Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup

4.60 stars average

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Spicy Italian sausage, hearty kale, and creamy butternut squash create a warm and satisfying soup that is perfect for freezing.

Spoonful of sausage, kale, and butternut squash soup.

One of my favorite quick and healthy dinners in the cold season (or any season really) is a warm bowl of soup. This Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup is an easy, go-to for fall and winter. Not only a delicious dinner, but the leftovers make great lunches throughout the week for easy meal prep.


  • Italian sausage: A delicious source of protein, you can use sweet, mild, or spicy sausage to meet your preferences!
  • Onion: I’ll use a yellow or white onion, as it’s mild in flavor to not overpower the other ingredients, but instead blends well with the other flavors.
  • Garlic: Nutty, slightly sweet when cooked, it pairs deliciously with everything else.
  • Red pepper: The ripest of bell peppers, they are also the highest in vitamins and nutrients, with a slightly sweet taste.
  • Chicken broth: Flavorful and rich with protein and essential fatty acids, it’s my go to for soup bases.
  • Butternut squash: A winter squash with a sweet, nutty taste, it’s high in vitamin C and other vitamins.
  • Kale: I love to use kale in soups, as its hearty enough to not get soggy, but it loses its bitter taste. Not to mention it’s packed full of nutrients, like omega 3s.
  • Cannellini beans: Another source of protein, as well as fiber, they add a creamy, nutty flavor to the soup.

How to Make Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup

Peeling butternut squash

Start your sausage, kale, and butternut squash soup by preparing your produce. If you haven’t cooked butternut squash before, you’ll want to start by peeling it.

Cleaning out butternut squash

Then cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings. Then you can proceed to chop it into cubes and cook it!

Cooking Italian sausage

In a large pot, drizzle some olive oil or cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Break up and brown your sausage, the more brown the more flavor!

Grating garlic into soup

Use a microplane to freshly grate your garlic in with the sausage.

Adding onion and red pepper to pot

And add in the diced onion and red bell pepper, with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cooked sausage with veggies

Keep cooking until the onions and peppers have softened.

Adding broth to pot 1

Then add in the chicken broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrap up anything that might be stuck on the bottom of the pot.

Adding butternut squash to sopu

Bring to a boil, then add in the butternut squash and cook for about 10-15 minutes until squash is softened.

Adding beans to soup

Then you’ll add the drained cannellini beans.

Adding kale to pot

And your chopped kale.

Seasoning soup

Check for seasoning, and add a pinch more of salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes until kale is bright green.

Sausage, kale, and butternut squash soup.

Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired, and serve your Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup!

Easy Substitutions

  • Swap the squash. You can use any squash in place of the butternut squash, like acorn squash or pumpkin.
  • Make it vegetarian. Instead of chicken broth, use veggie broth, and use a soy or tofu substitute for the sausage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does butternut squash need peeling for soup?

The peel on butternut squash soup is slightly bitter and tough, so I prefer to peel it.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes! Soup is very freezer friendly. In an air-tight container or resealable bag, it’ll be good for up to 3 months.

Do I need to cook squash before adding to soup?

Nope! You can cook the squash with the rest of the soup.

Sausage, kale, and butternut squash soup.

More Soups

Eat It, Like It, Share It!

Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your soup.

Liz enjoying sausage, kale, and butternut squash soup.

Whether you need a quick dinner, or lunches throughout the week, this hearty, delicious soup won’t disappoint your.

Your spoon is waiting.

sausage kale butternut soup1

Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup

4.60 stars average
Spicy Italian sausage, hearty kale and creamy butternut squash create a warm and satisfying soup that is perfect for freezing.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes


  • 3 Italian sausage links – uncooked (spicy or sweet)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (low sodium or homemade)
  • 3 cups butternut squash (peeled and cut in 1/2 in. cubes)
  • 4 cups kale (roughly chopped)
  • 14 oz cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano reggiano (optional garnish)


  • Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil non-stick spray. Remove sausage from casings and add to pot.
  • Brown sausage for 7-8 minutes using a potato masher or wooden spoon to break into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add garlic, diced onion, and red pepper to pan (as well as a pinch of salt and pepper) and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
  • When sausage is nicely browned, add broth to pan using a wooden spoon to deglaze and scrape up all of the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Raise heat to high then bring soup to a boil. Add butternut squash cubes and cook for 15-20 minutes or until softened.
  • Five minutes before serving, add kale and beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano if you wish.

Last Step:

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When browning the sausage, don’t be afraid of a little color! The longer it browns, the more it caramelizes which means more flavor when you deglaze the pan with chicken broth. The amount of salt needed will vary depending on the brand of sausage, chicken broth and beans that you use so season accordingly.


Calories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 43.6gProtein: 28.9gFat: 4.9gSaturated Fat: 0.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 992mgFiber: 9.3gSugar: 5.8g
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79 responses to “Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup”

  1. Nikki Avatar

    Can you use any type of squash in this? I have delicata and butter cup on hand would either of those work? Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes totally!! Enjoy!

  2. Nikki Avatar

    I just made this recipe today and it was so easy and tasty!

    I took the advice of others and made some minor changes:

    1. I used spicey chicken italian sausages, so I did not add the red pepper.
    2. I used half chicken stock and half vegetable broth because that’s what I had on hand.
    3. Added some McCormick’s Tuscan seasoning (Blend of marjoram, rosemary, etc).
    4. I used frozen cubed butternut squash because I’m lazy. ;)

    This made enough for the next work week’s worth of lunches (and maybe a little extra). Add a slice of toasted sourdough and a small salad, and you’re eating like a king.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Love all the changes you made!!! It sound so good – especially the spicy sausage!!

  3. BrianD Avatar

    Did not have Cannelloni beans so thew in some pearled barley. Excellent soup!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      What an awesome idea!!! Love barley!

  4. Jill Avatar

    This soup was easy, delicious and satisfying. Just the thing after Thanksgiving indulgence.
    I added Italian seasonings also and roasted the squash while I cooked the sausage, onion and pepper.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you enjoyed it Jill!

  5. Joan Avatar

    I had kale, I had butternut squash and I wanted soup, so I did a Google search and this popped up. So freaking good and so easy! This will be one of my favorites.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so happy you enjoyed it Joan!!! Let me know if you try any other recipes of mine!!

    2. Katy Avatar

      This exceeded my expectations! I used very spicy Italian sausageskoi and added a bit of extra garlic – everyone I made it for thought it was delicious:-)

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!

  6. Meghan Avatar

    I realize I’m a late commenter, but I had to show my love for this soup! It’s fall and a cool 93 degrees in Alabama, but I’ve been craving a healthy squash soup. This was an awesome, easy recipe. I did add some herbs (bay leaf, rosemary, some red pepper flakes, and fresh sage), but this soup is a delicious combo that fills you up without weighing you down. My only complaint…the blister I got while hacking up the squash lol. Love it!!

    1. Liz Avatar

      I’m so glad you loved it!! Love how you spiced it up too!! Oh man sorry about the blister!! Let me know if you make anything else. :)

    2. carissa parker Avatar
      carissa parker

      This soup is great! I like the additional herbs you added. I may try that the next go-around.

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        That makes me so happy!! Glad you enjoyed Carissa!

  7. Julie L Avatar
    Julie L

    My 8 yr old & 10 yr old requested this for dinner tonight, as it is “the best soup ever”! I’ve made it for about 3 years now – especially good when made with squash from our garden & I love to use maple sausage – the soup has perfect blend of flavors. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh my gosh I am so happy to hear this!!!! My boys love it too – great reminder to make it again!!!

  8. Deborah Avatar

    I made this last weekend and at first I really wasn’t sure. The soup just tasted kind of odd. However, I came back to it after two days in the fridge, and it is wonderful! I guess the flavors just need some time to meld.

    I did use regular spicy pork Italian sausage, 5 links (whole package), and no beans. It made a good 8 servings too, not the 4 like the recipe said.

    I’ll make it again for sure, but just plan on eating it a day or two later LOL. Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Ah interesting – I’ve never done it without the beans. Glad you found a way to like it!

  9. Colleen Green Avatar
    Colleen Green

    Thank you for this recipe, getting ready to cook it now. It’s exacty the combination I was looking for today.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you enjoy it!!

    2. Nic Avatar

      This is probably the grossest thing I have eaten in a long time. We just threw it all out, which I hate because I hate wasting food and money.

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        Oh no I’m so sorry you didn’t care for it! We make this and eat it all the time!

        1. Taza G. Avatar
          Taza G.

          I’m curious how someone can look at a recipe and *not* figure out in advance whether or not they might enjoy it, based on the ingredients?

          1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
            Liz DellaCroce

            Hi Taza – I’m not sure what you’re referring to – but I’m with you! :)

  10. Emily Avatar

    WOW, this is incredible soup! I made a batch last night – added a little bit of coriander and a couple shakes of poultry seasoning for a touch of extra jazz. It was perfect, and I’m eating it for lunch right now. All ingredients were purchased at Trader Joe’s – the pre-chopped squash and kale were huge time savers. This is the easiest recipe for such an outstanding result – complex flavors, filling, healthy. I’ve got your Chicken Tikka Masala in my slow cooker now. Excited to try more of your recipes!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so glad you liked it!!!!