Chicken Tortellini Soup

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This delicious Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is everything a hearty fall soup should be, and it’s easy to make in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Cheese-filled tortellini take the place of dumplings for cheers all around, no matter who’s at the table or what the weather’s like.

Slow cooker chicken tortellini soup in a white bowl.


 

Homemade chicken noodle soup is amazing when you’re a little under the weather, or even if you have a full-blown cold. It hydrates you, soothes you, and nourishes you all at once. Of course, you don’t have to wait to feel sick to make it.

This chicken soup recipe gets extra flavor and richness from cheese tortellini. The chicken cooks first, along with the vegetables, and then you stir in the tortellini towards the end. That way, it’s infused with chicken broth without overcooking.

Or, substitute cooked chicken (such as leftover rotisserie chicken) and add it with the tortellini, after the veggies have cooked through. It’s an easy meal that uses up leftovers. We all love that!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chicken tortellini soup.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts are easy, but you can use chicken thighs too. The skin and bones get discarded when the chicken is shredded. To substitute leftover chicken, add it to the slow cooker with the cheese tortellini in Step 2.
  • Cheese tortellini: This recipe calls for the fresh variety, which can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. To substitute frozen or dried cheese tortellini, cook according to package directions.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In the bottom of a slow cooker, add chicken, onions, carrots, and celery. Add low-sodium chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
Slow cooker chicken tortellini soup cooking in a black slow cooker.
  1. Transfer chicken to a cutting board or bowl and shred with two forks.
Someone pulling chicken on a wood cutting board.
  1. Return to slow cooker and add tortellini. Cook until tortellini is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Someone pouring tortellini into a black slow cooker.
  1. Remove bay leaf and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
Slow cooker chicken tortellini soup in a white bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of soup, enough for 6 servings, 2 cups each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: For best results, freeze the Chicken Soup without the tortellini for future meals. Reheat and add the cheese tortellini right before you plan to enjoy it.
  • More flavors: Add garlic or your favorite spices such as Italian seasoning or dried oregano right to the crockpot in Step 1.
  • Greens: Handfuls of fresh spinach or finely chopped kale is a fabulous way to eat more dark leafy greens. Put it in early so it cooks down and gets soft and tender.
  • More vegetables: Coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes boost the flavors of this soup. Or zucchini diced up small and added to the soup towards the final stage of cooking leaves them crisp-tender, not soggy. I love fresh mushrooms, too.
  • Creamy: Finish the soup with a splash of heavy cream of some half and half to make things a little more indulgent.
  • Garnishes: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice into the soup pot at the last minute, while you’re adjusting the seasoning, brightens your bowl of soup without the need for extra salt. Finish with fresh herbs like minced parsley or thyme or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Sausage Tortellini Soup: This delicious version is made with Italian sausage, fresh baby spinach, and cheese tortellini.
  • Stove top: No time for a slow cooker? Try it on the stove top!
    1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bottom of a large pot or large Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, celery, and carrots until softened.
    2. Add the broth, chicken breasts, thyme, and bay leaf and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and shred using two forks.
    3. Add the tortellini and simmer until tender. Then add the shredded chicken back into the soup and heat through. Take out the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Instant pot: This easy soup is ready even quicker in an Instant Pot.
    1. Add carrots, chicken breasts, onions, and celery to the Instant Pot. Pour in chicken broth, then add thyme and bay leaf. Set the Instant Pot to “soup” setting, at high pressure.
    2. When the cooking is finished, release the pressure gradually and carefully remove the chicken. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode, add the tortellini, and cook for 5 minutes.
    3. While the pasta is cooking, shred the chicken using two forks, and return it to the pot. Let everything mingle together for about 5 minutes, then take out the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slow cooker chicken tortellini soup in an insta pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to serve with tortellini soup for dinner?

Serve this crockpot Chicken Tortellini Soup with plenty of fresh bread or crackers and a crisp green salad.

Can I cook tortellini ahead of time?

Like all pastas, you can cook tortellini ahead of time. Just plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and store covered in the refrigerator. Refresh in boiling water or your finished soup, such as this one.

How far in advance can you make tortellini?

Tortellini can be cooked, cooled, and refrigerator for up to 4 days.

More chicken soup recipes

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Slow cooker chicken tortellini soup in a white bowl.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

This delicious Chicken Tortellini Soup is everything a hearty fall soup should be, and it’s easy to make in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Cheese-filled tortellini take the place of dumplings for cheers all around, no matter who’s at the table or what the weather’s like.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings (2 cups each)
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 380
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In the bottom of a slow cooker, add chicken, onions, carrots, and celery. Add chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board or bowl and shred with two forks. Return to slow cooker and add tortellini.
  • Cook until tortellini is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  1. Chicken. Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts are easy, but you can use any cut of chicken at all. The skin and bones get discarded when the chicken is shredded. To substitute leftover chicken, add it to the slow cooker with the cheese tortellini in Step 2.
  2. Cheese tortellini. This recipe calls for the fresh variety, which can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. To substitute frozen or dried cheese tortellini, cook according to package directions.
  3. Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of soup, enough for 6 servings, 2 cups each.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 cupsCalories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 31gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1617mgPotassium: 607mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1783IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 156mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. This recipe was delicious and so simple to make! I added some cayenne pepper and garlic salt at the end for some extra flavor. I will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  2. I appreciate that salt/sodium makes everything taste better. I used to be the head chef in my own successful restaurant. However, I now have really high blood pressure, and I really hate the hospital. Any recipes that taste good but don’t send me to the emergency room?

    1. Hi Danita, I would recommend replacing the regular chicken broth with low-sodium broth and look to increase flavor elsewhere, such as adding garlic when sauteing onions, red pepper flakes (if you like spicy foods) or other spices, or substituting no-salt-added items like beans in other recipes, such as White Bean and Kale Soup. Some readers have suggested using low-sodium salt. Fresh lemon would also help boost flavor in other recipes. Those are my recommendations (although I should point out I’m not a registered dietician). If you have any other questions please let me know! Thanks – Meggan