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This flavorful Italian sausage white bean soup recipe is loaded with bacon and sausage, fresh spinach, and tender cannellini beans. It’s simple to make and so cozy!
Why you’ll love it
This easy sausage white bean soup doesn’t use a ton of ingredients (just a few pantry staples!), and it also happens to be dairy free. If you’re looking for a soup that’s super comforting without any added milk or cream, you’ve found the right recipe.
If you like Zuppa Toscana, the famous Olive Garden soup, chances are you’ll also enjoy this Italian sausage soup. It has similar vibes with sausage and bacon and a rich broth! This simple white bean soup has become a reader favorite.
What you’ll need
- Italian sausage – I used Johnsonville mild
- Bacon – because it makes everything better
- Onion and garlic – I like sweet (Vidalia) onions best
- White beans – canned cannellini beans are the star of the broth. They’re buttery and filling and inexpensive.
- Chicken broth – the savory base of the soup
- Italian seasoning – I always keep it in stock in my pantry. It’s a versatile blend that comes in one jar and adds tons of flavor.
- Rosemary – you can use freshly chopped rosemary if you have some on hand vs. dried
- Carrots and spinach – for some veggie goodness
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
How to make sausage white bean soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the sausage meat along with the bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered. Transfer to a plate, leaving a couple of tablespoons of fat. Sauté the onion until softened, then add in the garlic.
Stir in the beans, broth, Italian seasoning, and rosemary, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Remove from the heat, and purée it with an immersion blender.
Return the sausage and bacon to the pot. Add the carrots, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots have softened. Stir in the spinach, let it wilt, and season with salt & pepper as needed.
Substitutions and variations
- You could add a splash of cream to this soup if you want to make it even richer. Try 1/2 cup to start.
- Don’t want to use spinach? Try kale or Swiss Chard instead.
- If you want some heat, use hot Italian sausage or add some red pepper flakes.
- You could add a diced potato or two to this soup if you wish. I didn’t find it necessary, but I think it would make it even heartier.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftovers of this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat slowly over a low heat until warmed through. The beans will continue to release starch as the soup cools, so you may need to add some more broth to leftovers.
- This soup will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. If you’re making a big batch to freeze, I would suggest adding the spinach after you thaw it/just before serving.
If you made this Italian sausage soup, please leave a star rating and review below! Talk to me if you have any questions. You can also find me on Instagram.
Italian Sausage White Bean Soup
- 1 pound Italian sausage see note
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 (14 ounce) cans white beans (cannellini) drained
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 small carrots peeled & chopped small
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the sausage meat to a large soup pot, along with the bacon (I cut it up using kitchen shears).
- Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage and bacon are somewhat crispy/the fat has been rendered out (this can take upwards of 15 minutes). Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients.
- Transfer the sausage and bacon to a plate (I don't line it with paper towel because the extra fat adds more flavor, but you can if you want). Leave about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pot (spoon any excess out).
- Add the onion to the pot and sauté it for 3-5 minutes or until it's softened and starting to lightly brown.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the beans, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and rosemary. Give it a good stir and scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Take the pot off the stove. Using an immersion/stick blender, purée the soup. I like to leave some beans whole. The soup will thicken a bit more as it cooks, but the thickness/texture will be similar to what it is after you do this part, so keep that in mind. If you don't have a stick blender, transfer a ladle or two of beans to a regular blender, or use a potato masher or fork for a more rustic texture.
- Return the sausage and bacon to the pot and add in the chopped carrots as well. Place the pot over high heat. Once the soup starts to boil, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and reduce the heat so it's simmering. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots have softened and the soup has thickened up a bit more.
- Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for a minute or two. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
- For the sausage, anything around the 1 pound/16 oz. ballpark is fine – it doesn’t need to be exact. Here in Canada I buy a 500g (17.6 oz.) 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages and take the meat out of the casings.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth if sensitive to salt. Bacon and sausages can be fairly salty so you probably won’t need to add much extra salt to this soup.
- Instant Pot method: sauté the ingredients as instructed, blend the beans right in the pot, cook it on high pressure for 8 minutes, then add the spinach in after you release the pressure. If needed, add extra broth to thin the soup out.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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