Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup with cheese tortellini, fresh spinach, parmesan, and sausage is comforting Italian ready in just 20 minutes.
Tortellini Soup is such an easy weeknight dish with loads of flavor and minimal prep time. It’s all made in one pot and comes together in practically no time! You’ll be enjoying a bowl of Spinach and Sausage Tortellini Soup in just 20 minutes. What could be better?
The comforting meal is made with lots of warm flavors and hearty ingredients. With Italian Sausage, cheesy tortellini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, and a sprinkle of Parmesan, its amazing Italian flavor is sure to make it one of your favorite soups ever.
This soup is filling enough to make for quick and easy weekday lunches, or serve it to the family for a quick, easy dinner that has all the familiar Italian flavor kids love. You can experiment with adding different vegetables and seasonings, too.
One of the great things about soup recipes is that they double as a side dish and a delicious meal in their own right. You can serve this soup on the side if you’re enjoying an Italian meal like Chicken Marsala. Or, if you’re serving it as the main course be sure to add some of your favorite soup sides to round out the meal like Crusty Bread and Fresh Salad.
What is Tortellini?
Tortellini originates in the Italian region of Emilia, and its origins are from the middle ages and so not fully known. One legend is that an innkeeper came up with the shape as an homage to the beauty of Venus and it’s supposed to resemble her belly button. Either way, it was traditionally stuffed with some combination of cheese and pork and served in a broth. The shape differs from ravioli and is more of a wonton shape, whereas ravioli tends to look more like a dumpling. This may be to help keep the fillings from spilling out when cooking. Today, there are many varieties of tortellini sold fresh in the grocery store.
How to Make Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Brown sausage: Start by adding the sausage to the base of a heavy-bottomed soup pot or dutch oven. Turn the stovetop to medium-high heat, and use a wooden spoon to crumble the meat during the 4-5 minute cook time. Then lower to medium heat and add the onion and minced cloves garlic. Stir them into the crispy meat.
- Chicken stock: Pour in the chicken stock, water, diced tomatoes (with liquid), dried basil, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir the soup ingredients together with the cooked sausage, and let them simmer.
- Tortellini: Next, add the cheese tortellini pasta to the mix. Keep at a simmer and cook until tortellini is softened. It should only take about 6-8 minutes of cooking time. Finish by adding the spinach and leaving it to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle grated parmesan on top.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Use a basic cheese tortellini for this Italian soup recipe. Usually it will be stuffed with a combination of ricotta, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses. A simple cheese tortellini will combine well with all the other flavors like sausage, tomato, and spinach and still let the cheese shine through.
Yes! To make this dish vegetarian, all you have to do is replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and leave out the meat. If you’re worried about not having enough protein without the sausage, try adding a can of white beans to the soup. To take it a step further and make the dish vegan, you’ll need to leave out the parmesan and replace the cheesy pasta with spinach tortellini.
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Key Ingredients in Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
Italian Sausage: Use a fresh, ground Italian sausage and remove the casings so that it can be crumbled and browned. If you use the pre-cooked, smoked sausage there won’t be as much sausage flavor that permeates the rest of the ingredients, and the smokiness could overwhelm the dish.
Tortellini: Fresh tortellini is usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, near the Italian cheeses. Cheese tortellini typically has a blend of cheeses, and only takes a few minutes of boiling to cook.
Chicken Broth: Use a good quality chicken broth as the base for this recipe. It’s a good idea to select low sodium broths for cooking, so that you can adjust the salt to your taste once you’ve added the rest of the ingredients.
Tomatoes: The diced tomatoes, along with their juices, add a classic Italian flavor to the soup. The chunky tomatoes help make the soup even heartier, while the tomato juice flavors the broth and adds a deep rich color.
Fresh Spinach: The fresh greens wilted into the soup adds a beautiful color contrast as well as an earthy flavor with a little crunch. You also get some wonderful nutrients along with the rest of the hearty ingredients.
Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Remove sausage from casings and brown in a skillet, crumbling and searing as it cooks.
- Transfer sausage into your slow cooker and add onions and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a splash of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, and add onion mixture to slow cooker.
- Add the remaining chicken broth, water, undrained canned tomatoes, basil, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the crock pot. Stir and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
- Add tortellini and spinach to the slow cooker and cook an additional 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Can Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup be Made Ahead?
This tortellini soup makes a perfect meal prep for easy weekday lunches. Cook the soup according to the instructions, but boil the tortellini separately. Portion the soup into airtight containers and portion the tortellini into small ziplock bags alongside each soup serving. When you are ready to eat, just add the tortellini into the soup and reheat it in the microwave or stovetop. This will prevent the pasta from soaking up all the broth from the soup and becoming mushy.
Variations on Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Seasonings: There are plenty of different spices and herbs you can try mixing into your soup recipe. Try adding onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, fresh basil, oregano, or rosemary. You can also use an Italian Seasoning blend to make it easy.
- Soup broth: Instead of chicken stock, you can use turkey broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth in this recipe.
- Meat: If you don’t have Italian sausage, you can try different kinds of ground meats in this recipe like ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
- Greens: Instead of spinach, try wilting in chopped kale, swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, or escarole for a different flavor and texture.
- Creamy Tortellini Soup: If you prefer a creamier soup, it only takes a couple of add-ins. You can easily make the creamy soup using heavy cream and tomato sauce. Just mix ½ cup heavy cream and ¼ cup tomato sauce into the soup broth to get a beautiful creamy dish.
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How to Store Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Serve: Fresh Tortellini Soup can stay good at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: After it’s cooled, ladle the soup into an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: For more long-term storage, you can keep the dish in the freezer. Seal leftover soup in freezer bags or another freezer-friendly container. Frozen Tortellini Soup will stay good for about 3 months.
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage links , casings removed
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 5 garlic cloves , minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes , undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 9 ounces cheese tortellini
- 6 ounces fresh spinach , chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , shredded
- Add sausage to a large heavy-bottomed pot.
- Cook on medium-high heat, crumbling it as you cook, searing it until slightly crispy (about 4-5 minutes).
- Lower heat to medium, add in onion and garlic and stir.
- Add chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes (with liquid), dried basil, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the tortellini and cook for 6-8 minutes on a simmer (if you rapidly boil it will break the tortellini).
- Add in spinach and cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.