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.

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.

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 ladle


  • 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 bread

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


  • 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)


  • 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.


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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  1. Very good! Substituted chicken sausage for regular and we loved it!

  2. Charlotte says:

    5 stars
    I make this all the time. We love it! I make it exactly according to recipe and it is perfect!

  3. Has very quickly become one of our favorite recipes

  4. 5 stars
    If making in the crockpot should you add the orzo at the end with the spinach, cream and cheese?
    Or do you put it in with the meat etc?

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Add orzo at the beginning. It needs to cook.

  5. Michelle Pfefferkorn says:

    Very delicious! But what is the actual calories per serving?

  6. Very delicious. I did not have spinach and used carrots and mushrooms. I also generously used Costco truffle Parmesan seasoning which really sealed the deal. I will remake soon.

  7. 5 stars
    Definitely will make again.
    Will need to freeze but already added the orzo. Will it make a difference in taste?

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Orzo will absorb all the liquid and plump up. You might have to add more warm stock while reheating to get the desired consistency.

  8. Kathy parker says:

    Can this be frozen. I kept the orzo separate. This was delicious but just too much for 2people

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Hi Kathy, if you plan to freeze it, do not add the orzo, which you can do after you defrost the soup.

  9. 5 stars
    This is now a go-to meal in my home! Hearty and delicious without being too heavy. We’re vegetarian so I just swap the sausage for some meat replacement (Gardein sausage chopped up is great!). I also omit the spinach because we may be veg, but we’re still unhealthy.

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Glad you loved it. Lol on the spinach.

  10. Greg Divine says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! It came together quickly and the flavor was amazing. I’ll absolutely be making this again and again but next time I plan on doubling it . This one is without a doubt a keeper and has the WOW factor for sure . Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us .

  11. 5 stars
    It was delicious. I changed a few things: I omitted spinach ( didn’t have any), I used chunky canned tomato soup along with canned tomatoes ( just to use up soup before it expired), and I didn’t have orzo so I used Arborio instead thus a thicker texture, but it was amazing!

  12. Jessica Teague says:

    5 stars
    I love this soup! the flavor is always amazing. Any suggestions on how to make it more brothy? When I make it, it seems like it becomes more of a porridge and thick, less like a soup. Thanks!

    1. Subhasmita says:

      You can increase the stock. Orzo/pasta tends to absorb the liquid the longer they rest. Glad that you loved it 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      A family favorite!! Thank you!

  13. Made with other pasta because I am not an orzo fan. Precooked it and dumped it in right before eating. This soup was super flavorful and delicious. It will become a regular in our house. It is like “lasagna in a bowl”.

    1. Any suggestions for meat other than Italian sausage?

      1. Subhasmita says:

        You can use ground beef. Because Italian sausages are already seasoned, if using plain ground beef you will have to add extra seasoning to the soup.

  14. 5 stars
    Easy directions and great outcome!! Found on Pinterest and will definitely make it again.

  15. Hi, I am looking to get in touch about including your recipe in my blog post! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. Subhasmita says:

      I would request you to include a do-follow recipe link. Thank you.

  16. 5 stars
    This soup has become a staple in my house. I keep making it, and I’ve made it for guests. Thank you for sharing!

  17. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing ! I make it almost every week! So quick and simple but does not sacrifice flavour!

  18. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! My husband is hard to please with dinners and he said this was “restaurant quality”. I used a 28oz can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and coarsely broke them up with my spatula. It was perfect. Will keep this in the regular rotation!

  19. 5 stars
    This soup is awesome! Hearty and rich, great anytime of year! So easy to make! I going to make the base and put in freezer adding the orzo, cream and spinach after thawing and reheating..

  20. 5 stars

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