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Sausage and Bean Soup

This satisfying, cozy sausage and bean soup is packed with nutrition, heat and fantastic flavors. A perfect meal in a bowl with some hot crusty bread.

Sausage and bean Soup in a bowl f

My friend, Cathy Kreuter, shared this hearty soup recipe with me. I tried it and loved it. I know my husband loved it too because he polished off half the pot in one sitting.

There are many similar recipes on the internet. This is a good one. As with most soups, both Cathy and I tweak them to our tastes. You can too. 

The core ingredients are sausage, beans and tomatoes. We added lots of veggies and some baby pasta to amp up the nutrition and comfort factors. The pasta thickens the soup slightly, making it a cross between a soup and stew. 

The soup is easy to make and, with any luck, you’ll have great leftovers the next day. Needless to say, it’s a perfect make-ahead soup.

Tip: Make lots! Serve it with some hot crusty bread, a great salad or a Puff Pastry Tomato Tart.

This sausage and bean soup has all the components we love in a soup:

  • versatility (add what you like and have available)
  • body
  • exceptionally good nutrition
  • comforting and filling
  • great leftovers for lunch
  • super tasty

The answer is YES!

  • Can I make this in the Instant Pot? How about in a Slow Cooker
  • Can I make a vegetarian version?
  • Can I make a low salt version?  

You will find instructions for the Instant Pot and slow cooker versions in the recipe notes. 

Is sausage and bean soup healthy?

Yes. This hearty soup is high in fiber, protein, potassium and iron and contains considerable vitamin A and C. It’s also pretty low in saturated fat as you can drain off most of the fat once the sausage is cooked.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are several variations and substitutes you can try. 

  • Vegetarian version: Replace the sausage with a vegetarian sausage such as Beyond Meat or leave it out altogether. And, of course, substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For added depth, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. 
  • Low salt version: Skip the Parmesan cheese. Use cans of  low salt beans and low salt tomatoes. 
  • Sausages:
    • So many choices here – spicy, mild, cooked, fresh, chicken, turkey, pork, beef. Here’s a good article on sausage types from Spruce Eats. 
    • Use fresh sausages (used in this recipe) such as spicy Italian sausages or Chorizo. Or mild fresh farmers or garlic sausages. For fresh sausages, remove the meat from the casings before pan frying. Most of the fat is drained out of the sausage when you saute it which means less fat in the soup.
    • Smoked cooked sausages—such as andouille or kielbasa can be added with the simmer as no pan frying is needed. Even a smoky hot dog will work.
    • Go as mild or spicy as you like. 
  • Vegetables: We use onions, carrots, celery and spinach. Other good options are zucchini, mushrooms and green beans. 
  • Pasta: Instead of orzo, try acini di pepe, baby penne, fine egg noodles, macaroni, etc. Leave out the pasta if you prefer (the soup will be thinner). Or replace it with diced potatoes. 
  • Spice level: You can control the heat to some extent by buying the sausage as spicy as you like. If you are using a less spicy sausage, just add a pinch of chili flakes to make up the difference.   

Shortcut

  • Instead of dicing the vegetables with a knife, throw them into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. It’s fine if a few bigger pieces remain.
  • Buy cooked smoked sausage and slice it into small pieces. With this option, you can skip the pan fry step. 

Make Ahead 

  • The sausage bean soup will keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for 4-5 days. If it thickens up too much in the fridge, just add more broth.
  • The soup can also be frozen for several months. Defrost and reheat in the microwave or in a pot.

Other hearty soups you might enjoy

How to make sausage and bean soup

spinach, broth, can tomatoes, beans, onion, carrot, sausage, parmesan
Ingredients: Baby spinach, chicken broth, can tomatoes, can of beans, onion, carrot, celery, garlic sausage meat, parmesan cheese (plus seasonings)
chopped vegetables in food processor bowl
Chop vegetables by pulsing them in a food processor. Alternatively, chop with a knife.
sausage and bean soup in pot ready for simmering
Add broth, tomatoes, beans and orzo to pot of veggies (except spinach) and sausage. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Sausage and Bean soup in pot with ladle
Stir in spinach until wilted. Ladle into bowls and serve with Parmesan if desired.

Sausage and Bean soup in bowl p4

Sausage and bean Soup in a bowl f
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5 from 6 votes

Sausage and Bean Soup

This satisfying, cozy sausage and bean soup is packed with nutrition, heat and fantastic flavors. A perfect meal in a bowl with some hot crusty bread.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: soups and starters
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Cheryl and Cathy

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb spicy Italian or turkey sausage, casing removed, Note 1
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
  • 14.5-ounce (429 ml) can diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce (429 ml, 411 g) can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, Note 2
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) orzo pasta, Note 3
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach (or chopped swiss chard or kale)
  • Garnish: fresh grated Parmesan cheese optional

seasonings (Note 4)

  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • CHOP VEGETABLES: Dice onions, carrots and celery into small pieces. Shortcut: alternatively, cut vegetables into large chunks and pulse them in a food processor a few times until coarsely chopped.
  • SAUTE SAUSAGE: Heat oil in pot at medium high. Add sausage meat, using a spoon to break it up in the pot. Saute for about 3-4 minutes until browned. Drain off most of grease, leaving about 2 teaspoons in the pot.
  • SAUTE VEGETABLES: Add onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Saute for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices. Saute another minute.
  • ADD LIQUIDS, BEANS AND ORZO: Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and orzo. Stir. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes until vegetables and pasta are tender.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Add fresh baby spinach and stir one minute until wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  1. Sausages:
    • Use any fresh sausages such as spicy Italian sausages or Chorizo. Or mild fresh farmers or garlic sausages. The sausages can be mild, medium or very spicy - as you like.  For a shortcut you can used a cooked smoked sausage like andouille (and skip the pan fry step). 
    • For vegetarians, use a vegetarian sausage such as Beyond Meat or leave it out altogether. 
  2. Beans: Cannellini, black, white navy, red kidney, pinto beans are all good options.
  3. Pasta: Instead of orzo, try acini di pepe, baby penne, fine egg noodles, macaroni, etc. Leave out the pasta if you prefer. Or replace it with diced potatoes. 
  4. Seasonings: Use the equivalent of seasonings you like. Thyme, oregano, basil, sage, herbes de province are good options. 
  5. Other variations to try:
    • Low salt version: Skip the Parmesan cheese. Use cans of  low salt beans and low salt tomatoes.
    • Vegetables: We use onions, carrots, celery and spinach. Other good options are zucchini, mushrooms and green beans. Spinach can be replaced with fresh kale or swiss chard. Or with frozen spinach. 
  6. Make Ahead:
    • The sausage bean soup will keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for 4-5 days. If it thickens up too much in the fridge, just add more broth.
    • The soup can also be frozen for several months. Defrost and reheat in the microwave or in a pot.
How to make sausage bean soup in the Instant Pot
  • Saute sausage for 5 minutes. Add onions and veggies. Saute another 5 minutes, then garlic for 30 seconds. Turn instant pot off.
  • Add seasonings, broth, tomatoes and beans. (not pasta)
  • Lock in lid. Set Pressure to high for 5 minutes. Do natural releases for 10 minutes. Stir. 
  • Turn on Saute funtion. Add pasta and cook until tender. 
  • Stir in spinach until wilted. 
How to make sausage bean soup in Slow Cooker/Crockpot
  • Saute sausage in a skillet. Add veggies (not including spinach) and garlic. Saute another 3 minutes
  • Transfer to slow cooker and add all other ingredients except spinach, pasta and beans.
  • Cook on High for 4-6 hours. Or Low for 8 hours
  • Add beans, pasta and spinach. Cook on high for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. 
Nutrition value estimates are based on approximately 1 1/2 cups of soup using fresh turkey sausage. Parmesan garnish is not included. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sausage and Bean Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 321 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 844mg37%
Potassium 1094mg31%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 6356IU127%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 142mg14%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This sausage and bean soup recipe, originally published in 2017, has now been updated. 

 

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Five stars for this! Very delicious soup and I will make it again. I followed the recipe exactly with no substitutions and it was perfect.

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