Turkey Meatball and White Bean Soup - Irvine Moms


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When you hear “meatball” soup, it can easily mean hours of work. You have to make both a soup AND meatballs after all. Not in our version. The meatballs are simple and bake in the oven while the soup comes to a simmer and they finish together in the pot. Completely craveable + weeknight ready.



1 egg (large)

.5 cup grated Parmesan (plus more for serving) 

1 pound ground turkey 

.25 teaspoon garlic powder 

.25 teaspoon black pepper

1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt (divided)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

1 yellow onion (small dice) 

2 carrots (small dice)

3 stalks celery (small dice) 

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 bunch Lacinato Kale Stems (if you aren’t making the kale recipe this week, use the entire bunch of kale)

1 box chicken broth 

1 15-ounce can navy beans (including the liquid)

1 cup half-and-half



DAIRY FREE – omit the cream and add extra water if needed to taste. Omit parmesan from meatballs.

PALEO – omit white beans and add chopped cauliflower or cauliflower rice. Omit the cream and add extra water if needed to taste.

EGG – omit the egg from the meatballs. Optional – stir in 1 Tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch into the meat mixture to help bind.

TURKEY – ground chicken works well

KALE – if you aren’t making the kale chips from the chicken dish this week, you can wash and slice the entire bunch of kale and add it to the soup! Makes a nice hearty green element.

WHITE BEANS – garbanzo beans or cannellini beans are ok

MAKE IT FASTER – instead of making meatballs, sauté the ground turkey with the onions and carrots, then continue the soup. In this case, omit the egg and save the parmesan to stir in at the end to taste. 

KIDS CORNER – some kids might like the meatballs served on the side. You can either keep roasting a few until they’re done throughout and serve with crispy edges, or cook them in the soup as described but pull them out and gently mash up before serving to kids. Pulling out a spoonful of white beans, carrots, and celery and serving without broth might be more acceptable to kids who think they don’t like soup.



Image result for family eating soup together









Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. 


In a large bowl, combine egg, Parmesan, ground turkey, garlic powder, pepper and half of a teaspoon of salt. Gently but thoroughly mix to combine. Shape into small balls (about a Tablespoon of mixture each) and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with about half of the olive oil, not too much. 


Bake until set and starting to brown on the outside, 15 minutes should do it. If done before the soup is ready, just remove from the oven and let them wait on the stovetop.


  1. SOUP

Meanwhile, dice the onion, carrot and celery. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium and add the rest of the olive oil (about 1 teaspoon or more). Add the diced veggies. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.


Mince the garlic and add it to the pot.


  1. KALE

If you used kale in the chicken dish from this week (Ham and Cheese Chicken with Kale), you’ll have the stems left over. If you aren’t planning on making that dish, you’ll have a whole bunch of kale now. Wash it and separate off the leaves.


Line the stems up and slice into thin pieces. Add the stems to the pot to sauté. (Set aside leaves for now).



After sautéing for at least 5 minutes total, add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it’s boiling, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. 


  1. CREAM

After simmering, add the can of navy beans with the liquid. Then, while stirring, slowly add half-and-half. Next add meatballs and return to a gentle simmer, but don’t let it fully boil anymore. 

(*if you’re using the whole bunch of kale, add the leaves now. You can slice them or tear them into 1” pieces).


Cook for 10 minutes. 



Taste the soup and add more salt or pepper if you’d like. Serve in large bowls, sprinkle with extra Parmesan, if desired. 

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