Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup is quick and easy to prepare from items usually on hand (with limited chopping!) and loaded with flavor.

red and white soup turreen filled with Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup

(Photo by Rick Souders)

Now that it’s Fall, it’s officially soup season. Yay! I love soups. My favorite way to warm up on a cold and rainy night is to curl up in front of a cozy fire with my husband Robert and a steamy bowl of flavorful soup. This mouthwatering Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup recipe came to me from good friend Carol Nollsch. It’s my favorite kind of recipe — quick and easy to prepare from items usually on hand (with limited chopping!) and full of flavor. Robert is half Italian, and this dish ranks at the tippy top of his soup list.

Scrumptious and crowd-pleasing , this soup is hearty enough to be served as a main dish. Just add a Caesar salad on the side – and Carol recommends serving it with cornbread; our recipe testers also liked it with sourdough bread.

Carol also recommends making this soup the day before serving, to allow the flavors to blend.

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ceramic soup turreen filled with Sausage, Spinach and Orzo soup

Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup

  • Author: (From "Fresh Tastes" by Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: soups, main dishes


This hearty and scrumptious soup is quick and easy to prepare from items usually on hand (with limited chopping!) and loaded with flavor. My husband is half Italian, and this dish ranks at the tippy top of his soup list!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 7 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes, or 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained (see Tip below)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 5 cups packed shredded fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (3 to 4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, breaking up meat with a spatula. Drain and discard oil.
  2. Stir in onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine; reduce heat to low and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is almost evaporated. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes and orzo. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
  3. Stir in spinach; cook about 3 to 5 minutes or until wilted. Ladle in to soup bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Make ahead: Soup can be prepared earlier in the day, cooled, covered and refrigerated. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. You may need to add more broth when reheating.

Tip on tomatoes: If using canned tomatoes, don’t drain and reduce chicken broth about 1/2 cup.


Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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Access more recipes in Lee's award-winning book, Fresh Tastes!

4 Responses to “Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup”

  1. Agilmut

    Think it would change the flavor too much if I subbed broccoli for spinach? Not a fan of cooked spinach but this looks great otherwise! Thanks!

    • Lee Roper

      It might work; just make sure to add it toward the end so the broccoli doesn’t get mushy. I’m thinking that slice zucchini might be a better substitute, if you like zucchini! Again, add it toward the end so it doesn’t get mushy. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Gail Luckadoo

    Do you suppose I could use 1/2 Italian sausage and 1/2 ground turkey with this recipe? Looks delicious and I’m gonna try it today!

    • Lee Roper

      Yes you can definitely use ground turkey. Try to find turkey sausage if you can – I’ve used that and it was delicious.


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