Friday, September 18, 2015

Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe

For years I've been making this delicious soup with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni for Denny family parties!

Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on

(For Friday Flashbacks I share past recipes that have been my personal favorites, and tomorrow I'm making this family favorite Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup again for a wedding shower for my beautiful niece Emma. Everyone in our family loves this tasty and easy-to-make soup; hope you'll try it if you've never made this one!)

This Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup is favorite soup that I first made in 2005, and since then I've made it many times for family get-togethers, or my annual New Year's Day soup party.   It's perfect for this time of year when the nights are getting cooler, but there's still zucchini from the garden to be used.  If it's starting to get a little cold where you are and you happen to have some zucchini, I highly recommend this as a good soup to help you transition to the new season.  In fact, this soup is worth making even if you have to buy zucchini!

(Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup was updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, September 2014, with additional improvements September 2015. Can you tell I think this is the perfect soup for late September!)

cut sausage - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Last year I used my new favorite 5th Street Grill Italian Turkey Sausage for this, which made it easy since the sausage is pre-cooked, but since then my Costco no longer has this sausage so I'll use Jenni-O Hot Turkey Italian Sausage.  (Neither of these companies have paid me to mention their products. If your sausage is raw, you'll need to saute it to firm it enough to slice.)

cooked sausage - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Heat a small amount of olive oil and brown the sausage well.  (Don't rush this step; the browning adds flavor!)

broth and tomatoes - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
While the sausage browns, start simmering the chicken stock, roasted or canned tomatoes, dried oregano, and dried basil in soup pot.

When the sausage is browned, add it to the soup pot. Saute the onions and garlic in the same pan you used to brown the sausage, then add those to the simmering soup as well.  Deglaze this pan with 1 cup of water and add to the soup.

zucchini - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Dice up enough zucchini to make about 2 cups of diced zucchini.

macaroni - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Measure 1 cup of dried whole wheat or Dreamfield's macaroni.

frozen basil - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
I used my frozen chopped basil for this, (which is a good reason to be freezing basil for winter!)

soup cooking - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Add zucchini to the soup and simmer 15 minutes.  (If you'd like a low-carb and gluten-free version of this soup, use a little more zucchini and skip the macaroni.)

add macaroni - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Then add the macaroni (plus another cup of water if needed, which it probably will be.)  Simmer soup about 15 minutes more, or just until the macaroni is done. 

finished soup - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Stir in the chopped fresh basil (or frozen chopped basil) and cook just a couple of minutes more.  Serve soup hot, with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan for people to add at the table.

original photo - Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
And here's an ultra close-up shot of the soup from 2008, which actually does look pretty tasty!

Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup Recipe found on
Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn and served at many Denny family parties through the years.)

4-5 links hot Italian Sausage, cut into 3/8 inch slices
2-3 tsp. olive oil, for browning sausage
1 small onion, diced
1 T finely chopped fresh garlic (or garlic puree)
2 cups diced zucchini
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or 4 15 oz cans cans chicken broth, reduced slightly)
3 cups frozen slow-roasted tomatoes (or 2  14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice)
1-2 cups water
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup Dreamfield's macaroni or whole wheat macaroni (or less, or skip the macaroni and use a little more zucchini for a low-carb and gluten-free soup)
3 T minced fresh basil (optional, or you can use frozen basil)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving soup

Heat olive oil in large nonstick frying pan, add sausage and cook  until well browned and firm. Remove sausage to cutting board and cut in 3/8 inch slices. Put sausage back in frying pan and brown both sides of slices well.  (If you used pre-cooked turkey Italian Sausage, you can just slice the sausage and brown it.)

While sausage browns, combine chicken stock, roasted tomatoes, oregano, and basil in medium stock pot and start to simmer. When sausage is thoroughly browned, add it to stock mixture.

Put onions in pan you used to brown sausage and saute 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add onions and garlic to soup. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup water and add to soup, then simmer 30 minutes.

Cut ends off zucchini and cut lengthwise into fourths, then trim away all but 3/8 inch of white part. Cut zucchini strips into 1/2 inch slices. Add zuccini to soup and simmer 15 minutes. Taste soup for flavor and add second cup of water if needed.

Add pasta, check heat to be sure soup is at a very gentle boil and cook 15 minutes more. Stir in fresh basil if using and cook 5 minutes more. Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you use turkey Italian Sausage and whole wheat pasta, and only a moderate amount of Parmesan cheese, this soup would be a great choice for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. If Dreamfields pasta is cooked for a long time or reheated it increases the glycemic index, so this recipe is probably phase 3 if made with Dreamfields.  I think you could make a pretty great tasting soup for phase one by leaving out the pasta and replacing it with a can of white beans or garbanzo beans, and this would be a gluten-free version as well.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Soups with Italian Sausage:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta ~ The Italian Dish

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Minestrone Soup with Sausage and Squash ~ Closet Cooking

Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup ~ Eat at Home

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

counter customizable free hit
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Kalyn,

    Turkey sausage--tastes okay? Edible?

  2. Adam, the turkey Italian sausage is delicious. You have got to trust me on this!! Get that and some Dreamfield's pasta!! You will love it.

  3. I'm not worried about the carbs... in fact, I'd put more in - like beans! The soup looks great. Will give it a go sometime.

  4. Beans would be great in this. As far as the carbs, I say, carbs or less carbs, it's your choice. I'm not one of those radical "everyone must choose what choose" kind of people. (At least not on that topic.)

  5. I made this soup last night and it was delicious! My 4 year old ate every bite and my husband was super happy. Thank you!

  6. Carolyn, glad to hear it. It's a big hit with all my nieces and nephews, even the small ones.

  7. Yum!! I used Chicken sausage and deliberately undercooked the zucchini so I could reheat the batch one dish at a time. I also used beans instead of macaroni and found canned fire roasted tomatoes. mmm. I will be making this again, and there are many options to tweak it with all the sausage choices out there. Thanks!

  8. i can imagine how good this tastes - i like to add sausage to a pumpkin soup

  9. I never would think of combining zucchini and sausages in a macaroni soup but it sounds very delicious and easy to make.

  10. This soup sounds great, I will give it a try.

  11. You are absolutely right, Ryan does love this soup and how nice of you to remember something like that! I bet he wishes he could have some!

  12. Kalyn, I love the combination of sausage and zucchini! That soup looks so hearty and delicious that I'm craving it right now even though it's only 7:30 in the morning!! :-)

  13. Thanks for the nice feedback about the soup everyone!

    Becca, how about next time Ryan is in town you guys (and the KIDS of course!) come over and I'll make it for him? That would be fun! (Blog readers: Ryan and Becca have the most adorable kids ever.)

  14. I recommended your site to my wife. She prepared this soup, turned out to be delicious.


  15. This looks absolutly delicious. Will definatly have to try.

  16. Do you think I could cut back on one of the cans of tomatoes to reduce the carb content? I'd have to leave out the noodles, too (wheat intolerance). It looks so scrumptious! Just perfect for warming up on a cold fall night.

    Just wanted to let you know I'm a huge fan of your egg muffin recipe as a quick breakfast. Thanks, Kalyn!

  17. Lauren, definitely you could reduce the amount of tomatoes, especially if you were leaving out the macaroni. You might need a bit more chicken stock, but maybe not without macaroni. Let me know how it turns out. Glad to hear you like the egg muffins too.

  18. Great looking soup, Kalyn. I love turkey Italian sausage, both the mild and the hotter version. The weather is definitely turning where I live; rain is forecast for Thursday. Soup weather.

  19. That soup looks nice and tasty! I like using Italian sausage in soups like this as they add so much flavour.

  20. This looks really yummy. Unfortunately it's not getting to cool here in Phoenix yet, but I'll save this for when it does!

  21. What a great combination - I'm ready for those autumn soups, and I'm in love with any recipe that continues the summer zucchini festival!

  22. I made this last night with black eyed peas and it was fantastic! Thank you so much for your great blog.

  23. Christine, Julie, Kevin, and TW, thanks. I love it when my favorite bloggers like the sound of a recipe.

    Maggiesmeats, love the idea of black-eyed-peas in this!

  24. How come you put fresh basil in at the end? Why not fresh basil and oregano at the beginning?

  25. Basil is what is considered a "soft herb" and the flavor will disappear with long cooking time. There's a good piece at Beyond Salmon about the difference between hard and soft herbs

  26. What is the nutritional info on this? Calories, carbs, protein, etc.

    Thank you for this recipe...I love it!


  27. Carrie, one reason I chose South Beach was because I didn't want to have to figure out carbs, calories, etc., so I don't have that information.

  28. We love this soup!! It is so hearty and delicious. We made a double batch on Sunday and took it to work all week - this will be our new routine. Thanks, Kalyn!!

  29. kpross, thanks! So glad you like it. This is one of my own favorites too, but my nieces husband Ryan is the one in our family who LOVES this and will ask me to make it for every family party.

  30. Hey Kalyn,

    I'm so enjoying making a big pot of soup every Sunday that I can enjoy all week. So today I have some turkey sausage in the fridge and this soup is on the menu as soon as I head out to buy the zucchini. I am not clear, however, from the instructions on what I'm supposed to do with the zucchini. The 3/8 inch stuff is confusing me. Can't just slice it up and use the whole thing? Thanks!

  31. Linda, you can slice the zucchini and use it all if you prefer, but the inner white part of the zucchini releases a lot of water and just gets "mushy" in soup, so I like to trim that part away. Either way will work though.

  32. Gotcha! That makes sense. Thank you! I'm heading out now and will let you know how it comes out. I have some homemade stock I froze last week when I made chicken soup and will be using that in this soup. Yum!

  33. Another winner Kalyn! Everybody coming in my house wanted to know what smelled so good! Loved it! Thanks!

  34. Yum....made this soup a few nights ago and every night it just gets better and better. Thanks Kalyn!

  35. Julie Anne, glad you enjoyed the soup.

  36. I just found your blog and have spent the better part of two days reading it. I just made this soup for dinner. I had a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used. I opted to use white beans and added some red pepper flakes. We like things with a kick. Serving with whole wheat corn bread. Delish!

  37. In my house, we call these "big soups", the ones that have a little bit of everything in them. They are my favorites!

  38. This looks great, Kalyn. The exact kind of soup I want to make on a cold day. I love making soups and eating it for lunch through the week. This is definitely going on the rotation!

  39. Thanks Kelley, so glad you like it!

  40. Thanks Pam. I need to make it again and invite you over!

  41. I have a slow roasted tomato ? - I happened to run across some pretty yellow/orange roma's at the farmers market Saturday and have been interested in this (soup) recipe and the tomato recipe. I bought a batch and made them last night. My ?...when you prep them for the freezer do you leave them whole as when they were roasted? If you chop them when you prepare the recipe? I was making these and crockpot applesauce house smelled yummy all night long.

  42. Ellen, the tomatoes do smell heavenly when they're roasting. If you're using them in soup, I would chop them up for sure. I don't think it matters if you chop before or after freezing, but I usually freeze them whole.

  43. My husband and I just love this soup, I made it tonight, he cooked the italian sausages on the grill. One last grilling before the winter sets in here in Wisconsin. He requests this soup all the time. I follow all of your recipes and tell a lot of people about your site and that you are on facebook. I use south beach recipes and weigh in at weight watchers since I need to be accountable. Thank you for all you do! I am have been a fan since 2011!

  44. Thanks Tami, so glad you're enjoying the recipes!

  45. Since I am a vegetarian, I made a vegan (vegetarian, if you use the cheese) version using Field Roast Italian style grain sausage and swapping veggie broth for the chicken stock. Probably not as low carb but it came out great. Thanks for the recipe!


I'm so happy you're taking the time to comment on Kalyn's Kitchen! I love hearing from people who stop by, especially if you're sharing feedback or asking questions about a recipe I've posted here.

I've recently changed my comment settings so people can comment without signing in, but you will need to check the box to show you're a live person, and comments on older posts won't show up until I publish them. Thanks for understanding!

And if you really like the recipe, Pins, Shares, Tweets, and Yums are always appreciated!

Blogging tips