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The Best Minestrone Soup with Italian Sausage

Published on: February 1, 2024
2 bowls of a rich tomato-based minestrone soup that is flavored with Italian sausage sitting on a marble counter. A wooden board with crusty rolls and a dish of grated parmeasan cheese is in the background.

Picture this: You’ve just come in from a chilly day on the ski slopes or finished clearing snow from the driveway to be greeted by a steaming bowl of robust vegetable soup. Or maybe you’ve just spent a cozy afternoon by the fire, engrossed in a captivating book, and are in the mood for something to warm your heart. A bowl of this hearty Minestrone with Italian Sausage will hit the spot in either case!

Let’s back up. What exactly is minestrone? Well, minestra means “soup” in Italian or “to serve” depending on where you look. In more modern translations it means a substantial or hearty soup that originated supposedly during the Roman Empire. 

The main ingredients for a minestrone are vegetables – lots of them! It’s a bit of a free-for-all; while there are some classic ingredients, it’s also a fantastic dish for using up those veggies lingering in your fridge.

Carrots, onions, garlic, greens, and tomatoes play a leading role. Beans – both green beans and pulses like cannellini or kidney beans are also traditional and a main component of this soup. Add pasta and broth to the mix, and you’ve got the basics. Meat is optional.

Beyond the essentials of pasta, beans, loads of veggies, and a tomato/broth base it can be anything you want. I played and came up with a version we love. The best part? With some pre-planning, it comes together in a little over a half hour.

What You Will Need to Make It

Italian Sausage:

I used sweet sausage but if you like a little kick, spicy would work well too. Because I only use  8 oz for the entire recipe, the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol it adds is small, but you get a ton of flavor! You could certainly substitute chicken sausage if you’d like.

Cannellini Beans:

2 cans of reduced sodium cannellini beans that are drained and rinsed well. These add some starch to the dish, protein, and fiber helping to make it a good belly filler. 

Green Beans:

Just about every minestrone I’ve had includes cut green beans. They add a splash of color and a little crunch to the soup.


These veggies add another burst of color and antioxidants, but they are also a traditional part of a mirepoix that helps add flavor to the soup base. 

Onions and Garlic:

Aromatic veggies are also a part of the traditional mirepoix base that soups and sauces are often made with. I used a sweet onion but a yellow onion would add a little more punch


Use whatever dry pasta you have on hand, but a smaller pasta shape typically works best in soups. It is just easier to manage. I had orrechetti, but elbow macaroni, ditalini, or other small pasta would work. There are many fun pasta shapes in many grocery stores that you can experiment with. Check out Share the Pasta for fun ideas!

Tomato Sauce:

This is what helps make the soup thick and rich. Just 2 cups of a hearty tomato sauce mixed with the broth adds a bit of sweet, rich flavor to the soup.


Beef, chicken, or vegetable broth will all work. Beef broth is traditional but I used vegetable broth because I had it on hand. I prefer using a reduced sodium broth. It gives me room to season the soup as I like.


Greens are certainly optional but a handful or two of chopped spinach and baby arugula added some great nutrition, a pop of color and flavor to this soup.

Oregano and Basil:

Fresh or dried herbs are fine. If you use fresh herbs – add them at the end for max flavor! If dried, you can and should add them while the onions and garlic are cooking.

How to Make it

The beauty of making homemade soup is that they are hard to mess up! Honestly, they are one of the easiest things you can make from scratch. The most difficult part is chopping the veggies and let’s face it, a lot of these are available precut in most grocery stores, making life a bit easier if you are in a hurry.

So, let’s jump in.

Step 1:

Heat a little olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and saute them until they are just slightly soft. Stir in the garlic and dry herbs if using dried. Cook for a minute and then add the Italian sausage. Break it apart as it cooks and cook it until it is brown on all sides. Mix in the carrots, cannellini beans, and green beans.

Step 2:

Stir in the tomato sauce and the broth. Heat over medium heat until just under the boiling point. 

Step 3:

Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is just under the al dente stage. Add the greens to wilt them. 


The sky is the limit with a soup like this! You can use any vegetables you have on hand or any kind of bean in the pantry. You can skip the sausage if you want a vegetarian version. Add some extra beans to boost the protein content. Bottom line, you do you!

Storage Tips

This soup can easily be frozen for another meal down the road. Just store it in an airtight container and label it with the date you made it. It should keep for a good 2 – 3 months!

You can also store the extra in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The leftovers make a delicious lunch!

A message bubble that says "quick tip" with a light bulb next to it

If you know you will have leftovers, cook the pasta separately. Add it when you reheat the soup.

Cooked pasta acts like a sponge and will keep pulling in liquid while it sits in the refrigerator or freezer. You’ll end up with mushy pasta and vegetables, which you may love! But if you want a more soup-like consistency, cook the pasta separately and mix it in as the soup reheats.

Other Recipes You Will Love

Homemade soups are delicious and an easy weeknight dinner. Check out some of my other favorites:

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Greens

Lemon Chicken and White Bean Soup

Hearty Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup

Weeknight Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you try this soup and love it, please leave a rating below. That will help others find this recipe to make for their loved ones!

Two white bowls filled with a tomato based Minestrone soup with Italian sausage. A wooden board is on the side with grated Parmeasan cheese and dinner rolls

Minestrone Soup with Italian Sausage

A hearty soup filled with rich veggies, cannellini beans, and Italian sausage. This is a fast supper that is perfect any time of the year, but especially good after a day filled with sledding!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 250 kcal



  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic mince
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups green beans 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz.) cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry pasta any shape but small is better
  • 2 cups chopped spinach and arugula
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or ½ tsp. dried
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese optional


  • Heat the oil in a large sauce pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add the onions and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add sausage and break it into small pieces as it cooks. Brown it on all sides.
  • Mix in the carrots, green beans, and cannellini beans and stir well. Then add the broth, tomato sauce, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until just starting to boil, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. During the last minute of cooking stir in the spinach and arugula and sprinkle with the basil and oregano.
  • Serve with hot rolls and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if you desire.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 15gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 860mgPotassium: 491mgFiber: 9gSugar: 5gVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Cannellini Beans, Hearty, Italian Sausage, Tomato based
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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Laura M. Ali, RD holding a bowl of pomegranate seeds

Hi! I’m Laura!

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