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Sausage Orzo Soup (Gluten-Free Friendly!)

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Sausage Orzo Soup – This Sausage Vegetable Orzo Soup is loaded with gorgeous Italian-inspired flavors and tender pasta. It’s perfect for a cozy day! (Gluten-Free)

Overhead view of a small crock of Sausage Orzo Soup with a spoon dipped in for a bite.

Whew! How was your Thanksgiving?!

I hope it was a lovely day, filled with family, friends, and good food. If you’re anything like me, you might be ready for something lighter and more veggie-heavy today after a weekend enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers (and pie–I’m looking at you, pie!).

This sausage veggie orzo soup is the perfect recipe for today and anytime there’s a little chill in the air. Loaded with colorful veggies, with plenty of flavor packed in, this nourishing soup is a delicious little pick-me-up to fuel your day.

Add a little side salad, maybe some bread or focaccia  (or a toasted sandwich!), and you’ve got the makings of a lovely meal. And the leftovers make incredible lunches. Just saying.

Here’s what you need to get started on this flavor-packed sausage orzo soup recipe…

Overhead view of a ladle scooping Sausage Orzo Soup from the soup potOverhead view of a small crock of Sausage Orzo Soup with a spoon dipped in for a bite.


ITALIAN SAUSAGE. Italian sausage (or whatever variety sounds good to you!) adds a really rich, hearty flavor to this sausage orzo soup. Feel free to use pork, turkey, or chicken sausage. Whatever best meets your needs! I like looking for sausages made without nitrates or nitrites.

A SOLID BASE OF VEGGIES. My sausage orzo soup has PLENTY of veggies tucked in. I love how colorful and flavorful this makes the soup. You’re looking at goodies like…

  • ONION + CARROTS + CELERY. This trio (called mirepoix) forms the flavor base of all kinds of soups and stews. It’s delicious, hearty, and colorful.
  • BELL PEPPER. To kick up some of the Italian-inspired flavors in my sausage orzo soup, I love adding colorful bell peppers. Add just one variety or a mix for even more color!
  • CANNED FIRE-ROASTED TOMATOES. Canned tomatoes are one of my favorite pantry staples and fire-roasted tomatoes have even more flavor. I like using crushed tomatoes for a thicker texture, but you can use diced if you prefer.
  • SPINACH. To finish this soup, I love adding fresh spinach right at the end. It adds a pretty pop of color, and it’s sure one delicious way to eat your greens!

EXTRA FLAVOR BOOSTERS. To fill out the soup even more, I add plenty of flavor boosters. You get depth, warmth, and freshness all in one place, thanks to boosts like…

  • GARLIC. (I’m digging the frozen kind these days for convenience + flavor!)
  • DRIED OREGANO. It’s an Italian classic that really adds depth.
  • RED PEPPER FLAKES. A little goes a long way and can add a bit of punch to the soup!
  • SALT. Salt always helps balances out the flavors. Add it to taste, since the sausage + broth will also add salt to the dish.
  • GOOD-QUALITY VEGGIE BROTH. A quality broth makes a big difference. Homemade is awesome if you have it, but for store-bought, my favorite is Imagine Organic brand. (You could also use chicken broth or bone broth if you prefer!)
  • A LITTLE FRESH BASIL at the end adds one last pop of green and a lovely fresh note to this savory sausage veggie orzo soup.

COOKED ORZO. Lastly, I add some cooked orzo. This small rice-shaped pasta is a fun change of pace and is the perfect bite-sized shape for soups. We’re gluten-free, so we use gluten-free orzo or grain-free orzo, but you can use traditional orzo if you don’t’ have any dietary restrictions or allergies!

Close up view of a ladle scooping Sausage Orzo Soup from the pot. Close up overhead view of a bowl of Sausage Veggie Orzo Soup with a spoon in it ready to take a bite


A TIP FOR ADDING ORZO. If you don’t plan to eat this right away, you may prefer to wait to add your orzo until right before serving. Orzo, like other pasta, will continue to absorb liquid, so it can get extra soft and expanded over time. This doesn’t bother me much, but if you want your pasta to stay al dente, wait to add the orzo until right before serving or to individual bowls.

GLUTEN-FREE? GRAIN-FREE? READ THIS! We’re gluten-free, so we need to use gluten-free pasta. We most often use DeLallo’s gluten-free orzo–it’s got a nice texture that works well in salads, too! Or, you can go grain-free with Jovial’s new grain-free cassava orzo pasta.

CAN I USE SOMETHING BESIDES ORZO? Yes! If you can’t find orzo, feel free to stir in a little cooked brown rice, quinoa, or even more veggies (like cauliflower rice!). It’ll still be hearty and delicious. If you’d like another shape of pasta, a small shape like elbows, mini shells, or pastina works nicely.

Close up overhead view of a small crock of Sausage Orzo Soup garnished with fresh basil



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Overhead view of a small crock of Sausage Orzo Soup with a spoon dipped in for a bite.

Sausage Orzo Soup (Gluten-Free Friendly)

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups soup 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Sausage Orzo Soup – This Sausage Vegetable Orzo Soup is loaded with gorgeous Italian-inspired flavors and tender pasta. It’s perfect for a cozy day! (Gluten-Free Friendly)


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. pork, turkey, or chicken Italian sausage (casings removed, if applicable)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/41/2 tsp. salt (optional–salt to taste)
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (can use diced)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (gluten-free or grain-free, as needed)
  • 23 cups spinach, torn or roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage and cook until browned and completely cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Remove cooked sausage from pot and set aside.
  4. Add onion, carrots, celery, and bell peppers and cook 6-8 minutes, or until veggies are mostly tender. (A little bit is okay, as they’ll continue cooking later.)
  5. Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  6. Add canned tomatoes to the pot. Return the cooked sausage to the pot and stir to combine.
  7. Pour in veggie broth and stir to combine the soup.
  8. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 20-30 minutes, or until the flavors have blended and the veggies are tender.
  9. While the soup is cooking, cook your orzo according to the package directions. (Don’t forget to salt the water as directed, as it will help your pasta taste its best.)
  10. When the soup is done simmering, add spinach, cooked orzo, and fresh basil to the soup pot. Stir until spinach is wilted. Serve warm!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

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