Italian Sausage Soup
This Italian Sausage Soup recipe features an herby white wine-infused broth loaded with Italian-flavored chicken sausage, creamy white beans, tender ditalini pasta, and fresh carrots. It’s a hearty-yet-light, family-pleasing, comfort food meal!
Easy Italian Sausage Soup Recipe
Your house will smell amazing with a pot of this easy Italian Sausage Soup simmering away on the stovetop. So tasty, and perfectly hearty-yet-light, this is a meal that our family embraces – they’ll never pass up a dish that includes sausage and pasta!
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Sausage Soup
Hearty soups are the answer to any chilly day. Here’s why you’ll love this Italian sausage soup recipe:
- So flavorful. From the beautiful infusion of white wine, fresh garlic, and dried herbs, to the Italian-flavored chicken sausage, earthy beans, and fresh carrots, there are a lot of delicious flavors going on in every bowl.
- Will keep you goin‘. Hearty-yet-lean chicken sausage, creamy white beans, and little tubes of ditalini pasta will keep you feeling satisfied long after dinner time is over.
- Keeps well. This soup, like so many soup recipes, makes for great leftovers. It also freezes well, so you can tuck some away for an easy meal down the road.
What You’ll Need
Simple ingredients come together for a super flavorful bowl of soup. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Italian sausage soup recipe.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Pasta – Ditalini pasta is a small tube pasta, a favorite in our family. You could also use small elbow macaroni or another small pasta.
- Olive oil – Chicken sausage is lean, so I like to brown it in some olive oil.
- Italian chicken sausage – I really like the lean, flavorful chicken sausage in this soup, but you can substitute another Italian-flavored sausage if desired.
- Butter – I include a small amount when sauteeing the veggies, for a bit of rich flavor and texture.
- Vegetables – Yellow onion, carrots, and garlic add flavor and nutrition.
- Chicken broth – Or vegetable broth, if you prefer.
- White wine – Use a dry white wine, not a sweet white. If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute the same amount of chicken broth – just know that your finished soup will not have the same depth of flavor.
- White beans – Use your choice of canned navy, Great Northern, or cannellini beans. Rinse and drain them first.
- Dried herbs – Thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaves are a must in this soup. You can find all of these in the spice aisle.
- Salt & pepper
- Soy sauce – This is optional, but if you’re looking for a bit more umami flavor, I add a few dashes of soy sauce.
- Garnishes – Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese over individual soup bowls for a hit of fresh color and flavor, plus salty, cheesy deliciousness!
How to Make Italian Sausage Soup
Follow along with my method for chicken sausage soup below:
- Cook the pasta. Cook ditalini in boiling salted water just until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the sausage. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken sausage, breaking it up into smaller bite-size pieces, stirring every couple minutes. When cooked through and nicely browned, remove it from the pot to a plate and set aside.
- Sauté the vegetables. To the same pot (do not wash it), over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Stir in the onion and carrots, and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until just softened. Then stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Make the broth. Now pour in the chicken broth and white wine, and bring to a boil.
- Add remaining soup ingredients and simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the beans, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Taste test and add salt & pepper if needed, plus soy sauce if desired. Then stir in the cooked chicken sausage, cover the pot, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve with pasta and garnishes. When you serve the soup, add a big spoonful of cooked pasta to individual soup bowls, then ladle the hot soup over the top and garnish with parsley and Parmesan. If you don’t think you’ll have leftovers, just stir the pasta into the pot of soup after it’s done simmering.
Tips for Success + Variations
Here are a few simple tips that will help you make this Italian sausage soup perfectly:
- Cook the pasta separately. I really despise mushy pasta. So the best way to avoid this happening in soup is to cook the pasta separately from the soup, and then add a serving of pasta to each individual bowl when you serve the soup – I recommend this method with my famous lasagna soup recipe as well. Otherwise, when you add the pasta directly to the soup, it continues to absorb liquid from the soup’s broth – thus it becomes overly soft and mushy.
- Add the wine! Whenever I add wine, beer, or hard cider to recipes – such as my Italian beef stew, Irish beef stew, or hard cider pot roast – I always get the question, “Can I make this without the alcohol?” The short answer is yes – you can do whatever you want! But you simply will not get the same depth of flavor without it. I highly recommend including dry white wine in the recipe. It adds a beautiful flavor to the soup – and I promise you, the soup does NOT taste like a glass of wine!
- Try different types of sausage. Sometimes I use Italian-flavored pork sausage, which gives this soup a little different flavor.
- Add more vegetables. To add more nutrients and another layer of flavor, throw in some chopped kale or spinach.
- Use a different pasta. If you can’t find ditalini at the store, you can easily use small macaroni pasta. The key here is to not overwhelm the soup with pasta, so avoid larger shapes like ziti or penne, and stick with the smaller stuff.
We love to dip crusty slices of bread into this soup to soak up the tasty broth. Here are a few more options for how to serve this soup:
- Garlic bread. Try a batch of my cheesy homemade garlic bread for a family-pleasing side.
- Popovers. If you want some fresh bread but don’t have a ton of time to make it from scratch, homemade popovers are a good option. My light and airy popovers or sourdough popovers recipes are perfect with soup.
- Cornbread. For a lightly sweet, homey side dish, make cornbread. Have you tried my honey-sweetened cornbread muffins yet?!
- Salad. Add a fresh side salad – my arugula beet salad, Italian chopped salad, or juicy winter apple salad are all great choices.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
For the best leftovers, store the Italian sausage soup and the cooked pasta in separate airtight containers. Let them each cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat the soup, you can warm it in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat until it’s hot. Or, you can place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a plate to prevent any splatter, and heat it in the microwave in 1-minute increments until the soup is heated through. Add the pasta to the bowl after it’s hot.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, you can freeze this soup ,with one simple requirement: freeze the cooked pasta separately.
As mentioned earlier, when pasta sits in broth for awhile it starts to soak it up and become mushy. So if you want to freeze leftover Italian sausage soup – or make an extra batch to freeze for another time – don’t add the pasta to the soup before freezing.
To freeze, place the soup and the cooked pasta in separate airtight, freezer-safe containers or baggies, then freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge when you’re ready to eat the soup. Then, reheat the soup and pasta separately or altogether.
- 16 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1¼ pounds Italian chicken sausage (or substitute another Italian flavored sausage)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups sliced carrots, with carrots cut into thin coins
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- 1 can (15 ounces) white beans (navy, Great Northern, or cannellini), rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce, if desired, for more umami flavor
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook ditalini in boiling salted water just until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot with a thick bottom.
- If using Italian chicken sausage links, with a sharp knife, slice sausages lengthwise down one side. Remove casings and discard. If using bulk sausage, you will not deal with casings. Add the sausage to the pot, breaking it up into smaller bite-size pieces, stirring every couple minutes. Once chicken is cooked through and nicely browned, remove it from the pot to a plate, and set aside.
- To the same pot, over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Stir in the onion and carrots. Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly until onion and carrots are just softened. Then stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth and wine, and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to a simmer and stir in the beans, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed, plus soy sauce if desired.
- Add cooked chicken sausage to the soup, cover the pot, and let simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Taste test again and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- To serve, place a large spoonful of cooked ditalini pasta in the bottom of each individual soup bowl. Pour hot soup over the pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. If you think you will eat all the soup in one meal, just add the pasta to the pot of soup once it's finished simmering (Step 7) and let the pasta warm for a couple minutes before serving. Keeping the pasta separate ensures that it will not get overcooked and mushy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 731mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.