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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.

Love orzo? Try my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup or Italian Sausage Orzo next.

a bowl of italian sausage orzo soup with a spoon

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
ingredients for italian sausage orzo soup in prep bowls

Pro tip

  • 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.

sauteing sausage meat in a soup pot and then frying onions, celery, and garlic

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.

pouring in chicken broth to a pot of soup and adding in italian sausage

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.

adding in orzo and spinach to a pot of italian sausage soup

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.

Tools for this recipe

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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

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).
a ladle with italian sausage orzo soup

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.

a bowl of italian sausage orzo soup with a spoon
4.99 from 53 votes

Italian Sausage Orzo Soup

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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 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.


Calories: 541kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 1355mg, Potassium: 678mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1742IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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  1. 5 stars
    So good and so easy! I made this soup in preparation for a long-term substitute teaching job I have coming up this winter. I plan to freeze most of it and therefore left out the orzo. I had about a cup extra that wouldn’t fit in my containers so I dished it up to eat tonight. It tastes delicious and I’m excited to try it with the orzo in it. The only change I think I would make when I make it again would be to used petite diced tomatoes.

  2. 5 stars

    I’m not a big sausage fan but I went back for seconds.. then thirds! SUCH a delicious and simple recipe. Will absolutely be making this again!!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this exactly as it was posted. I think it’s absolutely delicious and was really easy. I did follow the advice of the OP and cooked the pasta separately, so the pasta would not absorb all the soup overnight.
    This is definitely in my winter soup collection from now on!

  4. 5 stars
    This soup is so easy to make and so good! I saw it on IG and now It’s one of my husband and my new favorites! I think I’ve made this 4x already and shared the link to this to several fam/friends that I know will love it too! The only sub I make is I use half and half and just add it at the end after the spinach. thanks for sharing!!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now! It’s so delicious and a crowd-pleaser. I use half mild, half spicy, and I sub half and half for full cream to make it a tiny bit lighter. Highly recommend!

  6. 5 stars
    This looks delicious and I am definitely going to try it. I wanted to mention that in place of cream, you can use a small amount of cream cheese and then blend with a stick blender. This requires that you ladle out some of the broth and just use that so the chunky part doesn’t get puréed, but it is a way to avoid using as much cream. The light cream cheese is what I use and it works great. It only takes about 2 oz for a 6-8 cup batch of any soup. That was in a recipe for tomato basil soup my mom gave me and since then I have used it for several soups. It works great and reduces the fat/calories without adversely impacting the texture or taste.

    1. Hi! Yes, that’s definitely something you can do. It does add a bit of tanginess to the flavor, I find, but I do actually have lots of soups on here that use cream cheese. 🙂 I like to soften it up in the microwave prior to adding it to soups. Let me know if you try this soup, Janet!

  7. We made this soup and loved it. I’m already looking forward to leftovers! We added carrots and substituted the sausage meat for ground turkey to keep it light. Yum!