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Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo - A simple, hearty soup recipe with delicious turkey meatballs, vegetables, and orzo pasta. Great for feeding a crowd or leftovers the next day!

If you’ve been following the news and weather forecasts lately, then you might know that the Boston-area where we live has been getting socked with a ton of snow these last few weeks! We just had our sixth no-school, snow day of the year (and even more snow is in the forecast!) and all of us are feeling more than a little house-bound.

Here’s a view of our backyard…what you can’t see is the table and chairs to the left down on our patio that are completely covered in snow!


But there is at least one good thing about being stuck inside because of the weather…my husband Jack decides to make soup! And this time around it is today’s recipe for Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo.

This soup is very easy to make with three basic steps: Make the turkey stock, cook the meatballs, then combine both into an incredible, hearty soup along with some vegetables and orzo pasta!

Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo - A simple, hearty soup recipe with delicious turkey meatballs, vegetables, and orzo pasta. Great for feeding a crowd or leftovers the next day!

We like to serve this Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top and a good crusty bread on the side! This recipe makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy a nice hearty meal for dinner – and have enough to reheat the next day for lunch!

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Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo - A Family Feast

Turkey Meatball Soup with Orzo

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


To Make the Stock

  • 2 pounds turkey legs (about three legs, no thigh)
  • ½ fresh parsley with stems (the more stems the better)
  • 2 medium carrots washed and cut into quarters
  • 1 large stalk celery cut into quarters
  • 1 leek, white only cleaned of sand and quartered
  • 1 garlic clove smashed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 black peppercorns whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts water

To Make the Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¼ cup onions, minced
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare the Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup leeks, white only cleaned of sand and diced
  • Stock from cooked turkey legs (about six cups)
  • 1 quart additional chicken stock (carton or canned)
  • Cooked meatballs
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach
  • ½ cup dry orzo pasta
  • Cooked turkey meat, about one pound
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. In a medium stock pot, put all stock ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer covered for two hours. Strain and reserve the stock. Pick meat from turkey legs and hold cooked meat until later. Discard the remaining solids.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, place all meatball ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. On a parchment lined sheet pan, scoop out 36 meatballs approximately ¾ of an ounce each. (We used a medium/#40 scoop like this one and then hand rolled each meatball.) Bake for 20 minutes, cool and set aside.
  5. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and cook onions, celery, carrots and leeks for five minutes over medium high heat.
  6. Add both the fresh and carton broth along with cooked meatballs and fresh spinach. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low for five minutes. Add dry orzo, raise temperature to medium high and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender.
  7. Add cooked turkey meat and half the Parmesan cheese. Bring to hot and serve in bowls with remaining Parmesan cheese and some good crusty bread.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Coleen @ The Redhead Baker wrote:

    This reminds me of Italian wedding soup, which I love. Your soup looks delicious, too, and healthier, since it uses turkey instead of beef.

  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife wrote:

    Good lord, that’s an insane amount of snow! Glad your hubby could make this soup though to warm y’all up! Stay Warm!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Angie! (And if you can believe it – we just got another 10 inches of snow overnight!)

  • Heather / girlichef wrote:

    My yard looks pretty similar to yours and it’s so darn cold! I wish I had a bowl of this comforting soup to warm me up, it sounds delicious.

  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking wrote:

    A big, fat, huge no to all that snow. Oh my gosh. Nooo. I hope it goes away soon!

    But yes, please to this soup. 🙂

  • Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop wrote:

    My kids love orzo with just about anything. They never remember the name though….it’s always that little rice stuff! I like the sound of these meatballs. Yum!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kathy! Our kids love orzo too!

  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    All that snow…gah! I totally get why you don’t want to go outside in all that cold mess. This soup look so comforting and perfect for cold winter days.

  • Angie wrote:

    This orzo and meatball soup looks so comforting! I wish we had snow to play in, I’m a little jealous!

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    It is 80 and sunny in Arizona today but I would still love a big bowl of that soup right now.

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m so jealous of your warm and sunny weather Theresa! 🙂

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes wrote:

    Although we haven’t gotten as much snow as you guys in Boston, I’m literally up to my ears in snow here in upstate NY. It’s never ending I tell ya! It is pretty to look at though, I have to admit. And i DO love me a good soup like this one! Buying the ingredients to make this soon…

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the soup Ashley! And yes – the snow is beautiful – as long as I don’t have to shovel it! 🙂

  • Carol wrote:

    Hi Martha-I’m in North Central MA…I can relate to those photos of yours. We’ve been shoveling off our roof and the snow is piled almost to the eaves of our porch. I don’t think we’re gonna see grass until JULY at this rate….and more hitting over the weekend? Ugh……..definitely time for soup and this one looks AMAZING. I have ground turkey along with some turkey stock and meat frozen from the last turkey I made so this fits right in with what I have on hand. I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Carol – I hope you enjoy the soup! Stay safe this weekend – more snow on the way! 🙁

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