Lemon Parmesan Meatball and Escarole Soup



ground pork2 pounds


grated parmesan1 cup, divided

Dry Goods

Italian-style breadcrumbs1/2 cup


ground nutmeg1/4 teaspoon
ground garlic1/2 teaspoon


escarole1 large head, roughly chopped
lemon1, juiced and zested


This is one of my favorite simple, filling, wintertime soups. The meatballs freeze like little rockstars, but I don’t recommend freezing this soup with the pasta and escarole; they won’t thaw well. If you do want to freeze, store the meatballs and broth in the freezer and add the pasta and escarole on the day you cook. 

  1. Combine the ground pork, egg, ⅔ cup grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, ground nutmeg, and ground garlic in a large bowl. 
  2. Use your hands or a spoon and mix until well combined. 
  3. Rinse and wet your hands, then roll the meatballs into small balls, about 2 inches wide. Transfer as you roll to a sheet pan or large plate. 
  4. Bring the chicken broth to a rolling simmer in a large pot over medium heat.
  5. Add the meatballs to the pot and cook 12-15 minutes, until the meatballs feel stiff and have cooked through (pull one out and break apart to check)
  6. Add the escarole, stirring to cover with the broth. Cook until the escarole has wilted, about 5-8 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  8. Top with remaining parmesan and serve with a side of crusty bread. 

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Mix and roll the meatballs. Transfer to a plate or a sheet pan that can fit in your freezer.
2. Freeze for at least one hour or until they are stiff enough to be transferred to a large resealable bag or container. Alternatively, make the mix and transfer to a large resealable bag or container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, and then roll on the night of cooking.
3. Trim and chop the escarole and transfer to a resealable bag, pressing out any excess air.
4. Juice and zest the menon and transfer to a small resealable container. Meatballs will last for up to 3 months in the freezer, or for 2-3 days in the fridge. Escarole and lemon juice will last for about 4-5 days in the fridge (lemon juice for likely longer, but I’ve never tried it for longer!)

You’ll need:
1 resealable bag or container of either rolled meatballs, or meatball mix to roll on the night of cooking
1 bag of chopped escarole
1 small container of lemon juice and zest Prepare from prepped: Bring the chicken broth to a rolling simmer and add the meatballs (you don’t have to thaw first) Cook until the meatballs are feeling stiff and cooked, about 12-15 minutes (may be longer if cooking from frozen) Stir in the pasta and cook until al dente. Stir in the escarole and cook until wilted, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and serve with a side of crusty bread.

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