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Sausage Minestra

Posted by Denise on September 17, 2013 

sausage minestra in blue bowl
Tender orzo thickens a broth full of veggies and sweet or spicy Italian sausage in this fabulously easy soup, perfect for Autumn days.

This recipe for Sausage Minestra is one of my favorite types…super easy to make and super tasty. We love this hearty soup. The sausage gives it texture and adds plenty of flavor along with the veggies. It’s perfect for cool fall days. And it’s so pretty!

You can make Sausage Minestra as mild or spicy as you want. If you like it spicy, use hot Italian sausage and add up to 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. Spicy not your thing? Use sweet sausage and omit the red pepper flakes altogether. Not sure how people like their spice? Use sweet sausage and put the hot pepper flakes on the table and let people add their own.

In order to get bite-sized rounds of sausage, we sautéed the links first until they are firm, then slice them into ½” thick rounds. After they are cut into the rounds, we sautéed them further to get a them nicely browned on both sides. This adds to the flavor of the soup.

We found this wonderful recipe in Cuisine’s recent Splendid Soups & Spectacular Sides cookbook magazine.

  Printer friendly recipe without photos 

Sausage Minestra

sausage minestra ingredients 

Sausage Minestra ingredients. 


Makes 7 cups



pound link hot or sweet Italian sausage, sliced into 1” thick pieces


tablespoons olive oil


cups diced onion


tablespoon minced garlic


teaspoons dried Italian seasoning


teaspoon kosher salt

½ - 2

teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional, use only if you want it spicy


cup dry white wine


cups low-sodium chicken broth


cups seeded and diced tomatoes


cup dry orzo pasta


cups rinsed and chopped fresh spinach or whole baby spinach



1.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the sausage links in the olive oil until firm, then slice them into rounds. Sauté the rounds again in the oil, browning on both sides. Add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is soft, approximately 3-4 minutes.


sausage minestra browning sausage links sausage minestra browning sausage rounds

adding spices to onions sausage minestra sauteing veggies


2. Add the wine to the pan and deglaze the bottom of the pan, getting all of the beautiful browned bits scraped up into the wine. Cook until nearly evaporated. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and orzo. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is al dente (cooked to the point where it is softened, but not mushy, retaining a little stiffness), about 10 minutes.


sausage minestra cutting tomatoes sausage minestra adding broth and orzo

sausage minestra cooking


3.  Add the spinach about 5 minutes or so before you serve the soup. It doesn’t need to cook, but just to wilt. Serve hot with crusty bread and a nice salad.

 sausage minestra in blue bowl2


sausage minestra in green bowl


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