How to make slow cooker macaroni and sausage soup

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Slow cookers were made for soup. With just a few minutes of prep time spent chopping and dicing all of those delicious veggies, the soup will come together on its own as it bubbles away in a slow cooker. Both the macaroni and sausage can be added uncooked, slicing even more time off your prep. And that tomato base? It's the perfect backdrop for everything else and ties it all together.
I've made this soup several times, both in the slow cooker and the stove top (although I have to admit, the slow cooker version is my favorite.) And along with switching up the cooking method, I've also played around with different types of sausages and spices. When using breakfast sausages, I've used a nice blend of Italian spices, and in the slow cooker, Italian sausages complete with fennel and red pepper flakes to accentuate that delicious protein. This is the version I've included in the recipe below, and it will have everyone asking for more!
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Macaroni and Sausage Soup
8
15 minutes
7 hours, 45 minutes
8 hours
3 Italian sausages, removed from casing and sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce (500 ml) diced tomatoes, with juices
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon (15 ml) red pepper chili flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup (250 ml) dry macaroni noodles
2 cups (500 ml) baby spinach
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Place Italian sausages, carrot, celery, garlic, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, fennel, chili flakes,thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine all ingredients.
Cover the slow cooker, set to Low and cook for 7 hours.
Add the macaroni, stir to incorporate into the rest of the soup. Cover lid, turn heat to High and cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the macaroni is near al dente.
When the macaroni is almost finished cooking, add the spinach. Cover slow cooker again and cook for another 15 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the macaroni is fully cooked through. When adding the spinach, also take the opportunity to taste the soup and adjust any seasoning as needed.
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Pro tip: To give the sausage even more texture, and the soup more flavor, brown the sausages first in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.
Resources Kate's Cuisine
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