Grandma’s Easy Old Fashioned Recipe for 15 Bean Soup is perfect for cool winter nights. Warm, Thick and Hearty with a punch of smoky flavor in every bite!

15 Bean Soup in a white bowl

When I think of 15 Bean Soup, I think of my Grandma. This amazing recipe was handed down to me straight from her recipe box. I was taught (by the master) to make 15 Bean Soup with sausage, which has become a legacy in our home. My family is obsessed with kielbasa! My Grandmother was very young when I first saw her make this soup. I remember her making 15 Bean Soup with what seemed like a never-ending supply of dried beans that she had in her pantry. Because it’s the 21st century, I do not have that same endless supply of dried beans. I am assuming most of you don’t either. With that being said, I’ve lovingly tweaked this recipe over the years to include a prepackaged bag of beans, a bit of lemon zest and a little liquid smoke. The rest is all my Gram!


  • The seasonings are SO flavorful!
  • 15 Bean soup mix makes it a quick, easy dinner!
  • Nostalgia – this soup brings me back to Grandma’s kitchen every time!
  • It’s so hearty it really warms down to your bones!

Scooped 15 Bean Soup from a bowl

What is 15 Bean Soup?

15 Bean Soup originated in the United States, but for me, its roots are 100% Grandma. Like our Black Bean Soup, my recipe for 15 Bean Soup is a whole lot of hearty with a little bit of smoky. The main ingredients are (you guessed it) beans. If you Google it, you’ll probably come up with a recipe for Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup. This is the package of beans that I usually purchase at my local supermarket. It is also the most popular. Inside your bag of hurst beans, you’ll find a 15 bean soup seasoning packet. Throw it away! We use only the beans from the package and season the soup with spices from my Grandmother’s recipe. It tastes so much better. Nobody knows what the heck is in that seasoning packet anyway! 

15 Bean Soup is typically made with kielbasa, but my Gram had been known to substitute ham bone or ham hock if they happened to be on sale at the butcher’s! Making it this way creates something reminiscent of our Ham and Bean Soup. Yum. 15 Bean Soup is wonderful in that regard as there are many variations, which we’ve discussed below in the recipe notes.

With 15 Bean Soup nutrition is a given. Listed below is the a nutritional breakdown and reliable unless you add-ons are nutritional no-no’s!




What Ingredients Do You Need to Make 15 Bean Soup?

I don’t follow the typical 15 Bean Soup mix recipe. I use the beans, but that’s it!

My 15 Bean Soup calls for the beans from a bag of dried 15 Bean Soup, vegetable oil, kielbasa, onions, celery, carrots, minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper, liquid smoke, lemon zest, lemon juice, and diced tomatoes.

If you are a regular reader of Gonna Want Seconds, you know that I love Cajun food! Therefore, it seems only right to give this recipe a Cajun twist by switching up a few of the ingredients. The flavor is all in the spices and the sausage selection. I can’t wait to share it, so stay tuned for my Cajun 15 Bean Soup Recipe…coming soon!

Speaking of different flavors…

Since you’ve found yourself here, I’m going to assume that you and I share the same love for bean soups. For a whole different array of flavors, try my Pasta Fagioli Soup! It’s everything you want in a bean soup with an Italian flare. Trust me. 

How Do You Make 15 Bean Soup?

Start by soaking your beans overnight! Eight quarts of water is about right for our recipe for 15 Bean SoupHeat your vegetables until they shimmer, add half the kielbasa to the pot, brown it and remove it, repeat for the second half. Next, add the onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic to the pot, saute’ until translucent. Add in the chili powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and black pepper, saute’ until fragrant. Add the browned kielbasa, cover the whole shebang with water about 2 inches over the top of the mixture. Add in your liquid smoke, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer until beans are tender. Add the juice of one lemon, lemon zest, the can of tomatoes including the juices and salt. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Note** Slow cooker 15 bean soup is incredible! Make sure to check out the recipe notes for instructions! However you cook it a 15 Bean Soup quick cook recipe is an oxymoron. 

Step By Step How To Make 15 Bean Soup

Step By Step: How To Make 15 Bean Soup

1. Soak dried beans overnight or at least 8 hours.
2. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
3. In a pot, add vegetable oil and brown kielbasa. Set aside.
4. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, cook over medium heat.
5. Add chili powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper. Saute until spices becomes fragrant, about a minute.
6. Add the kielbasa back to the pot. Pour enough water to cover the top of the mixture. Add liquid smoke. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and continue to simmer-covered, for about 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
7. Add lemon zest.
8. Add the lemon juice.
9. Pour in the undrained diced tomatoes.
10. Add salt. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add more seasoning as needed. Serve. (complete instructions below)


15 Bean Soup in a white bowl
5 from 1 vote

15 Bean Soup

Grandma's Easy Old Fashioned Recipe for 15 Bean Soup is perfect for cool winter nights. Warm, Thick and Hearty with a punch of smoky flavor in every bite!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 366 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 (20 Ounce) Bag Dried 15 Bean Soup
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 12 (Ounce) Packs Kielbasa Halved Lengthwise then Sliced Into 1/2 Inch Pieces
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 6 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Petite Diced Tomatoes, Undrained


  1. Add dried beans to a large bowl and cover with 8 cups of water. Allow beans to sit overnight, or at least 8 hours.

  2. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
  3. In an 8-quart pot, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable over medium-high heat, until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the half Kielbasa and brown then remove to a plate. Continue with remaining Kielbasa.

  4. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and continue to cook, over medium heat, until the onions are translucent. 

  5. Sprinkle chili powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper, over the cooked vegetables and continue to saute until the spices become fragrant about 1-2 minutes.

  6. Add the add the drained beans and browned sausage back to the pot. Add water to the bean/sausage mixture with enough to cover the top of the mixture by 2 inches. Add liquid smoke.

  7. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered 2-2 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.

  8. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, the tomatoes with their juices and 2 teaspoons of salt and continue to simmer another 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
15 Bean Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 /12 of the recipe)
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 674mg 28%
Potassium 771mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 66%
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes for 15 Bean Soup:

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker: You can make this recipe in either one of these handy kitchen appliances. They are appealing because pretty much all the work (except for soaking the beans) is done for you. 15 Bean Soup pressure cooker style will differ just a bit from Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup. Many think that these kitchen gadgets are the same. They’re not. Before you try this recipe in either one, make sure you know the difference.

Meat: You can switch up the type of meat that you put into 15 Bean Soup according to your preference. If your family prefers ham over sausage, try making your 15 Bean Soup with ham. You can also play with the cuts, and try 15 Bean Soup with ham bone. The flavor difference is delightful!

Slow Cooker: This recipe is amazing when cooked to slow perfection. You can make my 15 Bean Soup Crock Pot Friendly by following the instructions right up through sauteing the veggies and kielbasa. When it’s time to add liquid, transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cook until the beans are tender then pick back up with our instructions at step #8 and finish there. It’s so good!

Thickening: As the soup sets, it will thicken from the natural starch in the beans. Bean soups tend to do this, and it’s lovely because you don’t have to thicken the soup yourself.  Don’t fret if it gets too thick! Just thin it out as needed with water.

Lemon: You can skip the lemon zest and juice in this recipe if you’d like. Just substitute it with a cup of white wine!

15 Bean Soup in a white bowl

Can You Make 15 Bean Soup Ahead of Time?

Of course you can! It’s actually quite delicious this way. Making this soup ahead of time, or even making 15 Bean soup slow cooker style (see recipe notes) will make the flavors mix and marry like a dream! All you have to do is follow the instructions as you normally would. When the soup is simmered to perfection, cover it tightly and refrigerate. The soup will thicken as it sits, so when you’re ready to serve, thin with water as needed.

How Do You Freeze 15 Bean Soup?

If you’ve got leftovers, and you might because this recipe is on the larger side, simply portion it out into freezer safe containers pop them in the freezer! Toss them in the fridge to thaw, heat and enjoy!

15 Bean Soup in a white bowl

What Do You Serve With 15 Bean Soup?

The short answer is carbs. The long answer is me suggesting that you try Hot Water Cornbread, Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread or Sausage Cheese Muffins. Anyone of these bread combined with my recipe for 15 Bean Soup is out of this world!

Step By Step How To Make 15 Bean Soup

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