Last week, my husband and I were saying we needed to dig back out some of our old soup recipes (I typically gravitate toward the crockpot) but instead, I asked my friend for a recipe that she had recently shared!

She sent it my way and I knew it had to be a good one! It was a copycat from one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Rochester, NY, where I got my BS in Nursing. (For the record, that restaurant is Carrabba’s — their "chocolate dream" dessert that is literally to die for!

And this copycat soup recipe certainly didn't disappoint!

It was so easy. And it wasn’t even a crockpot recipe!

But I ended up modifying the original recipe, and came up with a winner!

The best news: the soup was even better as leftovers!

Recipe: Healthy Spicy Sausage Soup
Cook time

Total time


This recipe started as a Carrabba’s copycat, but if you know me, you know I had to add my own twist and make it a little bit healthier!
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian

  • 1 lb uncooked spicy chicken sausage
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 8 C low-sodium chicken broth*
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 C dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ dried red pepper flakes

  1. Brown sausage and drain excess fat.
  2. In a large pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are tender.
  4. Add water if needed for desired consistency.
  5. Optional: Top with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Pro tip: If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute 1 tsp dried herbs for 1 Tbsp fresh.

*There’s a big difference between “less” and “low” sodium — you want low!