A delicious and easy sausage bean soup with spinach (or any greens) and tomatoes that you make in your slow cooker (Crockpot) or pressure cooker (Instant Pot) for a one dish dinner. It's even better the next day!
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I love my slow cooker for so many reasons - from pulled pork or roast to stews and soups, meals made in the slow cooker find their way onto our menus almost weekly (you can check out all our slow cooker recipes here). And while I do use it more in the colder months, I also try to use it in warmer weather, too, for non-oven dinners like meat for chicken tacos.
Update: now with an Instant Pot in the house, I can choose to make this either slow or fast! Directions for both methods are included in the full recipe.
I really do adore soups in the fall and winter months. There's something so comforting to me about a hearty, healthy, meal-in-a-bowl when it's blustery and cold outside. I also appreciate how soups make it so easy to use my preserved food, and that it's such a great way to use up bits and pieces of leftovers. #soupforthewin
So you can imagine that I love this easy slow cooker sausage bean soup with spinach and tomatoes for all these reasons and it would be true. But the number one reason? It's just plain delicious. Really. And soaking up the flavorful liquid with a piece of crusty easy artisan bread? Heaven.
Bonus! It's even better the next day, so you can look forward to a wonderful lunch, too. Having leftovers for lunch is one of my favorite ways to not have to think about lunch (decision fatigue is real, right?), eat healthy, and maintain weight.
Sausage Bean Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes
Making this sausage bean soup is easy - and of course you know I'm all about easy, healthy eating. Here are the steps you'll take:
- Gather your ingredients.
- Brown the sausage in a skillet (for slow cooking) or in an Instant Pot using the sauté function.
- Add the remaining ingredients except spinach and cheese.
- Let cook.
- Add spinach and let sit a few minutes.
- Serve with shredded cheese and a good crusty bread.
See, soup really is easy and should be on everyone's menu at some point!
Here is the newer version of the slow cooker I have and love (the lid is cushioned so it doesn't spit hot liquid out like some do).
Here is the Instant Pot I have and am trying to use more.
Soup is also ripe for substitutions. Here are a few ways you can adapt this recipe:
- Use any green for the spinach in this soup: chard is wonderful and I've also used kale, though I do cook these tougher greens with the soup instead of adding it at the end.
- Use frozen chopped spinach or kale - both of these can be added at the end since they're already tender.
- Use any variety of bean that you have on hand, either beans you've cooked and frozen or canned beans.
- Use fully cooked sausage or kielbasa instead of bulk sausage - simply slice and brown for less time.
- Use chicken sausage and change the broth to chicken broth.
No matter how you make it, I hope most of all that you enjoy it!
Slow Cooker Sausage Bean Soup with Spinach & Tomatoes (with Instant Pot directions, too)
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups cooked white or pinto beans drained (use beans from your freezer or 1-2 cans)
- 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 12-14oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cups dry red wine or more water
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 4 cups fresh chopped spinach or 10-oz pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste - will depend on what kind of broth you're using
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan for topping
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Crumble the sausage in a large skillet, and cook until no longer pink over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook with sausage for a few minutes longer.
- Scrape contents of skillet into the bowl of a 4-qt or larger slow cooker. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, broth, wine, herbs and cayenne, if using.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Stir spinach into soup, adding salt and pepper as needed. Cook for another hour on HIGH.
Instant Pot Directions:
- Set Instant Pot setting to sauté and add sausage, breaking it up as you stir. When starting to brown, add the onion and garlic. Stir well, cooking until the sausage is browned through.
- Add the cooked beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, water, basil, oregano, thyme, and cayenne.
- Cancel the sauté function and select manual, high pressure. Set the instant pot to cook for a 5 minute cook time.
- The pot may take up to 10 minutes or so to come to pressure, but since the contents are already hot, it will pressurize quicker. Once the cooking cycle has finished, do a 10 minute natural release and then a quick release.
- Remove lid, stir in the spinach, adding the salt and pepper, and replace the lid for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt - no need to cook - the heat of the soup will wilt the spinach.
- Serve the soup with grated parmesan and a good crusty bread.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published November 2013.
Other Easy Soups You may Like:
Rustic Italian Sausage Soup in 15 minutes
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