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This easy Italian sausage orzo soup recipe has an irresistible creamy tomato broth! It’s a favorite with picky eaters and is simple to make with everyday ingredients.
Why you’ll love it
I love a piping hot bowl of creamy sausage soup, and it’s even better with orzo! Those tiny pasta bites make this a hearty and filling meal. The best part is that the orzo cooks right in the soup, so there’s no messing around with boiling pasta separately.
Tasty Italian sausage, plenty of garlic, and fresh spinach along with some pantry staples make this simple sausage soup with orzo recipe special. The broth is silky and creamy and sooo good. With minimal prep time, this soup is comfort food fast.
What you’ll need
- Italian sausage – I chose Johnsonville mild
- Onion, celery, and garlic – our tasty aromatics. I like sweet (Vidalia) onions best.
- Flour – to thicken the broth
- Chicken broth – the savory flavor base
- Tomatoes – diced tomatoes are canned at the peak of ripeness. Fire roasted diced tomatoes would work great in here too!
- Oregano – one of my favorite pantry seasonings
- Orzo – this rice-shaped pasta makes the soup hearty
- Heavy cream – for the velvety broth
- Spinach – it adds a pop of freshness
- The orzo cooks right in the soup and helps thicken the broth a bit as it cooks. The soup will soak up the broth the longer it sits, so if you’re not planning on eating most of it within a day or so, you may want to cook the orzo separately and add it in when reheating!
How to make Italian sausage orzo soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Sauté the sausage meat in a large soup pot until browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, leaving a little fat behind. Add the onion and celery, cooking until softened, then stir in the flour and garlic until fragrant.
Pour in the chicken broth slowly, and stir until the flour dissolves completely. Add the tomatoes and oregano, then return the sausage to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil.
Add in the cream and orzo. Simmer the soup, giving it an occasional stir, until the orzo is cooked. Add in the fresh spinach, and season as needed with salt & pepper.
Substitutions and variations
- Use spicy Italian sausage or add some crushed red pepper flakes if you want a touch of heat.
- Don’t sub the cream for a lower fat alternative like milk or half-and-half as it’s likely to curdle due to the heat the soup is cooked at as well as the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Kale would work instead of the spinach, but I’d add it in earlier as it takes longer to soften.
- You could use ground beef instead of sausage, but you may need to up the seasonings to ensure it’s nice and flavorful.
What to serve with sausage orzo soup
- It’s a filling soup, so pair it with a slice of fresh crusty bread or a dinner roll, and you’re good. Garlic Bread is always a good idea, though!
- For a fresh pairing, make my Homemade Italian Dressing with spring mix, or go all out with a Caesar salad and my 10-Minute Caesar Dressing and Garlic Parmesan Croutons.
Leftovers and storage
- This soup will be good for 3-4 days in the fridge, but the orzo will soak up the broth the longer it sits, so you may need to add a splash more chicken broth and/or cream to leftovers. If you’re planning on having lots of leftovers or freezing the soup, I would cook the orzo separately and add it in while reheating.
- If you want to freeze a batch of this soup, I would wait to add the cream, orzo, and spinach until reheating. Leftovers can be frozen as-is, but the texture of the broth and pasta may change (it should still taste good).
If you made this creamy sausage orzo soup recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made any of my recipes.
Italian Sausage Orzo Soup
- 16 ounces Italian sausage see note
- 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
- 2 sticks celery chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the sausage meat to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned (about 7-10 min).
- Take the sausage out of the pot and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Leave about a tablespoon of the fat in the pot (drain any excess).
- Add the onion and celery to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the flour and garlic and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add the chicken broth and stir until the flour has completely dissolved.
- Add the canned tomatoes and oregano to the pot, and also add the sausage back in. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a gentle boil.
- Once it's gently boiling, add the cream and orzo. Reduce the heat as needed and simmer for about 12 minutes or until the orzo is tender, stirring fairly often so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the spinach and season with salt & pepper as needed.
- The orzo will soak up the liquid the longer it sits! If you’re planning on having most of this as leftovers, I recommend cooking the orzo separately and adding it when reheating. See more storage/leftovers tips in the blog post.
- For the sausages, anything around the 16 ounce/1 pound ballpark is fine – it doesn’t need to be exact. You can either buy ground sausage meat or, if using whole sausages, take the meat out of the casings.
- Do not sub the cream for anything lower fat – it’s likely to curdle due to the acidity of the tomatoes and the high heat this soup is cooked at.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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