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Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta



Baby, it's cold outside - the high for today is supposed to be 16 degrees! Here is a hearty soup to get you through the winter. This soup, along with a green salad and some nice bread, is a great dinner for a chilly night.  This soup is loaded with sausage, beans and ditalini pasta.  It's really a pretty traditional "Pasta e Fagioli" soup, but with sausage. I've made the soup with turkey sausage, but you can use any sausage you like.  

I've used dried beans to make the soup.  You can certainly use canned, but if you've never cooked with dried beans, you should try it.  Some people are confused about dried beans and don't know how to soak them and cook them.  But there really is no mystery to it at all - it's very easy.  Soaking simply softens the beans so that they have a shorter cooking time.  That's all.  And you don't really even have to soak them.  If you forget to soak them, simply cook them longer.  I just throw the beans in a pot and cover them with water and let them soak all day. I drain them, add fresh water and then cook them until they are tender. That's it. And I get my beans from Steve Sando at Rancho Gordo.  He produces the best dried beans on the market today.  If you are interested in cooking more with beans, check out the great cookbook he wrote last year, Heirloom Beans, filled with terrific recipes using beans and lots of tips on how to cook with beans.

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta 

serves 6 or more

* My favorite variation:  For a creamier soup, puree about 3/4 of the beans before you add the cooked sausage back into the pot.  Just add 3/4 of the beans into the pot, after you have sauteed the vegetables.  Stick an immersion blender into the pot and puree the soup for just about 30 seconds.  Then add the rest of the beans and the sausage and continue the recipe.  It makes the soup thick and creamy.

for a printable recipe, click here


  • 1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
  • 1 pound ground sausage, turkey or pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 


If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain. Cover with fresh water and simmer gently, covered,  til just soft, about an hour.  Drain again.

In a large pot, brown the sausage.  Remove from pot.  If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot.  Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 5 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute about a minute more.  Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper, the drained beans (*this is the point to puree the soup if you want to) and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for about 30 to 45 minutes over low heat, at a gentle simmer.

If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point.  (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.)  If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 15 - 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender.  Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.  If the soup is too thick for your liking, you can add more chicken broth.

Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Variation:  You can add a couple of handfuls of fresh chopped greens like spinach, chard, etc. for the last 15 or 20 minutes of cooking time if you like.

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Reader Comments (112)

I'm a bean nut. We have a guy in Nashville Farmer's market who sells about 20 kinds loose. Also, here we can get a lot of beans FRESH and hull them ourselves, like cranberry beans. My husband would like to come over for this soup. Sausage and beans is in his top three dishes.You cook just like my family. (actually probably better). :)

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela@Spinachtiger

Looks perfect! And I have everything I need to make this! Thanks!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna @ Marzipan

Looks great! I wish I had a bowl of this right now. The high here today is 34 - that is really cold for Alabama! Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

I printed this recipe and purchased the few ingredients we didn't have on-hand. My mom surprised me and actually made this soup while the rest of my family and I were at the gym. My mother never cooks and truly surprised us all by making it- It was excellent. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I just discovered your website and really enjoy the way you present Italian food!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I made this last night and it was delicious. Eric and I both loved it! I found out today that two of my friends also made it last night. It was a great thing to make on a cold blustry night.

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

Just for clarification, I added the sausage back in at the point where you simmer the soup for an hour. I didn't see that in the recipe but assumed that's where you would have added it.

Thank you for the recipe..soup's cooking right now!

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

From The Italian Dish:

Carissa: Thank you for pointing that out - I fixed it!

January 3, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I absolutely love this soup recipe! I can eat soup every day and not get sick of it - but I've never made a soup like this one before - thanks and Happy New Year!

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

This just looks so wonderful, Elaine. It's 5 degrees outside and this sounds perfect. I, too, love Rancho Gordo beans, but I didn't know about his cookbook. Thank you!

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrice

I always called this Fazool

Capiche Paysanne?

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfritz

every time i make one of your soup recipes i have no leftovers! loved this one.

January 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjude

Question: it looks like in the photos that the sausage is actually sausage meat that is not pressed into a casing. Is that accurate? Could you make this by cooking actual sausage links and then slicing them into wheels into the soup? This look so scrumptious, I want to make it this weekend!

February 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkim

From The Italian Dish:


I used turkey sausage in links for this recipe. I simply squeezed the meat out of the casings and broke it up as I browned it. You can use any sausage you like and yes, you could even use links and just slice them into coins. That would work just fine.

February 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

My pot of this soup is cooking right now! I can't wait. Just to double check: I am putting the pasta in raw and cooking it the soup. That's what the recipe implies. Also the change that you made to the recipe in terms of adding the sausage back to the soup to simmer has to also be made in the print copy of the recipe.
Thanks for dinner!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkim

loved this recipe! delicious:)

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjana

made this for dinner with your foccacia bread,,, yum

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

I'm finding this post at the perfect time! It's about 25 degrees outside (I'm in Northern Virginia) and I just got a shipment from Rancho Gordo (man, do I love these beans!)! This looks deliscious, thanks!

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngelitacarmelita

It was very interesting to read.
serve as a reference

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlexington law scam

There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercredit agenda

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. ovation law

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterovation law

Hello.....nice post but the blog is loading very slowly.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterProcess of grief

Just made this tonight with a couple of modifications, but this turned out so good!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrach

I really like your writing style, great info

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterProcess of grief

Wow! Pictures are great, so high quality. You put a lot of work in these recipes. Sorry for my bad english. Thanks for the recipe

Yum Yum i'am going to cook this recipe asap,i'am going to give it a go in the slow cooker,will let you know how it turns out :)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjackattack

Trust me guys, my mouth is watering as i see the pics and go through the recipe. I cant wait any longer to cook it and serve it on table.

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranna

Can I do this in the crock-pot somehow?

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I just made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing. I am also wondering if this recipe could be adapted to a crock-pot creation? Either way, it's lovely!

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Ok...So it"s early September in Atlanta....not exactly "soup weather". But I saw this recipe and could not resist. It was FABULOUS! I used a mix of half mild and half hot sausage and it gave it just a little kick. My whole family raved about it!

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCandy Smith

will sweet italian sausage work for this soup ?

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

I just made this last night. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!
(I linked back to you)

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

From The Italian Dish:

Debbie: I usually use sweet Italian sausage for this, actually!

Kelsey: Thanks!

September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I just made this tonight with ground turkey and a few modifications. I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, I added extra carrots, a few spices to the turkey, and I had to replace the beans with potatoes because my mother is visiting and she cannot stand beans. It turned out excellent; my neighbors even stopped over to try some. I am defiantly keeping this recipe.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLittleChestnut

This was so flavorful! I used spicy Italian sausage and added fennel. So delicious!

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This looks great and seems so easy to make...can hardly wait to try it!!!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

You wouldn't happen to know the calorie count would you?

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangel

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have been looking for a good itallian soup recipe!! I am going to try it this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing :)

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjaclyn

This is amazing. Used extra carrots and onion, added some mushrooms and threw in a cup of chopped, frozen spinach at the end. Delicious. My daughter and her friend scarfed it down. Oh and the shaved park on top makes it perfect.

October 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertammy

Found this on pinterest. Used sweet turkey sausage as well. This was so easy and delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe, I will definetly be makin this one again!

October 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

This looks delicious! I love all soups and I will have to try this one out for my blog soon!

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Little

Made this tonight,it was delicious!!

October 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

You HAVE to make this soup; it is fantastic!! The recipe looked so yummy that I couldn't wait for the frigid cold. I made mine while the temperature hovered in the mid 50's, and I'm so glad I did. The flavors were rich and hearty. This is a keeper and I hope to enjoy more wonderful foods from The Italian Dish. I made three small changes to my batch of soup because I had extra time and ingredients. I made chicken stock from scratch, included some of the cooked chicken in the soup, and added a bit of diced pancetta to the pan as the ground sausage finished cooking. We are expecting a cold winter, but it won't matter as long as I have this soup, Thank you!

October 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLJ

Making this soup right now and it smells amazing!

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney Lemos

Can u freeze this?

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLms

I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! Which is a big deal in my house. I made 2 minor changes I added zucchini and Parmegiano-Reggiano rind while it simmered and it was out of this world!

Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I made this tonight and it was delicious! My husband, who is not really a soup person, loved it as well. He said it was restaurant quality. I plan on making it for my extended family sometime this holiday season. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I made this over the weekend. It was good and I would make it again...but, I think I'll leave out the pasta and double the beans instead. I will admit that I couldn't find ditalini pasta in my grocery, so i ended up using small elbow macaroni. Maybe that was what made it a little different than I expected.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternosogirl

I am making this for much here in Torino, Italia. It is a nice rainy day for soup and fresh bread. Thank you for sharing this. It is very popular here in Italy.

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Alexander

I made this tonight for dinner and my husband went nuts! He also said restaurant quality. I did change the beans up for garbanzo and added a little spinach. YUMMYI!!! Thank you!! I will be making this again and again.

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy G

Can I cook this in the crockpot?

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAadams

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