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White Meatballs, Fennel and Orzo in Broth

White Meatballs, Fennel and Orzo in Broth
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You can adapt this one-pot dinner recipe to Chicken, Pork, or Turkey.

The ground meat of your choice is combined with fennel seed, Pecorino Romano, and onion and made into meatballs. The meatballs then cook in a flavor-filled Chicken broth together with orzo pasta, lemon juice, and dill.  The result is an easy-to-make bowl of comfort perfect on a fall night.  Our choice here was to ground turkey because we had it on hand. However, we thought if we designated this as a Turkey Meatball recipe, at least some of our readers would balk at the idea of eating still more Turkey after last week. And the recipe really is perfect for imparting flavor to the meat that is, otherwise, bland.  Cooking the meatballs directly in Chicken stock thickens the broth.  An absolute essential to the dish is Lemon Juice. It lightens and brightens this wonderful bowl. Please finish each bowl with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

Here’s today’s recipe along with 5 other terrific soups to try:

White Meatballs, Fennel and Orzo in Broth

November 30, 2022
: 4
: 20 min
: 15 min
: 35 min
: Easy

This one pot dish is a winner from start to finish. Your choice of chicken, pork or turkey is made into a savory meatball then cooked in a rich Chicken Stock with Orzo and Fennel.


  • 1 small onion
  • 16 ounces ground turkey, pork or chicken
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup orzo
  • 1 Fennel bulb, trimmed and diced, white parts only
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and fresh dill sprigs, for serving
  • Step 1 Grate onion. Squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl (you should have 1/2 cup of onion). Add ground meat, egg, fennel seeds, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the Panko breadcrumbs
  • Step 2 Stir until just combined (do not overmix). With dampened hands, roll the mixture into 24 balls, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. In a medium pot, bring broth and 1 cup water to a boil. Add fennel and orzo. Cook for 5 minutes. Add meatballs, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring once, until cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste. Serve with a drizzle of oil, more cheese, pepper, dill, and lemon wedges.

Lauren’s Mother-In-Law’s Tortilla Soup

Broccoli Pepper Jack Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

How to Make French Onion Soup in a Slow Cooker

Cheeseburger Soup

Caldo Verde and Bifanas: Portugal’s Soup and a Sandwich

And that’s not all! By our count there are 146 Soup Recipes on Chewing The Fat! So if none of these 6 appeals to you, here’s a link to search for all 140 more! Go to https://chewingthefat.us.com/?s=Soup

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4 thoughts on “White Meatballs, Fennel and Orzo in Broth”

  • Making the White Meatballs recipe (which looks delicious). I can’t help but notice it doesn’t indicate when to add the fennel bulb. Presumably sauteed, prior to adding the orzo and broth/water?

    • Dear Betsy, I do apologize. Thanks to you, we have amended the recipe. The fennel is added with the orzo. Please accept our apologies. Bon Appetit!

  • Made this with ground turkey. Looks pretty bland but taste is marvelous. Only cooking for two, but made the whole recipe and froze half.
    Warmed the leftovers in the microwave and happy to report it tastes as good as it did originally. Side of crusty bread was all it needed.
    Thanks for this one- it’ll be used again.

    • Dear Craig, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I love the broth and I love Orzo. Again, many thanks and Bon Appetit! Monte

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