Easy Sausage Potato Soup
You will love this easy potato soup recipe with Italian sausage, potatoes, garlic, and kale. The soup is comforting and ultra-flavorful. Jump to the Easy Sausage Potato Soup Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
There are lots of ways to make potato soup, but this recipe with sausage and kale is our favorite. It’s rustic and full of flavor. Nobody wants a flavorless soup, right?
How to Make the Best Potato Soup
Our potato and sausage soup is savory, comforting, and keeps well in the fridge. If you’ve ever had Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup, this potato soup is similar (although, I’d wager it’s better). We’ve been making a version of it for years.
This potato soup recipe is simple so the ingredients you use matter. Here’s the rundown for you:
- Potatoes: You can use any type of potato, but we highly recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes. There’s no need to peel them, and when cooked, they are buttery and almost melt in your mouth. We use Yukon Gold potatoes to make mashed potatoes, too. If you cannot find them, baby red or white potatoes, as well as russet potatoes, will work.
- Italian Sausage: Depending on your spice preference, you can use sweet Italian sausage or hot (spicy) Italian sausage. We use sweet Italian sausage and then adjust the soup spice level with crushed red pepper flakes.
- Stock/Broth: For the most flavor, use a good quality chicken stock from the store or use homemade. When reaching for store-bought broth, we go for low-sodium. We also look for a store-bought broth that’s darker in color (usually means more flavor) and since it usually has more of a backbone, we like to buy boxed bone broth (we use homemade bone broth sometimes, too).
- Milk: We combine chicken stock with milk for the soup broth. The chicken stock adds flavor, and the milk makes the broth creamy and more luxurious. We prefer 2% milk or whole milk for this. You can use skim milk, but it won’t add nearly as much creaminess. If you’re dairy-free, leave the milk out. The soup will still taste great. If you don’t have milk, but have cream (or half-and-half) on hand, increase the stock called for in the recipe and add a splash of cream to the soup just before serving.
- Herbs and spices: The Italian sausage already provides a lot of flavor, but adding garlic, dried oregano, nutmeg, and a bay leaf make the soup taste amazing. If you have some, a few sprigs of fresh thyme is a nice touch, too. For some heat, we love adding crushed red pepper flakes, but that’s up to your tastes.
- Kale: For color and texture, we stir in chopped kale towards to end of cooking. To prepare kale, strip the leaves from the stalks (the stalks are too tough for this soup). Then chop or tear into bite-size pieces. Baby kale leaves work, too and don’t require any chopping. You can also use spinach, Swiss chard or other greens as a substitute.
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan is an optional ingredient, but if you have some on hand, it adds a lovely richness to the potato soup.
Making sausage and potato soup is simple, and it all happens in one pot! Here’s an overview of how to make it (the full potato soup recipe is below).
- Brown the sausage.
- Add the onions to the sausage and cook until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, herbs, and spices.
- Add the stock and milk then bring to a low simmer.
- Add the potatoes and cook, partially covered, until tender.
- Stir in the kale and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, and then serve!
If you enjoyed this potato soup recipe, here are a few more favorites:
- If you have leftover potatoes, make potato salad!
- For the morning, try grating a potato and adding it to scrambled eggs. That’s what we do when making our easy breakfast tacos with potatoes and peppers.
- Potato soup is absolute comfort food, but so is this ultra-satisfying chicken noodle soup recipe (it’s so good!).
- We use potatoes as a base for our creamy vegetable soup. It has lots of 5-star reviews.
Easy Sausage Potato Soup Recipe
You will love this easy sausage and potato soup recipe with Italian sausage, potatoes, garlic, and kale. The soup is comforting and ultra-flavorful. For the best potato soup, use Yukon Gold potatoes. They have thin skins, so it is not necessary to peel them. They also become buttery and soft when cooked. The red pepper flakes add heat to the soup. If you are using hot (spicy) Italian sausage to make the soup, you may want to eliminate the red pepper flakes.
You Will Need
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound fresh Italian sausage links, casings removed
2 cups chopped onion (8 ounces or 1 medium onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on spice preference
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed (2 to 3 large)
4 cups chicken stock or broth, see our chicken stock recipe
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed (whole milk or 2% are best)
4 cups chopped kale leaves with ribs removed or use baby kale
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional (2 ounces)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon until crispy; about 10 minutes.
Add the onions and cook, stirring every few minutes until they begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook, while stirring the garlic and spices around the pan, for about 1 minute.
Add the bay leaf, thyme, and potatoes. Pour in the stock and milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the broth just reaches a simmer, but before it begins to boil (boiling risks curdling the milk). Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot with a lid, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through; about 15 minutes. While the soup cooks, stir every once and a while. If the soup begins to simmer more aggressively, turn down the heat a bit.
Uncover the soup and remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir in the kale and parmesan cheese. Add a small pinch of nutmeg, and then taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed.
Reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and cook until the kale is wilted and soft; about 5 minutes more.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Use warm milk and don’t boil the soup: Before adding the milk, warm it slightly in the microwave or on the stove. Adding the milk warm prevents it from curdling when hitting the hot pan. It’s also important to not let the soup boil aggressively. You want it to cook at a low simmer, which also prevents the milk from curdling.
- For a creamier and thicker soup, grab a potato masher and just before adding the kale, mash some of the potatoes in the pot.
- The kale softens in the soup over time. If you like extra soft and tender kale, leave the lid on the pot and keep warm for 10 to 15 minutes more.
- For a lightened up version, replace the pork sausage with chicken or turkey sausage and substitute the milk for additional stock.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.