Easy and Hearty Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup

This Easy and Hearty Kielbasa and 15-Bean Soup is a go-to recipe for when I’m craving a really good soup. With a mixture of beans and veggies plus a generous amount of smoky kielbasa sausage, this is one very flavor-packed soup. On a cold winter day, it’s the perfect choice for a warm and comforting supper. And this makes a lot of soup, so a large stockpot or your favorite Dutch oven is the perfect vessel to prepare this delicious soup. {And if you love a hearty soup like I do, check out my recipes for Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels and Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings.}

Kielbasa and Bean Soup

Now this is a made from scratch bean soup, and so I start with dried beans. And although I typically use a particular brand of dried beans that happened to have 15 different kinds of beans, you can use any mixture of dried beans that you like. Some brands may have 12 beans, 16 beans, or some other amount. Any mix will work just fine.

If you can’t find mixed dried beans (they are often labeled as “soup beans”), dried navy beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, or great northern beans work great, too. Making this soup with dried beans is very important in this recipe because the beans release their starch as they slow cook and create a very creamy bean soup. 

Another thing I love about this recipe is this soup freezes beautifully. Actually, it’s the kind of soup that is even better when reheated the next day. When I make a batch, I typically serve half for dinner and then put the leftovers in freezer-safe containers and stash them in the freezer. For best quality, I like to store the frozen soup for no more than 2-3 months. You can also pour the hot kielbasa soup into a thermos and pack it for lunch, or pack it in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Easy and Hearty Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup

Kielbasa and Bean Soup simmering in the Dutch oven.

Ingredients for Kielbasa and 15- Bean Soup

Mixed Dried Beans – I like the Hambeens brand, but you can use any dried bean mix that you prefer. I know that dried beans are a little more work than using cans of beans, but the end result worth it. 

Onion – Any type of onion that you prefer is fine. I usually use a sweet onion like Vidalia. 

Garlic – Mince the garlic yourself or use pre-minced garlic from a jar to make it easy. If you don’t have fresh garlic, go ahead and substitute a few shakes of garlic powder. 

Celery – Dice the celery stalks, but you can also add in some of the tender leaves from inside the celery bunch.

Carrots – Fresh carrots that you peel and diced yourself are the best choice here. Canned carrots can be used in a pinch, but fresh is best.

Chicken Broth – You can use store-bought or homemade. Chicken stock is also acceptable. I often use a wet chicken base and add enough water to make 8 cups of broth. 

Olive Oil or Avocado Oil – I like to use olive oil or avocado oil for sautéing the kielbasa slices, but you can use the cooking oil you prefer. 

Fully-cooked Kielbasa or other smoked sausage – I typically use beef kielbasa or turkey kielbasa, but you can use other types of fully-cooked smoked sausage like chicken or pork. For a totally different flavor profile, try using Italian sausage.

Canned Diced Tomatoes – I like to use fire-roasted tomatoes if I have them on hand, but any type of diced tomatoes will work. Don’t be tempted to omit the tomatoes because they help to create a very savory broth for your soup.

Russet Potato – A big russet potato is perfect for this soup. If you prefer a potato that will hold together better, however, go for a red or gold potato.

Green Cabbage – This is an optional ingredient, but I often add half of a cabbage, shredded. To make it easy, use a bag of shredded coleslaw mix. Or you can leave it out.

Seasonings – For a flavorful soup, don’t skip the seasonings. I like to use thyme, cumin, smoked paprika, and a bay leaf, but you can change the seasonings to your liking. A couple of tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning will also work. Or change it up with a spoonful of chili powder or a little bit of liquid smoke for extra smoky flavor.

Salt and Ground Black Pepper – Add to your taste. 

Bean Soup with Kielbasa

Tips for making the best Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup

Soak your beans. I know a lot of people don’t like to soak their beans, but I find that the beans cook more evenly and have a lovely texture when I soak my beans. Soaking beans before cooking can also help to remove some of the digestive troubles that sometimes accompany beans. You can soak them overnight (which I find to be the easiest method) or use the quick-soak method

Season your soup to your liking. If your beans come with a seasoning packet, you can use it in your soup or otherwise discard the packet, or save it and use it another time. 

Boil the soup then reduce to a simmer. Get the soup going by heating it over medium-high heat to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes. Then reduce to medium-low heat and allow the soup to simmer until it is done. You’ll know it’s done when the beans and vegetables are tender and the soup is rich and creamy. 

Wait and to add the tomatoes and potatoes. The acidity of the tomatoes can prevent the beans from getting soft it you add them too early in the cooking process. So I like to wait until the beans are nearly fully cooked before adding the tomatoes. Also, don’t add the potatoes until the beans are almost cooked or the potatoes will dissolve into the soup during the long cooking process. 

Can I use the crock pot or Instant Pot to make this bean soup? 

I believe you can make this soup in the Instant Pot, but I have not tried it, so I can’t say for sure. As for the crock pot, I’m not a fan of cooking my beans in the crockpot. For safety reasons, beans should be boiled for a minimum of 10 minutes at some point during the cooking process, So unless your crockpot is capable of boiling the beans, I recommend sticking with a stock pot or Dutch oven and cooking it on the stove. 

What can I serve Kielbasa and 15-Bean Soup with?

I love to serve this soup with a loaf of crusty bread or a pan of homemade cornbread. I also like to serve it with a crisp salad on the side. 

If you try this recipe for this Easy and Hearty Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup, I hope you love it. And follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram so you don’t miss a post. 

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Easy and Hearty Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup

  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


With a mixture of beans and veggies plus a generous amount of smoky kielbasa sausage, this Kielbasa and 15-Bean Soup is one very comforting and flavor-packed soup.


Units Scale
  • 20 ounces mixed dried beans
  • Water for soaking the beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil (or other cooking oil or fat)
  • 1214 ounces fully-cooked kielbasa (or other smoked sausage), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1415 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 1 pint home-canned tomatoes)
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded (optional ingredient)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 12 bay leaves


  1. Sort the beans, picking out and discarding any bad beans or debris. Rinse beans in a colander under running water, then place them in a large bowl. Cover the beans with water (a few inches above the level of the beans), cover the bowl with a lid or towel, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The following day, drain and rinse the beans and discard the soaking water.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the beans, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar.
  5. Simmer for 1 ½ -2 hours, or until beans are just barely tender.
  6. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown the kielbasa in the oil until golden brown around the edges. Drain off any grease, and add kielbasa to the soup along with tomatoes, potato, cabbage (if using), dried thyme, cumin, and paprika. Add a little more broth or water if necessary.
  7. Simmer for 1 more hour, or until beans and vegetables are tender and the soup is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

This made from scratch bean soup is rich and delicious. With a mixture of beans and veggies plus a generous amount of smoky kielbasa sausage, this Kielbasa and 15-Bean Soup is one very comforting and flavor-packed soup.


  • Miz Helen
    December 9, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    This is my kind of soup, it looks fantastic! Hope you have a great week and thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  • Miz Helen
    December 17, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    We sure have enjoyed featuring your post this past week at Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing with us and come back real soon!
    Merry Christmas
    Miz Helen

    • Melissa
      December 27, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thank-you for the feature! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!

  • […] This Simple Old-Fashioned Potato Soup recipe is the kind of potato soup I grew up with, and it’s still my very favorite potato soup today. It’s made with just 4 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and takes very little time to prepare. When I’m looking for quick comfort food for a chilly day, this is one of my go-to recipes. I like to serve it with freshly-baked beer bread or cornbread. (And if you love hearty soups, also check out my recipe for Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup!) […]

  • […] This recipe for Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Cabbage and Potatoes is an easy and delicious way to get supper on the table. Cabbage, kielbasa, and chunks of potatoes are cooked low and slow in chicken broth along with onions, garlic, and a few seasonings until everything is tender and flavorful. It makes for a hearty supper for any day of the week.  (And if you like easy recipes for kielbasa, check out my recipe for Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup, too!) […]

  • Jared Leavitt
    March 10, 2024 at 11:49 pm

    Very tasty! It is a big dish and feeds more like 8 – 10. It needs prep and cook times for quick reference, these are missing. Also needs complete metric conversions (One 400 ml can chopped tomatoes is a good sub for 15 ounces and is the standard size in Europe, the kielbasa comes out to 350 grams). After boiling the beans on the stovetop I baked them in the oven at 140C (285F) for 2 hours (steps 4 & 5) then for another hour (steps 6 & 7). No need to stir to prevent any scorching so you have time to do other things and is easier to clean up with nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot. While the beans were cooking I had some fresh bread dough rising and put that hot oven to use baking some crusty loaves after the beans had finished!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2024 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you for the tips and the conversions! I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe!


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