This sausage and kale soup is a hearty and comforting supper that can be made in either an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Packed with veggies and protein, this Whole30-friendly, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and low carb soup will be a family favorite on busy weeknights!

A shot of three bowls of sausage and kale soup. There's a red banner at the bottom that reads paleo, Whole30, and low carb.

A quick and comforting weeknight soup!

On most weeknights, I find myself wishing I could just dump a bunch of ingredients into a pot and have them magically transform into something deliciously healthy—and this simple and satisfying soup recipe is pretty darn close to making that wish come true. My kids dig the flavor of this sausage- and veggie-packed soup—inspired by the Portuguese classic, caldo verde—and I love that it’s comfort food with minimal clean-up.

An overhead shot of someone grabbing one of four bowls filled with sausage kale soup.

Instant Pot and stovetop instructions

I’ve included instructions below to prep this soup in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or on the stovetop, but I definitely prefer making it in the Instant Pot.

Why? Even though the Instant Pot method isn’t that much faster, it requires significantly less fuss. Instead of babysitting the soup on the stovetop, you can plop all the ingredients into an Instant Pot and walk away, and your soup will be hot and ready to eat whenever you are!

Some folks complain that they can’t check on the doneness on the ingredients as the Instant Pot is working its magic—but I DON’T CARE.

For most soups and stews, all you want is for the ingredients to be soft and tender at the end, and I’m more than happy to do something else while that happens. I know plenty of you feel the same way, so that’s why I created a ton of carefully tested Instant Pot recipes that you can set and forget right. You can find them over here.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil: I like to use EVOO to sauté the onions and sausage, but feel free to use ghee, avocado oil, or your favorite cooking fat.
  • Onion: I use whatever small onion I find sitting in my pantry (e.g., yellow, red, or white). This soup also works great with diced shallots or leeks.
  • Smoked Italian sausage: Cooked sausage is the key to making this recipe easy-peasy. I like to use Fra’Mani Italian sausage because it’s Whole30-compatible and delicious. Other cooked sausage like chicken apple, kielbasa, or turkey sausages also work great.
  • Garlic: I use 3 cloves in this recipe, but you do you! More garlic is always a good thing.
  • Yukon Gold potatoes: I prefer Yukon gold potatoes in this soup because they hold their shape pretty well when cooked under pressure. If you like a thicker soup, you can use russet potatoes because they’ll break down while cooking.
  • Carrots: A couple of sliced carrots will add natural sweetness, which helps to balance the bitterness in the kale.
  • Kale: Any type of kale works in this soup. I prefer lacinato (a.k.a. dino kale or cavolo nero), but regular green kale works as well. If you’re feeling lazy and making this soup in an Instant Pot, you don’t have to remove the ribs from the leaves because the high pressure will soften them.
  • Magic Mushroom Powder: My umami-packed seasoning salt gives an additional bump of savoriness to this soup. Don’t have any on hand? You can use Diamond Crystal salt instead, though you may need to adjust the amount depending on the saltiness of the broth you’re using.
  • Bone broth or chicken broth: Use a high quality store-bought soup (I like Bonafide Provisions and RoliRoti’s Butcher Bone Broth) or homemade bone broth—after all, your soup will only taste as great as the base!
  • Sherry vinegar: adds a slight acidic zing to the soup that ties everything together. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, you can use apple cider or red wine vinegar.
An overhead shot of the ingredients needed for sausage and kale soup.

How to make sausage kale soup in the Instant Pot

Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot. When the metal insert is hot, swirl in the olive oil.

A smiling Asian woman is adding extra virgin olive oil to an Instant Pot on the sauté function

Toss in the onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.

An overhead shot of diced onions being sautéed in an Instant Pot.

Add the sausage and cook, stirring for another minute, or until the meat is lightly cooked.

Someone adding sliced smoked sausage into an Instant Pot.

Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.

Someone adding minced garlic from a garlic press into an open Instant Pot

Dump in the potatoes, carrots, and kale.

Someone add in chopped up kale to an open Instant Pot

Sprinkle on the Magic Mushroom Powder or salt and stir well.

Someone adding a spoonful of Nom Nom Paleo Magic Mushroom Powder to an Instant Pot

Pour in the broth and give everything a good stir. Turn off the sauté function.

Pouring broth into an Instant Pot filled with kale, sausage, and the vegetables.

Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook for 3 minutes under high pressure.

Someone placing a lid on an Instant Pot filled with kale sausage soup

Remember, it’ll take 10-15 minutes for the contents of the Instant Pot to reach high pressure before the 3-minute countdown starts. In the meantime, go take a shower or a brisk walk around the block.

A finger is touching the display on an Instant Pot

When the Instant Pot is done cooking, release the pressure manually.

An Asian woman has manually released the pressure on an Instant Pot and steam is being released

Stir in the vinegar and taste and adjust the seasoning with more Magic Mushroom Powder, salt, or vinegar to taste.

A person is measuring out a spoonful of sherry vinegar to add to Instant Pot sausage and kale soup

Ladle up the soup and enjoy!

A smiling Asian woman is ladling a bowl of Instant Pot kale and sausage soup

How to make sausage and kale soup on the stovetop

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat on the stove.
  • Once the pot is hot, swirl in the olive oil and add the onions and sausage.
  • Sauté the onions and sausage until the onions are tender. Add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Mix in the veggies, Magic Mushroom Powder or salt, and the broth.
Overhead shot of kale and sausage soup in a pot ready to finish cooking.
  • Bring the soup to a boil over high heat.
  • Turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook covered, for 15 to 25 minutes until the carrots, potatoes, and kale are fork-tender.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the vinegar. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
An side shot of a pot filled with steaming hot sausage and kale soup cooked on the stovetop

How to store leftovers

Any leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. You can reheat the soup in the Instant Pot (1 minute under high pressure), on the stovetop (bring to a boil), or in the microwave (I love these Anyday glass microwave containers).


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Sausage and Kale Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

4.90 from 37 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Servings 4
This sausage and kale soup is a hearty and comforting supper that can be made in either an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Packed with veggies and protein, this Whole30-friendly, paleo, and low carb soup will be a family favorite on busy weeknights!

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ¾ pound smoked Italian sausage cut into ½-inch slices
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ pound yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 bunch kale ribs removed, and leaves cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 6 cups bone broth or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Instructions 

Instant Pot instructions

  • Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. When the metal insert is hot, swirl in the olive oil.
  • Toss in the onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring for another minute, or until the meat is lightly cooked.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Dump in the potatoes, carrots, and kale. Sprinkle on the Magic Mushroom Powder or salt and stir well. If your broth is salty, use less seasoning.
  • Pour in the broth and give everything a good stir. Turn off the sauté function.
  • Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook for 3 minutes under high pressure. (Remember, it’ll take 10-15 minutes for the contents of the Instant Pot to reach high pressure before the 3-minute countdown starts. In the meantime, go take a shower or a brisk walk around the block.)
  • When the Instant Pot is done cooking, release the pressure manually.
  • Stir in the vinegar and taste and adjust the seasoning with more Magic Mushroom Powder, salt, or vinegar to taste. Serve!

Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, swirl in the olive oil and add the onions and sausage.
  • Sauté the onions and sausage until the onions are tender and the sausage is lightly browned. Add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Mix in the veggies, Magic Mushroom Powder or salt, and the broth. (Use less MMP if your broth is salty. You can always season to taste at the end.)
  • Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook covered, for 15 to 25 minutes until the carrots, potatoes, and kale are fork-tender.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the vinegar. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Video

Notes

Storage and reheating instructions:
Any leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
You can reheat the soup in the Instant Pot (1 minute under high pressure), on the stovetop (bring to a boil), or in the microwave (I love these Anyday glass microwave containers).

Nutrition

Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and comforting! We are not on a Whole30 at this time (and my husband is Portuguese) so we added a few tiny extra steps but wow!! Thank you for another winner!

  2. 5 stars
    This is PHENOMENAL!! I made it with Amy’s Andouille Sausage and followed all of your directions. As I was making it, my son asked if there were beans in it, since kale is often partnered with beans. So I added a can of chickpeas half way through (I made it on the stovetop). They were a great addition.

    I have your green cookbook and have been working my was through. Love all your recipes. Thank you SO MUCH.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a fabulous soup! It has all nutritious ingredients from vegetables like kale, carrots, potatoes along with sautéed sausage to healthy broth. My husband raved about this soup!
    It’s a great dinner for cold weather- comfort food, satisfying, tasty and warm. I made it in my Instant Pot.
    Thank you, Michelle! Your recipes are fabulous!