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A hot bowl of rustic Sausage and Tortellini Soup is the best thing in the world at the end of a long, chilly day. Ready in about 30 minutes; proof that the most satisfying dinners don’t always have to be complicated.
This soup, a slice of Irish Soda Bread and a simple salad dressed in a Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette, and you have one fabulous dinner. Buy an extra bag of pasta and use it to make Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce the next night. You’ll love it.
When it starts to cool down, rustic Italian soups like this one make dinner extra special. Crumbled Italian sausage, delicate cheese-filled tortellini, chicken broth and velvety baby spinach—every spoonful rich and filling.
Making Sausage and Tortellini Soup for an easy Sunday Supper? Make a double recipe! Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Sausage Tortellini Soup ingredients:
- Italian sausage. Sweet, mild, spicy, or extra hot, when you need a spicy tortellini soup. Whatever you’re in the mood for.
- Chicken broth.
- Bay leaf. One little laurel leaf makes all the difference; it makes the flavors come together and adds a savory complexity to the soup. It’s not edible, though, so take it out before you serve it.
- Baby spinach. Any leafy green works: arugula, baby mesclun mix, or chopped kale.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cheese tortellini. Dried, frozen, or fresh, it’s completely up to you.
How to make Sausage Tortellini Soup:
These instructions sort of walk you through the whole process without giving specific amounts, which are all listed below in the recipe card.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, using a little olive oil if needed. Break up any large clumps with a wooden spoon.
- If the sausage is very fatty, drain off some of the fat, but not all of it. Add the chopped onion to the remaining grease and cook until softened. Then stir in the minced garlic and stir again until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Next, add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Scrape up any browned bits of sausage that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot; these will be extra delicious in the soup. Bring the broth to a boil.
- Once the broth boils, add the tortellini and simmer until the pasta is tender. Depending on the type of pasta (dried, frozen, or fresh) this could take 6 to 12 minutes. (Fresh pasta cooks in the shortest amount of time, while dry pasta may need a little more.)
- Stir in the baby spinach, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Sausage Tortellini Soup in the crockpot:
Cold weather comfort food at its finest! Make the soup without the pasta and let it cook all day (or overnight) then add the pasta about 30 minutes before you’re planning to eat.
- First, crumble the sausage and add it to the slow cooker along with the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and chicken broth.
- Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours, or LOW 7-8 hours.
- About 30 minutes prior to serving, add the cheese tortellini and the baby spinach.
Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup:
- First, brown the sausage, and then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
- Next, add broth, bay leaf, spinach, and tortellini and pressure cook for maybe 2-3 minutes depending on the size of your pot of soup.
Easy ways to make Sausage Tortellini Soup healthy and extra special:
- Creamy: a splash of heavy cream stirred in at the last minute turns this delicious soup into something that sticks to your ribs.
- Sausage Tortellini Soup with tomatoes: add a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all, to the soup when you add the chicken broth. You’ll love how the tomatoes’ acidity brightens the soup.
- Go wild with veggies: finely chopped zucchini, carrots, shredded kale—even mushrooms; the more the merrier! Do this when you need a healthy tortellini recipe.
- Herbs: a sprig of rosemary, a small handful of oregano, or torn basil leaves all bring something wonderful to this easy Italian soup.
- Gluten-free soup: skip the standard tortellini and add a gluten-free pasta instead. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, once you pour it into bowls.
- Find the rind! Save the hard rinds from used-up Parmesan cheese pieces and store them in the freezer for soup. Throw one in while the soup simmers.
- It gives a rich depth of flavor to the soup and everyone will ask you how you did it.
- Olive oil: a drizzle of the good stuff in the bowl right before eating tastes amazing.
Can you freeze Sausage Tortellini Soup?
You can make this ahead of time and freeze it, but the pasta will soften quite a bit while frozen, and you may not like the texture.
To make this recipe for advance meal prep, it might be better to make the soup without the pasta, then add fresh tortellini once you’re reheating.
Cool the soup to room temperature, then place in a large freezer bag or freezer container.
Sausage Tortellini Soup
- In a Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it just smokes. Add sausages and cook until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a paper towel lined plate, drain all but approximately 1 tablespoon of fat.
- Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and the bay leaf, scraping the bottom of the pot to pull up any browned bits. Bring to a boil.
- Slice the sausage into ½ inch slices, and add to the pot. Add the tortellini and simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.