Sausage Kale Soup is an ultra comforting and flavorful 30-minute dinner with an irresistible broth, perfect for any day of the week.
Simple ingredients with complex flavor and a rich broth make this sausage and kale soup a standout dish. Though I love other comforting soups like Potato Leek Soup, Tomato Soup, and this GORGEOUSLY flavored carrot soup, this soup has to be my favorite with its robust flavor and super easy steps.
Ingredients for Sausage and Kale Soup
- Ground Italian Sausage
I buy the Johnsonville brand. When my store is out of stock I'll grab the sausage links and cut the casing the get the meat out. The links are more than 1 pound of meat so I'll leave out 1½ links to better match the recipe's measurement.
The bell pepper and zucchini are perfect for this soup but you can leave them out or add what you like. The yellow bell pepper is more for color, and it's a low carb ingredient to bulk up the soup.
Truth be told, I prefer baby spinach over the kale in this soup. There's nothing wrong with kale; I just originally made this soup with baby spinach but according to Google sausage and kale soup is more popular.
Full ingredient list in the recipe card.
Substitutions & Nutrition
- Use low-sodium or no-salt-added broth and diced tomatoes to reduce the sodium.
- Swapping pork sausage for Italian turkey or chicken sausage will reduce the fat.
1 serving = 2½ cups
4 servings total
How to Make Italian Sausage Kale Soup
1. Heat a large pot on the stove on medium-low heat.
1a. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise; then cut each half lengthwise to make 4 even pieces. Cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
1b. Deseed the bell peppers and cut them into 1-inch-thick strips; then chop them into 1-inch pieces.
2a. Chop the garlic.
2b. To the pot, add half the oil, garlic and sausage. Break it up while cooking for 3 minutes.
Place the half-cooked sausage into a bowl and set aside.
Tip - Overcooked protein becomes rubbery in texture so this is why we par-cook the sausage and add it to the soup later.
3. Add the remaining oil, zucchini, and bell pepper to the pot. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
4a. Return the sausage to the pot and stir in the tomato paste.
4b. Add the diced tomatoes and broth.
Cover and increase the heat to high. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer.
5a. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces.
5b. Stir the kale into the soup.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
It's ready to serve.
My absolute favorite way to eat this soup is with Ritz crackers. You can also try low carb cornbread, or serve it over rice, quinoa, or pasta.
Storing Kale Soup with Sausage
Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
FAQ for Zucchini Soup with Sausage
Zucchini gets mushy in soup only when it's cooked too long.
Kale should cook in soup anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes, until the texture has softened. Baby kale has a more delicate texture and cooks faster. Cooking kale longer will result in a mushy texture.
Kale doesn't need to be cooked before adding to soup. It wilts quickly when added but maintains a tough texture. The texture softens in about 5 minutes.
You can use any brand for this soup but stick to Italian sausage to keep the flavor profile.
Baby spinach works beautifully in this recipe and can normally substitute for kale without a problem. The spinach will wilt immediately so stir it in at the very end and turn the heat off.
This soup freezes beautifully without ruining the vegetables or making them mushy.
Italian Sausage and Kale Soup
- 2 each Zucchini
- 2 each Yellow bell peppers
- 2 Tablespoons Oil (olive, avocado, vegetable)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 pound Ground Italian sausage
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato paste
- 2 cups Broth (any type)
- 1 (14-ounce can) Diced tomatoes
- 1 cup packed Kale (or baby spinach)
- Heat a large pot on the stove on medium-low heat.Meanwhile, cut the zucchini lengthwise into 4 even pieces (cut it in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half lengthwise); then cut them crosswise into ½-inch pieces.Deseed the bell peppers and cut them into 1-inch-thick strips; then chop them into 1-inch pieces.
- Chop the garlic.Add half the oil, garlic and sausage to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes, breaking it apart while cooking. Remove from the pot and place in a bowl.
- Add the remaining oil, zucchini, and bell pepper to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Return the sausage to the pot and stir in the tomato paste.Add the diced tomatoes and broth. Cover with a lid and increase the heat to high. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces.Stir the kale into the soup and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve.
- 1 serving = 2½ cups. 4 servings total.
- For more meat, use the a pack of sausage links and remove the casings.
- Avoid overcooking the sausage or it'll be rubbery.
- Bell peppers can be swapped for orange.
- Kale can be swapped for baby spinach.
- Use low sodium broth and tomatoes to cut back on the sodium.