Hearty, spicy and loaded with Italian flare! This incredibly easy soup is so cozy and the perfect way to stay warm this winter! It’s loaded with spicy chicken sausage, sweet butternut squash, tender kale and all made in one pot!
I’ve been on a HUGE soup kick lately! (Even though I live in Southern California and it rarely reaches below 60 degrees here during the day…😂) But 60 degrees means soup weather to me, so soup is what’s going on the menu! And this hearty Italian sausage, butternut squash and kale soup is giving me all of those warm and cozy vibes! (Think of it like a riff on Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. If you haven’t tried it…ya need to!) This one is still loaded with sausage and kale, replaces the potatoes for sweet butternut squash AND adds a touch of spice to give those tastebuds a little kick in the you-know-what! Plus it’s super easy and made in one pot so you really can’t go wrong. Hello yummy weeknight dinner!
Ingredients for Spicy Sausage, Butternut Squash & Kale Soup
- Italian chicken sausage: Can be replaced with pork or turkey sausage instead. You can buy either ground sausage in bulk or buy sausage links and simply remove it from the casing. (I used hot Italian sausage for mine because I love a little spice in my soup.)
- Butternut squash: Fresh butternut squash has the best flavor for this soup. But if you’re in a pinch or rushed for time, pre-cut butternut squash will work just fine. (Just make sure it’s not soft or mushy when you take it out of the package.)
- Green kale: Such a great nutritious filler! It adds texture, lots of color and is overall delicious!
- White beans: Any type of white bean will work for this soup recipe! (My favorite beans to use are navy beans or cannelloni beans.)
- Chicken broth: The base of our soup! Feel free to use chicken stock, chicken bone broth or even vegetable broth if you prefer. (Low sodium versions are always the best!)
- Fire roasted tomatoes: I love fire roasted tomatoes! They add a hint of smokey flavor to your soup which totally ups those warm and cozy vibes! (Can’t find fire roasted tomatoes? No problem! Regular canned diced tomatoes will work too.)
- Onion: I usually use white or yellow onion for this soup because their flavor pairs better with the rest of your ingredients. (Red onions will give your soup a sweeter taste.)
- Garlic: Every good recipe needs a little bit of garlic!
- Spices: Salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes give this dish the finishing touch!
How to Make My Soup on the Stove
This is such a great one pot meal and a super easy soup recipe to follow! Not to mention, it’s loaded with flavor and the spices can easily be adjusted to your preferences too!
- Prepare your ingredients. Diced your squash, chop the kale, rinse the beans and remove the sausage from it’s casing (if you’re not using ground sausage).
- Sauté your ingredients. Then begin by sautéing your garlic and onions together in a large pot over medium high heat. Once they’re tender, add your ground sausage to the pot. Season it with salt and pepper to taste and sauté the sausage until it’s cooked all the way through (about 5-8 minutes).
- Add your liquid & squash. Next add your broth and red pepper flakes to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add your diced butternut squash and let it boil for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. (Your squash should pierce easily with a sharp knife once it’s done.)
- Add your remaining ingredients. Five minutes before serving, stir in your beans, fire roasted tomatoes (not drained) and chopped kale.
- Serve! Wait until the kale just begins to wilt then serve immediately.
But wait – Can I make this soup in the crockpot? I personally haven’t tried it yet but I imagine it would work just fine. Here’s what I would do: Cook your garlic, onions and sausage beforehand and add it to your crockpot. Then add the squash, chicken broth, tomatoes, beans and spices and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Stir in your kale right before serving.
Toppings & Garnishes
This soup is fantastic all by itself but who are we kidding?! Toppings are always so much fun! Here are a few of my favorites:
Cheese: Parmesan, asiago & pecorino cheese are by far my top choices!
Croutons: Homemade croutons are the best!
Spices: More crushed red pepper flakes & cracked black pepper turn up the heat and flavor!
How would you garnishs your sausage, butternut squash and kale soup?
How to Store and Reheat your Leftover Soup
If you happen to have any soup leftover, it makes such a great option for a hearty work lunch or a super quick dinner the next night!
- Storing: Pour your leftover soup in an airtight container and keep it stored in the fridge. It should stay good for 2-3 days.
- Reheating: Pour your desired amount of soup into a pot and heat it over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. (Some people might not find the leftover kale very appealing. If that’s you, simply fish out those kale pieces and add freshly chopped kale to your soup after it’s warm.)
Why you love this spicy sausage soup recipe
- An all-in-one meal! You’ve got your protein, veggies and even some carbs if you serve it with some toasty bread slices!
- Easy to follow directions! Some stovetop soup recipes are so complicated and seem to take forever to cook. Not this one!
- Flavor on flavor on flavor! Spicy sausage, sweet butternut, tender kale… There’s so many different flavors and textures going on yet somehow it all just works!
Need it gluten free? Great news, it already is!
Need it dairy free? Great news, it already is!
More soup & one pot meal recipes you might like:
- Crockpot Chicken Avocado & Lime Soup
- Slow Cooker Pork Pozole
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup
- One Pot Mac & Cheese
- One Pot Green Chile Mac & Cheese
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Italian Sausage, Butternut Squash & Kale Soup
- 1 lb. hot Italian chicken sausage
- 3 cups butternut squash, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced (white or yellow)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 15oz. can white beans, drained (navy, cannelloni, etc.)
- 1 14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- ½ bunch of kale, leaves taken off the stem and chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth*
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don't want it too spicy)
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: shredded parmesan, asiago or romano cheese
- Sauté your garlic and onions together in a large pot over medium high heat until tender. Then add your ground sausage to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté again until your sausage is cooked all the way through. (About 5-8 minutes)
- Then pour your chicken broth and red pepper flakes into the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add your butternut squash cubes and boil the soup for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. (Your squash should pierce easily with a sharp knife once it's done.)
- Five minutes before serving, stir in your drained beans, fire roasted tomatoes (not drained) and chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve as soon as your kale begins to wilt.