Vegetable Soup with Pesto Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

Gluten-Free, Recipes, Soups

Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

This vegetable soup with pesto turkey meatballs was created out of one of those “oh no, what am I going to make for dinner?” nights. I try to keep ground turkey on hand for a healthy and versatile source of protein, but find that it needs some love in the flavour department. I had recently made basil pesto (previous post) and frozen it, and a lightbulb went off: why not make pesto turkey meatballs?

Of course, half-way through making the soup my two-year-old Charlie insisted that he wanted pasta (go figure). Good thing these meatballs were a perfect addition to some whole wheat pasta tossed with a bit of extra chicken stock and some fresh parmesan cheese. They were a hit, and just like Charlie said, it will make you “big and strong like my Dad.”

Left alone, this soup is a very brothy dish and reminds me of something my Mom would make me when I wasn’t feeling well. Should you wish, you could add chopped kale or some other vegetables or small pasta to add some substance depending on how important it is for you to keep it gluten-free.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 2 litres chicken stock (gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsely
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and grease a non-stick cookie sheet with olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, pesto, egg and salt, using your fingers to gently mix the ingredients together.
  3. Using a small 1-ounce  scoop or a teaspoon, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a heavy pot on medium, heat the olive oil and add the onion.  Cook until transparent, stirring.  Add the celery and carrots and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened.
  5. Add the 1/2 cup of wine (or chicken stock) to deglaze and cook until reduced by half.
  6. Add the 2 litres of chicken stock and the meatballs and simmer for 15-20 minutes on the low heat setting.
  7. Season with the parsley, salt and pepper and serve.
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9 Comments on “Vegetable Soup with Pesto Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)”

  1. paintnart

    Ahhh Tori – you know anytime you are feeling under the weather I would gladly make you a heartwarming soup AND I know that you would make me a soup (this one sounds right up my alley) any day of the week! Your cooking is amazing just like you!

  2. Ryan

    What a delicious soup! My husband prefers red meat, but I’m always trying to substitute something healthier. He couldn’t believe how much he loved the meatballs in this soup! I made a few substitutions to keep it dairy free. A perfect meal for the coming months!

  3. Debbie-Lee Robertson

    Hello Tori,

    I absolutely… have fallen in love with your website! All of your recipes that I have made turned out fabulous. My daughter has celiac disease and I find your recipes taste delicious when I make them gluten free and the gluten free recipes are just as tasty. My daughter is a tough critic, lol. I am making this recipe for dinner this evening, cant wait!

    Thank you,


  4. Heather Fishleder

    My entire family loved this soup tonight! We had a fresh red leaf lettuce salad too with mandarin orange slices in it and crusty multi grain bread. Everything recipe I’ve made from you has turned out fabulous. I look forward to reading your posts all the time – they brighten my day! Thanks Tori!

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Aw thank you so much Heather, your salad sounds fantastic as well! I really appreciate you taking the time to write this and of course for following along. I know how busy life gets, and it means a lot to me. Take care! Tori

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