Enjoy the comforting flavors of Italian white bean soup. This hearty and wholesome dish features tender white beans simmered in a flavorful broth, accented with aromatic herbs and vegetables.
This classic Italian favorite is a must-try for cozy and delicious dinner.
Why I love this bean soup recipe
Minimal Prep - this Italian white bean soup uses canned beans and stock, plus a few average produce buys have you making your way to a pot of warm, cozy soup.
Family friendly - my kids seem to like soup with ingredients they can recognize, and luckily, we always have these ingredients in our fridge.
Well, except for fresh rosemary. Come on now, we’re not that fancy!
Quick and Easy: So often we think of easy meals in our slow cooker or Instant Pot. This recipe cooks up quickly using the one appliance we all have...our stovetop! Leftover soup can be frozen in mason jars to enjoy later.
- ground Italian sausage - you can use bulk Italian sausage or if you have links, split them open and discard the skins. You can use spicy or mild sausage depending on your personal taste preference. If you like extra spice you could always add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, too. If you have extras, you can make Air Fryer Italian sausage another night!
- extra virgin olive oil
- vegetables - carrots, celery, onion and garlic
- chicken stock - chicken broth or easy to make Instant Pot vegetable broth can be used as well
- cannellini beans - sometimes these are called Great Northern Beans
- rosemary - use fresh rosemary if you can, otherwise you can substitute dried rosemary
- bay leaf
- baby spinach - I like using baby spinach because it’s tender and wilts down easily. You can also use kale, just be sure to remove the stems before using it.
- heavy cream - this is what makes transforms this Tuscan style white bean soup with spinach and sausage into a bowl that's rich, creamy and dreamy!
How to make Italian White Bean Soup
Step 1: Brown your sausage. Grab your favorite soup pot - I used my Dutch oven. Seriously, if you haven’t invested in one of these pots, Christmas is coming!
Cook the sausage over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Once it’s in bite size, cooked pieces, transfer it to a paper towel covered plate. The towel will help absorb excess oil while we prepare the rest of our soup.
Step 2: Soften the veggies. Add the oil, onions, carrots and celery. Cook until they’ve begun to soften, then add the garlic and let it cook for just a minute.
Don’t overcook your garlic because once you’ve done that, you have to start over. So stay with your pot on this step.
Step 3: Make the broth. Add the chicken stock, cooked sausage, white beans, rosemary and bay leaf. The broth will help to loosen those little brown bits at the bottom of your pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape them up a bit - those little pieces mean big time delicious flavor for your soup!
Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the rosemary and bay leaf. Turn off the heat.
Step 4: Finish off the soup. Add your spinach and heavy cream into the soup. The heat from the soup will easily wilt the spinach. You can give everything a nice stir to incorporate it.
Serve with crusty fresh bread and some freshly cracked black pepper. A little sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese would be lovely, too!
Spicy white bean soup - add a pinch of red pepper flakes or use hot Italian sausage.
Tomato: Integrate a tomato base by adding tomato paste, diced tomatoes, or even sun-dried tomatoes for a slightly tangy and flavorful soup.
Pasta or Grain: Enhance heartiness by adding small pasta shapes like ditalini or grains like farro or barley, turning the soup into a complete meal.
Bean Varieties: Experiment with different white bean varieties such as cannellini beans, Great Northern beans, or navy beans for subtle differences in taste and texture.
No, you just need to drain them, but any extra on the beans will not hurt the soup. If you're watching your sodium intake, go ahead and give them a rinse in a colander before adding them to the soup.
I like to use the reduced salt chicken broth so I can season it for my own taste preferences. Or better yet, make your own homemade chicken stock!
Yes! I love to freeze leftovers or even make a double batch to freeze. Just place cooled soup in an airtight container to freeze.
I love kale in my chicken soup, and I believe it would also be outstanding in this soup, too! I would just remove the stems of the kale and treat it just like the spinach.
Other cozy soup recipes you’ll enjoy:
If you make this Italian White Bean Soup, leave a comment or recipe rating below. I'd love to hear from you!
Italian White Bean Soup
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 29 ounces white cannellini beans drained
- 1 fresh spring rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach fresh
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a large pot, cook the sausage over medium heat. Using a large spoon, break apart the sausage into bite-size pieces. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, then transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.1 pound ground Italian sausage
- Add the oil, onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook until the onions have softened, about 3-5 minutes.1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion, 2 medium carrots, 2 celery stalks
- Stir in the garlic and allow it to cook for 1 minute.3 cloves fresh garlic
- Add the chicken stock, sausage, beans, rosemary, and bay leaf to the pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.32 ounces chicken stock, 29 ounces white cannellini beans, 1 fresh spring rosemary, 1 bay leaf
- Bring the soup up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the rosemary and bay leaf.
- Stir in the spinach and heavy cream and allow the spinach to wilt before serving.1 cup fresh baby spinach, ½ cup heavy cream