Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

A simple, hearty, and nourishing sausage and bean soup is perfect cool-weather comfort food! The one pot meal is loaded with bacon, smoked sausage, vegetables, beans, and herbs in a flavorful broth. Pair each bowl with cornbread muffinsbuttermilk biscuits, or soft and fluffy crescent rolls for a satisfying, cozy supper.

Two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a dinner table

Bean and Sausage Soup

On a chilly day, nothing beats a warm pot of smoky sausage and bean soup. It’s total comfort food! The aroma that wafts through your home as it cooks is like a warm hug from your grandmother. The easy dinner includes loads of fresh veggies, hearty beans, and kielbasa sausage and bacon for rich flavor. It’s truly the perfect supper to serve on a quiet Sunday evening, or to enjoy for quick leftovers throughout a busy week.

Is homemade bean soup good for you?

Yes! While it’s flavored with more indulgent smoked sausage and bacon, this soup is loaded with beans, which are high in protein and fiber, as well as plenty of vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Each bite is packed with nutritious ingredients!

Adding vegetables to a Dutch oven

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pot of sausage and bean soup. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bacon: gives the soup a smoky flavor and creates drippings for browning the sausage and veggies.
  • Onion: I use yellow onion, but white onion or sweet onions (like Vidalia) will also work.
  • Carrots, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic: fresh vegetables that add savory flavor and nutrition to the soup.
  • Bay leaves and thyme: for earthy flavor that pairs nicely with the beans and sausage.
  • Kielbasa sausage: or other fully-cooked smoked sausage of choice. Smoked turkey sausage, beef sausage, or pork sausage all work well.
  • Beans: I use a can of navy beans and a can of kidney beans, but just about any canned beans are fine. Use what you have in your pantry! Cannellini beans (or other white beans), pinto beans, black beans, lentils…they’re all good!
  • Canned whole tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are my favorite.
  • Low-sodium chicken broth: use homemade broth if available, or pick a low-sodium store-bought broth so that you can control the sodium in your pot.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to add depth of flavor and to enhance the other ingredients.
Adding beans and herbs to a blue Dutch oven

Why do you put vinegar in bean soup?

There isn’t any vinegar in this specific recipe, since the tomatoes contribute a good amount of acid, but you can certainly add some if you like. We often finish a bean soup or a pot of beans with vinegar or another acidic ingredient, such as freshly squeezed lemon juice, for a variety of reasons. The vinegar breaks down indigestible sugars to help digestion, and also brightens the flavor of the beans without the need for excess salt.

Pouring broth into a pot of soup

How to Make Sausage and Bean Soup

This bean soup develops so much flavor as you layer ingredients and slowly simmer the pot on the stove. It’s ideal for a quiet Sunday supper, and equally delicious for leftovers throughout a busy week.

  1. Fry the bacon in a large Dutch oven or soup pot until crisp, and then remove to a plate to drain on paper towels.
  2. Sauté the vegetables and sausage in the bacon drippings until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the thyme, beans, tomatoes, and broth.
  4. Bring to a boil over a high heat, and then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with crispy bacon, grated Parmesan cheese, and additional fresh herbs.
Smoked sausage and bean soup on a table with a side of cornbread

How to Thicken Bean and Bacon Soup

For a thicker soup, mash or puree some of the beans at the end of cooking. You can do this with a potato masher, or you can use an immersion blender. The pureed beans will add texture to the dish and thicken the soup. Just be careful not to puree all of the soup! Another easy way to thicken the soup is to simmer the pot with the lid off until it reduces.

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few simple options to eat with the bean soup:

Overhead shot of two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a wooden table

Sausage Soup Storage

The sausage soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s a great make-ahead option for busy weeks.

How to Freeze

This is a nice freezer meal, so prepare a big pot and stick any leftovers in the freezer for a quick-prep lunch or dinner option. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Stored in an airtight container, the soup will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and enjoying.

How to Reheat

Place the soup in a pot and warm over a low flame, just until heated through. You can also microwave individual bowls for about 1-2 minutes.

Side shot of two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a table

Recipe Variations

  • Crock Pot Instructions: If you prefer the convenience of the slow cooker, you can also prepare this hearty soup in the Crock Pot! Simply sauté the bacon, sausage, and vegetables as instructed on the stovetop, then transfer them to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  • Instead of the kielbasa, use a different type of sausage. Other varieties of smoked sausage work equally well, or you can use fully-cooked Italian sausage.
  • For extra veggies, add fresh spinach at the very end; or add kale or swiss chard when there’s about 10 minutes left so that it the greens have time to wilt in the hot soup.
  • I use chicken broth, but vegetable broth will also work well.
  • Spicy: add a dash of cayenne or garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice at the end for a bright, acidic finishing touch.
Square side shot of two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a dinner table

Tips for the Best Sausage and Bean Soup Recipe

  • Smoked sausage and bacon can be quite salty, so I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth and seasoning with herbs. You can always season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.
  • Use even more fresh herbs. In addition to thyme, try parsley, rosemary, chives, basil, or oregano.
  • Puree or mash some of the beans (and veggies) to thicken the soup. You can use a potato masher or an immersion blender.
  • The soup just gets better as it sits in the fridge, so feel free to make a pot in advance and reheat the leftovers the next day. It will have great flavor and texture!
Overhead image of a spoon in a bowl of smoked sausage and bean soup
Square side shot of two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a dinner table

Sausage and Bean Soup

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people (about 11-12 cups total)
Calories 195 kcal
A simple, hearty, and nourishing sausage and bean soup is perfect cool-weather comfort food!

Ingredients
  

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 celery stalks, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • ½ green bell pepper, seeded and diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 13-16 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced horizontally into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or about ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or thyme; grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces from the pot and drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon for garnish.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaves to the bacon fat. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add the sausage to the pot and cook until the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
  • Stir in the thyme, navy beans, and kidney beans. Add the tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot. Add the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with the reserved bacon, grated cheese, and additional fresh herbs.

Notes

  • Crock Pot Instructions: If you prefer the convenience of the slow cooker, you can also prepare this hearty soup in the Crock Pot! Simply sauté the bacon, sausage, and vegetables as instructed on the stovetop, then transfer them to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  • Instead of the kielbasa, use a different type of sausage. Other varieties of smoked sausage work equally well, or you can use fully-cooked Italian sausage.
  • For extra veggies, add fresh spinach at the very end, or add kale or swiss chard when there’s about 10 minutes left so that it the greens have time to wilt in the hot soup.
  • I use chicken broth, but vegetable broth will also work well.
  • Spicy: add a dash of cayenne or garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice at the end for a bright, acidic finishing touch.
  • Smoked sausage and bacon can be quite salty, so I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth and seasoning with herbs. You can always season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.
  • Use even more fresh herbs. In addition to thyme, try parsley, rosemary, chives, basil, or oregano.
  • Puree or mash some of the beans (and veggies) to thicken the soup. You can use a potato masher or an immersion blender.
  • The soup just gets better as it sits in the fridge, so feel free to make a pot in advance and reheat the leftovers the next day. It will have great flavor and texture!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 13gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 820mgPotassium: 547mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2698IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: bean and sausage soup, bean soup, sausage and bean soup
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. This looks great! With our temperatures plummeting to below freezing, with snow and less sunlight, this is just what we need to help us hunker down and warm up.
    I think I’ll make a pan of buttermilk batter cornbread to enjoy along with it.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe as is with the exception of using crushed tomatoes because it’s what I had on hand and I added an extra can of beans because we LOVE beans. We will definitely make it again.