here – wish I had a bowl for my dinner tonight!

  19. Treat and Trick says:

    Beautiful color, sounds healthy and delicious..

  20. pigpigscorner says:

    5 stars
    This is so comforting!

  21. What a great idea! My kids will ask for Chef Boyardee sometimes, but I call it sh*t in a can and never buy it! LOL

  22. Maria @ Scandi Foodie says:

    5 stars
    Such a delicious soup! And so much flavour!

  23. This is the perfect comfort food not only for kids but for adults too. Training children to eat healthy is the best thing a parent can do.

  24. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Lovely soup! May be I can try it out substituting Soya granules for the meat in it.

  25. I am on the same page as you and your sister as far as what my kids will eat. My kids are going to have a healthy diet. My sister fed my nephew healthy foods when he could eat solids, at at 12 years of age, he LOVES things like salmon, soft shelled crab, anchovies on pizza… things your average 12 year old doesn’t go crazy over. I grew up in a home where my mom cooked us delicious, healthy dinners, but we also had cans of spaghettios in the pantry. I want to avoid those processed foods as much as I can!

  26. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I’m not normally a soup person, but I’d totally tuck into this. It looks so hearty and chock full of goodies :). What a lucky niece you have :)
    *kisses* HH

  27. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    Your niece is one lucky young lady. Anyone, including grown-ups, would be thrilled with this lovely meal.
    Sam

  28. What a magnificent soup, Faith! The photo is making me want to run right out and gather ingredients!
    I have a guilty confession: I had three kids in three years and convenience came first. Even though I tried my best to give everyone healthy meals, it just didn’t always happen. Of course, this was years ago and we weren’t as aware of healthy choices as we are now. Nonetheless, two of my three grew into health-conscious adults. The third…not so much, but his wife is doing her best! :)

  29. Oh Faith I had to laugh! My sister and I felt exactly the same. We didn’t want homemade food. We wanted stuff that was prepared which is what the other kids had. Little did we realise how good we had it! lol

  30. Anna Johnston says:

    I too was raised with a lot of “Good Food” & school friends and their eating treats temp. swayed my eating habits, but its hard for those light and airey sugary treats to hold a gal huh…., good thing we returned to our roots Faith :)

  31. That soup is just perfect in this cold weather! It looks absolutely yummy!

  32. That is very cool that your niece enjoys healthy foods–a rarity, it seems! I was raised on the good stuff too and loved it until I started going to school and saw that other kids didn’t eat like me. Then I revolted and hated health food for the next twenty years. It wasn’t until the last five that I’ve actually enjoyed healthy foods again. This healthier adult version of spaghettios is the first time I ever thought anything with “o” pasta looked appealing and this not only looks appealing but absolutely mouth watering! I bet your niece was pleased as punch!

  33. Faith,

    Anyone would be happy with that plate. That looks amazing. The topic of obesity in children is a growing epidemic. Parents are passing along their poor eating habits and young kids are fatter and fatter these days. I find that very sad. I try to educate all the kids in my family about proper eating habits.

    You were very lucky with your Mom…

  34. Can I just say that this looks way better than the stuff I grew up with that came out of the tin can? LOL
    Your niece is lucky to have you cooking for her.

  35. Barbara Bakes says:

    Now this is a SpaghettiOs that I could love!

  36. I am like your mother – I won’t let Maya eat too much junk at home. I figure she’ll get her fill elsewhere but I just physically can’t give her Kraft Mac n Cheese and Cheetos!

    Love the take on Spaghetti-O’s! I’d serve this to Maya any day.

  37. That is one fantastic looking soup! Healthy and delicious!

    I am guilty of having the Chef Boy R Dee and Spaghettio’s at my friends houses :)

  38. Louise Mellor says:

    wow, that just looks so delicious. i could taste those little meatballs. i hope my kids will someday be mindful with their families as well.
    ~Chef Louise

  39. This soup looks delicious. I love the flavors. Look forward to giving it a try!

  40. Faith,

    This looks awesome. Lucky niece.

  41. BeadedTail says:

    Your niece is very lucky to have an aunt who can make such delicious and healthy dishes! This looks so flavorful and satisfying! Yum!

  42. Priscilla - She's Cookin' says:

    What a beautiful sentiment to begin your post! My daughter has always appreciated my home cooking and all her friends loved coming to eat at our house – esp. for my spaghetti pizza. Like you, she liked going over to her friends’ houses for mac & cheese and candy. Now I try to promote cooking at home in SoCal where most parents rely on take-out. I’ve used those pasta rings in soup – they’re so cute, and yes, look like spaghetti-O’s. Your spaghetti ring meatball soup looks delicious and comforting!

  43. Please send some of this my way? I still don’t feel like cooking dinner…haha :)

  44. theUngourmet says:

    This looks terrific! I’m such a soup lover you know. We never at Chef either when I was growing up but we did eat Mac n’ Cheese. Hmmm.

  45. You are such a lovely aunt to make this for your niece! :-) My Mum was like yours. :-) I remember loving going to friends’ houses for fruit snacks and mac and cheese, but now I love the legacy she passed down to me. :-)

  46. Delicious! I’m going to make this soup for my kiddies too! Thank you for the recipe! :)

  47. Now that’s my kind of spaghetti-o’s! Your niece is a lucky girl :D

  48. A mouthwatering soup! So conforting and yummy looking.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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