Easy Instant Pot Turkey Meatball Soup
My kids love this Instant Pot turkey meatball soup, especially my oldest Karina who was home when I was making this ditalini recipe and loved it so much she packed up the rest to take with her. Similar to Minestrone Soup, it’s filled with turkey meatballs, veggies, and ditalini pasta – a complete meal on its own. Just add some grated parmesan on top and enjoy!
To make this extra flavorful, I love to add a parmesan cheese rind. It really amplifies the broth but it’s also totally optional!
This ditalini recipe is also great for batch cooking, whether you’re making it ahead for the week or saving the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Why You’ll Love This Ditalini Recipe
Here are a few reasons we all love this turkey meatball soup.
- Perfect for busy weeknights. From start to finish, this ditalini recipe takes just an hour to make. Perfect for busy weeknights and lazy weekends alike.
- Hearty but healthy. Between the ditalini, turkey meatballs, and veggies, this soup is very filling – while still being relatively light and healthy too!
- Great for meal prep. Leftover turkey meatball soup is perfect for weekday lunch meal prep and this makes a great freezer meal too!
What You’ll Need
Both the turkey meatballs and the soup itself are made with just a handful of ingredients. You’ll need ground turkey, some veggies, broth, and just a few seasonings. See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Ground turkey – I prefer to use 93% lean turkey.
- Seasoned breadcrumbs – If needed, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs as well.
- Pecorino Romano cheese – Adds a little flavor to the meatballs. Freshly grated is best.
- Egg – Helps hold everything together.
- Garlic – Crushed garlic adds flavor to both the meatballs and the soup.
- Minced parsley – Minced parsley is also added for an earthy flavor that pairs well with the garlic.
- Olive oil – For sauteing the veggies.
- Veggies – Onion, celery, carrot, and zucchini add substances and nutrients to this ditalini recipe.
- Diced tomatoes – San Marzano tomatoes are best. I used the Tuttorosso brand.
- Chicken broth – Be sure to use low sodium to control the saltiness.
- Herbs – Basil leaves and bay leaves add flavor to the broth.
- Ditalini pasta – Use wheat or gluten-free as desired.
- Parmesan – I love to top this soup with parmesan before serving. You can also add the parmesan rind for more flavor.
How To Make Turkey Meatball Soup in the Instant Pot
Using the Instant Pot for this ditalini recipe turns it into a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
- Form the meatballs. Gently mix together all of the meatball ingredients. Form into 30 meatballs, each about 1 heaping tablespoon.
- Brown the meatballs. Press saute in the Instant Pot and spray with oil. Brown the meatballs in batches, spraying each time. Set aside and clean the Instant Pot.
- Saute the veggies. Heat the oil then cook the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, Parmesan rind, basil, and bay leaves, and stir. Return to the meatballs.
- Add the broth. Add the broth and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Add the pasta and zucchini. Quick release then open the lid and add the pasta and zucchini. Cook for 4 minutes then quick release to avoid overcooking the pasta. Enjoy!
Can I Make This On The Stovetop?
Yes, you can absolutely make this turkey meatball soup with ditalini on the stovetop! You’ll want to use a large pot.
Brown the meatballs in batches then simmer all other ingredients, except the pasta and zucchini, covered on low heat for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and zucchini and cook according to the pasta directions.
Tips for Making This Ditalini Recipe
Here are a few tips for perfecting this turkey meatball soup recipe.
- Cook the meatballs in batches. To make the meatballs without breaking them, cook in a few batches and don’t turn them until they no longer stick. You can also skip the browning if you wish and plop them directly into the liquid.
- Use beans instead of pasta. If you’re not eating pasta, turkey meatball soup is also fantastic with beans. Just swap the pasta for a 15 ounce can of white beans.
- Undercook the pasta for meal prep. The pasta will continue to expand in the soup, so if you have leftovers you can add more broth or water. If you plan on making this ahead for the week, I suggest undercooking the pasta by a few minutes.
- Cook the pasta separately if desired. You can also cook the pasta separately, then add it to the soup when serving if you like your pasta al dente.
I love to serve this turkey meatball soup with freshly grated parmesan on top and some additional basil. Between the meatballs and ditalini, I don’t find the need for many sides.
However, a slice of crusty bread is never a bad idea with soup and you can always go for a “soup and salad” combo with a Caesar salad or classic side salad.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Keep leftover turkey meatball soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer. You can also freeze this soup for up to 3 months, with or without the ditalini. Note that the ditalini will soften and absorb more of the broth. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat. The easiest way to reheat this turkey meatball soup is on the stovetop, though the microwave works well for individual portions.
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Short Rib Soup
- Sweet Potato Soup with Sausage
- Chunky Beef, Cabbage, and Tomato Soup
- Beef and Acini Di Pepe Soup
Instant Pot Turkey Meatball and Ditalini Soup
For the meatballs
For the soup
- cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 can diced San Marzano tomatoes, 28 ounces, I used Tuttorosso
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 4 basil leaves, plus optional more for garnish
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 ounces ditalini pasta, 1 cup* (wheat or gluten-free)
- 1 cup zucchini, diced small
- Parmesan rind, optional
- Grated parmesan cheese, optional for serving
- In a medium bowl combine turkey, breadcrumbs, pecorino, egg, garlic, parsley and salt and gently mix to combine.
- Form into 30 meatballs, about 1 heaping tablespoon each.
- Press saute in the Instant Pot and spray with oil.
- Brown the meatballs in 2 to 3 batches, spraying each time. Set aside on a dish and clean the pot.
- Heat the oil and add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic, cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, Parmesan rind, basil, bay leaves and stir, return the meatballs to the pot.
- Add the chicken broth, cover and cook high pressure 15 minutes.
- Quick release and open the lid, add the pasta and zucchini and cook 4 minute more, quick release so the pasta doesn’t overcook.
- Serve with grated cheese if desired and basil.