Spinach and Meatball Soup

I made meatballs the other day because I wanted to switch it up a bit from chicken and seafood.
Do something with meat for a change.

I wound up with some leftovers, a few odd balls out if you will, and turned them into a light lunch with this easy soup.

Before I began though I did a little bit of research, looking at the different methods people use to achieve that ‘juicy’ texture.
Because no one, absolutely no one likes a dry ass meatball.

Some went as far as listing a specific type of breadcrumb to use.
Swearing that using that particular brand is the key to juicy meatballs.

Bitch please…

One method I did find interesting and that was consistent across several sites, was to soak day old bread in milk until the bread is thoroughly soggy.
Then squeeze out any excess milk and add the soggy bread to the minced meat mixture.

I thought that was a pretty neat technique, especially since I’d never heard of it.
So I decided to give it a go in this recipe and shit came out A H – M A Z I N G.

There was also some discussion about how to cook them.

Some folks chose to braise them on the stove, some did the pressure cooker thing where you sort of set it and forget it, and everyone else baked them in the oven.

I chose to bake mine in the oven because it was the easiest way to cook a bunch of big ass meatballs like these all at once.
That and the fact that I don’t own a pressure cooker.

This recipe makes 2 dozen meatballs, about the size of a small childs fist, but obviously the smaller you roll them, the more you’ll have.
I was just happy I had any leftovers at all.

Spinach and Meatball Soup

What I Used.

3lb Ground Meat (I used pork). 1 cup Day Old Bread (torn to bits). 1 cup Milk (soymilk for me). 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese. 1 egg. 4 Cloves Garlic (minced). Salt. Pepper. Red Pepper Flakes. 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika (optional). 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional).
6 cups Stock (any kind will do). 3 big handfuls Fresh Spinach (roughly torn). Salt. Pepper. 1 tsp Smoked Paprika. 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes.

What I Did.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease baking a sheet or line it with oven-proof parchment paper.

Tear the bread into smalls bits and pour the milk over breadcrumbs to soak.
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Ensure that the bread is thoroughly covered in the milk to become appropriately soggy.
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Then using your hands, squeeze out any excess milk, placing the soggy bits in a large bowl.

Add to that bowl, the rest of the meatball ingredients, except for the egg.
Beat the egg separately in a smaller bowl before adding it to the larger bowl.

Using your hands again, thoroughly mix things together.
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Be careful not to overmix though.
Over-mixing will turn your meat brown.


Roll the meatball mixture between your palms, forming an even ball.
Alternatively, you can use an icecream scooper to help form even sized balls.
top_10_juicy_meatball_recipebest_meatball_recipe_ever how_to_make_juicy_meatballsPlace the meatballs on the baking sheet, keeping them evenly spaced apart.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160F.
Then remove from oven and set aside to rest while you make the soup.


In a med pot, add the stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and adjust seasoning as needed.

Add in the spinach and cook until just wilted.
Then add in the meatballs, keeping the flame at low to med-low until the meatballs are properly reheated.


Serve in a shallow bowl and eat immediately.
Preferably under a warm blanket.
creative_meatball_recipes ways_to_use_leftover_meatballs Meatball_soupAnd if you have any leftover, non-soggy bread, feel free to toast that shit up and serve it with this soup.

101 thoughts on “Spinach and Meatball Soup

  1. looks absolutely delicious!!! The whole “soaked bread” method has been Todd’s trick for years (taught to him by a wonderful italian aunt of his). Using water to soak the bread works quite well also. I have to say…. it’s only 07:30 on Monday, and I already can’t wait for lunch time… thanks for awakening my appetite so early in the morning!!!

      1. Todd tells me his method for meatballs is to soak the bread in WATER. Apparently MILK soaked bread is used for terrine!!!! So, if I’m following Todd’s lead correctly I’d tell you to take as many exotic meats (elk, venison, buffalo, duck) add some MILK soaked bread, some chicken livers some pork (for the tasty fat content) as well as some cranberries or some pistachio nuts and if you’re really feeling rich…. Some foie gras and some good port (the older the better) and make a really smoking terrine! Wait…. Why am I giving YOU all of his ideas??? We have a blog of our own to write!!!! 😝.

        Love reading your blog!

  2. Dana – these photos are perfect!! I could grab a meatball right off the screen they look sooo gooood!!
    I’ve been soaking my bread in milk for years and years (but of course I am much older than you!) Great recipe 🙂 🙂

  3. Yup! These things were delicious!!! Taste tested aprroved and chased with some delicious red wine! Hahaha thanks for sharing! Also, never knew of the soaked breadcrumbs technique – very cool!

      1. Meatballs and spinach? Hell yeah! I just smashed meatballs and cheese with garlic butter last night!

  4. These look delicious! I will sometimes add a heaping tablespoon of mayo to my meatball mixture. Gives them a creamy taste. Honestly, I’m a mayo addict though.

      1. First time I used mayo was because I was out of eggs. I thought “Gee, mayo has egg in it so why not try it?”

  5. Omg, my hubby would love this! I’m going to have to make this for him, he’s such a big soup fan and meatballs too. Perfect recipe to start off a chilly Monday!

    xo, Jackie

  6. First of all, how cute do meatballs look, I dont know whether its hormones but I just think meatballs are soooooo cooooote! And this is such Autumn/Winter food,and its healthy too! I love spinach and meatballs so will try this out. Ps when I saw this recipe all I could think of was Chef/South Park singin’, ‘SUCK ON MY BAAAALLS…!’

      1. YES. The one camera that’s never caught on to this is the one at Arby’s. Those commercials make me (even less) inclined to eat there.

  7. Hmmm… these photos are VERY professional…the look quite wonderful. How are you doing it? When are you gonna make me some of this? Actually, when are you gonna take my pictures?!? 🙂

  8. As far as I can tell its the milk that makes meatballs tender. I’ve made wonderful soft tender meatballs without breadcrumbs by simply mixing in milk. It has the added bonus of making the meatball gluten free.

      1. No egg. I just mixed milk into the ground meat and scooped blobs of meatball into a pan of hot sauce and cooked until solid. They were very soft and quite lovely. Much easier than hand rolling too.

  9. Argh, send me a bowl stat. I have heard of the soaking breadcrumbs in milk but never done . However, if, oh wise cookylady, you think it makes a difference, I will try that wee trick next time. Great photos Cake. As usual. 😊

  10. My mother-in-law uses that day-old soaked-in-milk-breadcrumbs trick 🙂 she swears by that, and so do quite a few of the old ladies I met when we were visiting them in Italy a few years back. I tend to mix different kinds of ground meat to build the foundation for a juicy meatball, you know. I mix Ground Beef (97% lean) with Ground Pork or Ground Bison, and then with lean Ground Turkey. Into that, I add one or two eggs, some grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino, depending on preference for cow or sheep. Finally, some salt, pepper and garlic (flakes and purchased from Phoenecia, this is the only occasion I would use prepared garlic because fresh/minced is just too pungent). Chill then shape and add into broth/stock/sauce as it cooks. The Asian version starts also with the egg then some Gluten Free Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce, pepper, chopped chives, garlic flakes and, sometimes, toasted sesame seeds. These are typically baked 🙂

  11. I had never heard of soaking day old bread and using that as a replacement for bread crumbs that’s so easy and almost everyone has bread laying around that they bought and forgot! Beautiful photos.

  12. I’ve never made a good meatball- I’ve tried at least 3 times, and never been really satisfied with the results haha I think I’ll try this and maybe quickly sear them before baking- probably cutting down on bake time- I love soft meatballs in soups, but I could eat crispy meatballs alllll day. Yummm. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  13. OMG!!!!! I just had an epiphany!!!!! SOAK THE BREAD IN YOUR FAVOURITE WINE!!!! YES WINE!!!!! Your meatballs will be like boeuf bourginon. REALLY!!!!! Classy, french BOOZY meatballs!!!!! WHO’s with me??????

    Oh, also, the “bread pudding comment made me think of last year’s thanksgiving dinner….. instead of “stuffing” we served a SAVOURY bread pudding. Made a custard, made it herbaceous, and rich in shallots. Then soaked the bread and baked that shit…….

    There were NO leftovers….. NONE. Just saying…… (DAMN that sold been another blog post…. gurl. you’re destroying all my dreams of internet success…. how can I be the next Martha Stewart (with a dick of course…. oh, wait…. that’s no different than the original version now is it…) if I keep giving you all my ideas……. hmmmmm…. maybe I should drink less and write more??? yeah maybe that’s it!!!)

    ok well have a good night!!!!

    1. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!
      You are EVERYTHINGGG!!

      I feel like any dinner at your house would be the shit, let alone thanksgiving!!
      What else you got Martha? Or is it Michael Stewart?
      😀 😀
      ❤ you two!

  14. Hi Dana, I totally love this recipe!!! The soaking the bread in milk works like a dream, it it something that my grandmother and mother did. I have also always wanted to bake my meatballs, but never have, I always bring out the frying pan, and then freak out with all the oil splattering around. I now, will bake them with confidence :-). What a genius idea for the soup. Have a great day.

  15. I’ve been all over soup these days (bad cold) so this is really perfect timing. Earlier this year I did a food styling gig for a cookbook launch on a morning show, the recipe was meatballs from a famous restaurant in Toronto, the chef used equal parts of ground beef, pork and pork belly. Each meatball had 27 g oh fat! But they were damn moist. I think I prefer soaking bread crumbs in milk. BTW, your meatballs turned out beautifully.

  16. Looks gorgeous-sauce. Wow! I’ve done the milk soaked bread before & this inspires me to do it again. Well done m’lady.

  17. Ok. It is already cold AF up here in Canada, so I am SOOOOO trying this recipe. If these meatballs were human, I’d make sweeeet love to them.

    Dude – your photography is next level. *slow clap*

  18. This is quite interesting, I’ve never heard of this technique before but it sounds (and looks) very delicious! I always love to take new cooking ideas from you! Thanks my love ♥

  19. Looks delicious – never heard of doing them in the oven, though. Or in a pressure cooker. It’s all fried where I come from (but then there’s a reason why I’m not a fashion blogger …)

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