Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

A white bowl of turkey sausage and kale soup, with beans and tomatoes, on a wooden table with a napkin.
Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

When I publish a soup recipe, I always say “freeze the extra broth for a second soup.” What do I do with those frozen assets? Here’s an example – Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup, a recent dinner inspired by my need to use up some frozen chicken broth and frozen cannellini beans.

This recipe is a classic of Cal-Ital cooking, born from the Mediterranean cooking concepts Italian immigrants brought to their new home in Northern California. The basic idea of the recipe is a rustic sausage, greens, and bean soup, adjusted to American ingredients. There’s a higher sausage to bean ratio, with a nod to healthy eating with turkey sausage. My spin on the recipe is cooking it in my newfangled Instant Pot pressure cooker. 1

The key to this recipe is the homemade broth. Sure, you can make it with store-bought broth (low sodium if you must), and it will be very good. But, as I always say, if you have a pressure cooker, save your chicken bones or buy a rotisserie chicken and make a batch of broth. Homemade chicken broth elevates this simple weeknight meal to something more.

Recipe: Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

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A white bowl of turkey sausage and kale soup, with beans and tomatoes, on a wooden table with a napkin.

Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 cups of soup 1x


Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup. Use up homemade pressure cooker broth with this rustic soup.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 to 20 ounces Italian turkey sausage, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or dried oregano and/or basil)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth (homemade or store-bought low-sodium broth)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt (if using homemade broth
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained (or 2 cups of homemade beans)
  • 4 ounces kale, stems removed, leaves cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Brown the sausage: Heat the oil in the pot over Sauté mode (medium heat in a stovetop pressure cooker) until the oil starts shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy around on the edges, about 5 minutes. Move the sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Sauté until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen up any stuck bits of sausage or onion. Add the sausage and any juices in the bowl into the pot. Pour in the chicken broth, and sprinkle with the 1½ teaspoons salt (if using homemade broth). Stir in the diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, and kale. Scrape the bottom of the pot one last time to make sure nothing is sticking, and lock the pressure cooker lid.
  3. Pressure cook for 5 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes in both electric or stovetop pressure cookers (“manual” or “pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural pressure release.) Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Season and serve: Stir in the balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper, then serve, passing more red pepper flakes and pepper at the table.


  • The balsamic vinegar is a trick I use for a lot of soups. (Italian soups in particular, where it feels right.) Balsamic adds a hint of sweet, sour, and acid, brightening up the soup.
  • Not worried about a nod to healthy eating? Substitute regular Italian sausage for the turkey sausage.


  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Instant Pot Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup, Pressure Cooker Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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  1. Yes, yes, I know pressure cookers aren’t “new” – they were invented in the late 1800s and everyone’s Grandma was using a pressure cooker in the 1960’s. But after years of stovetop pressure cooking, I can’t help but think of the Instant Pot as “newfangled.”

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

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