Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Creamy chicken tortellini soup with lots of veggies and the perfect seasoning blend. This easy, hearty, and delicious soup can ready in 30 minutes!

Pair this creamy soup with some crusty bread or freshly made dinner rolls and a light salad such as this strawberry poppy seed salad.

Overhead image of the creamy chicken tortellini soup

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

This thick and robust soup is sure to be a cold weather hit. It’s got something for everyone — the veggie lovers, the pasta lovers, the cheese lovers — this soup has everyone covered! It’s packed with veggies, loaded with pasta, and the base is creamy & cheesy.

Below I’ve got a quick written overview of how to make this soup followed by two photo collages illustrating the process.

How to make this Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

  1. Sauté veggies. Onions, carrots, celery, and a sweet bell pepper get sautéed in a little bit of butter and olive oil. Once veggies are crisp tender, garlic gets added into the mix.
  2. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a separate pot. More on this below.
  3. Add seasonings and then thicken the soup. We use butter and flour as the base to thicken this soup; make sure to briskly stir in the flour and cook it for a good 1-2 minutes to rid the flour of it’s “raw” taste.
  4. Gradually add in milk and chicken broth/stock. While stirring constantly, gradually add the liquid into the soup. We add the liquid slowly to give it time to thicken properly. 
  5. Stir in corn and chicken. These two ingredients are added last since neither really needs to get “cooked”– they both just to get warmed through.
  6. Off the heat, add in the cheese. To avoid separation, we stir the cheese in after the soup has been removed from the burner. The heat of the soup will quickly melt the cheese.

Process shots-- images of the veggies being sautéed, seasonings being added, butter and flour being added, and it all being cooked

Why cook the tortellini separately?

First of all, I recommend good quality tortellini. There are frozen, fresh, and shelf-stable tortellini to choose from, as well as myriad brands, so it can be overwhelming. If you have a favorite tortellini, use that; otherwise there are some taste-tested recommendations here and here!

While it seems easiest to just cook the tortellini in this soup, I don’t recommend it for a few reasons.

  1. First, with all the different types of tortellini (shelf-stable, frozen, fresh), it’s hard to give recommendations for how to cook each specific type of tortellini in this soup.
  2. Next, if there is leftover soup, the tortellini soaks up all the soup liquid and becomes overly bloated resulting in an unpleasant texture. For leftovers, it’s better to store the tortellini separately from the soup.
  3. Finally, it’s actually faster to cook the tortellini separately. Yes, it dirties another pot, but you’ll have the tortellini ready to go about the same time the soup is ready instead of waiting on the tortellini to cook through in the soup liquid. It makes a lot of sense to do it in a separate pot (and I say, someone else should do those dishes since you’re making the soup ;)).

Rotisserie chicken

To make this creamy chicken tortellini soup a true 30-minute meal, the recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of rotisserie chicken. To save even more time, you can often purchase rotisserie chicken meat already pulled from the bones and shredded. Ask a deli worker if your local grocer carries this or if you’re unsure of the location in the store.

Use any leftover chicken in these amazing rotisserie chicken tacos or Asian chicken tacos.

Process shots-- images of the chicken broth, cheese, chicken, corn, and tortellini being added to the pot

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup tips

  • Thoroughly sauté the veggies. To avoid overly crunchy veggies, make sure to take the time to really soften them at the beginning of the cook time. They don’t soften much more throughout the rest of the soup making process.
  • Cut veggies generally the same size for even cooking. With some pieces bigger than others you’ll have some mushy and some crisp veggies.
  • If using a cast iron pot, make sure the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom (scrape the bottom thoroughly with a wooden spoon). If the flour does settle on the bottom, the soup won’t ever thicken properly.
  • Freshly grate the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier soup more prone to graininess and separation. Also, make sure to add the cheese off the heat to avoid soup separation. I highly recommend sharp or extra sharp cheddar for a better flavor.
  • Don’t forget the fresh herbs. Parsley or thyme (or both) add such a great freshness and liveliness to this soup. They also help to cut through the richness of it.
  • Salt the water. Make sure the tortellinis are well-salted as they cook, the salt is what seasons them. Along with seasoning the water for the tortellini, don’t forget to taste the soup often and add more seasonings as needed. If the soup tastes bland, it just needs a bit more salt and/or pepper!
  • If you’d like some more heat, increase the amount of cayenne pepper in this soup. Alternatively, add in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
  • For a thinner soup, add additional milk or stock. We prefer this creamy chicken tortellini soup to be fairly thick.

Time saving tips

  • Grab freshly made mirepoix (a combination of finely chopped onions, celery and carrots) in the produce section of the grocery store. You could even find it in the freezer vegetable section of the store; this is a huge time saver! We want about 2-1/2 cups total mirepoix for this creamy chicken tortellini soup.
  • Use pre-minced garlic. While I’ll always be a proponent for fresh garlic, there’s no denying time-saving benefits of pre-minced garlic or using a garlic press.
  • Set out milk when starting. If the milk has some time to come to room temperature, it will heat much quicker in this soup. I typically grab and measure it out, then set it aside, when first beginning to prepare this soup.
  • Use a food processor to grate the cheese. If you have a food processor with a cheese grating attachment, put it to work here; you’ll have the grated cheese ready in a flash!

Overhead image of the creamy chicken tortellini soup with a spoon in it ready to be eaten

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup Storage Notes

  • Leftover Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup can be refrigerated for 3-4 days, but I don’t recommend freezing this soup because of the dairy in it and because of the tortellini. The milk solids will separate as the soup thaws, resulting in a grainy texture with a lot of separation. Additionally, cooked tortellini doesn’t freeze and thaw very well.
  • To reheat: add the Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup to a pot and slowly increase the heat while stirring frequently. Don’t boil the soup or reheat it at a high temperature; this will likely cause the ingredients to separate or even potentially to curdle.
CROCKPOT Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup! Packed with flavor and so easy to make! Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

More Easy Soup Recipes

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

5 from 2 votes
Creamy chicken tortellini soup with lots of veggies and the perfect seasoning blend. This easy, hearty, and delicious soup can ready in 30 minutes!
Print Recipe

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

5 from 2 votes
Creamy chicken tortellini soup with lots of veggies and the perfect seasoning blend. This easy, hearty, and delicious soup can ready in 30 minutes!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 445kcal
Cost $5.24

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
  • 1 small yellow onion diced (~1 cup; 140g)
  • 1 large carrot, diced (3/4 cup; 95g)
  • 1-2 stalks celery, diced (3/4 cup; 80g)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (~2 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup (40g) white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, dried oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (375g) chicken broth
  • 3 cups (715g) milk (1%, 2% or whole; whole will be creamiest and what I typically use)
  • 1 cup (142g) frozen corn
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup (90g) freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag (9 oz) refrigerated tortellini (See Note 1)
  • Optional: fresh thyme and/or 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley

Instructions

  • VEGGIES: In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and saute 7-9 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds more.
  • TORTELLINI: In a separate pot, follow package directions to cook tortellini. Drain and set aside. (Don't forget to salt the pasta water cooking the tortellini; I add in 1 teaspoon salt to every 4 cups of water.)
  • SEASONINGS: To the pot with the veggies, add in the seasonings -- dried thyme, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, and cayenne pepper (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, but add to personal preference. Stir seasonings for 30 seconds.
  • THICKEN: Increase the heat to medium high. Press veggies to the sides and add the remaining 4 tablespoon butter to the middle of the pot and stir until melted. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour. Briskly mix to incorporate the flour and then stir for 1 minute to cook off the raw flavor of the flour. Gradually add in 1 cup of chicken broth while whisking constantly until it starts to thicken (~1 minute); then pour in the remaining chicken broth. Whisk until it thickens (~2-3 minutes) and then gradually add in the milk continuing to stir constantly. Slightly reduce the heat, cook stirring constantly, until mixture begins to gently boil and thicken (another ~2-5 minutes).
  • CORN & CHICKEN: Reduce heat to medium low. Add in the frozen corn and rotisserie chicken. Stir to warm through. (If the soup has thickened too much, add in some additional chicken stock; I usually add up to 1/2 cup to 1 cup extra).
  • CHEESE & SERVING: Remove pot from heat and add in the cheese. Stir to melt. Season soup to taste with any additional salt and pepper. Add in parsley (if using). Serve, adding tortellini to individual bowls. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve with crusty bread if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I recommend good quality tortellini. There are frozen, fresh, and shelf-stable tortellini to choose from, as well as myriad brands, so it can be overwhelming. If you have a favorite tortellini, use that; otherwise there are some taste-tested recommendations here and here!
While it seems easiest to just cook the tortellini in this soup, I don't recommend it for a few reasons.
  1. First, with all the different types of tortellini (shelf-stable, frozen, fresh), it's hard to give recommendations for how to cook each specific type of tortellini in this soup.
  2. Next, if there is leftover soup, the tortellini soaks up all the soup liquid and becomes overly bloated resulting in an unpleasant texture. For leftovers, it's better to store the tortellini separately from the soup.
  3. Finally, it's actually faster to cook the tortellini separately. Yes, it dirties another pot, but you'll have the tortellini ready to go about the same time the soup is ready instead of waiting on the tortellini to cook through in the soup liquid.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.2g | Protein: 24.5g | Fat: 18.1g | Saturated Fat: 18.1g | Cholesterol: 105.2mg | Sodium: 246.7mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 7.9g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

 

 

More Recipes You'll Love

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

40 mins

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

55 mins

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Chicken Quesadilla Soup

10 mins

Chicken Quesadilla Soup

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Crockpot Chicken & Rice Soup

5 hrs 20 mins

Crockpot Chicken & Rice Soup

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






18 Comments

  1. Chicken noodle has always been a favorite of mine, but I agree, had in some tortellini and make it creamy and it’s amazing! I love this soup, Chelsea! Sounds so flavorful and comforting during the winter, or anytime! Pinned!

  2. Mhmmm! This looks amazing, Chelsea! We just had our first big rain day (I live in CA so it’s sunshine most days) and this would have been so cozy to eat by the Christmas tree with the pitter-pattering in the background. Also, LOVE tortellini in soup! Just posted an Italian meatball/tortellini soup recipe for my blog a few days ago as well. The cheesy pasta bites are divine!

  3. Oh man… my wife has been nudging me to make soup for her, and I know she would totally love this. The question now is… should I be an all-star husband and make this for her? Hahaha… I think I know the right answer. 🙂

    This is ultimate comfort food… love it!

  4. I have never been a huge fan of regular classic chicken noodle soup either. It’s fine but not my favorite by any means! But this … with the tortellini and the creaminess? I think I could definitely get behind this!!

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.