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Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, Exclusive: Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs


While you certainly can make the meatballs in this soup with regular white meat turkey, for a supremely moist meatball, I highly recommend dark meat turkey if you can get your hands on it. Or try a mix of white meat turkey and lean ground beef. I like to finish off this soup with grated Parmesan cheese, but you’ll be pleased as punch with the flavor even without it.


  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • ⅓ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat or regular orzo
  • 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach, chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, sage, and House Seasoning. Mix gently with your hands and form into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the meatballs to the boiling broth and cook for 5 minutes, until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a bowl and reserve. Add the orzo to the broth and boil until just tender, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, return the meatballs to the soup, and 
cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is wilted.

Serves 8


More about Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Recipes All Lightened Up

Paula Deen has lost over 40 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for over two years by swapping out ingredients to reduce fat and calories. Paula’s key to weight loss is moderation and accountability, and one day a week she still enjoys good old southern cooking with biscuits and all. One does not have to give up taste when reducing calories, and these recipes are a testament to that. Paula shares 250 of her favorite recipes lightened up. This brand-new, New York Times best-selling cookbook presents lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes and presents new recipes that cut the calories but not the delicious taste.

The New-York Times Best-Selling cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, is now available now at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target, and your local bookstores!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.