Italian Sausage & Orzo Soup

This one-pot Italian sausage orzo soup made of spicy Italian sausage and orzo pasta with rich tomato flavor, is delicious and takes only 20 minutes to make.

Orzo soup made with spicy Italian Sausage in a rich tomato flavor base in a pot.Pin

Delicious orzo soup with Italian sausage is our new favorite. It has so much flavor and texture in every spoonful of it.  A loaf of crusty bread and a big bowl of this soup will be winter comfort food.

This soup is satisfying and filling with refreshing tomato-based broth, spicy Italian sausage, orzo pasta, and spinach. I am sure this orzo soup with sausage will get you through the winter.

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Soup doesn’t have to be bland. Soup can easily be made tasty and healthy at the same time.  And it took me years to convince the same to my husband. And now he can happily have a bowl of soup for dinner.

This Sausage Soup is already a household favorite. Tomato Soup is an all-time favorite, and I make it very frequently. When the regular Tomato Soup gets an upgrade with spicy sausage and pasta, it is even better, isn’t it?  My little one was very excited to see those cute little Orzo pasta, and of course, there was a lot of cheese on top for her.

Check out these authentic dishes for recipes with Italian flavors – Italian Chopped Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad, or Pasta Alla Norma (Eggplant pasta).

Orzo soup sprinkled with parmesan cheese served in a white bowl along with bread slices.Pin

Orzo Pasta

Orzo looks like rice but means ‘barley’ in Italian. It is commonly made from white flour but healthy wheat versions are made from semolina flour, which itself is made from durum wheat.

Orzo has a soft texture like pasta and is considered a kind of short pasta. Originally from Italy, orzo has been popular since the last century in cuisines of Europe, Mediterranean region and the middle east.

Because of its small size and soft rice like look and texture, orzo is widely used to make soups and salads. Chicken orzo soup is quite popular and you will find its delicious recipe here with a citrous flavor – Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

Salads made with orzo like this Shrimp Orzo Salad With Pesto salad are nutritious, healthy and fulfilling. Another delicious recipe with chicken and orzo with tomato base and freshness of basil is One Pot Tomato Basil Chicken Orzo.

Cooking orzo before using it in a recipe is quite simple. It cooks relatively quickly and cooking orzo is like cooking any other pasta. You boil it in a pot of water and follow the time as per the packet instructions.

Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a type of pork sausage which is referred as such in North America. It is made with fennel and other spices. The variety and choice of spices determine the heat in the sausage. Italian sausages are available as mild, sweet or hot variants.

I have made the Italian sausage used in this recipe, at home. Homemade sausages are better than store-bought ones as the spice powders used are fresh and potent. You also have control over the ingredients. Remember – spice powdered or whole lose their potency over time. So the best sausage you can make is with freshly ground spices and good quality minced pork.

I made it with minced pork and Italian seasoning and spices like parsley, fennel seeds, black pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes. I have also used minced onion and garlic for added flavor and body. They need to be salted with salt.

Orzo Soup made with Italian Sausage in a big pot and shown with a ladlePin

Ingredients

  • Italian Sausage – I have used homemade Italian sausage. You can do the same or get store-bought ones. The sausages I made are mildly spiced. You can choose from sweet, mild or hot sausages.
  • Orzo Pasta – dry orzo looks like rice and has a soft texture.
  • Chicken Broth – gives body to the soup. Broth also provides a flavor base that elevates any soup.
  • Half & Half cream – is a mixture of half whole milk and half cream. It has less than half the fat of heavy cream and tastes like rich, creamy milk. It is used in soup recipes to get a creamy texture.
  • Parmesan cheese – Used to sprinkle over the soup when plated. Gives a cheesy flavor in each spoonful.
  • Crushed Tomato – forms the base of the soup along with onion and garlic.
  • Onion & Garlic – used as flavoring agent when sauteed in olive, they release flavors and elevates the soup.
  • Italian Seasoning – classic seasoning that gives the Italian flavors to the orzo soup.
  • Olive Oil – used as a source of fat to sauté the onions, garlic and sausages.
  • Spinach – stir in fresh baby spinach as a source of fiber and high mineral and vitamin content. You can substitute spinach with kale.
  • Red chili flakes – add to increase the heat as per your tolerance.
  • Salt and pepper – brings all the other flavors out and balances the soup.

(Optional) – This is optional but you can use mushrooms and vegetables like carrots, celery and red bell pepper. Parsley is another option to use as herb.

Instructions – How to make Italian Sausage Orzo Soup

Making Sausage Orzo Soup is pretty easy and quick. It comes together in just 20 minutes, and you need only one pot to make it.  Start with caramelizing the onion and garlic in oil on medium heat. Break sausage into small chunks and brown along with onion and garlic.  We are talking about big flavors here, and frying onion, garlic in oil, and brown sausage are what will give you flavors.

Browning and caramelizing the sausage helps to release flavourful oil into the pan. Once the browning is done, dump all the ingredients into the pan except Spinach and let it cook until the pasta is done. Then add the spinach and let it soften. Tada!! It is done.

But wait! What’s comfort food without cheese or cream??? Well, you will not miss your favorite creamy Chicken soup because I have taken care of that.  Add a couple of tablespoons of cream and sprinkle a handful of parmesan cheese at the end before serving.

Italian Sausage Orzo soup served in white bowl along with breadPin

How to make in the Crockpot

While it is always easy and quick to make things on the stovetop, Slow cooking comes in handy when you don’t want active involvement. This Italian Sausage Orzo Soup can easily be made in a crockpot. It can’t be a total dump-and-forget kind of recipe. Browning of Onion, garlic, and sausage is an essential step to release all the flavors.  So before adding all the ingredients to the slow cooker, it is important to brown in a pan.

Once the meat is browned, add the onion, garlic, and sausage Mixture to the Crockpot and the other ingredients (except Spinach, cream, and cheese). Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. 20 minutes before the cooking time ends, add spinach to the pot. After 10 minutes, add cream and cheese to the pot.

More Soup Recipes

This One Pot Italian Sausage Orzo Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage, Orzo Pasta with rich tomato flavour is delicious and takes only 20 minutes to make. 
Flavours of Kitchen Logo

Italian Sausage Soup With Orzo

Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
This Spicy Italian Sausage with Orzo has rich tomato flavour, delicious and takes only 20 minutes to make. Make it on the stovetop or in a crockpot for a perfect family dinner.

Servings 5 people

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams Mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 cup Orzo Pasta
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • 1 28 Oz Crushed Tomato
  • 2 tspn Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tspn red chili Flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Spinach (Tightly Packed)
  • ¼ cup Half and Half
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (to serve)

Instructions

  • Heat Oil in a heavy bottom pan. Once Warm add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until the onion has softened and raw garlic smell is gone. 
  • Roughly break sausages to small chunks.  Add to the pan. Saute for 5-6 minutes until they are browned and aromatic.  Break any bigger chunk of sausage.
  • Deglaze the pot by adding stocks. Scarp the bottom of the pan to remove any brown bits.  Stir in the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, chilli flakes, salt and pepper
  • When the stock comes to a boil stir in Orzo Pasta,
  • Cover and let it cook for 8-10 minutes in the medium-low heat until Orzo is almost cooked. Stir in between to prevent Orzo from getting stuck at the bottom.
  • Stir in Spinach to the pot and let it cook for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Serve with a generous topping of parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 200g | Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1760mg | Potassium: 597mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1385IU | Vitamin C: 19.9mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 2.9mg
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101 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Takes no time at all, but has so much flavor that it tastes like it cooked all afternoon. Thank you for this, it’s a keeper!

  2. Samantha W says:

    5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS!! Wondering what the recommendations are for reheating this, as most of the soup is absorbed.

    1. WOW! just Wow! This is definitely a keeper! My sister who is really picky even liked it! Absolutely delicious!

    2. add more chicken broth – in original recipe I used basil instead of spinach (spinach upsets my stomach) and used heavy cream, in addition to using 6 cups broth instead of 4. I freeze this in ball jars all the time and if it is too thick just add a little broth.

  3. 5 stars
    A delicious and easy weeknight meal!

    1. Can I use frozen spinach?

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Wanted to add some more veggies to added carrots and zucchini. Also swapped regular sausage for chicken sausage to cut out some of the fat.

  5. this looks really good – can milk be substituted for the half and half?

    1. Subhasmita says:

      I would not suggest substituting with milk as it will not give a creamy texture. You can use heavy cream instead or if you must use milk then use full fat milk.

  6. 4 stars
    This was very delicious, however, I’m thinking of something else that might substitute for the sausage. Even the mild sausage was a bit strong tasting for me. Perhaps portabella mushrooms, or small pieces of stew beef. But that would require longer cooking, so I’m not sure.

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Mushroom is a great substitute. Stew beef might need longer cooking time. So first let the meat cook and towards the end add orzo and let it cook until done.

    2. I used ground beef instead of the sausage, it was delicious. I drained the fat before adding the rest of the ingredients.

  7. Can this be frozen for later? It’s a family favorite!

    1. subhasmita says:

      When frozen, orzo might soak up all the liquid/broth and will become mushy. Personally I don’t like that.

    2. Yes, I’ve done it many times and it tastes perfect after

  8. Rebecca L Sackman says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely Yummy! I am not a fan of italian sausage, by far, BUT this is the best soup I have ever had! My family loves it (also our local store sells ground italian sausage so I didn’t have to worry about the casing). Thank you for the recipe!!

  9. I am about to make this. I was wondering if I cut the sausage up or take it out of the casing to cook.

    1. subhasmita says:

      Take it out of the casing.

  10. 5 stars
    Made for the first time tonight and it did not disappoint! I will make this again for sure. I did omit the crushed red pepper flakes because I am not a fan of it.

  11. 5 stars
    Wow this was amazing! So yummy ! Followed the recipe, didn’t need any kind of modification! Thanks for sharing

  12. 5 stars
    This is a “KEEPER” recipe! My family loved it…even my finicky eater! It was a quick meal with salad and garlic bread. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    Where to start?! My hubby has alpha gal, so I modify most recipes to meet his needs. Mind you we have a 7 and 8 yr old. I made this tonight using mild Italian duck sausage and dairy free half n half. WHAT?!?! It was amazing!!! I can’t even begin to describe just how good it was!!!

  14. Tiffany E says:

    5 stars
    This was fantastic. So simple and yet so tasty. Made exactly as written aside from roughly chopping the spinach. My husband never has much to say about soup but before he even finished his bowl he said “put this in the rotation”. I agree. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

  15. Deena L Borza says:

    Are we to use chicken broth or chicken stock? The list of ingredients says “broth” but the instructions say “stock”.

    1. subhasmita says:

      It is chicken stock.

  16. Cindylou Carter says:

    5 stars
    Made this soup today excellent, it’s a keeper the only thing I did different was I use spicy smoked sausage links and I slice it up in inch pieces ! It gave the liquid a kick . Very fulfilling , this will now be on my winter soups list ! Once again excellent!

  17. Vickie L Hooke says:

    Love the soup but made it in my crock pot and the timing didn’t work. Orzo cooked too long and was too soft. Next time I will add the orzo during the last hour and cook in 3 hours on low.

    1. I always make in the crockpot along with other soups and I always put the pasta at the end, last 1/2 hr -hrs.

  18. I used kale instead of spinach and added a diced bulb of fennel for some extra flavor. Absolutely delicious!

  19. Melanie Godfrey says:

    Would you recommend sticking with chicken broth or have you tried beef broth with this recipe? Just wondering if I can use what I have in the pantry!
    SO excited to try this soup out tonight!!

    1. subhasmita says:

      I would stick to chicken or vegetable stock. Beef stock might be overpowering. But, if that’s what you have in hand, then use half beef stock and half water. Let me know how it comes

  20. Lisa Miller says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and served it with a green salad and a homemade dinner roll. I used 28 oz of San Marzano whole tomatoes, and they fell apart while cooking, which was perfect. I simmered everything for about 30 minutes before adding the orzo, simmered for 10 more, then added the half and half and spinach and shut the heat off. It was delicious – we will definitely enjoy this one again!

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