It's definitely the time of year for soup! Like our Healthy Italian Wedding Soup, Italian Vegetable White Bean soup and Mediterranean Chickpea Soup, this Italian Sausage Soup is sure to keep you cozy and snug on a cold day! And if you love sausage, be sure to try one of these 35 Italian Sausage Recipes for Dinner!
👌 Why this Recipe Works
Full of zest! We used our favorite veggies and a chicken and tomato-based broth seasoned with flavors that make the flavor of this this Italian Sausage Soup truly pop! The Italian sausage offers even more of a kick as well as the cheese which brings the whole dish together.
Nutrient-dense. This soup is packed with veggies, including the superfood kale, which is chock full of vitamins and nutrients.
Cooks fast! Like all of our recipes, our Italian Sausage Soup can be made in 28 minutes or less!
Delicious leftovers! If you have any leftovers, you'll find that the orzo soaks up ALL the broth overnight. What's left is sort of a rice dish. So, the next day, you can add broth and have soup again or eat the dish as it is
🛒 Ingredients & Substitutions
Notes on Ingredients (full list of ingredients and quantities available in recipe card):
- Sausage- Ideally, ground, Italian pork sausage. If only sausage links are available, simply slit the casing and remove sausage inside. Choose mild, medium or spicy depending on your heat preference.
- Broth- We love Better than Bouillon chicken base because it's condensed and lasts a while, takes up little room in the fridge, and it's packaging is more eco-friendly.
- Veggies - The smaller you chop them, the faster they'll cook.
- Garlic - Fresh (minced or finely chopped) or jarred, minced garlic all work.
- Orzo - Or any bite-sized pasta you like! Cook directly in the broth OR separately if you plan on having leftovers and don’t want the orzo to absorb all the broth.
- Kale - Cut leaves off kale stems using scissors or Kitchen Shears.
👩🍳 How to Make Our Italian Sausage Soup
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Step 1: Combine broth, veggies (carrots, corn and tomatoes) and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
Step 2: Cook onion and celery in a separate pan
Step 3: Add garlic and sausage to pan and cook until sausage is no longer pink
Step 4: Add pan contents and orzo pasta to pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Add kale as final step, five minutes before serving
👧🏽 Kids Cooking Steps 👧🏽
- Peel carrots. This is a fun challenge for older children. We like this Cutco veggie peeler for adults. For kids specifically, this Opinel veggie peeler for kids is great.
- Chop onions safely with this Opinel knife and finger guard for kids (it comes with a peeler too). Fun tip: kids can wear goggles to slice/chop onions to protect their little eyes from tearing up.
- Break up sausage using a Potato Masher. Just be sure to not use a metal masher on a non-stick pan.
- Taste the pasta! Let kids decide if the orzo is done. Hungry toddlers love this job!
- Cut leaves off kale stems using scissors or Kitchen Shears
✏️ Expert Tips and Tricks
- Finely chop veggies to reduce cooking time.
- Prevent the orzo from soaking up the broth by cooking the pasta separately.
- To make this dish dairy-free, just don't sprinkle any cheese on top of the soup! And find garlic bread that doesn't have cheese atop.
- To make this dish gluten-free: (1) Simply replace the orzo with rice. However, rice may take a bit longer to cook, so check the rice package's instructions first. (2) Make sure the broth you're using doesn't contain traces of gluten. (3) And instead of garlic bread, serve a salad on the side. That's healthier anyway 🙂
We served the soup with garlic bread on the side, and feel it was the perfect addition. I just bought a locally made loaf that only required 10 minutes of baking. But I'm also a huge fan of the good ol' frozen Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread Loaf.
Yes, you can swap the Italian sausage for Italian turkey sausage, chicken sausage, or ground beef. Be sure to add additional spices as needed since Italian sausage tends to be heavily seasoned.
While we love the small rice-like size of orzo pasta, other pastas work too. My next choices would be small shells, farfalle (bowties), macaroni or ditalini. But it all comes down to personal preference!
Yes, spinach and chard are great options for this soup. If you use chard, de-stem and chop it before cooking. Just remember to add your leafy green as the final step.
🧊 How to Store
Store- Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Keep in mind that if you cook your pasta in the soup's broth, the pasta may soak up all the broth. To avoid this, either cook and store your pasta separately from the soup or be prepared to add more broth to your leftovers.
Freeze- Store in the freezer before adding the pasta and kale. This Italian Sausage soup can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Reheat- If frozen, thaw broth and veggies in the fridge. Then, bring soup to a simmer on other stove, add pasta and complete recipe as instructed.
👶Tips for Picky Eaters
- Swap the veggies. Try exchanging some veggies in the soup for ones your kids prefer. Or increase/decrease veggies in the recipe. Marcie's family loves corn, so she added ½ cup more.
- Pick another pasta. Swap the orzo for your kids' favorite noodles, i.e. rotini or penne. If that gets them more pumped to eat dinner, it's totally worth it.
- Ditch the kale. I literally had to fish the "yucky green stuff" (aka kale) out of my daughter's soup bowl because it freaked her out. Consider omitting the kale completely. Or, scoop the soup into your kids' bowls before you add the kale to the pot.
- Add some carbs! You can have some bread, toast, or crackers with the soup. Marcie's kids liked to add goldfish crackers to their soup and dip toast into the broth.
🧶 Craft for this Recipe
Our Orzo Shakers musical craft is easy on the ears and simple for even the littlest ones. Use leftover dry orzo to make music!
🥄Other Soups We Love
🥣 Italian Sausage Soup with Orzo
- 48 ounce chicken broth/stock
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 cup whole kernel, yellow corn (frozen or canned/drained)
- 28 ounce diced tomatoes
- ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 - 2 Tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 clove minced garlic (or 1 tsp)
- 1 pound mild Italian pork sausage, ground
- 1 ½ cups orzo pasta, uncooked
- 2 cups kale, stalks removed & chopped
- shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- 1 loaf garlic bread (optional)
- Pour chicken stock into a 5 qt pot (my fave pot!). Add chopped carrots, corn, diced tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and cumin. Bring the soup mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- While the soup is cooking, heat oil in medium-large pan (my absolute fave!) at medium heat. Add onion and celery to pan and cook for two minutes.
- Stir in garlic, and then add sausage. Cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink, breaking it up into smaller chunks as it cooks.
- Add the pan contents to the boiling soup mixture. Add orzo and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Five minutes before you're ready to serve soup, add kale to pot & stir. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
- Recommended sides: garlic bread or small salad.
- To prevent the orzo from soaking up the broth, simply cook the pasta separately.
- Chop veggies on the smaller side so they will cook faster.
- Use a Potato Masher to break up sausage as it cooks.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. While we are not certified nutritionists, we work with a WordPress-integrated nutrition API to calculate our recipes' ingredient values.
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