Sausage Orzo Soup is filling, comforting, and so easy to make! With flavorful Italian sausage and orzo pasta in a delicious savory tomato broth with red pepper flakes for a spicy kick, it’s perfect for warming up on a cold day or for feeding the family on busy weeknights!
Soup season is my favorite season, so today I’m bringing you one of our new favorites! This Sausage Orzo Soup is loaded with flavor, protein and veggies.
Italian sausage is one of my favorite ingredients for a comforting meal (it adds so much delicious spice!), and orzo is the perfect size for spoon-scooping. It has plenty of veggies, protein and grains to make it a well-rounded meal!
Soups are easy to make, and they’re nutritious as well as comforting, especially when pasta is involved.
I know my family is getting ample nutrients, and it’s filling enough that you shouldn’t need many sides to make it into a complete meal! (As long as there’s bread for dunking 😉).
- Oil: canola oil or olive oil will work well to sauté the vegetables.
- Vegetables: a classic mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onion will give you a great savory flavor base for this delicious soup.
- Sausage: I’ve used a mild Italian sausage here, but you can use spicy or sweet Italian sausage instead if you prefer.
- Tomatoes: use a combination of canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste to give the soup its tomato base.
- Seasoning: freshly minced garlic, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes (for a bit of spice), and salt make this a flavorful soup!
- Broth: I use low-sodium chicken broth to add flavor as it allows me to better control the saltiness of the soup.
- Pasta: orzo pasta works well in this recipe, but other types of short-cut pasta would work well too.
- Spinach: use fresh spinach leaves to add a great texture, nutrition, and color here.
- Cream: heavy cream makes this soup deliciously creamy. Full-fat is best, but lower-fat cream will work too. You can also leave it out for a dairy-free option.
- Red Pepper Flakes: add a bit of heat to the soup.
How to Make Italian Sausage Orzo Soup
This recipe is easy to make, and it’s ready in just 40 minutes. The full recipe with detailed instructions and tips can be found in the recipe card below.
- Sauté: Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until crisp-tender.
- Cook with sausage: Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned.
- Add seasoning and tomato paste: Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, parsley, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes if using, and cook.
- Add broth and tomatoes: Next, add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer.
- Add cream: Pour in the cream, stir, and cook.
- Add spinach: Add the spinach on top, stir it in, then serve.
Sausage Orzo Soup FAQs
Sausage Orzo Soup will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container or tightly covered in plastic wrap in the fridge, although the pasta will become softer as it sits. If you prefer, you can cook the pasta separately and add it just before serving.
This soup can also be frozen. Again, if you are planning to freeze it I would leave the pasta out and add cooked pasta just before serving.
Tips and Notes
- Chopping vegetables: Chop the onion, carrots, and celery into small pieces to release the most flavor, and help them cook more evenly.
- Soup thickens as it cools: The soup may thicken as it cools, so add in some extra broth or a little bit of water if you need to before serving, or after reheating it from being in the fridge.
- Cook the pasta separately: I usually cook the pasta right in the soup. This works great if you are serving right away. If you are cooking the soup to freeze or serve later, you may find that it works better to cook the pasta separately and add just before serving. This way it will stay al dente and not become soft and soak up the broth.
Sausage Orzo Soup Variations
- Add extra flavor. Add even more flavor to this great soup with some freshly cracked black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, or garnish the soup with some crispy bacon to the soup!
- Spice it up! Use spicy Italian sausage, or put some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or diced jalapeño to add more spice to this recipe.
- Serve it with cheese. Top the soup with some freshly grated parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese to serve.
This hearty soup is great on its own, but if you want it to go a bit further, you can serve it with a side salad or other veggies as some bread to soak up the juices!
More Delicious Soup Recipes To Try
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Sausage Orzo Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 2 ribs celery (sliced)
- ½ medium onion (finely chopped)
- 375 grams mild Italian sausage (¾ lb)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 398 ml canned diced tomatoes (14 oz)
- ¾ cup uncooked orzo
- 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Heat a large soup pot on medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the sausage meat and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, parsley, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes if using. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until pasta is al dente (8-10 minutes).
- Stir in spinach and cream. Serve hot.
- Italian sausage: you can use any kind of Italian sausage you like: mild or spicy, turkey, chicken or pork. Keep in mind you may want to adjust the red pepper flakes added if using spicy sausage.
- Dairy-free: you can make this recipe dairy-free by omitting the cream. It’s still delicious!
- Pasta: I love orzo in soup because it’s small enough that you get a little in every bite. Any small pasta will work here.
- Optional additions: feel free to bump up the veg by sauteeing mushrooms, zucchini, or others with the vegetables in step 2.
- Store: Sausage Orzo Soup will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container or tightly covered in plastic wrap in the fridge, although the pasta will become softer as it sits. If you prefer, you can cook the pasta separately and add it just before serving.
- Freeze: This soup can also be frozen. Again, if you are planning to freeze it I would leave the pasta out and add cooked pasta just before serving.
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