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Sausage and bean Soup in a bowl f
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4.88 from 8 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 (change as needed): 6 -8
Author: Cheryl and Cathy


  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 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 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • 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.


  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. 
Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 844mg | Potassium: 1094mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6356IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 5mg