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Sausage and lentil soup (Carrabba’s Copycat)

Sausage and lentil soup is a the perfect blend of vegetables, Italian sausage and tender lentils that will leave you with a smile when you take a taste. Coming in at a close second to the Carrabba’s original (or it may even be better!), this version can be on your table in around an hour and makes enough to feed your family for a whole week.

sausage and lentil soup in two bowls with a spoon

Living on a diet is reality for a lot of us. I know my food looks like I roll in a tub of butter every day but in this house, moderation is very, very key. We work hard and we love good food but we can’t eat Italian cream cakes and baked macaroni and cheese every day even though we’d love to.

That’s why most of the time we’re doing what you’re doing–just trying to make it all work and not feel too deprived about eating on the lighter side.

And this sausage and lentil soup is one way we do that. I’m using regular full fat Italian sausage in this recipe (and a lot of it) but you can certainly use a turkey Italian sausage here if you’d like.

But since the bulk of the recipe is vegetables and lower fat ingredients, I think the regular is fine. A little fat makes for more flavor and this recipe feeds about 12 people so unless you plan on eating this every day for two weeks you won’t take in all the fat anyway.

My husband discovered this sausage and lentil soup a long time ago on a trip to Carrabba’s for dinner. A nice alternative to what might be the richest pasta I’ve ever eaten (theirs must have about 2,000 egg yolks in it), you can have a bowl of this soup at the restaurant and still be able to walk away from the table with your pants fully buttoned.

It’s always nice to get out without trying to hide your drawers ’cause you ate too much.

Tips for the best sausage and lentil soup

  • Find lentils in the dried bean area of your grocery store. They’re a member of the bean family and cook really quickly and easily. They come in different colors, but in this case I just used what I’d call the “regular” brown ones. Not the orange or green ones.
  • Use a good chicken stock in this dish. I LOVE Better than Bouillon chicken base for all of my soup making. No boxed stuff–it’s just too doggone wimpy in my opinion. And yes of course you can use your homemade.
  • Chop your vegetables all about the same size so they cook evenly and don’t be afraid to salt the soup! I’m convinced that salt was what brought this one to life.
  • There’s no need to drain your sausage before adding the rest of the ingredients unless it’s totally swimming in fat. You need some fat to add richness to the soup.
  • Feel free to freeze any leftovers by cooling the soup to room temp, then bagging it up in an air tight container of your choice. You can thaw it in the fridge before use or just drop it frozen in a pot, add a little water and bring it back to temperature that way.
  • I bought my Italian sausage in links. You’ll want to take it out of the casings if yours is in links too. Just slice it down the middle and peel off the outside.

Sausage and lentil soup

A light but hearty soup for any time of year, this sausage and lentil soup is simple to prepare (just chop and drop!) and is ready in just over an hour. Freezes great too!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 pound Italian sausage turkey sausage also works
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots about the same size as the celery
  • 1 small chopped zucchini
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • parmesan cheese optional


  • Heat a 5 quart or larger stock pot or cast iron dutch oven over medium high heat. 
  • Remove any casings from your sausage if they are in links and add to the pan. Cook, breaking up the meat until no pink remains. About 7 minutes. Do not drain the fat. 
  • Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour or until the lentils soften. Serve warm with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 


Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 15gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 661mgPotassium: 669mgFiber: 8gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1605IUVitamin C: 13.4mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 3.4mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Recipe Rating

Timothy Moon

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

Do I need to soak the lentils overnight before adding them to the recipe?

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

No Timothy you don't. --Rachel


Monday 27th of September 2021

So after having a bowl of the Carrabba's Sausage Lentil Soup for the first time last night at Carrabba's i had to have the recipe, it was SOOOOOO delicious! But now that I have found it here I'm hesitant to try to make it myself because it doesn't even look like the same soup. Mine was missing All of the vegetables! I only had Lentils and the broth and the delicious flavor(spicy)of sausage! I took a picture! It really was delicious tho!

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

Yeah I don't know why the soup at the restaurant sometimes looks vegetable-less. I suspicion they have cooked down a lot and blended in with the soup. --Rachel


Tuesday 17th of August 2021

I love to cook healthy food which is necessary for a rare genetic liver disease I battle. It's important I maintain a low simple carbohydrate, low fat, low sodium, and zero sugar. There for I have to be extremely careful about everything I eat. I've said goodbye to all white flour, bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, white rice, even white potatoes. Likewise red or fatty meats, butter and other dairy fats, sodium, process foods, juices, and sugars. But yes to all grains, beans, low fat meats, chicken, fish, especially fatty fish high in omega oils, fresh fruits and veggies, and again some of these are better than others. And FRESH is always better.

Lentils are a wonderful legume high in protein and and potassium. This soup is full of carbs from the lentil and a mountain of fresh veggies. I used my own homemade Italian sausage (another easy to make item that doesn't require a ton of fat or salt.) I added some necessary fat since my sausage is so low in it, I added 2 Tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Then, instead of adding too much salt, I enticed the flavor with about 2 Tbsp of a good Dry Red Wine. What a wonderful balance. The recipe she gives you is a perfect one for nutrition, flavor, and keeping those taste buds happy and your tummy full with out a lot of bad additives. And if you are looking for a little extra help, less stress on your liver, and just better all around, check into ways to eat a healthy liver diet Non-Alcoholic Fattly Liver Disease has become an epidemic not just for adults but in children too. We aren't always steered to look at the truth by our medical doctors when it comes to our livers, having elevated liver enzymes, or a little fatty liver and just what that means. And while I have used pork, it can be from chicken just as easily. This is a wonderful recipe for healthy living.

Rachel Ballard

Friday 27th of August 2021

Thank you for your thorough response Jerri!


Thursday 24th of June 2021

I just made your soup. Super yummy. I am going to serve it with Romano cheese. I used chicken Italian sausage. Great Mediterranean flavor. Thank you for this recipe. Can't wait to eat it tonight.

Rachel Ballard

Friday 25th of June 2021

Wonderful Natalia! We love it too. --Rachel


Sunday 16th of February 2020

I just got the recipe I can’t wait to make it my son and I love it at the Restaurant!!!

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