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Minestrone with Mucho Meatballs

Yields8 ServingsPrep Time15 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time45 mins

This hearty minestrone comes with a multitude of meatballs! To avoid toughening meatballs, use your hands for mixing meatball ingredients and SHAPE GENTLY when forming the meatballs.


 1 slice white or whole wheat bread, crust removed
 1 pkg (900 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
 1 lb (0.45 kg) Extra Lean or Lean Ground Beef
 ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
 ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground pepper
 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 1 large onion, chopped
 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
 1 carrot, thinly sliced
 ¼ tsp (1 mL) chili pepper flakes (optional)
 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
 1 can (213 mL) tomato sauce
 3 cups (750 mL) chopped kale
 ½ cup (125 mL) broken whole wheat spaghetti
 Grated Parmesan cheese

Meatballs: Place bread in large bowl. Moisten with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the broth. Let stand 5 minutes. Using fork, stir to form paste. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, ½ tsp of the Italian seasoning and half the garlic. Gently work together. Shape into about twenty-five 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls; cover and refrigerate. Make ahead: cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.


Cook onion, remaining garlic, carrot, celery, remaining Italian seasoning, and chili pepper flakes (if using) in Dutch oven, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.


Add tomatoes, broth and tomato sauce; bring to boil. Drop meatballs into sauce; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


Add kale and pasta; simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Super Speedy Version

Skip making the meatballs, and brown ground beef while cooking the onion.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 8