Lasagna Soup

CATEGORIES: Sara, Soups and Stews, Stovetop

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Whenever we do interviews for magazines and newspapers and things like that, we somehow always end up talking about what draws us to food and cooking.  And for me, although the creative aspect is largely appealing, when it comes down to the heart of it, it’s all about the emotional connection.  I love how food can bring people together, and soothe hearts, and show those you care about that you love them.   When I was a child, so much of “life” happened in the kitchen and around our table and I still turn to food as a way to show people I care about them.  I think for that reason I’m always especially grateful when people do the same for me.  My life has been a little upside-down recently as my family packed up our house to move into a new place and we’ve have had a couple months of chaotic living.  Over the past few weeks several of my friends have brought meals over to my family and I can’t even express how much that meant to us after weeks of eating fast food and frozen meals in a half-packed-up kitchen.  The other night one of my best friends, Melanie, and her husband Todd dropped by with a hot pot of this delicious soup.  It was a cold, drizzly day and I had spent hours unpacking boxes and I almost cried when I saw an amazing home-cooked meal showing up at my doorstep.  Mel had told me about this soup before, with its cheesy surprise at the bottom of the bowl and it was just as yummy as she had described.  After we finished up the soup, and had it for leftovers the next day, we still had a bunch of the cheesy mixture leftover and I couldn’t stand to not use it because it was the best part!  So I tracked down the soup recipe and realized that I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen right then and it was as easy as dumping most of them into a pot, so I made a little more (and snapped a few pics) so we could finish up that bowl of cheesy goodness.  And since this is all I’ve cooked in a while, this is what we’re making today!

I almost always use Turkey Italian Sausage for any recipe that calls for Italian sausage.  Foster Farms (no sponsorship here, I just love it) makes both a “hot and spicy” and a “sweet”.  Sweet just means it’s not spicy- either one works in most recipes.  You honestly can’t tell the difference between the regular stuff and the turkey stuff and turkey sausage is pretty lean so you can put extra cheese on whatever it is you’re making 😉  I pretty much always have this in my freezer.

You’ll brown up the sausage and then add (in no particular order. Okay, well, there’s order in the recipe instructions, just not in my random assortment of photos here) some onion and garlic,

and some dried herbs,

a couple of bay leaves,

some diced tomatoes and chicken broth, and some tomato paste.

Quick tip on the tomato paste:  It’s kind of annoying when recipes use only 1-2 tablespoons of something like tomato paste. If you’re like me, you put the rest in a container and freeze it and then end up throwing it out next time you clean out your freezer.  Or the next time you need it, you need another tablespoon and now you have a big frozen block you have to chip away at.  What I usually do is spoon it out into 1 tablespoon measurements, either on a piece of waxed paper like you see in the photo, or into an ice cube tray that’s been lined with plastic wrap.  Once they’re frozen, place them in a ziplock bag in your freezer and next time you need some, you can just grab the amount you need, all measured out and ready to go.  I do something similar with chipotle peppers, which you can read about here.

While the soup in simmering away, you can whip up the cheese mixture.  I did not whip this up, my friend Melanie did and I’m just photographing her fine work.  Well done Mel, well done.  Ricotta, shredded Parmesan cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper.

This soup includes noodles too, and you can put them in the soup towards the end of simmering to cook them, or do as I did (and Melanie, when she brought this to me) and cook them separately.  Noodles in soup are sometimes tricky, and end up sucking up way too much of the broth, and getting soggy in leftovers, etc.  So I like to sometimes just cook them separately and add them to the individual servings.

To assemble the soup for serving, spoon a generous dollop of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the bowl and add some pasta if you cooked it separately.

Then ladle the hot soup over the top


and this is where it works its magic.  Just let it sit for a minute or two and by the time you’re ready to eat,

It’s like a treasure chest of ooey gooey melted cheese down there.

Do yourself a favor and serve this with a loaf of crusty rustic bread you can dip and spread the cheesy love with.  And then make a pot for a friend!

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Gooey, delicious, and perfect for a wintry day, this Lasagna Soup never disappoints. Just be sure to make enough to share!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs Italian Sausage (I use Italian Turkey Sausage)
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces fusilli or mafalda pasta (or other pasta of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, or a heaping tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few cracks of black pepper
  • optional: shredded mozzarella for sprinkling on top


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces and cook until browned and cooked through. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using dried basil, add it at this point. Cook for about a minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You can add the dry pasta to the soup in the last 8-ish minutes of cooking, or do as I prefer, and cook the pasta separately and add to individual servings. Right before serving, stir in fresh basil if you’re using fresh, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  4. To serve, place a generous dollop of the ricotta mixture in each soup bowl, add pasta if you cooked it separately, and ladle the hot soup over the cheese. Let it sit for a minute for the cheese to get all melty, sprinkle mozzarella on top if desired and eat up.


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  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the noodle tip. I make a lot of chicken noodle soup and my noodles practically suck the soup dry. Now I know how to “fix” that problem! Since I am Not fond of tomato paste, could you suggest how much tomato sauce you would need to substitute?

  2. I love this soup. We make it for family get togethers and it is ALWAYS a hit. Yum. If you’re wanting to cook the noodles in the soup (although they do turn to mush in the leftovers, which btw still taste fab!), I just throw them in for the last 30 minutes on medium-low heat. As soon as they aren’t crunchy, I turn the heat down and serve.

  3. In reply to RitaMarie, we have gluten-free family, so I make a little pot with gluten-free noodles and it works great. They get to enjoy too! 🙂

  4. Looks so good on this rainy day. I was surprised that there was no mozzarella in the cheese mixture put in the bottom of the bowl…but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to add more gooey cheesiness. Thank you for a different take on an old standby.

  5. This looks great, except for the sausage. (I keep kosher, so can’t mix meat and dairy…and the cheese seems way more important to this recipe than the meat!) Could I just leave it out? Should I try to replace it with veggie pseudo-sausage? Or with something else entirely? Or just give up and cry myself to sleep without any dinner? 😉

    1. The sausage adds a lot of the flavor, so you can leave it out, but you might have to make up for it by adjusting the seasonings.

      1. Thanks for the tip, Sara! I sometimes sub sun-dried tomatoes for bacon in – strong flavor (though different). Maybe I will try that here.

    2. I’d try the morningstar veggie sausage patties as a substitute. I sub them in stuffed peppers and the flavor is wonderful! I just nuke them in the microwave and then crumble. They have loads of flavor!

  6. Thank you for this recipe. It came on the perfect day for me. I was going to make lasagna for dinner tonight. Sounds good, but way too much effort for me right now. The soup will satisfy my want for lasagna without taking my whole afternoon, which is mostly gone at this point. And I’m taking dinner to a family on Saturday, so this is absolutely perfect! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  7. good to know about the tomato paste. i buy mine in a tube from trader joe’s since i can measure for small amounts and not waste a can.

  8. It must have been divine intetervention that you posted this because this weekend I inadvertently opened a can of tomato paste instead of tomatoe sauce and I thought, “crap- now what ?” So I stuck it in the fridge to worry about later. Lo and behold, your very next recipe not only calls for tomato paste, but even shows me how to preserve it! Are you freaking kidding me?! Lol! Just got done eating this and it was out to this world. The husb loved it but then again he always loves what I make off of here! Thank you!!!

  9. This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it! Tonight I am in charge of food for our RS Christmas dinner and we are serving your sausage tortellini soup, which I expect to be a huge hit. As soon as I recover from the big event, I’ll be ready to try lasagna soup.

    Also, thanks for the tomato paste tip. When I have leftover cream I freeze it in ice cube trays so I can drop a cube or two in when I want something to be a little extra creamy, but I hadn’t thought of doing it with tomato paste. Excellent idea!

  10. I made this the other day after I found it on Pinterest and I think it’s one of my new favorite soups. Thanks for posting and adding some of your tips as well.

  11. Oh, this looks wonderful! Seeing this post made me miss our Glenwood and Blue Barn days so much! I love both Sara and Mel and I am totally going to make this soup and think of both of you. I love you ladies!

  12. Hey! I just made this soup for the gang arriving at my house on the day before Thanksgiving…I had a couple of upturned noses…at first! After they tried it they LOVED it! I used chicken sausage with smoked mozz and garlic (can’t remember the name of it, but you can get it at Costco) instead of the Italian sausage AND I didn’t use quite 3 cups of onions as that seemed like A LOT!! (and it was) One of our new favs!

  13. I made this soup last year and again just this past weekend when we had company. It is always a HUGE hit, and I can definitely say it’s one of my favorite soups ever!

  14. this looks really yummy. I’m thinking of using it for my soup kitchen next month, how many does the original recipe say it serves? thanks!

  15. I am literally drooling! My husband loves lasagna but I feel like it’s such a pain sometimes to make it (plus I dread all the carbs!). But this is going on the menu (and I can monitor how many carbs I put in my personal bowl. I love it, perfect for everyone 🙂

  16. I think I just found dinner tonight! Even though it’s not cold or rainy here in Southeast Texas. Still waiting for that part actually. Excellent sounding recipe! Yum, yum!

  17. This looks sooooo yummy. Do you happen to have any suggestions on what vegetables might go well in there. I am trying hard to be good.

      1. I added some zucchini and yellow squash. it was super tasty. I don’t usually add on to my OBB recipes, but I felt that Sara and Kate would approve 🙂

  18. This looks amazing! I am so bummed though because I am missing a few ingredients and I literally just walked in from the grocery store (as in my groceries are still sitting on my table, waiting patiently for me to put them away). Must go back to the store!

  19. Love your website – love your recipes. Your variety and humerous comments truly make Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays my favorite days of the week. I just have one tiny request that you may have answered before so I apologize if this is redundant. I have noticed that sometimes you put the nutritional value (carbs, sugars, etc.) of the food with the recipe and sometimes it’s not included. My son was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes so this information has become very important to me as I try to cook healthy, TASTY meals for him. With my love of all things OBB, I make so many of your recipes. Would it be possible to have that information included with ALL of the recipes? I realize there are many recipes already on your site without the information, but even if it were included in the future, it would be greatly appreciated! I know I’m not the only one who would love to fix and serve your wonderful recipes to the people I love and have them be able to enjoy it and know it is fitting within their dietary requirements. Thank you so much!

  20. I made this for dinner tonight and it was great. I wasn’t sure when I saw the name – lasagna soup. But, it was really good and tasted a lot like lasagna. Thanks for a new soup recipe we will enjoy many more times.

  21. Made this tonight for myself, with intention of serving it to guests tomorrow. I secretly hope they don’t want it bc I want to eat the whole batch myself!! Delicious!!!

  22. Wow, this is comfort food at it’s finest. Yum! After one bite, the husband said “Wow, this one is a keeper.” I agree. Next time, I’ll serve it with a side of garlic bread. Thank you for another fantastic recipe.

    1. I did switch the chicken broth for beef broth… I love meat, just lazy and didn’t want to defrost any from the freezer. ~Cheers

  23. Okay I have to admit the when I first saw the recipe title “Lasagna Soup” that it just sounded wrong to me, just like blue m&ms are wrong but I digress. After reading the list ingredients I decided to try it for dinner last night. I made a 1/2 batch and it was really good. My husband declared it was a “keeper” recipe. Thanks Sara!

  24. What would be the best way to store leftovers? keep the cheese and noodles seperate or just the cheese? I’m making this tonight!

  25. I saw this on Pinterest and I had to make it for supper tonight!! It was DELICIOUS!! I added some celery that I needed to use and a cup of frozen corn just to get some extra veggies!! Then I used a small can of tomatoe sauce instead of tomatoe paste because that’s all I had!! I also just used ground hamburger and just broke up some lasagna noodles for the pasta and I didn’t have ricotta so I added some small curd cottage cheese instead!! My boys (husband, 6yr.old and 2 yr. old)LOVED it and said this recipe was a keeper!! =) THANKS for sharing and have a FABULOUS WEEK!! =)

  26. This soup was delicious, but my cheese didn’t get all melty like yours did. It just kind of dissolved into the broth. I’m trying to figure out if it’s because I used parm out of a can or fat free ricotta. When I mixed them together they didn’t really look like yours in the picture — it was a lot wetter. Any ideas? It was still delicious and I’ve had leftovers for lunch twice, but I’m pretty sure I need that gooey, melty cheese deliciousness that I see in the pictures!

    1. Ellie, those are definitely the culprits! Specifically the Parm from a can- if you want it to melt, you really need to use shredded (preferably freshly shredded) cheese. I’d probably stick to low-fat or full-fat ricotta as well. Do those things and you’ll be in gooey cheesy heaven!

  27. I made this a few days ago and loved it. I like trying recipes that aren’t too complicated, pretty fail-safe and so good. Thank you! Merry Christmas.

  28. This was a huge hit in my household. It was so rich and hearty, and even with less cheese than traditional lasagna, it was melty and cheesy! I added mushrooms to the recipe, and I think next time I’ll also add some frozen spinach. Thanks Best Bites!

  29. I didn’t have shredded parmesan, so I used parmesan from a can and it was still delicious! Everyone (hubby and 4 kids) loved this soup! I wanted to save on dirty pans so I cooked the pasta in the soup. There were no leftovers 🙁 I will definately make it again!

  30. I made this for dinner on Sunday and it was great! I took the sausage out of the skins and broke it up as I browned it. We loved it! We left off the mozzarella on the top and we did add the pasta in as we served it. Thanks for a good one! My husband loves it whenever I say the recipe is OBB…he knows it will be good!

  31. Made this for dinner tonight. It was so awesome. I thought it would be good, but I didn’t realize it’d be THAT good. As my husband just said, it was in the top 10. Thanks!!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

  32. Looks really good. I have a question on the bay leaves: do you put them in whole and then remove them prior to serving? That’s the only way I’ve ever used them, so I’m not sure of another way. Thanks.

  33. This ia a great recipe! I made a couple of batches (minus the noodles and cheese) and froze it. Then I pulled it out when we had tons of family staying with us over Christmas. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it regardless of age, and it was so easy to just mix up the cheese and cook the noodles at the last minute. yum!

  34. I cannot wait to try this recipe! It looks fabulous! Have you made it in a slow cooker before? Just wondering how that would work if I made the noodles and cheese mixture the night before and made the soup part in a slow cooker during the day while at work.

  35. I made this over the weekend and it is so good! It came together very easily with things that I mostly had on hand. The cheese in the bottom is a brilliant idea! Pure genius! The only thing I did different was add some of you garlic bread seasoning into the cheese mixture, and it was perfect! Thanks again for another great recipe that will become a staple at our house.

  36. Seeing as how I am in LOVE with lasagna, it’s the one food I really miss low carb. This is perfect! I can leave out the noodles and it still takes care of my cravings for lasagna. Now to stop myself from eating half the pot at once…

  37. Just tried this, went really well! I made adjustments because we were out of certain things (curry/cilantro pickled garlic cloves instead of fresh, etc.) and I used the meatless sausage that I bought on a whim at the grocery store one day. The recipe made the not-sausage tasty enough that even my husband had a large helping : )

  38. This looks sooooooo good. Can’t wait to try it. It’s just me now so I’ll have plenty to freeze, unless I make a total pig of myself!!!

  39. If I was, for some reason, forced to choose a favorite soup, this would be it! I make it A LOT in the cooler months. I made my first batch for this season last night, and for the first time, the ricotta mixture that you put in the bowl first actually got stringy! I never cared, because it was always delicious, but it was fun to see 🙂 This time, I shredded the parmesan like I would shred any other cheese…previously I did tiny, microplaned shreads. Also, I used full fat ricotta, and the cheese mixture was room temperature, so I feel like that all helped.

    Thanks again for a huge winner!

  40. Can i use half browned ground beef and half of the sausage that the recipe calls for? I’m not a huge fan of just sausage in my lasagna. I tend to add more gbeef to my recipe.I tell you this soup is screaming to me “just make me,make me”.
    Thanks for your reply,

    1. Hi! I’m not Sara or Kate, but I make this with 1 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound sausage sometimes and other times I use all ground beef. I think it just depends what you like! Either way, you should totally make it 🙂

  41. This is my FAVORITE winter recipe. I get compliments every time I make it. Just noticed the bit about adding the fresh basil right at the end though. Why is that? Does it alter the taste if you let the fresh basil simmer with everything? Just wanted to keep this sitting in my crock pot all day and dont want to mess it up if I add my fresh basil too soon!

    1. As a general rule of thumb, add fresh herbs right before serving foods, and dry herbs early to they can simmer away! If you leave fresh herbs in the crock pot they’ll just turn to mush and you’ll loose the flavor. Add them in just before serving for best results!

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