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Sausage and Kale Soup

4.75 from 4 votes

posted: 01/14/24

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This sausage and kale soup is a family favorite. Packed with protein and veggies, this one pot wonder is done in under 30 minutes and loved by even my picky eaters!

Bowls of sausage and kale soup

Before you decide that kale is a no go and you can’t make this soup, I need to tell you something important. All three of my kids absolutely love this soup. Like they cheer when I make it, and even go out of their way to request it.

This soup is very simple and easy to make but is fully of delicious flavors. It is perfect on a chilly day and is bound to make everyone feeling fully and loved.

How to Make Sausage and Kale Soup

Here is a brief overview of how this kale soup with sausage comes together, all in one pot! For the full recipe including all measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Cook the sausage. Break it up in a large stock pot and brown it until no pink remains.
  • Add the vegetables and seasonings. Add in onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the pot with the sausage. Cook for three minutes. Then add the mushrooms and the kale, cooking it until the kale is bright green.
  • Add the other ingredients. Add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a roaring boil. Then add the pasta and cook for one minute less than what the package says. Lastly, stir in the beans.
  • Season to taste and enjoy! Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!

Pork Sausage Alternatives

If your family doesn’t eat pork or you want a leaner option, Italian turkey sausage is a great alternative. My family loves this option and uses it in many recipes. Using regular ground turkey or ground beef won’t provide the flavor that Italian sausage does. Italian turkey sausage is a great, slightly healthier option.

Overhead photo of a pot of sausage and kale soup with bread and glass of wine beside.

Suggestions and Substitutions

This Italian sausage and kale soup is very versatile, which means it is a great recipe to adapt to fit your flavor preferences and what you have on hand in your kitchen.

  • Use different greens: If you don’t have kale on hand, feel free to swap it out for baby spinach.
  • Adjusting the spice: Instead of a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes, opt for just a pinch or leave them out entirely if you are sensitive to spice. Besides, you can always add a sprinkle to your own soup bowl later on.
  • Switch up the pasta: Penne pasta noodles are yummy in this soup, however, you can certainly add any shape of pasta you like. Macaroni, bowtie, tortellini, ziti, whole wheat pasta, or even gluten-free pasta will do. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package when cooking your pasta and set your timer for one minute less than what the package recommends.
  • Using other beans: I love to use northern beans in this recipe, which are buttery, tender, and super flavorful. If you need to substitute a different type of beans, don’t use kidney beans.
  • Add extra veggies: More mushrooms, celery, diced green peppers, diced carrots, or tomatoes can be chopped up and added to this kale soup recipe. For an even heartier soup, chop up some red or russet potatoes and add them for a kale soup with potatoes and sausage!

Making in the Slow Cooker

This kale and sausage soup comes together on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. It can also be made in the slow cooker. Brown your sausage in a skillet on the stovetop and add it along with all of the other ingredients, except for the pasta, to your crockpot. Cook on low for three and a half hours, then add the dry pasta and turn up to high for 30 minutes.

Close up photo of a ladle of sausage and kale soup

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

This soup makes for the most delicious leftovers! It’ll stay nice and fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat just the portion to plan to eat in the microwave on half power or on the stovetop until heated through. Remember, leftovers should only be reheated once.

Freezing Soup

Soup is a great meal to make and freeze the leftovers, or make a double batch and freeze for later. Make the soup with everything except the pasta and slightly under-cook the kale. Let the soup cool, then add it to a freezer-safe container with room at the top for it to expand. Store in the freezer for up to three months.

When you are ready to eat it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. Then add the pasta while cooking and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Pasta noodles that are frozen and reheated tend to turn mushy so we skip cooking and freezing them.

Pot of sausage and kale soup with a ladle for serving. Glasses of wine and bowl of salad beside.

More Savory Soup Recipes

It’s no secret that I love soup recipes. If you’re in need of more simple, savory soups to wow your family, try some of these absolutely scrumptious soup recipes:

If you make this Italian sausage and kale soup recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you!

Bowls of sausage and kale soup
4.75 from 4 votes

Sausage and Kale Soup

Serves: 5 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
This sausage and kale soup is a family favorite. Packed with protein and veggies, this one pot wonder is done in under 30 minutes and loved by even my picky eaters.


  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms diced
  • 4 cups kale chopped, large stems removed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup penne noodles uncooked
  • 15 ounces northern beans drained and rinsed


  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and break it up, browning it for about 3 to 5 minutes until you no longer see pink.
    1 pound Italian sausage
  • Add in onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Add the kale, cooking it until it is bright green, about 3 minutes.
    1 medium yellow onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, 4 cups kale
  • Add the chicken broth and bring it to a roaring boil. Then add the penne and cook for about 1 minute less than what is indicated in the package directions.
    6 cups chicken broth, 1 cup penne noodles
  • Finally, stir in the beans. Allow them to heat through, about 1 minute.
    15 ounces northern beans
  • Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serving: 1.8cup Calories: 416kcal (21%) Carbohydrates: 40g (13%) Protein: 24g (48%) Fat: 17g (26%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 54mg (18%) Sodium: 2088mg (91%) Potassium: 536mg (15%) Fiber: 7g (29%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 5391IU (108%) Vitamin C: 52mg (63%) Calcium: 171mg (17%) Iron: 2mg (11%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Bowls of sausage and kale soup

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Sausage and Kale Soup

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Julie is HostessAtHeart says

    This looks delicious to me! I love seeing before pictures. I am trying to better my photo skills.

  2. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) says

    Gosh I want a comforting bowl of this tonight for dinner. I love the flavors of this. Pinned.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Jocelyn!

  3. Michael says

    This recipe looks delicious! A great base for anyone to add or remove ingredients to suit their tastes. Though I personally love it the way you’ve prepared it.

    Seems like someone saw the finale of Park and Rec last week… “compact little Italian body.” :P

  4. Theresa Moniz says

    Looks good

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Theresa!

  5. danielle clarke says

    I make this soup quite often as well, and you are right about the kidney beans! I usually make it with spinach instead of kale, and I always make it with cheese tortellini! served with fresh homemade whole wheat buns… SO yummy and so easy!!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      This sounds amazing with cheese tortellini! I will have to try that!

  6. Jenn @ Peas and Crayons says

    How did you know I’ve been craving kale [um yes seriously] – this soup looks AMAZING Lisa! Thanks for the link love too!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Lol, Jenn! It’s one of our favorites!

  7. Shelbie says

    How many servings does this recipe make?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I would say four dinner servings, or 6 to 8 side servings

  8. Mallory says

    4 stars
    I am thinking about doubling the recipe and freezing some for when our new baby arrives. Do you think that will work? I was going to leave the noodles out for the freezer meals and maybe cook the kale a little less. What do you think?

    • Lisa Longley says

      That is exactly what I would do! Keep the noodles out and under cook the kale. I think it will work really well for this soup.

  9. Lauren says

    5 stars
    This turned out so great! I left out the pasta, but it was still such a winner and just as filling. Will be making this again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad to hear you liked it Lauren! It’s one of my favorites in the fall and winter.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners