null Skip to Main Content
Timber 2 Table - Wild Turkey Leg Italian Wedding Soup

Use ground wild turkey legs and thighs to add flavor to this classic Italian soup

Wild Turkey Leg Italian Wedding Soup

45 Min

Prep Time

90 Min

Cook Time





Folks often ask what we do with all of our turkey legs and thighs each season. One of my favorite methods to use them is to grind them into burger. You can pat out patties and grill them just like you would with any ground meat, make sausage, or use them in recipes like this one.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_9

Meatball recipes like this Italian wedding soup are a great way to use wild turkey legs and thighs.

Good Italian wedding soup has been described as a religious experience. I’ve had a few versions, and while they’ve been delicious, I’m not sure I’d go quite that far. It does make one heck of a meal though. And it’s easy to make.

To add even more flavor to the soup, I like to use ground wild turkey legs and thighs in the meatballs. I mix in about half as much ground pork to add a little fat to the finished meatball and help it stick together during the cooking process.

First, bone out the legs and thighs and remove the tendons.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_1

Bone out the legs and thighs.

Next, run the boneless meat through your grinder.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_2

Bone out the legs and thighs, then run the meat through your grinder.

In a large bowl, mix the ground wild turkey with the ground pork. Add the remaining meatball ingredients. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of large marbles. If it sticks to your hands, you can rub a little olive oil on your hands before rolling the meatballs.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_3

Mix the meatball ingredients.

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. For extra flavor, brown the meatballs on all sides, in batches if needed to keep from overcrowding the pan. Set the meatballs aside.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_6

Brown the meatballs for extra flavor.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are slightly soft and the onions translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_7

Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot until softened.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pot and add the orzo pasta.

Image: turkey_ital_wedding_8

Add the orzo pasta.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped spinach. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked through.

Top with Parmesan cheese at serving, if desired.



16 ounces ground turkey legs and thighs

8 ounces ground pork

1 large egg

½ cup Italian or panko breadcrumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt and black pepper

8 cups chicken broth

¾ cup orzo pasta

3 cups spinach, chopped

Shaved Parmesan, for serving, optional

Exit off-canvas