Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup is a classic Italian dish in soup form – tomato soup with chicken meatballs and mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup

When you have a dream, do you think much of it? I do. I believe our dreams are an extension of our subconscious. Sometimes if a dream really sticks out, I’ll look up the meaning. Other times, dreams can be pretty literal. Take this Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup for example. Want to know how I came up with the idea? I dreamed about making this soup. That’s right – I was developing recipes even while sleeping. Earlier that same day, I made chicken parmesan meatballs from Hungry Couple for dinner. In my dream, I put them into tomato soup. Genius, right? Once awake, I knew I had to make it, especially with the wind howling and snow piling high outside. After working on it in the kitchen, I came up with a homemade tomato soup with chicken parmesan meatballs. Italian comfort food in a bowl.

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup

Even though eating meatballs for dinner prompted this dream, I was curious and looked up its meaning. Dreaming about soup means I’m longing for emotional hunger or nourishment, for comfort and healing. Without getting into much private detail, that sounds pretty accurate. Plus it’s been ridiculously cold out to the point where I want to eat soup every day, just to warm up.

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup

Since fresh tomatoes are hard to come by in the winter months (and yes I can absolutely taste the difference between grocery store and farm fresh), I opted for canned tomatoes. As long as you use a high-quality canned version you enjoy, the soup still turns out great. If you do have access to fresh tomatoes, even better.

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup

To save time, I cooked the meatballs directly in the soup, just like I did with my Italian Wedding Soup. That also means you can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze raw. Just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
Chicken Parmesan Meatball Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The chicken meatballs can be made and frozen ahead of time.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken, thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (roughly half a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (roughly half a medium onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces canned tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups + 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus more to garnish)
For the meatballs
  1. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup panko/corn flakes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, remaining 1 tablespoon panko/corn flakes, basil, and parsley. Make 1-inch meatballs then roll into the panko/corn flakes. Place on a plate or tray. Keep refrigerated while you make the soup.*
For the soup
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat up the oil and butter until melted. Add the onion and cook until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir all together and cook another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups broth. Bring a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
  2. Add the soup mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful - because the mixture is hot, it will expand greatly in the blender when you turn it on. If needed, puree in two batches. Add back to the pot with the remaining 1 cup broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the meatballs. Cook 7-10 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Stir in the cheese until melted. Serve in bowls and garnish with extra mozzarella cheese.
*If you are making the meatballs ahead of time, freeze individually on baking sheets (or plates that fit in your freezer). Once frozen, place in a freezer bag. Add an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time.

Sources: Adapted from Hungry Couple and How Sweet Eats
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  1. Pure genius! I want this, scratch that need this! Also I think of recipes in weird places too. Usually in the shower or when I’m getting ready for work. Essentially when I’m unable to write the idea down. I just pray I don’t forget!

    • I am notorious for “writing” blog posts in the shower. Unfortunately by the time I sit down at a computer, words escape me. We need to invent something for this…

  2. I don’t know if I’ve ever made a tomato base soup with fresh tomatoes. I’ll have to remember to try it out! Love this soup version of chicken parm too. Sounds very comforting for any ailment.

    • Oh you must try fresh tomato soup in the summer when you can get your hands on garden tomatoes! Seriously – grocery store tomatoes won’t do. The key is to not refrigerate your tomatoes, which unfortunately grocery store tomatoes often get refrigerated during transit.

      • I would’ve never guessed that refrigeration would impact their flavor. If I am still living with my parents when their tomatoes grow in their garden I’ll have to try!

        • Yes it does! I forget where I learned that (Alton Brown?), but the cold affects their tomato cells which then impacts their flavor. It’s why garden tomatoes taste so much better (assuming you don’t store them in the fridge afterwards).

  3. Beautiful recipe – and warming to the bone! The combination tomato + parmesan + mozzarella would be great, but to have the meatballs in such a flavour-packed food is just heavenly. I mean, thyme, basil, oregano….. I’m in!

    • Very warming indeed! Usually plan pureed soups aren’t a meal to me, but the meatballs really do add substance. All you need now is garlic bread ;)

  4. Genius idea! I love that you dreamt of this soup in your sleep. You now have me daydreaming of this soup on a cold and rainy day :P

  5. YUM! I got 4 brown grocery bags FULL of tomatoes from a coworker’s friend’s garden that I froze in the fall. I’ve been working my way through them all winter, but luckily, I have enough to make this soup over the weekend (when, coincidentally, it’s going to get cold again)!

  6. Amazing looking soup, I would love a bowl right now!!!

  7. This looks like something I could eat every day and never get tired of. I love soups, and wish my dreams were so inspired and productive!

    • Yea seriously I’ve been in such a soup kick lately. Funny thing is I rarely ate soup growing up as dinner, but when there’s “nothing else to make,” it usually ends in soup.

  8. I am so glad you dreamed about this soup then made it a reality!!!! I loooove my crazy dreams. You know who hates hearing about my crazy dreams, my husband! Because more often than not something is happening to him or he did something wrong in my dream. Poor guy!

  9. Dude. That’s awesome. I love that you dreamed this delicious soup up!!!

  10. MaryAnn says:

    Excellent recipe! Pinned it, made it, loved it!

  11. I made this a few weeks ago and is quite possibly one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten.

  12. Oh my gosh! This sounds so good. My daughter adores meatballs so she would be all over this soup.

  13. LOVE this! a meatball sub in soup, delicious

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