Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

1 Comment
3 minutes
October 3, 2022
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Winter is HERE and so is the perfect hearty, healthy dinner to combat the cold. This Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage is bursting with flavor and the recipe makes a big enough batch for EIGHT hearty servings. And of course, if you have a hot piece of crusty bread on the side, you will reach cold weather culinary perfection.

Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

This recipe has been in our winter dinner rotation since 2009 and every time I make it, I’m amazed at how much flavor can come out of such a simple recipe. I think it’s that Italian sausage that creates such a depth of flavor.

Below are some of the most FAQ’s I get about this Italian white bean soup recipe so scroll down to see if your most pressing question gets answered. If not, drop me a comment below or pop me a quick email and I’ll answer any other questions you have!

Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

Can I use regular sausage instead of Italian sausage?

The quick answer is yes, but know that your end result will taste quite different. The Italian sausage is seasoned with fennel or anise and that is what makes such an impact on the flavor of this soup.

If you choose to use a regular sausage in the white bean soup, be sure you add some anise of fennel seeds to the soup to compensate.

And yes, if you have some turkey sausage, that is totally acceptable to use as well.

white bean stew with sausage

Can I use canned beans instead of dry beans in this Italian white bean soup?

Again, the easy answer is yes but again, the end result will not be as flavorful. Will it still be delicious? You bet but the fact that the bean cook in the flavorful broth of the soup allows the beans to absorb all of that flavor.

If you do choose to use canned beans, prepare the Italian white bean soup recipe as written, add the canned beans in step 3, and only simmer for 10-15 minutes. The canned beans will turn mushy very quickly compared to dried beans.

white crock with Italian bean soup

Italian White Bean Soup Recipe variations

As always, I encourage you to experiment with my recipe and personalize it to what your family loves. Here are some suggestions you can try out on this Italian White Bean Soup:

  • Add fresh spinach, kale, or collard greens to the finished soup and allow them to wilt before serving
  • Serve with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top
  • Feel free to try different beans instead of white beans. This would be yummy with pinto, black, or even split peas!
Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage VIDEO

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Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage

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A delicious, hearty, and healthy dinner perfect for those cold winter nights!

  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 large servings


1 pound dried navy or great northern beans (about 2 1/2 C)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground Italian sausage

2 cups chopped onions

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon thyme

8 cups chicken stock

3 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper



1.  Soak beans in cold water overnight.  Drain beans and rinse well.
2.  In large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add sausage and saute until browned.  Remove from pan and reserve.  Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.
3.  Add sausage back to pan.  Stir in beans, bay leaves and thyme.  Add stock, water, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Beans should be tender and falling apart when finished.
4.  Using a potato masher, gently mash about half the beans against the bottom of the pan.  Continue to simmer the soup for 30 minutes, uncovered until the soup reduces to a thicker consistency.  Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.
  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/8th
  • Calories: 275
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 1848mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 34mg

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

1 comment

Jenn S.
15 years ago

Wow! I am so impressed! I just happened upon your blog after doing a google search for Lion House Roll Recipes and have to say how much I love your blog and recipes! So inspirational! I will be back to try many of your yummy recipes.

Keep on Cookin!
(An LDS mom for 2.5 in Dallas)

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