Sausage Tortellini Soup

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The ultimate BEST EVER creamy Italian sausage soup! Less than 30 minutes from start to finish! Read the rave reviews!! via

This creamy and flavorful Sausage Tortellini Soup is packed to the brim with delicious ingredients — Italian sausage, cheese-filled tortellini, vegetables, and herbs. Serve this hearty soup with lots of Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread for a filling and comforting meal.

Overhead image of Sausage Tortellini Soup in a bowl. Sausage Tortellini Soup

This Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup has been one of the most popular soup recipes on this site, so I knew it was in order to create a sausage-filled soup with tortellini. This soup is hearty, filling, and totally delicious. It’s loaded with cheese-filled tortellini, mild (or spicy if you’re feeling it) sausage, veggies, and a creamy flavorful broth.

It’s a fairly simple and straightforward soup to make, but below I’ll share my favorite products to use in this soup and my tips to make it as flavorful as possible! (None of the products mentioned in this post are sponsors of this site or post, just personal favorites!)

Process shots-- images of the sausage being browned and crumbled, and the veggies being sautéed in the pot.

Let’s talk tortellini

While really any tortellini works, our favorite readily-available shelf-stable tortellini is Barilla® Artisanal Collection Three-Cheese Tortellini. The tortellini is very good for being shelf-stable and the actual tortellini are quite small– which we love in this Sausage Tortellini Soup. It’s a lot more enjoyable eating soup with small tortellini since they make it into just about every bite without being overwhelming.

As for fresh-made tortellini, we love Giovanni Rana’s® Classic Cheese Mini Tortellini. They’re a little trickier to find (depending on your grocery store), but they’re fresh, delicious, and they’re small so they incorporate better into the soup. While full-sized tortellini will work fine, the larger pasta pieces can be a little overwhelming in the soup. And while I adore a good tortelloni, they’re a bit too large for this soup.


Ever wonder what the difference is between tortellini and tortelloni? While the pasta shapes are similar, a big difference is the overall size. Tortelloni are usually double the size of tortellini. Fillings typically vary based on what the pastas are served in (broth versus being served in a butter/herb sauce).

Cooking the tortellini separately

You can cook the tortellini in the soup, but we prefer to cook it separately. Here are a few of the reasons for that:

  1. First, not all tortellini (shelf-stable, frozen, fresh) will cook the same in this soup. If you do want to cook the tortellini in the soup, I’d recommend using frozen tortellini so it can cook in the right amount of time.
  2. Next, the tortellini continue to soak up the soup liquid. While the soup is great right after being made, even sitting for 10-15 minutes will result in bloated tortellini.
  3. Finally, if there is leftover soup, the tortellini continue to soak up all the soup liquid and becomes even more bloated– resulting in an unpleasant texture. For leftovers, it’s better to store the tortellini separately from the soup. 

Process shots-- images of flour, chicken stock, seasonings, spinach, and half and half being added to the pot for Sausage Tortellini Soup

Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe tips

  • Salt the water. Make sure the tortellini 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 may just need a bit more salt and/or pepper!
  • Thoroughly sauté the veggies. To avoid crunchy onion and carrot bites in the finished soup, make sure to take the time to really soften them at the beginning of the cooking time. They don’t soften much more throughout the rest of the soup-making process.
  • Use a good chicken stock. The stock makes a world of difference for the flavor in this sausage tortellini soup. My personal favorite store-bought stock is Swanson’s® chicken stock.
  • Make sure the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (scrape the bottom thoroughly with a wooden spoon). If the flour does settle on the bottom, the soup won’t thicken properly.
  • For more heat in this soup, use a spicy Italian sausage and/or add in some crushed red pepper flakes to individual bowls of the soup. As written, with a mild sausage, this soup is not spicy.

Process shots-- images of the soup simmering and the tortellini being cooked separately

Sausage Tortellini Soup storage notes

  • Leftover soup can be refrigerated for 3-4 days, but I don’t recommend freezing it because of the dairy and 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 Sausage 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 curdle.

Up-close overhead image of the Sausage Tortellini Soup in a bowl with a spoon in it.

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Sausage Tortellini Soup

4.97 from 26 votes
This creamy and flavorful Sausage Tortellini Soup is packed to the brim with delicious ingredients -- Italian sausage, cheese-filled tortellinis, vegetables, and herbs. Serve this hearty soup with lots of Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread for a filling and comforting meal.
Print Recipe

Sausage Tortellini Soup

4.97 from 26 votes
This creamy and flavorful Sausage Tortellini Soup is packed to the brim with delicious ingredients -- Italian sausage, cheese-filled tortellinis, vegetables, and herbs. Serve this hearty soup with lots of Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread for a filling and comforting meal.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Sausage Tortellini Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 621kcal
Cost $6.79


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 19 ounces Italian sausage hot or mild
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion, (~1 small onion)
  • 1 cup peeled and finely diced large carrots, (~2-3 carrots)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (~3-4 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth or stock (I recommend Swanson's chicken stock)
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) three cheese tortellini (See Note 1)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 ounces (4 cups lightly packed) fresh baby spinach stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups half and half or heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to preference
  • Optional: crusty baguette for serving


  • TORTELLINI: See Note 2. If you'd prefer to cook the tortellini separately, start it now. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt, generously (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups). Add tortellini and cook according to package directions, minus 1 minute. Remove, drain, and run under cold water for 30 seconds.
  • SAUSAGE: In a large pot over medium-high heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and then add in the sausage. Cook and crumble the sausage until browned. Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper-towel-lined plate and dab with another paper towel to blot the grease. Set aside.
  • VEGGIES: Keeping the pot at medium-high heat, add in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil along with the diced onion, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, (I add 1/4 teaspoon each.) Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute, stirring occasionally. Add in the butter and allow to melt.
  • STOCK: Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly add in the chicken broth or stock, whisking to combine. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer and thicken for about 5-8 minutes.
  • FINISHING SOUP: Return the cooked sausage to the pan, along with Italian seasoning, (if using frozen tortellini, add it in here), and salt and pepper (to taste, I add about 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper). Add in the coarsely chopped spinach, and half & half or heavy cream to the pot. Stir and then simmer on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted (and the tortellini is cooked through, if using frozen).
  • SERVE: Serve immediately with lots of freshly grated Parmesan and a crusty baguette, if desired. If tortellini was cooked separately, add spoonfuls of cooked tortellini to individual bowls. Store tortellini and leftover soup separately to avoid pasta bloating.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: While really any tortellini works, our favorite readily available shelf-stable tortellini is Barilla® Artisanal Collection Three-Cheese Tortellini. As for fresh-made tortellini, we love Giovanni Rana's® Classic Cheese Mini Tortellini. They're a little more tricky to find (depending on your grocery store), but they're fresh, delicious, and small so they incorporate better into the soup. If you'd like to cook the tortellini in the soup (instead of separately), you'll want to get frozen tortellini that cooks in about 3-5 minutes.
Note 2: We like to cook the tortellini separately to keep it from getting bloated and in case there are leftovers. (The tortellini continues to absorb liquid and becomes an unpleasant texture when stored.) If you'd like to cook it separately, start by bringing a pot of water to boil and cook it in a separate pot. Ignore instructions for adding the tortellini into the soup to cook and simply add cooked tortellini to individual bowls when serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1547mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8414IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We’ve made this twice and both times it’s a hit!! I make it exactally to the recipe, but add 20 ounces of tortellini ( because I’m too lazy to find a smaller package or use the extra in another dish). It’s delicious and even more so the next day – it almost turns into a creamy pasta dish instead of a soup. We cook the tortellini in the soup, refrigerate with the tortellini in the soup, and reheat all together on the stove or microwave. It’s great for lunch the next day at work or for dinner, too! Thank you for this delicious recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Doubled the recipe for a church potluck tonight and it was a hit! Everyone was asking for the recipe. Sending them to your site. Looking forward to trying your other recipes. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! This soup is so flavourful! My picky husband even loved it. The only change I made was to cut down on the amount of tortellini, just a personal preference. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly as written. I will be making this soup often. It’s so easy and fast to make, and yet elegant. I can see making this for unexpected company!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this recipe I use spicy Italian sausage. Makes it a little hotter if you like spice. Great Recipe. Cheers!

  5. 5 stars
    I just want you to know that this is hands down my most favorite soup EVER! It is absolutely perfection! My whole family LOVES it and eats it all up (except my one picky child whom we will not further speak about). 😉 I substituted evaporated milk for the half and half because it’s all I had the first time I made it. It was still SO delicious, and I make it that way every time now! I actually made it tonight and added a 6th cup of broth, and it was still amazing! Don’t forget the baguette and parmesan! They are perfect additions to this yummy soup! <3

    1. Ahh I’m sooo happy you all enjoy this!! Thank you so much for your comment Jenny! 🙂

    I’ll be making it this weekend so I’m wondering if I could replace the spinach with kale and get the same 5 star result you’ve been getting?

    1. Hey!! Absolutely! It’s more about taste preference so if you prefer kale over spinach than I think you will love this recipe even more if you sub in the kale! 🙂 Let me know what you think!

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Made it exactly as written. My 4, 2 and 1 year old gobbled it up and my husband said it was one of his favorites!

  8. 5 stars
    Everyone at the Firehouse loves this soup! I’m going to make a double batch this week, is there anything I should tweak or am I safe doubling all ingredients?

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and it’s always a hit. I use hot Italian sausage and add basil also.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    This soup is so frigging good ! Tasty beyond belief ! The broth is amazing ,,,, I did add a bit more butter though ! I’m on my third day of eating it and today it was the best ! Thank you for an amazing recipe ,,,, this will be one of my go to faves !

  11. 5 stars
    This soup is delicious! I made it last night and my family loved it. I followed the recipe as written. The only thing I’ll change for the next time is to buy ground sausage, not sausage links. It took a bit of work to get the sausage links crumbled.

  12. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing! Everyone loves it. We use the spicy sausage to give it a little kick. Thanks Chelsea!

  13. 5 stars
    This soup was amazing! Both my husband and I loved it! Can’t wait to take it to a pitch-in. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    One of my favorite soup recipes! I have made it several times and it is always a winner. Sometimes spicy sometimes mild. Also used kale instead of spinach once or twice. I am making this as written this weekend for a handful of friends. I usually make crusty bread but this time I am going to make a pepperoni and cheese monkey bread. Thank you for a great recipe.

      1. No tortellini to be had at our only grocery store. I am pulling out the pasta maker and making them from scratch.

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