Healthy Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup is a delicious, hearty soup made with turkey sausage, white beans, tomatoes, and spinach. It’s full of flavor, comforting, and great for meal prep.
When the weather gets cold, I love to meal prep a huge batch of hearty soup for lunches or quick dinners. This Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup is always at the top of the list since it’s super easy to make and surprisingly nutritious with protein-rich lean ground turkey sausage, fiber-filled white beans, and tons of veggies. It will warm you up and keep you full.
The secret to building flavor in this soup is the sausage. Sausage is a great shortcut for making rich, delicious soup since it’s already packed with spices. It means you don’t need lots of extra ingredients.
The rest of the soup is easy to throw together. Cook the sausage with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Then add diced tomatoes, creamy white beans, and baby spinach. Let everything cook for 30 minutes and dinner is done.
Why You’ll Love Sausage White Bean Soup
- Hearty and nutritious: While many healthy soups leave you hungry, this soup is incredibly filling and very nutritious. With 28 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, it will keep you full and satisfied.
- Great for meal prep: This soup tastes even better after a night in the fridge, making it perfect for meal prep. Make a big batch on the weekend and eat it all week for lunch or dinner.
- Easy to make: This soup comes together in just 30 minutes with minimal ingredients!
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make this delicious sausage soup.
- Ground sausage: Make this soup with any type of ground sausage you like including turkey sausage, pork sausage, chicken sausage, or vegetarian sausage. While I normally make it with ground sausage, sliced sausage links also work.
- Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic: This forms the base of the soup. Feel free to sneak in some extra veggies. Bell peppers, kale, leeks, shallots, or zucchini would all be delicious.
- White beans: This soup can be made with any type of white bean including cannellini beans, navy beans, or great northern beans. You could also use chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, or even lentils.
- Diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes add flavor to the broth. Use any type you like. It’s delicious with Italian diced tomatoes, roasted diced tomatoes, and spicy diced tomatoes with green chilies. Tomato puree also works great.
- Spinach: Add a few big handfuls of baby spinach to the soup right before it’s done. You can swap in kale, just saute it with the other veggies so it has time to soften and wilt. You could also add other veggies like frozen peas, corn, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, or broccoli. Add them to the simmering soup ten minutes before serving.
- Chicken broth: We love using chicken broth in this soup but you could swap in vegetable broth as well.
- Spices: Adding oregano and bay leaf helps to add some extra flavor to this soup. You could also add Italian seasoning, dried basil, red pepper flakes, dried sage, or any other spices you like.
- Salt and pepper: Salt is extremely important to make sure your soup is flavorful. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. The amount needed will depend on the saltiness of the sausage and chicken broth.
- Garnish: Finish this soup with fresh chopped parsley, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, baked croutons, or a dollop of sour cream.
How to Make Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup
This soup couldn’t be easier to make and comes together in just 30 minutes.
1. Brown the sausage
Start by browning the sausage in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until it is no longer pink. If your sausage is in the casing, you will need to slice the casing with a sharp knife and remove the sausage from the casing.
If you are using precooked sausage, slice it into half moons and brown it in the pan until it is golden brown on each side.
2. Add the aromatics
Once the sausage is mostly cooked through, add the carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic cloves. Cook this until the vegetables begin to soften. If you are adding kale or another hearty green to the soup, add it here as well so it has time to soften.
3. Simmer and add spinach
Once the vegetables are softened, add the drained white beans, diced tomatoes with the juice, chicken broth, bay leaf, and oregano. Bring everything to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes for the flavors to deepen and combine.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Then stir in the fresh spinach and cook for about one minute until it is wilted.
Make it in the Slow Cooker
It’s really easy to convert this recipe into a slow cooker meal. Just follow steps one and two from the directions below, browning the sausage and cooking the veggies until softened. Then add those to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add the spinach during the last ten minutes of cooking, stirring it in until it wilts but remains bright green.
Make Spicy Sausage Soup
If you love spicy, you can quickly transform this into a spicy sausage soup by using just a few ingredients you already have at home. The easiest option is to add some red pepper flakes to the olive oil before browning the sausage. Let them cook for about 30 seconds in the oil and then add the sausage. This will add a nice spicy flavor to the soup.
You could also add some freshly chopped poblano or jalapeno peppers to the onions, carrots, and celery. Lastly, you could toss in some diced green chilies for a milder heat or choose a spicy can of diced tomatoes.
How to Make Creamy Sausage and White Bean Soup
If you are craving a creamy soup, there are a few yummy ways to add a creamy element. The most common would be to add about 1/2 cup of half and half (regular or fat-free) or heavy cream. Stir this in about 5 minutes before the soup is finished cooking.
Another option is canned nonfat evaporated milk. This adds the same creamy consistency but without the added fat found in half and half.
For a, slightly tangy flavor, you could add some reduced-fat cream cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. Make sure to add it when the soup is hot and stir well until it melts into the soup.
For added fiber and nutrients, use extra canned beans to add creaminess without needed dairy. Just add a can of drained white beans to a blender with about 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Blend until smooth and then stir into the soup. Or stir in a can of refried beans.
Recipe Variations and Ideas
This recipe is versatile and can be made with different proteins, beans, or veggies.
- Protein: If you want to make it with another protein like chicken or beef, make sure to bump up the spices so the soup still has plenty of flavor. I like to use this Italian sausage seasoning when I use plain ground turkey, chicken, or beef. Also if you don’t like ground meat in the soup, you could use sliced chicken or turkey sausage links. You could also use vegetarian crumbles or sliced vegetarian sausage links for a meatless option.
- Beans and Legumes: I used white beans in the soup because I love how they pair with sausage but you could swap in chickpeas, black beans, or any other kind of bean you like. You could also use lentils. If you are using a canned or cooked lentil, follow the directions as written. If you are using dry lentils, you will need to add extra broth.
- Vegetables: Feel free to swap in a heartier green like kale or chard for the spinach. They do take longer to cook, so you will want to add them in as soon as the soup is simmering. You could also add in some cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, or green beans for even more veggie goodness.
- Pasta: I have gotten a lot of questions about adding pasta to the soup. You can add pasta in addition to the beans or instead of the beans. Add the pasta during the last 10 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t overcook. Many people have reported that they turned this into a sausage tortellini soup by adding some store-bought tortellini with great results.
Leftovers, Storage, and Freezing
Sausage and white bean soup will last about 4-5 days in the fridge. It also freezes great and will last about 3-4 months in the freezer. Consider freezing it in individual-size portions for quick lunches on the go.