Italian Sausage Soup is a 30-minute soup recipe with whole-wheat orzo, pork sausage, tomatoes, and pantry seasonings. Instructions for this Italian soup include Instant Pot and stove methods.
Italian Sausage Soup with Orzo
This soup is the ultimate comfort food.
It’s a broth-based, one-pot, savory soup that requires only a few basic cooking steps to go from “What’s for dinner?” to “Wow! I’m full!”
The sausage and tomatoes give it a sweet and savory flavor while the whole wheat orzo offers that pasta-goodness, only with more fiber and nutrients than white pasta.
The seasonings are the icing on the cake of this scrumptious Italian soup.
How to make Italian sausage soup on the stove
Step 1: Heat olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot.
Step 2: Add sausage to the pot, breaking it into pieces, and brown it; remove sausage and set aside, drain off excess grease, then add vegetables to the same pot and saute until tender.
Step 3: Then add dry orzo pasta, broth, tomatoes, seasonings, and browned sausage to pot.
Step 4: Bring all to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pasta is al dente (10-15 minutes). Serve warm.
* see full recipe below
How to make Italian sausage soup in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Place stainless insert in the Instant Pot, press the “Saute” button. When the Instant Pot liner is hot, add sausage, breaking into pieces and sear the outside surface, stirring as needed; remove sausage and set aside. Drain excess sausage grease into a heat-safe container.
Step 2: Add a splash of olive oil if needed; then add vegetables to the Instant Pot and cook until tender, stirring as needed.
Step 3: To the Instant Pot, add dry orzo, chicken broth, and seasonings; close and lock the lid, turn the steam release knob to “sealed” position; set Instant Pot to Manual +3 minutes.
Step 4: When the cooking cycle is complete, carefully turn the steam release knob to fully depressurize the Instant Pot (takes 2-4 minutes). Serve warm.
* see full recipe below
Italian Sausage Soup Ingredients
Olive Oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil for this soup because…it’s so Italian! You only need a small amount for sauteeing the veggies for this soup and you can use any neutral-flavored oil. Totally up to you!
Italian sausage – You can use bulk sausage or sausage links with casings removed. I originally wrote the recipe instructions to include “rolling” the sausage into balls but, ain’t nobody got time for dat, so you can just break it up into pieces. You can also use turkey sausage for this recipe, as noted in my reader comments.
Red onion – Any kind of onion will do for this recipe, I’m just a huge fan of red onion.
Garlic Cloves – I do recommend fresh garlic over powdered garlic for soups. You can’t beat the aroma and flavor of fresh, raw, garlic.
Celery – I like to load up the celery for this recipe. It’s affordable, loaded with fiber, and it looks pretty in the soup.
Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta – I love to use whole wheat orzo in this recipe because it holds up better and takes slightly longer to cook than semolina orzo. This applies to both the stove AND Instant Pot method because non-whole wheat orzo can turn to mush in those environments.
Chicken broth – My people, I’m in an exclusive relationship with reduced-sodium chicken broth. That’s it. There is no other option for me if I have a choice in the matter. This is my favorite chicken broth because it’s compact, easy to use, and I love the flavor! Totally not opposed to a pre-mixed broth as long as it’s reduced sodium.
Canned Diced Tomatoes – You can use crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or whole peeled tomatoes for this Italian soup. My rule of thumb is as long as it’s low sodium, or no salt added, I’m happy. Also, you could use fresh tomatoes for this recipe but plan on cooking it twice as long to get the same consistency.
Italian Seasoning – You can’t make a good Italian soup without proper Italian seasoning. I use a standard pantry seasoning for this recipe, but fresh herbs can be substituted by increasing the measurement by 2 or 3 times the dry amount.
Salt and Pepper – I like to use Kosher for this recipe, but fine sea salt will work fine. Just realize that fine sea salt is denser than Kosher salt, so you’ll need to use about 1/3 less.
Kale, spinach, or chard would make this soup even better than it already is. You’d only be upping the nutritional value by doing so. If you decide to add greens, just toss them in near the very end of the cooking cycle and they’ll cook to perfection.
We like to add fresh zucchini too! Just dice it up and add it right before you close the lid on the Instant Pot or before you simmer on the stove.
You could also garnish this soup with croutons and shaved parmesan cheese. Of course, you’d be bumping up the calories, but who doesn’t love bread, cheese, and soup?!
- chef’s knife
- cutting board
- Instant Pot or 4-quart sauce pot
- slotted spoon
- soup ladle
- can opener
- air-tight storage containers (to store leftovers)
More quick weeknight dinners
Italian Orzo Sausage Soup for Instant Pot or Stove
- 1/2 lb. Italian Pork Sausage or turkey sausage
- 1/2 Red Onion diced
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2 stalks Celery diced
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta or classic semolina orzo
- 6 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 28-oz can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes keep juice
- 1 tsp Dried Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
Instant Pot Instructions
- Step 1: Place the stainless insert in the Instant Pot and press the "Saute" button. When the surface is hot, add sausage to the pot, separating into pieces; brown the sausage, stirring as needed.*Note: you shouldn't need to add any oil because the sausage likely has enough fat, but if you do, add only a few drops of OLIVE OIL at a time.Step2. When the sausage has browned, remove it from the Instant Pot and transfer it to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside. Carefully remove the instant pot liner from the Instant Pot and pour the sausage grease into a heat-safe container to dispose of later.Step 3: Continue using the saute function on the Instant Pot. (Add a few drops of OLIVE OIL if needed). Add ONION, CELERY, and GARLIC and saute until tender, stirring as needed (about 3 minutes).Step 4: Press CANCEL on the Instant Pot. Add DRY ORZO, CHICKEN BROTH, DICED TOMATOES with their juice, ITALIAN SEASONING; SALT, PEPPER, and BROWNED SAUSAGE.Close and lock the lid, turn the steam release knob to "sealed" position; set Instant Pot to Manual +3 minutes (for whole wheat orzo) or +2 minutes for semolina orzo.Step 5: When the pressure cook cycle is complete, press CANCEL on the Instant Pot. Carefully turn the steam release knob and release steam to fully depressurize cooker (takes 2-4 minutes). Serve warm.
- Step 1: Heat a 4-quart soup pot on medium-high.Step 2: Add SAUSAGE to the pot, breaking it into small pieces; brown the sausage, stirring as needed; transfer to a plate; set aside. Carefully drain the extra grease, if needed.Step 3: To the same heated skillet, add ONION, GARLIC, and CELERY; sauté until fragrant and tender, stirring as needed (3-4 min).Step 4: Add dry ORZO; sauté until toasted and fragrant (about 2-3 min); stirring as needed.Step 5. Add CHICKEN BROTH, DICED TOMATOES with their juice, ITALIAN SEASONING, SALT, PEPPER, and BROWNED SAUSAGE.Step 6: Bring soup just to boil; then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until orzo is cooked through and softened (10-15 min); serve warm.
- Store Italian Sausage Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- You may notice that the orzo pasta naturally continues to absorb liquid even after the soup has cooled. During reheat, you can add some more broth or plain water to get it back to a soupy consistency.
This Italian Orzo Sausage Soup was originally published on amandascookin.com in Sept 2016.