Kalyn's Kitchen

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup can be made with macaroni or frozen cauliflower rice, and this is an easy soup the whole family will enjoy! And I didn’t use much macaroni, so even if you choose that option this soup isn’t very high in carbs.

PIN Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup to try it later.

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup close-up photo

How’s everyone doing with the voluntary home confinement? I’m staying home to be safe and keeping myself fed and relatively entertained, but definitely struggling with a lack of motivation to think of new recipes for the blog! I can’t seem to find the desire to work on new recipes when I know people may not have the ingredients and probably won’t want to go out to the store to get them.

But what I have been having fun doing is looking through the huge archives of my blog to find a recipe I have the ingredients for, and then updating it into an improved version, often with lower carbs or at least a lower carb option. And that’s what I did with this recipe for Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup!

The original recipe was one I came up with years ago for a family party, and it had twice as much macaroni as the newly updated recipe you see here. If you don’t want even the smaller amount of macaroni I used or want a soup that’s gluten-free, you can make this tasty soup with cauliflower rice. And I knew most people wouldn’t have fresh basil on hand right now so I switched that out for basil pesto, which was absolutely delicious in this soup!

I shared some of the soup with my sister Pam and her husband Kelly one day when we went for a walk (staying appropriately at a distance from each other) and they both gave it a thumbs up! And I’ve definitely noticed that comforting dishes like soup, stew, and casseroles are what many people are cooking these days! So for everyone who needs comfort food and is still enjoying soup, I hope you’ll give this improved recipe a try! And here’s the link to the original version, just in case anyone was a fan.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • Dried Basil (affiliate link)
  • ground fennel (affiliate link)
  • canned petite dice tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage
  • onion
  • Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
  • macaroni (or substitute cauliflower rice if you want fewer carbs)
  • Basil Pesto (affiliate link)

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. Combine chicken stock, Dried Basil (affiliate link), ground fennel (affiliate link), and petite dice tomatoes with juice in a soup pot and let the mixture simmer over low heat while you cook the sausage.
  2. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then squeeze turkey (or pork) Italian sausage out of the links and cook until the sausage is nicely browned; breaking apart with a metal turner.
  3. Add the sausage to the simmering soup pot,
  4. Chop onion and mince garlic. Then add a tiny bit more olive oil to the pan and cook onion about 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Add the onion and garlic to soup pot.
  6. Deglaze the frying pan with about 1 cup of soup from the pot and scrape off browned bits from the pan, then add that back into the soup
  7. Let this simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Then add 1/2 cup dry macaroni (or 10 oz. frozen cauliflower rice) to the soup pot and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes more, or until macaroni or rice is soft.
  9. Then stir in the Basil Pesto (affiliate link) and simmer 5 minutes more. 
  10. Serve hot, topped with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup square thumbnail image

More Soup with Turkey Italian Sausage:

Instant Pot Sausage Soup with Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Black Bean Soup with Hot Italian Sausage and Spinach ~ Guilty Kitchen
Low-Carb Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Yellow Split Pea, Kale, and Italian Sausage Soup ~ The Nourishing Gourmet
Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Low-Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup close-up photo

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup is a family-friendly dinner idea, and this soup can be made with macaroni or cauliflower rice, whichever you prefer.


  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel
  • two 14.5 oz. cans petite dice tomatoes
  • 5 tsp. olive oil
  • one 19.5 oz. package hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage (see notes)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 C dry macaroni (see notes)
  • 3 T basil pesto (see notes)


  1. Put homemade chicken stock into a large heavy soup pot and start to heat.
  2. Add the dried basil, ground fennel, and 2 cans petite dice tomatoes with juice and let the mixture simmer while you cook the sausage.
  3. Heat 1 T of olive oil in a heavy frying pan.
  4. Squeeze the sausage out of  casings and cook until nicely browned, breaking apart with a metal turner as the sausage cooks.
  5. Add browned sausage to the soup pot.
  6. Add the other 2 tsp. of olive oil to the frying pan, then cook the onions for 3-4 minutes, or until they are starting to soften.
  7. Add the minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  8. Add the onion and garlic to the soup pot.
  9. Deglaze the frying pan with about 1 cup of soup from the pot and scrape off browned bits from the pan, then add that back into the soup.
  10. Let this simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Add the macaroni or frozen cauliflower rice, stir, and continue to simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes more, or until the macaroni or cauliflower rice is soft.
  12. Stir in the basil pesto and cook 5 minutes more.
  13. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


You can also use two 32 oz. cartons of chicken stock or five 14 oz. cans of chicken broth. I used my favorite turkey Italian sausage, but use pork Italian Sausage if you prefer. I would love using my frozen Basil Pesto with Lemon for this recipe, but I just use my favorite purchased pesto when I don't have any homemade pesto in the freezer.

Nutritional information is calculated with macaroni since that's what is in the photos, but you can use macaroni, or substitute with one 10 oz. package frozen cauliflower rice. Macaroni will be about 5 carbs per serving; cauliflower rice will be 1.5 carbs per serving.

Recipe created by Kalyn for a family party many years ago and updated with lower-carb options in April 2020.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 398mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If made with approved macaroni, this Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Macaroni Soup with Basil would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Soup with macaroni would probably be too high in carbs for a low-carb diet, but if you want a lower-carb soup with these flavors, use the option for cauliflower rice instead of macaroni. (Macaroni adds about 5 carbs per serving, cauliflower rice is about 1.5 carbs per serving.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
The original version of this soup was posted December 2010! The recipe was updated to a more carb-friendly soup, including the option to replace the macaroni with cauliflower rice April 2020.

Pinterest image of Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup

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    31 Comments on “Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Pesto Soup”

  1. Sara, thanks. I don't know if you knew that I was a teacher for 30 years, so I love hearing that I am inspiring students to cook!

  2. Hi Kalyn!

    I made this tonight to keep me going through final exam revisions, and it was great! Plus, now I have a freezer full of leftovers. So simple and cheap to make and it seems like it would be fun to play around with too (like maybe adding beans as another commenter said). Not that it needs any changes at all. 🙂

    Your recipes are a godsend to any university student. Thanks Kalyn!

  3. I think chopped kale or thin ribbons of kale would be a great addition to this soup. I'd add the kale when you add the macaroni, unless you like it a little more crisp, then I'd add it when the macaroni is partly cooked. Love to hear how it turns out!

  4. Sounds great and I look fwd to making it tomorrow evening. However, not having tried it yet, so not being exactly sure of the flavors, do you think that kale would be a good addition in this soup? Thanks!

  5. Anonymous, that would work well if you're making the soup to freeze.

  6. Just another idea – I usually freeze my soups in the stage before adding the pasta/noodles and include it to cook when I'm heating the soup to serve.

  7. I need one now! Wow, this soups looks delicious and soul reviving in the wintry days here in UK. Nice blog and I love the blue bowl and plate.

  8. Perfect macaroni soup! Good for this season.

  9. Looks delicious. I bet you could throw in some white beans too for some extra fiber and yum.

  10. lovely photo!

  11. That is a tasty looking soup!

  12. Kalyn…this sounds so great! I always do the same type of soup but this would be a great alternative with the sausage and macaroni!

  13. This soup looks beautiful, I want to try it, but I think, I have leave it on weekend.

  14. CJ, I don't think any recipe could have too much fennel, absolutely love that flavor.

  15. Oh how we love soups this time of year, especially the hearty ones. I make a similar soup and sometimes add some drained and rinsed cannelini beans to it too. That idea came about out of necessity. Had some unexpected company and needed to extend the soup. It worked.

    This recipe looks mouth wateringly delicious. I'm so glad I have fresh basil in the freezer! I like the extra fennel in it too. A woman of my own heart.

  16. Libby, you sent me to the freezer to look at a package of sausage, and there was more sodium than I realized, so great idea to make your own with spices!

  17. I hesitatae to buy sausage because I must keep my salt down, so now I stir-fry a mixture of ground pork and beef plus all the seasoning s that you would find in a particular typre of sausage, i.e. for Italian: garlic, oregano, thyme, chili pepper: for mid East recipes I add garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, hot sauce. This way I get all the flavours wothout the high sodium .

  18. I would love to have some of this soup hanging out in my freezer right now. M-m-m-m.

  19. Whenever it gets cold here, all i want to do is curl up and eat something that's going to warm me from the inside out. This sounds perfect!

  20. LOVE the bright new look of your blog! So pretty!

    And thanks for another flavorful Kalyn Soup. ((I have made several of yours and they have all been delicious.))