Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup

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Cabbage Soup with Sausage is loaded with great flavors and it’s filled with far more vegetables and meat than broth. Today, I’m giving you the first new soup recipe for the fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it–Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup.

White Beans, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup in white bowl

Updated to add: I’ve made this soup countless times over the past few years and it’s a favorite freezer meal now too.

When I first made this, we were living in the desert and that meant cranking the a/c to really enjoy a bowl of soup. Now? Living in Ohio as the weather begins cooling off? Soup is a beautiful way to warm up at dinner time!

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Cabbage Soup with Sausage

Best of all, this soup comes together in under 30 minutes. I am so very ready for cooler weather and this soup represents my wishful thinking for more of the rain that we were lucky enough to see here in the Arizona desert last week.

This was a dinner that I pulled together without any advance planning at all. (The ingredients were about all we had in the house after a couple of weeks of travel!)

All it takes is browning some sausage, adding broth, beans, cabbage and simmering it all together. Onions, tomatoes, and lots of Italian herbs and spices add the finishing touches.

Italian White Bean and Sausage Soup is ideal for a weeknight meal and also makes enough that you’re likely to have leftovers for lunch the next day!

I love adding sausage to my soups. It adds a terrific flavor and holds up very nicely both for leftovers and for soups stashed in the freezer.

This soup is so hearty that it’s almost more of a stew. This is plenty filling enough for a full meal on its own, especially served with a side of crusty Italian Bread or soup crackers.

When you’re feeding a crowd, cabbage and sausage soups are an economical choice, too. Cabbage is one of the least expensive vegetables per pound and sausage can be found at a bargain, too.

Cabbage and Sausage Soup

You can use either regular breakfast sausage or a spicier variety of sausage to make this soup recipe. I’ve used both depending on what I have on hand and it turned out well both ways. If you’re a spice lover, using hot sausage adds a kick you’re sure to love!

The Italian white beans add a lovely element of texture and flavor to the sausage soup with cabbage. White beans, navy beans and Cannellini beans all work beautifully in the soup. I enjoy that they don’t get mushy but the creaminess contrasts well with the bits of sausage and cabbage.

The first time I made this soup it turned out so well that my husband commented twice about how much he liked it. So, I decided to photograph my dinner before sitting down to eat it.

It’s super easy to whip up a double batch of this recipe in order to keep plenty on hand in the freezer. When he was working outside the home, Sean used to take this soup for his lunch at work on a regular basis.

close up photo of cabbage soup with sausage
More Favorite Soups for Fall

If your weather is cooling off and you’re ready for even more soup recipes, here are some of our best soups that go from start to finish in less than 30 minutes: Three Bean Minestrone SoupCreamy Mexican Chicken and Corn SoupReuben SoupChicken, White Bean, and Kale Soup, White Bean, Spinach, and Beef Soup, and Pasta Pizza Soup are all big favorites with my family.

This classic French Onion Soup and this Mexican Noodle Soup are calling my name as well, so they’re on my must-try list for fall as well.

There is just something about tomatoes and Italian spices simmering that never fails to make me smile. Luckily for me, everyone in my family shares this love of Italian flavors in Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup.

White beans and cabbage with sausage in bowl on gray table

Kitchen Tip: I use this pot or this (fantastic deal ->) dutch oven when I make this recipe!

Sausage Cabbage Soup

  1. Cook and crumble the sausage in a large pot, over medium high heat.
  2. When the sausage has almost finished browning, add the onions.
  3. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sausage has browned and the onions are tender.
  4. Add the cabbage, beans, tomatoes, broth, and spices.
  5. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes to soften the cabbage.
soup in bowl with spoon - close up photo

Sausage Soup Recipes

I almost always have sausage on hand in my fridge for quick and easy meals throughout the week. Pair it with cabbage or another veggie and you have a delicious filling meal that pleases both kids and adults.

If you like sausage soups, check out our Hearty Italian Vegetable Beef Soup, this Cabbage, Potato, and Sausage Soup, and Sean’s favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew.

Along with soups, I love sausage and cabbage in these Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls and Cabbage Ribbons with Sausage and Thyme Marinara Sauce. This fall I also plan to make at least a few batches of Italian Corn Soup with Sausage to stock in the freezer for easy lunches and dinners.

Tender chunks of roast chicken, creamy white beans and fresh kale combine with a sprinkling of herbs and a bit of chicken broth to make a surprisingly hearty meal. 

When the weather is chilly, it’s hard to beat the comfort of a steaming bowl of soup. And this sausage soup is delicious enough that I’ve even found myself making it when it’s not exactly fall weather outside. (We do live in Arizona, so that’s often.)

Add this one to your meal plan for the week; you won’t be sorry!

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This Italian Cabbage and Sausage Soup is a favorite with everyone who tries it!

Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup

4.86 from 70 votes
This hearty soup is full of flavor and it’s filled with far more vegetables and meat than broth. Best of all, this soup comes together in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound hot or regular breakfast sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 small cabbage sliced into bite size pieces, about 4 cups worth
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounces canned great northern beans drained
  • 48 ounces chicken broth store-bought or homemade
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme

Instructions

  • Cook and crumble the sausage in a large pot, over medium high heat. When the sausage has almost finished browning, add the onions. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sausage has browned and the onions are tender.
  • Add the cabbage, beans, tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes to soften the cabbage. Enjoy!

Notes

A small amount of sausage in a soup like this provides a great deal of flavor. I don’t always add salt to recipes that include sausage, so be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as you like.

Nutrition

Calories: 264kcal · Carbohydrates: 18g · Protein: 14g · Fat: 16g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 41mg · Sodium: 1103mg · Potassium: 724mg · Fiber: 6g · Sugar: 5g · Vitamin A: 216IU · Vitamin C: 61mg · Calcium: 105mg · Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally posted 8/6/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 9/6/22}

soup in bowl with tomatoes, beans, and cabbage
soup in bowl with spoon on grey background

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Karen says

    My husband and I love soups in the winter months and this soup hit the spot! Easy, fast and very tasty! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!5 stars

  2. Janet Rosengrant says

    Easy and delicious….
    I used sweet Italian sausage (because it’s my favorite) and bone broth to up the protein. I served it with a delicious piece of crusty bread for a hearty & healthy meal.
    My fiancé gave it 4 stars… he’s a chef and says he rarely gives anything a 5 – so when he says he really likes this soup that is high praise!!4 stars

  3. Kj says

    Very good 😊 I doubled the cannellini beans & only had ground turkey which I would increase if I used it again. However, lots of different meats could be used in this recipe. Also, after Browning the meat, I removed it. Then sauteed the onions adding in a large clove of grated garlic along with the dried herbs to bloom their flavor. Also added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Continued cooking as written. I served it over a bed of mini-bow tie macaroni . Sprinkled with fresh basil chopped & lots of fresh grated Romano cheese…. Yummy 😋 will definitely make again !! Kj4 stars

  4. David S says

    Okay this is really good, still have some in the fridge, but I am going to tell you what we did.
    Italian sausage, canned diced tomatoes with green chilies, a whole green cabbage is 4 cups, homemade chicken broth and could have used more Great Northern beans – like maybe another cans worth. We made a double batch and it is really good!5 stars

  5. Nancy Comer says

    Can’t wait to make it! Used to make something like this all the time but this sounds a lot easier! Yes and Amen!5 stars

  6. Deb Golub says

    I don’t often comment on recipes, but this soup was the best! Both my husband and I enjoyed it so much. Very easy and quick to make. You can be sure that this is a soup added to my rotation! Thank you for sharing!,5 stars

  7. Elaine Copeland says

    I made this exactly as written. It’s a keeper for sure. The directions call to simmer for five minutes until the cabbage is tender. Five minutes isn’t enough time to even warm the broth. I ended up simmering for 30 minutes after the broth got warm. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be making it several times this fall and winter.4 stars

  8. amy bc says

    In my house this is called “Amy’s favorite soup”. I must have made this soup a thousand times since I found this recipe. It is wonderful and I can’t recommend it enough. I make it by the recipe except I use Italian sausage. Thanks for this one!5 stars

  9. Paul Wilsom says

    I don’t cook anything as I have tried and tried most of my life to cook meals but even though I follow a recipe exactly as shown and word for word, 95% of the time it doesn’t turn out and once again this has the same results. When I try to make a meal, I follow everything exactly, every measurement exactly, any spices exactly to the exact amount (right to the exact amount of grains), I also read any recipe at least 10 times before starting but it just doesn’t work out. This recipe looked so delicious so I went to buy all the ingredients, even though I had basil, thyme and oregano, I bought everything new again so that I would have a good meal but no, not meant to be. I started exactly as it says, Cook and crumble sausage (regular breakfast sausage) in a large pot over medium high heat, well, by the time the sausage was browned a bit the pot was almost burnt on the bottom and following exactly as it says, I put in the onions but by the time the onions were tender, the pot bottom was totally burnt, I knew that if I continue,the soup would taste burnt so right away I didn’t bother wasting any more time, everything went in the garbage like so many many, many, times before, I will just keep eating soups and stews from cans and maybe in a year get brave and try another recipe. I guess you have to read lots of ingredients that aren’t listed into recipes, like maybe put oil into the pot or butter and kind of make up your own recipe as you go. Looked so very good but the recipe didn’t work out.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Oh, Paul! I’m so sorry for your frustration. I want cooking to work for you! This sounds very much like you have a thin or lightweight pan or the heat on your stove was too high. (All stoves are different and it’s possible that medium high on your stove is closer to high on another one.) For future reference, if you think something needs it, you can always add a teaspoon or two of oil to just about any recipe without it affecting the end results. That said, most sausage releases a good amount of fat as it cooks and it should’ve produced enough oil to also cook the onion. Did you by any chance use turkey sausage or low-fat sausage? The bottom of a pan does often brown while cooking, but it shouldn’t cause any problems. Lastly, if something does begin to blacken, you can often add a small splash of water (a couple tablespoons does it) most of the time and it will head off any potential burning issues. I hope that helps!

    • Paul Wilsom says

      Hi Mary,
      This soup looked so delicious that I decided to try to make it again and yes, you are absolutely correct, the sausage must have been very low in fat as this time it worked out perfectly and it was so good that I ate bowl after bowl until I just couldn’t eat anymore. Please remove my previous review as this soup definitely deserves 5 stars. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Paul.5 stars

    • Nita says

      I made this EXACTLY as the recipe says. I used “hot” Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and OMG this soup is delicious! I love it and will definitely make it again!5 stars

  10. Peter Frenzel says

    After reading all the comments I made this soup and it also burnt on the bottom of the pot on med high heat but after browning the sausage and the onions, I removed them to a bowl and scrubbed out the pot, then returned the sausage, onions and carried on with the rest of the items. It tasted good but I didn’t get the sausage flavor. Good though.4 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      A thinner pot can cause the bottom of the meat to burn, and if the heat is too high, that can cause it as well, Peter. I’m glad you figured out how to make it work!

    • Jackie says

      I think that the term “Medium HIgh” heat confuses a lot of people. I NEVER cook anything on what my stove button says a Medium High heat is….it is WAY too hot.

    • Mary Younkin says

      While I don’t have a “medium high” button, Jackie, I do cook most of my recipes halfway between medium and high on my gas range. So, that’s why I call it that level of heat. As with all cooking, use your best judgment for the appliances you will be using. I’m glad you like the recipe!

  11. Janice says

    Used homemade stock, added lots of fresh garlic, some sage, rosemary, and had to sub in purple cabbage. It was delightful and pretty! Cooking time to soften cabbage was longer than described which was surprising since cast iron dutch ovens maintain pretty even heat, but I wasn’t in a rush and may have been a little conservative with the heat, but it was no big deal. Soup was also good with smoked paprika and/or sriracha at serving. Everyone including our toddler loved it so I’ll definitely make this again.5 stars

  12. Shelley C says

    Looks delicious and I’m going to give it a try. Just a jovial observation……….you know it’s Spring that’s coming up not Fall, right?

    • Mary Younkin says

      Yes, Shelley. Ha, as noted in the first couple of paragraphs, the first time I shared this recipe fall was approaching and I chose not to edit all of that out. I hope you love this soup as much as we do!

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’ve made this with both kinds, MJ. To be honest, hot breakfast sausage is still our favorite. Although, all the sausage varieties we’ve tried in this recipe have been tasty.