Shrimpball Pasta Soup!

Now don’t get me wrong – I adore the traditional meatball.  I like them in soup, I like them with spaghetti, I like them all by themselves with a little fresh ricotta – oh yes.  But I also like mixing things up a little, and there’s no reason why shrimp can’t get in on all the meatball action.  And as it turns out, the shrimp version of meatballs…shall we call them shrimpballs?…are even easier to make and just as tasty.  Let’s make some!

Regular meatballs are usually browned and broiled before you add them to whatever sauce or soup you are cooking up.  But shrimp is at its tender best when it is just cooked through, which is why soup is the perfect answer here.  Start out by making your shrimp balls, which are simply shrimp that have been minced up in your food processor and mixed with some breadcrumbs, some pepper and Old Bay seasoning and a little milk.

Now heat up some nice chicken broth in a medium saucepan – the Imagine and Pacific brands that come in the box are my favorite.  Heat it up until it is simmering and then add in some pasta – I used regular old spaghetti, but whatever you have on hand pasta-wise will work just fine.  Cook the pasta in the broth until the pasta is about 5 minutes from being done.  Now gently drop your shrimpballs into the simmering broth and pasta and finish cooking the pasta – by the time the pasta is done the shrimpballs will be nicely and tenderly cooked through.  Taste your broth and add salt and pepper as needed.

Now ladle the soup into bowls, making sure everyone gets at least 3 of those delectable shrimpballs.  Scatter some fresh chopped parsley or chives over the top and serve it up. I guarantee that it will get you thinking about meatballs in a whole new way!


Shrimpball Pasta Soup!
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (either dried or fresh will work)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6 cups chicken broth (I recommend the Pacific and Imagine brands that come in the box)
  • ½ pound spaghetti or other pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Process shrimp in the food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and mix with breadcrumbs, cayenne, Old Bay and milk. Form into 1 inch meatball shapes (mixture will be soft).
  2. Heat chicken broth to boiling and add pasta. Cook according to pasta package directions until pasta is 5 minutes from being done.
  3. Gently add shrimpballs to boiling broth (lowering them in with a spoon works best) and finish cooking pasta with shrimpballs. Taste broth and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve.


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  1. says

    How easy could this be!

    How about making broth from the shrimp shells, adding old bay, ginger and cilantro stems to the broth while making it, drain shells, ginger and cilantro stems keeping broth for soup.

    Then cook soba noodles and add shrimp balls as prescribed by you. Sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy. Could add carrot curls for color. If you have spiral cutter for veggies, great or use potato peeler on carrots and slice peel thin, this will add texture to the soup.

      • says

        Aloha Kate: I actually made this last night…did not have milk so I used Heavy Whipping Cream…OMG the shrimp balls were the best I have ever had…the cream made them slightly sweet. Besides the carrots and ginger I added snow peas to the shrimp broth. I did not do the soba noodles with this soup this time…and it was more than satisfying…

        This was one of the most delicious savory rich soups I have ever tasted. By the way I put about 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves (no stems) in the shrimp ball mixture and since I had no bread crumbs I used panko. This will be something I would serve at an elegant dinner for the soup course. So delicious, and a 12 ounce portion was more than enough for my dinner, I had nothing else and was absolutely satisfied.

        Thank you so much for sending this recipe…it will probably be a weekly item for dinner for me.

        Blessings, Anne

  2. Sue says

    I had a tomato-based soup with “fish balls” in it, at a brewery/restaurant in Charleston, SC about 10 years ago… and I still remember how delicious it was! I WILL be trying this yummy-looking recipe! Thanks, Kate!

    • Kate says

      Yum, a tomato base sounds wonderful – maybe there is a Manhattan clam chowder version of this recipe that’s possible! Hmm.

  3. ruthie says

    I’m sitting here shivering, and that nice warm simple! soup sounds divine. Think I’ll make it for lunch tomorrow. Yum.

  4. Cathy says

    this recipe looks great, but could you answer a stupid question… when you chop the shrimp to form the meatballs, is the shrimp raw or cooked?

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