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Tuscan Bean Soup with Sausage & Kale | Slow Cooker & Gluten Free

This rustic and hearty Tuscan bean soup with sausage is substantial enough to serve as a main course. Sausage and seasonings add a huge punch of flavor, kale adds color and texture and big chunks of potato make for a satisfying meal made right in your crock pot.

sausage white bean kale soup

Pair with a crisp, green side salad and dinner is served! 

I started making this white bean, kale and sausage soup in the slow cooker over the winter. A rich, hearty and gluten free soup, it has quickly become one of our favorite comfort foods.

This is one of those recipes that will satisfy you for hours.

Also, I love that this soup has real food ingredients!

This post was originally published February 2020 and updated for enhanced instructions and photos January 2021.

Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Soup Ingredients

Bulk mild sausage – I used pork sausage, and I’ve also used a blend with ground Italian sausage. To keep it lighter, Italian turkey sausage works, too.

Love spice? Use spicy Italian sausage!

Sometimes, the grocery store has sausage links on sale instead of the bulk sausage. You can use those links instead. Just slit each sausage link and remove the meat to brown. Easy peasy!

Cannellini beans – These are also sometimes labeled as Great Northern Beans. We’ll blend half the beans in a blender ahead of time to transform the beans into a puree. It mimics a heavy cream and gives a velvety texture with less fat!

This is a great trick to use with any bean soup recipe.

Chicken stock – vegetable stock may be used, too.

Crushed red pepper flakes – for just a touch of heat

Minced garlic

Yellow onion – if you have white onion, use it!

Yukon gold potatoes which I love, because they don’t need to be peeled. This is such a fabulous time saver and in general, I’m all in favor of things that make life easy.

Salt and black pepper

Fresh kale – I buy it already washed, chopped and ready to go!

Parmesan cheese – because cheese makes me happy.

tuscan bean soup with sausage

Variations:

  • Use spicy Italian sausage, turkey sausage or any ground sausage.
  • Substitute spinach for the kale.
  • Make this bean and kale soup in your Instant pot for a one pot meal. Instructions and cook time are in the recipe card below.

How to Save Tuscan Soup for Later

Because this soup recipe makes a big ‘ole batch, you may want to freeze some for later. I like to use pint size jars to freeze individual servings.

Total side note but did you know peanut butter jar lids fit these perfectly?!? Seriously, I was so excited to discover that!

You can save larger portions in these quart sized soup containers.

Just be sure to label, label, label your freezer containers! Frozen food looks quite different than fresh and no one wants to play, “guess the leftovers” game, right?

tuscan bean soup with sausage 5

How to Make Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Soup

STEP 1: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, drain the fat and add the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.

STEP 2: Puree a can of undrained cannellini beans in a blender or food processor. Add to the slow cooker. Drain and rinse the other can of cannellini beans and add to slow cooker.

If you don’t have a blender or food processor , I have a fix for that! I know that feeling, when you simply can’t find it in yourself to drag them out. Instead, you can use a potato masher to mash one can of the beans.

STEP 3: Add chicken broth, red pepper flakes, chopped onion, potatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper.

Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7. Remove lid and add kale and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and allow 5-10 minutes for kale to soften before serving.

It’s seriously delicious!

Other cold weather soups

Did you make this Tuscan sausage soup recipe? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and comment, I’d love to hear what you think!

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 8 servings

Tuscan Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale

tuscan bean soup with sausage 3

This rustic and hearty soup is substantial enough to serve as a main course. The sausage and seasonings add a lot of flavor, while chunks of potato make for a satisfying meal. Pair with a crisp, green side salad and dinner is served!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. bulk mild sausage
  • 2 15- oz. cans cannellini beans*
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small chunks
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups fresh kale, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for topping

Instructions

To make in the slow cooker:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks with a spatula while it cooks. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from pan. Transfer to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock.
  2. Puree one can of undrained cannellini beans in a blender or food processor. Add to the slow cooker. Drain and rinse the other can of cannellini beans and add the whole beans to slow cooker.
  3. Add chicken stock, red pepper flakes, garlic, chopped onion, potatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7. Remove lid and add kale, Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and allow 5-10 minutes for kale to soften before serving.


To make in the Instant Pot

  1. Set Instant Pot to saute. Add the sausage and brown, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks with a spatula while it cooks. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from pan.
  2. Puree one can of undrained cannellini beans in a blender or food processor. Add to the Instant Pot. Drain and rinse the other can of cannellini beans and add the whole beans to the pot.
  3. Add chicken stock, red pepper flakes, garlic chopped onion, potatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Cover and cook under pressure on high for 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Remove lid and add kale and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and allow 5 minutes for kale to soften before serving.

Notes

Tips: 

For less salt, drain and rinse both cans of cannellini beans before pureeing one can with a little water. 



Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 563Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1246mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 32g

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Jessie Rivera

Monday 11th of October 2021

I only have 1lb of sausage....can you tell me how to adjust for that? Should I half all ingredients or what would you recommend?

Thank you so much, Jessie

Deanne Frieders

Monday 11th of October 2021

Hi Jessie! If it were me, I'd just make the soup as is with the one pound of sausage. Enjoy!

Rebecca Roberts

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Just made the soup. The flavor is amazing and the ingredients are awesome! However, I made it without the garlic and cheese (allergic to one and forgot the other). In that case a tablespoon of pepper flakes makes the soup HOT. I may have to toss this batch and try again with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adding the garlic. I don’t see the garlic in the instructions - at what point do I add it?

Deanne Frieders

Friday 8th of October 2021

Hi Rebecca, thanks for bringing the garlic to my attention, it goes in with the red pepper flakes and other listed ingredients. I've updated the recipe to reflect that :)

The soup does have some spice, I'll pay attention when I make this again. Thanks for stopping by!

Tara Smith

Monday 20th of September 2021

Yum! Made lower sodium/chicken version for my grandma who can only eat chicken/fish. Just added some toasted fennel seed when cooking the ground chicken and homemade no salt stock.

Dana Tabb

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

I don't see the times for the instant pot. How long should it cook in there?

Deanne Frieders

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

Well that's baffling! I don't know where the instructions went but I added them back in. 5 minutes, then a quick pressure release Dana. I updated the recipe card to reflect that too. Thanks for asking!

Kathy

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

This soup is delicious! I made a few alterations to suit our taste, but what a great new 'keeper'! Thanks so much!

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