Yes this Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone involves a lot of ingredients, but they are ALL worth it, so here’s what you’ll need: Kale (I prefer the bagged kind for ease), Chicken Broth, 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes, can of Cannellini Beans, can of Dark Red Kidney Beans, Bay Leaves, Crushed Red Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Basil, your favorite Hot Sauce (I love Frank’s), Jalapeño Tabasco, 1 cup of diced Onion, 2 Carrots diced, 1 Celery stalk diced, 1/2 cup of frozen cut green beans, Pesto, Goat Cheese, 2 Garlic Cloves, 1 medium Zucchini, your favorite Sausage, and your favorite Pasta (I used this brown rice penne from Trader Joe’s for gluten free pasta).
Start off this Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone by prepping all of your veggies in advance, so you’re not waiting on them. Then heat a little grapeseed oil (or your favorite cooking oil) over medium heat in a large pot. Add the sausage and 1 T. of pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 8 minutes or until the sausage is brown.
I finished up the last of my chopping by cutting my zucchini while the sausage cooked.
Then I minced my garlic in the oh-so-handy garlic twist.
Here’s the cooked sausage and I also drained off some of the excess fat the was left over.
Then and the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, green beans, and zucchini to the pot and stir really well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Don’t forget to drain and rinse your two cans of beans, so that they’re ready for you! And you can see it’s handy to have 2 fine mesh strainers.
Then add a teaspoon each of dried thyme and basil to the pot, stir, and cook another minute.
Now add 4 cups of chicken broth, 2 cups of hot water, the can of diced tomatoes, and the drained beans and give it a good stir.
Now add 2 bay leaves to the pot, and stir them in. Please note that you want to remove the bay leaves after the soup is cooked, because you do NOT want to eat them.
Bring the soup to a light boil, then pop on the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Then add the pasta to the water and cook it according to the package instructions.
While everything cooks, I grabbed about 2 cups of kale, removed any stems and set them aside.
The soup had cooked away, so I removed the lid and removed the bay leaves.
Then the kale gets added and is stirred in so it can wilt.
Finally give the Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone a taste and adjust the seasonings. So I knew I wanted to make it spicier, so I added about a tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon of jalapeño Tabasco to it. Then taste again and add more if it needs it.
Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and rinse it with cold water so it stops cooking.
I tossed it with a little olive oil, so that it would not stick when I refrigerate it.
Once the kale has wilted and the Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone is seasoned the way you like it, then you’re all set. Add about 1/2 cup of pasta to a bowl, ladle the soup over the top, and then top with pesto or goat cheese if you desire. Serve the pasta right away or keep the soup, pasta, pesto, and cheese separate if you have leftovers and it reheats like a dream. So happy soup eating!
Spicy Sausage Pesto Minestrone
Yield 10 servings
This healthy and super flavorful soup is packed with veggies plus sausage for some spice, and I've added gluten free pasta as well.
- 1 t. Grapeseed Oil (or olive oil)
- Package of Sausage (your favorite kind)
- 1 T. Red Pepper Flakes (or your preferred level of heat)
- 1 cup Onion, diced
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 1 Celery Stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup cut Green Beans, frozen
- 1 medium Zucchini, diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 t. Dried Thyme
- 1 t. Dried Basil
- 4 cups low-sodium Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
- 2 cups Hot Water
- 28 oz. Canned Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Favorite hot sauce, to taste
- Jalapeño Tabasco sauce, to taste
- Favorite Pasta (I used a gluten-free kind by Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cups Kale, ribs removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- Pesto, garnish (this is optional and I found a yummy vegan one at Trader Joe’s that I used)
- Goat cheese, garnish (optional)
Get your minestrone started by making sure all of your veggies are cut, so they’re ready for you. Then heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 t. Grapeseed Oil. Add the sausage to the pan along with 1 T. red pepper flakes to make the sausage spicy, and then cook for about 8 minutes or until the sausage is brown. Then drain off any excess oil in the pot.
Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, green beans, and zucchini to the sausage, and then cook for 2-3 minutes. Once the onions start to become translucent, add about a teaspoon each of dried thyme and dried basil. Then stir and cook another minute.
Add the broth, water, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, plus the drained and rinsed beans to the pot and then stir. Bring the soup to a light boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes.
While the soup simmers, cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Then when the pasta is al dente, drain it in a colander, rinse it with cold water, and then toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil so that it keeps the pasta from sticking.
After the soup finishes simmering, add the 2 cups of kale to the pot and then stir and cook another 2 minutes.
To serve the soup, add 1/2 cup of pasta to a bowl, ladle in the soup over the pasta, and stir. Then top with 1 T. of pesto and a few crumbles of goat cheese and enjoy!
Quick Tip #1: Be sure to make the pasta in a separate bowl, and then store it separately in the refrigerator. If you leave it in the soup, it'll cause the soup to become really thick. I like to store my pasta in a plastic bag.
Quick Tip #2: Keep it dairy free by removing the goat cheese and using a vegan pesto (I picked up a great one at Trader Joe's). Keep it gluten free by using gluten free pasta and making sure your sausage is gluten free.
Serving Size About 1/10th of Soup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium 923 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Sugars 6 g
Protein 15 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.