Sausage Tortellini Soup

This Sausage Tortellini Soup is the ultimate crave worthy comfort food and couldn’t be any easier, on your table in 35 minutes!

Sausage Tortellini Soup is a supremely satisfyingly soup thanks to plump, tender tortellini! This recipe is bursting with with juicy Italian sausage, cheese tortellini and veggies swimming in a rich tomato broth infused with garlic, onions and Italian spices. It’s simmered in one pot, on the stove or in the slow cooker, and is super versatile, amenable to any veggies and type of sausage. Serve this Sausage Tortellini Soup up with homemade Caesar Salad and some garlic bread for the ideal cozy feast.

If you love tortellini, don’t miss these favorite tortellini soup recipes: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup, Chicken Tortellini Soup, Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup, Sausage Tortellini Soup, Creamy Ham and White Bean Tortellini Soup. 

SAUSAGE TORTELLINI SOUP RECIPE VIDEO

top view of a white Dutch oven of sausage tortellini soup
up close of sausage tortellini soup with spinach

Recipe Ingredients

  • Tortellini: Use refrigerated tortellini for this recipe, NOT the dried kind sold on the shelf, it doesn’t compare. Choose from cheese, pesto or veggie tortellini – totally personal preference, but I particularly love cheese in this recipe. I recommend the smaller tortellini (it usually says “great in soups” on the package) because the tortellini plumps up when cooked. 
  • Italian sausage: I highly suggest using Italian sausage and not just ground beef because you get meat + flavor. Italian sausage is pre-seasoned with Italian seasonings. See substitutions below.
  • Carrots: Use three large carrots, sliced into thin rounds. The sweet carrots complement the flavorful sausage and tomatoes perfectly.Z
  • Zucchini: Use one small zucchini, sliced and quartered (no need to peel first). Make sure not to chop it too small otherwise it can become soggy quickly.
  • Onion: Yellow onions are generally the best cooking onion for their strong but mild flavor and caramelizing sweetness. Maker sure to dice the onion small so the pieces soften quickly.  
  • Garlic: I use 6 garlic cloves but you can use more or less depending on your garlic love. 
  • Red pepper flakes: We love an extra dash of red pepper flakes to cut through the richness of the soup. Add more or less to taste, or omit altogether if you wish.
  • Crushed tomatoes: You will need one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (often called crushed tomatoes in puree). Take care that your crushed tomatoes don’t have any additional seasonings or added salt. The crushed tomatoes add texture and of course full-bodied tomato flavor.  I recommend San Marzano tomatoes from the brands San Marzano, Cento and Muir Glen. They are highly prized for their sweet, intense tomatoey flavor and lower acidity. San Marzano tomatoes are usually sold “whole” so you will want to pour them into a bowl and crush them with your hands or potato masher first.  
  • Fire roasted tomatoes: These are diced tomatoes that have been roasted, which gives them a complex smokiness and removes the acidic bite. Fire roasted tomatoes are located next to the traditional diced tomatoes – just make sure you purchase the ones without any added seasonings. 
  • Beef broth: Use low sodium beef broth so the soup isn’t too salty.  
  • Herbs and spices: This Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup is seasoned using a blend of dried basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. And, of course, salt and pepper! 

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUITIONS

  • Beef broth: You may use water plus beef bouillon or beef base then add salt to taste. You may also use vegetable broth but it isn’t as flavorful.
  • Fire roasted tomatoesYou can use plain diced tomatoes if you can’t locate fire roasted variety, noting you may need to add a pinch of sugar.
  • Onion: Fresh is best, but you may substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder.
  • Garlic: You may substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder.
  • Olive oil: You can substitute with your preferred cooking oil if you wish.

How to Make Sausage Tortellini Soup

Not only is this Sausage Tortellini Soup easy to make, the ratio of deliciousness to effort is astronomical – AKA my kind of dinner! Here’s a closer look at how to make it (full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Step 1: Cook the sausage and onions. Start by browning the sausage and onions in a large Dutch oven, crumbling the sausage as you go.
  • Step 2: Sauté the carrots. Once almost cooked through, add carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
  • Step 3: Add remaining ingredients. Add fire roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, low sodium beef broth, and seasonings.
  • Step 4: Simmer. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once soup is boiling, stir and reduce the heat slightly to avoid splattering; simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
  • Step 5: Cook tortellini. Add tortellini and zucchini and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes or until tortellini is tender.
  • Step 6: Add cheese. Garnish individual servings with freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
scooping a ladle of easy sausage tortellini soup
  • Use small tortellini. While any size tortellini will work, look for the smaller tortellini used specifically for soups.
  • Use fresh tortellini. Use fresh, refrigerated cheese tortellini as it is more fresh and tastes far superior than dried tortellini.
  • Add sugar to taste. If you can’t locate fire roasted diced tomatoes and use regular diced tomatoes, prepare to add a splash of sugar at the end of cooking to mellow the acidity.
  • Don’t overcook the tortellini. Tortellini will continue to cook in the hot soup before serving, so take care to not overcook it (it just takes a couple minutes!). To test tortellini for doneness, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, rinse with cold water and carefully taste.
  • Adjust the consistency as needed. As written, this Italian Tortellini Soup recipe is thick, rich hearty. For a thinner soup, simply add additional broth at the end of cooking, or when reheating leftovers.
  • Scale the recipe. You can halve this recipe if you don’t have a large family and don’t want leftovers. If you do love leftovers (raising my hand high), then you will love leftovers for an easy lunch or dinner because this Tortellini tastes fabulous the next day! To scale the recipe, use the slider that appears when you hover over the servings in the recipe card.
  • Use ground beef, turkey or chicken: Swap the Italian sausage with lean ground beef, turkey or chicken and season with ½ teaspoon dried fennel and additional red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings as needed at the end of cooking.
  • Swap tortellini:  Swap in any small pasta (about 1 cup) such as ditalini, tubetti or anelli pasta. In a pinch, you could even use elbow macaroni, but I find it becomes mushy more easily, so you may wish to cook it separately.
  • Add veggies: Add any additional veggies you’d like such as mushrooms, broccoli, corn, green beans, or spinach.  You can also stir roasted veggies such as roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower into the soup at the end of cooking.  Add additional broth as needed to compensate for the vegetables.
  • Add beans:  Add your favorite beans such as all kidney, cannellini, Great Northern beans, etc.
  • Make it creamy:  Reduce the broth to 5 cups and add 2 cups half and half after you simmer the tortellini and warm through. You can also blend a can of cannellini beans and add to the soup for a lighter alternative.
  • Make it cheesy: Stir 1/2-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan directly into the soup to melt.
  • Other proteins: Try sliced sausage, ham or shredded rotisserie chicken. Ham can be quite salty so omit the salt in the recipe and add salt to taste.
  • Meatballs: Add mini meatballs to cook directly in the broth like in Italian wedding soup.
  • Make it gluten free: Use a gluten-free pasta; try to choose a small pasta shape.
  • Make it vegetarian: Use vegetable broth and replace the Italian sausage with crumbled tofu, diced mushrooms, chickpeas, additional white beans or plant-based ground “meat.” Be ready to season with additional red pepper flakes, salt and Italian seasonings, which will be missed from the sausage.
up close of a ladleful of Italian sausage tortellini soup
pouring a ladle of sausage tortellini soup into a white bowl with a silver ladle.

up close top view of best sausage tortellini soup

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top view of a white Dutch oven of sausage tortellini soup

Sausage Tortellini Soup

Sausage Tortellini Soup bursting with juicy Italian Sausage, pillowy, cheese tortellini and veggies swimming in a rich tomato broth infused with garlic, onions and Italian spices  – all made in one pot! This Sausage Tortellini Soup can be made on the stove or slow cooker and belongs in your back pocket for all those busy nights or any time you crave something satisfyingly delicious! 
Servings: 6 8 servings
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

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Ingredients

ADD LATER:

  • 1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered (1 ½ cups)
  • 12 oz. refrigerated uncooked cheese tortellini

Instructions

  • Heat a large soup pot/Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add sausage and onions and cook for 3 minutes, while breaking up sausage. Add carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté an additional 2 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
  • Add all remaining soup ingredients EXCEPT tortellini and zucchini.
  • Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once soup is boiling, uncover, stir and reduce the heat slightly to avoid splattering. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Add tortellini and zucchini and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes or until tortellini is tender.
  • Garnish individual servings with freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Video

Notes

 

  • Use ground beef, turkey or chicken: Swap the Italian sausage with lean ground beef, turkey or chicken and season with ½ teaspoon dried fennel and additional red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings as needed at the end of cooking.
  • Use fresh, refrigerated cheese tortellini:  it tastes far superior than dried tortellini.

Slow Cooker

This soup is so easy on the stove top that cooking it in the slow cooker doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but the flavors do get to meld longer which tastes fabulous.
  1.  Heat a large pot/Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add sausage and onions and brown.
  2. Transfer sausage/onions to slow cooker along with all remaining soup ingredients EXCEPT tortellini and zucchini.
  3. Cook on LOW heat for 6 – 7 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours OR until the carrots are tender.
  4. Once carrots are tender and you are ready to serve your soup, add tortellini and zucchini to the slow cooker and turn the heat to HIGH if it had previously been on low.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the tortellini are tender. Take care not to overcook your tortellini because it will continue to cook just by sitting in the hot soup.
  5. NOTE:  Do not add tortellini to the slow cooker if you are not serving immediately to prevent tortellini from becoming soggy.  Instead, turn slow cooker to warm if carrots are tender then turn to high when ready to add tortellini.

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20 Comments

  1. Kelly says

    Your soup recipes are my favorite! I can’t wait to try this one!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Kelly, that means so much to me! I think you’ll love this soup too!

  2. Natalie says

    Thank you for all your amazing recipes Jen! I make at least three of your recipes a week and make your lasagna soup all the time. You have changed the way I see cooking and have gotten me excited about cooking again. This Sausage Tortellini Soup is next on the menu and I know it will be phenomenal!

    • Jen says

      Thank YOU Natalie for your super kind, thoughtful comment! I am honored you make so many of my recipes a week and that they have gotten you excited about cooking again! If you love my Lasagna Soup, you will especially love this Sausage Tortellini Soup too! Thank you, thank you again for taking the time to comment and make my day!

  3. Patrick Harrington says

    Hi Jen
    Paddy here, love marking all your meals! I’m going to make this one tonight, how much tortellini do I put in?
    G_D Bless!
    Paddy

    • Jen says

      Hi Paddy, thanks for your kind words! It is the last ingredient listed – 12 oz. Enjoy!

  4. Paddy says

    so sorry, not sure how I missed that -Paddy

    • Jen says

      No problem! I hope you love the soup!

  5. Paddy says

    OH MY WORD JEN!!!!!!
    Like all of your recipies, ….THIS IS AWESOME!!!!
    You are wonderful!!!! & truly touched by our Lord!!!! I can’t believe how tasty your meals are! Thanku again for markeing all of us look like chefs!!!
    You ARE THE BEST!!!!!!
    -Paddy

    • Jen says

      YOU are the best Paddy! Oh my goodness, I am loving your comment and your enthusiasm – you totally made my week! I’m thrilled you loved this soup so much! xoxox

  6. Angela Anderson says

    Hi, I just made the Italian sausage and
    tortellini soup. I added a small can of
    cannelli beans and 1/2 cup spinach.
    The soup is delicious and hearty.
    Please post more soup recipes.

    Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Hi Angela, I’m so pleased you loved the soup and your additions of cannellini beans and spinach sounds wonderful! I definitely have more soups coming your way (Turkey Chili next week 🙂 ) but in the meantime, check out my soup index: https://carlsbadcravings.com/recipes/recipe-index/soup/ Enjoy!

  7. Anna says

    I was really hoping to make this soup tonight, but I only have regular beef broth, not low sodium. Is there anything I can do to sub or use less or something or should I wait for another night to try it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Anna, I would omit the 1/2 teaspoon salt and start with one cup less beef broth. Before you add the tortellini, taste the soup and either add the one cup beef broth in or add one cup water if it is on the salty side. I hope that helps!

  8. Suz says

    Delicious soup! It was easy to prepare and made an impression. I will be adding this soup to the regular menu. Love how versatile it can be!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Suz! I’m so pleased its a new regular!

  9. Vicky says

    I’ve made so many of your recipes, I’ve lost count!! Everything I make is delicious, easy and did I say DE-licious??? If I am looking for a particular recipe or an idea for a meal I always search your site first to see if it’s there and lots of times the recipe is there or an idea is sparked. 🙂 I’m always excited to see you show up in my inbox and think ‘What did she send me this time?” Like Christmas! lol Thank you, Jen. Blessings to you. 🙂

    • Jen says

      I’m sorry I am just getting to your comment Vicky but THANK YOU for making my day! I am honored you have made so many of my recipes and that you are loving them! Thank you, thank you! xo

  10. Sharon Worley says

    Your site is my go to for recipes. I haven’t tried one yet that we didn’t love. We have instituted Soup Sundays at our house and I try to make a new soup every week. I thought I would try this one, but my family absolutely refuses to eat chunky tomatoes. Do you think this soup would turn out as well if I blend the tomatoes in my food processor first??

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Sharon, I ‘m honored your family is loving my recipes! What a fun new Sunday tradition, love that! Yes, this soup will definitely still be tasty with blended tomatoes, enjoy!