Meatball Parm Soup with Garlic Knot Topper

Meatball Parm Soup with a Garlic Knot Topper

Garlic knots, meatballs, and tomato soup is already a great combo, but when you cook the garlic knots right on top of a meatball soup loaded with parmesan cheese, it’s a match made in meatball heaven! Just imagine getting a bowl with a garlic knot crust on top, and as you rip into it, steam and garlicky tomato aromas come wafting out from the bowl. That’s what it’s like getting served this soup! As you eat, there is plenty of garlic knots to dip into the soup and grab those beautiful meatballs with.

Where did this recipe idea come from

I recently ate chicken and dumplings and was inspired to cook a different type of bread on top of soup. I thought about it a bit, and decided that garlic knots would be great as the topper. But what soup? At first I was leaning towards Italian wedding, but I decided to add some tomato paste to give it a red sauce vibe that would really match with the knots. The meatballs were actually really helpful to hold the knots at the surface of the soup as it cooked, and the steam from the soup helped them rise and get tender and airy as they cooked. I loved this soup, it came out way better than I expected, and who doesn’t love to have 3 garlic knots with dinner?

Start with the meatballs

These are just simple classic italian meatballs. I use beef and turkey usually but you could use beef and pork for a more rich meatball.

These are the ingredients in my meatballs
  • ground beef
  • ground turkey
  • garlic
  • breadcrumbs
  • fresh parsley
  • parmesan
  • salt and pepper

You could skip a step and poach these in the soup. I actually do that often. Today though, I wanted a little crust on the meatballs so I broiled them first.

Starting the soup

First some onion and garlic in oil, then tomato paste, and then broth, meatballs, escarole, and lots of parmesan cheese.

meatballs and escarole going into the soup

Making the garlic knots

After the first rise of the dough, form these logs, then brush them with a garlicy butter mixture, and tie them up! If you want a really detailed recipe for garlic knots check out the one on Sally’s Baking Addiction!

making the knots

One more shot of the knots cause they are so beautiful.

beautiful garlic knots

Preparing the meatball parm soup with a garlic knot topper for the oven

Add some soup to the bowls. I like to split up the meatballs first, then add enough broth to just barely cover the meatballs. This will give the knots a perfect place to rest in the soup bowl. When you put the knots on, let them rise another 15 minutes before baking.

meatball parm soup

Before and after baking! The knots rise quite a bit in the oven. It’s fun to see the difference. After they come out of the oven they are puffy, golden brown, and delicious. I brushed them one more time with the garlic butter!

before and after baking

The large amount of parmesan cheese in this soup really made it amazing. Being able to use your spoon to break into the bread and eat it as one bite with a meatball was the real game changer.

meatball parm soup with a garlic knot topper

So much warm comforting goodness in one bowl!

meatball parm soup with a garlic knot topper

Twists on meatball parm soup with garlic knots

You could make this with store bought meatballs. You could also make this with store bought garlic knots! I would probably suggest using the crescent rolls that come from the refrigerator section in a can. Brush them up with lots of garlic and butter and they would cook up on top of this soup perfectly.

I also think a shredded chicken would be good in here instead of meatballs if you wanted to go that direction.

If you love new twists on soup like me, check out my chorizo squash soup, bbq brisket ramen, or butter chicken soup with naan grilled cheese!

Meatball Parm Soup with a Garlic Knot Topper
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5 from 1 vote

Meatball Parm Soup with Garlic Knot Topper

A rich meatball soup with lots of parmesan cheese and escarole, and tender buttery garlic knots baked right on top.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Dough Making2 hours
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Mash-Up, Soup
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 851kcal



  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast most of a packet
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 cups ap flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper


  • olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 head escarole chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper


Start the knots

  • Stir the yeast into the warm water and allow it to sit a few minutes. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together.
  • Stir the water into the flour mixture and pour the contents out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put into a bowl and coat with olive oil. Cover and set in a warm place for about 2 hours.

Make the meatballs

  • Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Form mini meatballs and line them up on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil on high for about 8 minutes to brown on the tops. Remove from oven.

Start the soup

  • Cook the onion in the oil in a soup pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften. Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.
  • Add in the stock and stir until the paste is dissolved in the broth. Add in the meatballs and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and turn to low. Add in the escarole, oregano, and parm, cover, and simmer until ready to use.

Finish the knots

  • Mix the knot topping ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Knead the dough slightly to release the air bubbles. Split the dough into 14-16 equal balls. Roll them out into thin logs.
  • Brush the logs with the butter mixture and tie them into knots. Brush with more mixture. Set aside covered in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400

Put it together

  • Ladle the soup into shallow oven safe soup bowls. Put enough soup so it just comes to the top of a single layer of meatballs.
  • Put as many of the knots as you can fit on top of the soup. The meatballs will support them so they don’t sink. I fit 3 on top of each of my individual soup bowls. Put the bowls on a baking sheet and allow to rest another 15 minutes.
  • If you have extra knots, just bake them separately. Bonus knots!
  • Bake at 400 for about 12 minutes until the knots are cooked through and lightly browned on top. Serve.


Calories: 851kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1997mg | Potassium: 1694mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3965IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 9mg


  1. 5 stars
    Incredible. SO GOOD! The knots turned out perfectly! The soup was amazing!! I had to add quite a bit more flour than 2 cups to get the consistency of the dough from soupy to workable and elastic. 10/10 will make again!!

    1. Sorry to hear the dough wasn’t working out! I can add a note to the recipe. Glad it came out great otherwise!

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