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Simple and Hearty Bratwurst Soup Makes a Cozy Meal

by | Sep 28, 2021 | Recipes

In 45 minutes, you can go from prep to table with this deeply flavorful Bratwurst Soup with Rice. A rich and meaty broth is packed with sausage, carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and rice for an easy, filling meal. This cozy soup hits the spot when you need to warm up quickly!

macro shot of bratwurst soup in serving bowl

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Ok, so I was really trying to hold out as long as I could before I let go of Summer and gave into all the temptations of Fall. I lasted…*checks calendar*….4 days. And then I went balls to the wall on all the Fall vibes. LOL

Fall is, yes, all about pumpkins and apples. But it’s also about hearty soups, chilis, and stews! A piping hot bowl of soup soothes the soul on a cool, crisp Fall day. And it warms your hands and body in the bone-chilling cold of Winter. There is just something super home-y and cozy about soup when the weather turns and trees become a magical sea of colors.

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INGREDIENTS    SWAPS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

Bratwurst Soup with Rice

This super easy soup uses ground bratwurst sausage, carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, garlic, dry onion soup mix, beef broth, and rice to create a cozy, warming meal. The fat from the meat helps to create a rich, flavorful soup even though it only uses 8-10 oz of sausage. If you want a truly meaty soup, use a full pound of the bratwurst sausage. But trust me that it is very hearty with just half a pound of protein.

close up of bratwurst soup ingredients

The veggies and rice give the soup bulk and texture. The fresh veggies are all cooked in stages to ensure they are fully cooked but not mushy by the time that the rice is fully tender. You won’t need a lot of rice for this soup–just 1/3 of a cup.

Often times, rice will soak up the excess liquid in a soup even after the rice is fully cooked. So to avoid ending up with a rice dish instead of a soup days after you’ve made this Bratwurst Soup, I keep the ratio of rice low. The 1/3 cup is enough to make this soup satisfyingly filling while also keeping it nice and brothy for several days.

How This Bratwurst Soup with Rice Came to Be

I was recently cleaning out our pantry to see what’s expired but can still be used and literally treat our kitchen like a grocery store by re-stocking things according to their “best by” dates. Freakish? Certainly! But there ain’t no shame in my game. We stocked up on so many more pantry staples than usual last year. And then, thankfully, never really needed to tap into them.

close up of pot of bratwurst soup with rice

I hate wasting food, so it’s been high-time to do something about the surplus. One of the things we had plenty of was Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix. So, I decided to see what we had in the fridge and go to town on making a cozy, hearty soup as a quick meal that we could eat throughout the week.

This Bratwurst Soup with Rice uses up uncooked bratwurst sausage links that we had–I simply squeezed the sausage out of the casing and then fried it up in the soup pot. Because bratwurst has a high percentage of fat, there’s no need to add any oil to the skillet in order to get a good browning. You just need to have your pot ripping hot to get a great sear.

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Ingredients For Bratwurst Soup with Rice

overhead shot of ingredients to make bratwurst soup
  • Bratwurst Sausage – I like to break the bratwurst into small crumbles using my chop and stir utensil after I’ve gotten a good sear on the meat. If you prefer a chunkier soup, I would suggest browning the sausages in their casings and then slicing them into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • White Rice – Make sure you’re using short or long grain rice, not par-boiled. The par-boiled will cook too quickly and get mushy.
  • Carrots – I go back and forth between dicing them and slicing them. If you prefer a little bite in your carrots, I suggest dicing them into 1/4-inch pieces. But if you’d rather have them soft in your soup, then slice them into 1/8-inch pieces.
  • Celery – Celery is really fibrous, so if you want them to melt into the background then you should slice these also into 1/8-inch pieces. If you’re good with a little texture in your soup, slice or dice the celery into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • Onion – I like to dice my onions in this soup so that they match the carrots and celery in size. Smaller pieces will break down and melt into the soup broth while larger pieces or slices will give your soup added texture.
  • Bell Pepper – The bell pepper adds some bulk as well as a layer of sweetness to the soup. There’s a lot of salty, savory elements in this soup, so having the bell pepper helps counteract and balance the overall flavor.
  • Garlic – I like to use fresh garlic, and I go back and forth between roughly chopping it and mincing it. The smaller you cut the garlic, the more garlic flavor that it will impart to your soup. So for a mild garlic flavor, stick to a rough chop. You could also slice the garlic and then remove the garlic slices prior to serving, if you want just the flavor.
  • Beef Broth – This enhances the flavor that is given to the soup broth by the browned bratwurst sausage. I prefer to use the low sodium or no salt added versions because the onion soup mix already has a lot of sodium.
  • Onion Soup Mix – A key ingredient to this soup, the dry mix gives this soup its saltiness and a punch of onion flavor that pairs well with the bratwurst.

Pin this recipe to make later!

recipe pin for bratwurst soup with rice for pinterest

Ingredient Swaps & Variations

  • Alternate Proteins – If you don’t have bratwurst on hand, ground beef is a great substitute. You could also use chuck beef that’s been cut into cubes for a stew; as they cook and fall apart, it will thicken this soup a bit.
  • Alternate Rice – I personally think that white rice is best in this bratwurst soup. But if you’d prefer brown to white, you could use brown rice in this dish without a problem. You’ll just need to boil the soup longer to ensure the brown rice is fully cooked (and this may require you to add more water to the soup since you’re boiling it longer).
  • Add More Veggies – The veggies in this bratwurst soup are quite simple. If you’d like to add more in, some that I think would go well are peas, corn, broccoli, green beans, and potatoes.
  • Wanna Go Meatless?? – You could easily swap the bratwurst for tofu crumbles that you’ve browned in olive oil. Another alternate protein would be to use beans in place of the bratwurst; I would suggest a pinto or navy bean.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

What to Remember – Cook the veggies in stages and in the order given instead of just adding them all in at once. This is because each veggie needs to cook for a different amount of time and you want to make sure that each is fully cooked, not overcooked.

What to Avoid – Keep an eye on your garlic once you add it into the soup pot. You don’t have to literally stand there stirring constantly, but you’ll want to stir frequently enough to avoid burning the garlic. As the garlic cooks, it will become very fragrant and start turning a golden color. If you don’t stir often enough and your garlic browns super quick, add your broth and water in early to help avoid your garlic from cooking too far and burning.

overhead shot of bratwurst soup with rice

Recipe Notes

Storage – Store leftovers of this Bratwurst Soup with Rice in an airtight glass or plastic container in the fridge. Stored properly, leftovers will be good for up to 7 days.

Reheating – This soup reheats beautifully in both the microwave and on the stovetop.

Servings & Nutrition – One serving of this Bratwurst Soup with Rice is 1 cup. This recipe makes 6 servings. Each serving has approximately 263 calories, 23 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of protein, 15 g of fat, and 2 g of sugar. For the full recipe and additional nutritional information, please see the recipe card below.

How to Make Bratwurst Soup with Rice

Step 1. Prep your carrots, celery, onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Then set aside. If using bratwurst sausage links, remove the sausage from its casings. Then add the sausage to a large soup pot over high heat. Sear until a deep golden brown (about 2-3 minutes); then, flip and sear the other side (another 2-3 minutes).

instructions steps 1 and 2

Step 2. Once the sausage has mostly cooked through, begin breaking it up into crumbles using a chop and stir utensil or a large spoon. Add in your carrots and cook 2-3 minutes.

Step 3. Next, add in your celery and cook another 2 minutes.

instructions steps 3 and 4

Step 4. Then, add in your onion and cook another 2 minutes.

Step 5. Next, add in your bell pepper and continue cooking another 2 minutes.

instructions steps 5 and 6

Step 6. Add in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes while stirring constantly (in order to avoid burning the garlic).

Step 7. Next, add in the beef broth, water, and dry onion soup mix. Stir well to combine. Bring the soup to a rapid boil and then add in the rice.

instructions steps 7 and 8

Step 8. Continue boiling for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender.

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Absolutely! Though be warned that brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, so you’ll want to boil the soup approximately 10-15 minutes longer than my recipe instructions call for. Be sure to check the doneness of the rice after it’s been boiling for about 28-30 minutes in total; if it’s still not tender, check the rice again in about another 5 minutes.

Can leftovers of this Bratwurst Soup with Rice be frozen?

Unfortunately, I find that when rice is frozen in a soup, it ends up mushy when you thaw it out for later use. So because of this, I would avoid freezing leftovers of the soup.

I don’t have any beef broth on hand, could I use beef bouillon powder or beef bouillon cubes instead?

Yes, you can certainly use those substitutes for the beef broth–but do so with a word of caution. Bouillon powder and cubes are typically packed with a LOT more salt than beef broth or beef stock. To counteract this extra salt, you’ll need to add in either more veggies to soak it up or dilute it with extra water. For the veggie route, I would suggest adding another half a cup of carrots. If you go the water route, I would suggest adding in 1 extra cup of water and then tasting the soup to see if it’s still too salty; if so, add 1 more extra cup of water.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

overhead shot of bratwurst soup with rice

Bratwurst Soup with Rice

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This deeply flavorful Bratwurst Soup with Rice with a rich and meaty broth is packed with carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and rice.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz bratwurst sausage
  • 2/3 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 packets onion soup mix
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 5 cups water

Instructions

1. Dice the carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.

2. Smash the garlic cloves and then roughly chop. Set aside.

3. Remove bratwurst sausages from their casings. Gather loose ground sausage and form into 2-3 small patties.

4. Add the bratwurst patties to a large soup pot over high heat. Sear the patties 2-3 minutes on each side.

5. Break the sausage patties into crumbles and then add in the diced carrots. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes.

6. Next, add in the celery and cook another 2 minutes. Then add in the onions and cook another 2 minutes.

7. Add in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

8. Once the garlic is lightly golden brown and fragrant, add in the beef broth, water, and dry onion soup mix. Stir well and bring soup to a rolling boil.

9. Add in the uncooked rice. Continue boiling another 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 1781mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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