The weather may be getting colder, but you can warm up inside with this delicious Parmesan Meatball Soup. It is packed with flavor and served in a toasty bread bowl. So yummy!

Claire had her first soup in a bread bowl at California Adventure last year, and she has been obsessed ever since, as she should be! Hello, a bowl made of bread?! Carb heaven!

I had originally made meatballs for spaghetti, but when I told her I was going to go snag some bread at the store she asked if I would buy bread bowls. Instead of ditching dinner, I ditched my original plans and legit made soup out of meatballs, and it was bomb diggity delicious!

A bread bowl filled with parmesan meatball soup. The bread bowl and soup have been baked to a perfect toasty brown and the cheese on top is gooey melted perfection.

Everything and anything that involves meatballs are always, always something I can get on board with! They are just dang good! We have our sweet and sour meatballs that are amazing. Then there is our porcupine meatballs that are a staple in our house. And don’t miss our chili sauce and grape jelly meatballs that should be at every party you ever have. Now you have meatballs in a soup!

Ingredients Needed for Parmesan Meatball Soup

Before you decide to make this soup, you need to decided if you are going to make meatballs from scratch or if you are going to buy them pre-made. If you are going to make the meatballs yourself, you need the following ingredients:


  • Bread Crumbs
  • Milk
  • Ground Beef
  • Italian Sausage (mild)
  • Egg
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan (fresh)
  • Italian Parsley (fresh)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Basil (dried)
  • Oregano (dried)
  • Crush Red Pepper Flakes
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Those meatballs are going to be your new best friend! They are totally divine! Now for the soup…here is what you will need:


  • Olive Oil
  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Tomato Paste
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Beef Broth
  • Milk
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan (fresh)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Bread Bowls

The exact measurements for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card below.

A baking sheet with three bread bowls filled with parmesan meatball soup. They have been baked to a golden brown and the cheese on top is melted to perfection. They are sprinkled with fresh parsley.

How to Make Parmesan Meatball Soup

I’m going to break up the instructions into two parts – making meatballs and making soup. If you are buying your meatballs, jump straight to the making soup section.

Making Meatballs

  1. Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a bowl.
  2. Add all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Don’t over-mix!
  3. Roll into meatballs that are about 1″ in diameter and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
    • PRO TIP: I like to use my smallest cookie scoop to keep a uniform meatball size.
  4. Bake until browned and cooked all the way through. Remove from oven.

Making Soup

  1. Add the veggies to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook them until they are soft and golden. Toss in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and seasonings and stir to combine.
  2. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, and milk and stir everything together.
  3. Gently add the meatballs and bring everything to a simmer.
  4. Add half of the mozzarella and all of the Parmesan. Season with the salt and pepper. Squeeze in a lemon and stir.
  5. Fire up the broiler.
  6. Fill your bread bowls with the soup and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Broil them until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  7. Serve with some fresh parsley and dig in!
A bread bowl filled with parmesan meatball soup. A spoon is in the soup and cheese is melted on top.

How Long will Meatball Soup Keep?

This soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be good for 3-4 days.

Can Soup Be Frozen?

Freeze in an airtight container or heavy duty freezer bag for up to 6 months.

Can I Use Frozen Meatballs?

Yes! You absolutely do not have to make your own meatballs. To use frozen meatballs you’ll probably want to cut them in half otherwise they are a bit too large. Sometimes I even quarter them because they are easier for little ones to eat.

  • Use 1 pound frozen meatballs instead of making your own.

Three toasted bread bowls filled with meatball parmesan soup. there is melted cheese sprinkled with fresh parsley on top.

Can I Substitute the Ground Beef?

Why yes you can! You can use ground chicken, ground turkey or a meatloaf blend.

What Can You Substitute For Italian Sausage?

You could possibly use breakfast sausage and add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon basil per pound of sausage. You could also use ground pork.

Or you can double the ground beef and totally skip the Italian Sausage.

Can You Make Meatballs Ahead and Freeze Them?

You can make meatballs and freeze them to use later, in fact I almost always double the meatballs and freeze half for next time.

  1. Place the meatballs in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours.

2. Transfer frozen meatballs to a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze for 3-4 months.

So what is the lesson we learn from this recipe? First, meatballs are always a YES! Second, get creative with dinner! You might have something planned and then something else comes up. Instead of ditching your plans and heading to the drive-thru, be flexible and innovative! It’s parmesan meatball soup for dinner tonight!

More SOUP RECIPES You’ll Love:

Parmesan Meatball Soup

No ratings yet
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes



  • 1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs, see note
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Pound  Italian sausage , mild
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, grated
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parmesan, Grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Italian parsley, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Onion, yellow, diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 Stalk Celery, finely diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, large, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes, 28 oz.
  • 3 Cups Beef Broth, low sodium
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • Frozen Meatballs Halved, if you aren't going to make them yourself
  • 3 Cups Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan , freshly grated
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Squeeze Lemon
  • 4 Bread bowls
  • Parsley, freshly chopped, for garnish


For the Meatballs

  • Dump the bread crumbs and milk into a bowl and stir until softened. Set aside.
    1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs, 1/3 Cup Milk
  • Preheat oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with foil. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Do not over-mix.
    1/2 Pound Ground Beef, 1/2 Pound  Italian sausage, 1 Large Egg, 1/4 Yellow Onion, 2 Cloves Garlic, 1/2 Cup Fresh Parmesan, 2 Tablespoons Fresh Italian parsley, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Oregano, 1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, 1 Pinch Black Pepper
  • Roll into meatballs, about 1/2-1” in diameter and transfer to one prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until browned and cooked through, 15 minutes, remove from the oven. 
  •  In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until soft and golden, 6 minutes.  Quickly add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomato paste and seasonings and stir until combined, then add tomatoes, beef broth, and milk and stir until everything is mixed together.
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 Cup Onion, 1 Carrot, 1 Stalk Celery, 2 Cloves Garlic, 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes, 3 Cups Beef Broth, 1 Cup Milk
  • Add the meatballs to the pot by gently lowering in with a spoon and bring to a simmer, then add half the mozzarella and all of the Parmesan. Season with salt, and pepper then squeeze in a little lemon and stir again.
    Frozen Meatballs Halved, 3 Cups Mozzarella, 1/2 Cup Parmesan, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, 1 Squeeze Lemon
  • Heat the broiler
  • Ladle soup into four bread bowls and top with remaining mozzarella and broil until browned and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with a dash of fresh parsley.
    4 Bread bowls, Parsley


  • To make bread crumbs, place bread in a food processor or blender and pulse until it is bread crumbs.
Left overs should be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 877kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 50gFat: 62gSaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 2196mgPotassium: 1112mgFiber: 4gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 4016IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 772mgIron: 5mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 50 of the Best Easy Soup Recipes for Families
Cuisine: Italian

Recommended Products


A bread bowl filled with parmesan meatball soup. The bread bowl and soup have been baked to a perfect toasty brown and the cheese on top is gooey melted perfection.


When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.