30-Minute Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup: A Wholesome and Satisfying Meal

White beans, lots of kale, and turkey meatballs give this healthier take on the traditional Italian wedding soup a comforting, light broth.

It wouldn’t be the New Year without focusing on tidying, purging, and cleansing from head to toe, isn’t that what we’re all feeling?

As is my annual custom, I’m making the most of my strong resolve and eating a clean diet this year. This week. And maybe next. With just a side of butter and maybe a bite or six of cheese. And please, don’t hold it against me if there’s a nibble of chocolate here and there.

In thinking about eating strategies and menu planning, I still have cravings that need to be filled. Savory but simple. Filling and fortifying.

While these full fledge meatball recipes are delish, I’m craving bite size babies. In something warm and comforting. Like soup to steel me for the winter chill.

My Skinny Slow Cooker Kale and Turkey Meatball Soup is a play on Italian Wedding Soup, which other food bloggers have some amazing recipes for. As you may have guessed, However, I made my own version because, like all girls, I wanted to be the bride rather than a bridesmaid.

This recipe is another one of mine that celebrates one pot slow cooker cooking. To enable me to leave the house for a few hours and let it do its thing, I rolled out these turkey baby balls, chopped up some vegetables, and quickly seared the meatballs before placing everything in the slow cooker pool.

Even though the majority of ground turkey in grocery stores is fat-free, I prefer my turkey to have more fat so the meatballs don’t really dry out. But, if you’re really watching the calories, go for the low-fat version anytime.

**Amended** Several commenters noted the meatballs fell apart while cooking. Make sure to quickly sear the meatballs in a big skillet before putting them in the slow cooker to prevent that.

In this version, I used my favorite green leafy filler, kale, but you could also use escarole, rainbow or swiss chard, or even spinach to add the hearty veggie heft this soup needs. Add the kale in the final 15 minutes of cooking if you want the leaves to stay a vibrant green color. If you’re not concerned, they cook up tender and flavorful with the total cooking time.

I thought about adding in a can of diced tomatoes for another layer of flavor. Maybe next time. And if you beat me to it, let me know what you think.

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to get a healthy and satisfying meal on the table? Look no further than this 30-Minute Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup!

This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. It’s also packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a great choice for a healthy and delicious meal.

The Inspiration Behind the Recipe

This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to the Oregon Coast. While there, Katja’s mother-in-law made a wonderful turkey meatball soup that warmed her soul. It was super simple and super nourishing.

Inspired by this experience, Katja decided to recreate the recipe for her blog readers. She wanted to create a version that was gluten, grain, and dairy-free, and could be thrown together in just 30 minutes.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To make this soup. you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg, whipped
  • 2–4 tbsp flour (cassava, almond, coconut)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, basil, dill, or cilantro) OR 1/2 tsp dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • several grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil

For the soup:

  • 2 tbsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 large carrots, chipped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups of good quality broth (chicken OR vegetable)
  • 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped (I used the Dino variety)

For the garnish:

  • chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, dill, or cilantro)
  • red pepper flakes

The Step-by-Step Instructions

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this soup:

To make the meatballs:

  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey meat, egg, flour, garlic, salt, and herbs and mix until well incorporated.
  2. Roll into small balls (about 1 1/2 inches). You’ll get about 24-26 meatballs.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp fat of choice in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook meatballs for 3-4 minutes, until all sides are brown. You may need to do this in batches. Set aside.

To make the soup:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp fat of choice in large soup pot. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook until onions are translucent – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add bay leaves, broth, and meatballs. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add kale and cook until meatballs are cooked through- about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh herbs and red pepper flakes.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for making this soup:

  • If you don’t have any fresh herbs, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs instead.
  • You can use any type of flour that you like for the meatballs. I used cassava flour, but almond flour, coconut flour, or even regular all-purpose flour would work as well.
  • If you don’t have any bone broth, you can use regular chicken or vegetable broth instead.
  • This soup is even better the next day, so feel free to make a big batch and enjoy it for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

This 30-Minute Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup is a quick, easy, and healthy meal that is perfect for busy weeknights. It’s packed with flavor and nutrients, and it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. So give it a try tonight and see for yourself!

Skinny Slow Cooker Kale and Turkey Meatball SoupThis healthy spin on classic Italian Wedding Soup is made lighter with turkey meatballs, white beans, and plenty of kale, all in a light and comforting broth.

  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey , (85% lean)
  • 1 medium shallot , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano , grated, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley , chopped
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth , (64 ounces)
  • One fifteen-ounce can of rinsed and drained white Northern beans, or any other small white bean
  • 2 carrots , sliced
  • ½ yellow onion , chopped
  • 4 cups kale about 1 pound
  • Pour milk into a sizable mixing basin, then break up the bread and add it to soak in the milk. Add the turkey, cheese, parsley, egg, shallot, garlic, nutmeg, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and mix gently with your fingers until everything is combined. Create ½-inch balls with a melon baller or tiny scoop.
  • The meatballs should be gently seared for one to two minutes on each side in a big skillet filled with heated olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Incorporate the broth, beans, carrots, onion, and kale into the slow cooker insert, measuring 5 to 7 quarts.
  • When the meatballs float to the top, cook on low for 4 hours after dropping them onto the kale, covered.
  • Serve the soup with fresh parsley leaves, red pepper flakes, and grated Parmesan cheese on top.

How to make turkey meatball soup


Are Turkey Meatballs good for you?

Leaner than beef, turkey meatballs are healthier, packed with protein and flavor, and very moist. Turkey also provides a number of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin, essential for the body’s energy production.

Why are my Turkey Meatballs mushy?

Commercially ground turkey also has a finer texture than beef or pork, which is why it cooks up mushy. The fine consistency also means the meat has a harder time holding on to moisture.

How much phosphorus is in Turkey Meatballs?

Nutrition Facts
How much Phosphorus is in Turkey Meatballs? Amount of Phosphorus in Turkey Meatballs: Phosphorus 279.4mg
How much Zinc is in Turkey Meatballs? Amount of Zinc in Turkey Meatballs: Zinc 3mg
How much Copper is in Turkey Meatballs? Amount of Copper in Turkey Meatballs: Copper 0.2mg

How many calories are in 5 Turkey Meatballs?

There are 208 calories in 5 medium Turkey Meatballs. Calorie breakdown: 26% fat, 19% carbs, 55% protein.

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