Sausage Kale Soup Recipe

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This sausage kale soup recipe is a flavorful & cozy fall soup made in the slow cooker. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is a hearty, nutritious meal!

Overhead view of a bowl of Sausage Kale Soup topped with parsley


There is something about the cooler fall weather that compels me to break out my slow cooker and make hearty, cozy soups.

This Sausage Kale Soup recipe is a cold-weather staple in our house. It’s loaded with seasonal vegetables, bursting with flavor and is my favorite, fix-it-and-forget-it, kind of recipe. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, then you get to enjoy the aroma all day long while it cooks in the crockpot.

My kids even love this sausage potato and kale soup. No joke – my son refers to this sausage kale soup as, “that one soup that looks gross but tastes really good.”

Overhead view of a bowl of Sausage Kale Soup with a spoon in it

Sausage Kale Soup: Ingredients & Substituions 

So, let’s chat about the ingredients I used in this Sausage Kale Soup recipe, and possible substitutions that can be made!

Overhead view of the labeled ingredients in this Sausage Kale Soup Recipe
  • Smoked sausage.  I use a 14 ounce package of smoked sausage. Choose your favorite variety, but smokes gives a great flavor.
  • Olive Oil. Avocado oil and canola oil are great substitutes. The oil browns the sausage which also adds flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth. chicken broth is a good substitute.
  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. Use any variety of canned diced tomatoes that you like.
  • Kale.  Spinach is a good substitute, although kale is my favorite green to use in this sausage & kale soup!
  • Sweet Potatoes. You could substitute red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, Russet potatoes or butternut squash for sweet potatoes.
  • Celery, Carrots & Green Beans. We loved this combination of vegetables, you can choose your favorites. Or you can buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and toss it in the crockpot. I used frozen green beans (for the sake of ease and time), but you could use chopped fresh green beans.
  • Italian Seasoning. Use fresh herbs and spices instead of dried Italian seasoning if desired.
Overhead view of a bowl of Sausage Kale Soup topped with parsley

How To Make Sausage Kale Soup

As always, we will walk through the tips and tricks for making this recipe.

Brown the Sausage & Onion

Add olive oil, diced sausage, onion and minced garlic to a skillet and cook until it the sausage is browned (about 10 minutes).

Overhead view of browned sausage, onion and garlic in a cast iron skillet in the making of this Sausage Kale Soup recipe

Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker

While the sausage is browning, add the rest of the ingredients in this Sausage Kale Soup recipe to the container of your slow cooker. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.

Once the sausage is finished browning, add the contents of the skillet to the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir again. Try to scrape all the little bits of oil, onion, and garlic out of the skillet for maximum flavor!

two overhead photos showing how to make sausage kale soup

Cook

Next, cook the soup until the sweet potatoes are tender. There are two different settings/cook times that can be used to make this Sausage Kale Soup Recipe:

  1. Cook on Low. If you want to prepare this recipe in the morning and let it cook all day long, I recommend cooking it on low for 6 hours.
  2. Cook on high. If you’re like me, and often don’t remember to prepare dinner until after lunch, cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Overhead view of Sausage Kale Soup in a large slow cooker

Serve

Serve the sausage kale soup warm with a garnish of fresh herbs, cheese, etc. I suggest making bread (especially no knead bread or cornbread) or a salad to serve alongside this soup.

Store/Freeze

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

up close overhead view of a spoon with a scoop of Sausage Kale Soup on it hovering over the crock pot where the rest of the Sausage Kale Soup is

Sausage Kale Soup Recipe FAQs

How do you know when this Sausage Kale Soup is fully cooked? 

The sweet potatoes take the longest to cook, so you will know the soup is finished when the sweet potatoes are tender and fully cooked.

How do you speed up the cooking process? 

If you want this soup ready quicker, chop your veggies (including the sweet potatoes) into smaller pieces. Remember, smaller, more thinly cut vegetables will cook faster!

When should I put the kale in the soup?

The kale is added with the rest of the ingredients in the beginning of the cook time. Since it’s a tougher green than spinach, it takes longer to cook and become tender!

What size slow cooker should I use to make this Sausage Kale Soup?

I used this 6 quart slow cooker and everything fit inside very nicely (as you can see in the photo below). I don’t recommend going smaller than this, as you might not be able to stir it very easily.
If you only have access to smaller crockpots, you could always divide the recipe evenly among two smaller slow cookers and cook it that way!

Up close front view of a bowl of Sausage Kale Soup with a spoon in it scooping a bite

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Sausage Kale Soup Recipe

Laura
This sausage kale soup recipe is a flavorful & cozy fall soup made in the slow cooker. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is a hearty, nutritious meal!
5 from 8 votes
Course Appetizer, dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 192.4
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 ounces smoked sausage diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (1 quart)
  • 28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 kale leaves chopped
  • 2 small sweet potatoes about 4 cups
  • 2 stalks celery diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups green beans fresh or frozen, chopped into 1” long pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add olive oil, diced sausage, onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until it the sausage is browned (about 10 minutes).
  • While the sausage is browning: add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, chopped kale, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots green beans, and Italian seasoning to the pot of your slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Add browned sausage, onions and garlic to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  • Serve warm.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Smoked sausage.  I use a 14 ounce package of smoked sausage. Choose your favorite variety, but smokes gives a great flavor.
  • Olive Oil. Avocado oil and canola oil are great substitutes. The oil browns the sausage which also adds flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth. chicken broth is a good substitute.
  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. Use any variety of canned diced tomatoes that you like.
  • Kale.  Spinach is a good substitute, although kale is my favorite green to use in this sausage & kale soup!
  • Sweet Potatoes. You could substitute red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, Russet potatoes or butternut squash for sweet potatoes.
  • Celery, Carrots & Green Beans. We loved this combination of vegetables, you can choose your favorites. Or you can buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and toss it in the crockpot. I used frozen green beans (for the sake of ease and time), but you could use chopped fresh green beans.
  • Italian Seasoning. Use fresh herbs and spices instead of dried Italian seasoning if desired.
Store/Freeze
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 192.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.1g | Protein: 8.9g | Fat: 7.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24.5mg | Sodium: 776.4mg | Potassium: 356.1mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 6.7g | Vitamin A: 14505IU | Vitamin C: 30.9mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this for how nutritious it is, but it also tastes good too. It’s easy to make, colorful in presentation, and makes a great freezer meal.

  2. 5 stars
    I was a bit hesitant because of the kale, (I’m usually a spinach-adder to my soups.) but I found this soup delish! I will cut the sweet potatoes smaller next time because it took about an hour longer to get them soft. I’ll definitely make again!

  3. We were intimidated by the Kale, but this is AWESOME! Easy soup with great flavor!! The Smoked Sausage is a MUST!!!