Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage

DinnerSoup and Stew1-PotSoup

Creamy tomato soup is elevated by adding cheese-filled tortellini, Italian sausage, and fresh spinach. A touch of cream and a handful of fresh basil make this easy weeknight meal a fan favorite!

Photography Credit: Alison Bickle

On our first date, my husband took me to an Italian restaurant that has long since closed its doors. They had an off-menu tomato tortellini soup that I loved. It was thick, creamy, loaded with cheese tortellini, and dotted with fresh basil. Most of all, it was bursting with flavor.

Now that 17 years have passed since that first date and I’m a working mom with two active children, I decided to develop a more robust version of the soup I’d had so many years before.

EASY WEEKNIGHT TORTELLINI SOUP

I wanted this soup to be hearty enough to count as the entire meal and easy enough to make on a weeknight, while also leaving enough left over for lunch the next day. I’m pleased to say for our family of four I clicked all of those boxes!

The foundation of the soup is the same as I remember—thick and creamy, but I added Italian sausage to give it a little heft and some spinach because I’m always trying to add more vegetables to our meals, even if it’s just a little bit here and there.

I love this hearty soup! It’s filling, I’m only using one pot, it’s perfect for a weeknight meal, but can also impress guests, and everyone in the house is completely satisfied.

Italian Sausage Soup - ladle of soup being lifted from the pot

FRESH, DRIED, OR FROZEN TORTELLINI?

Any tortellini will do! I used frozen because it’s nice to have on hand. I also use cheese tortellini, but I think mushroom tortellini would be delicious in this soup.

Let the soup come to a boil before you add tortellini in any of its forms, then adjust the cooking time according to the package.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

It’s best to let hot soup cool to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator. I usually let it cool, put the lid on the pot, and pop it in the fridge. You could also transfer it to another container once it cools.

It will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days, although the tortellini might puff up a bit and absorb more of the liquid. If you want to save it for dinner down the road, pop it in your freezer and revisit it in three months.

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup - white bowl with tomato soup, fresh basil and cheese filled tortellini wtih a blue pot in the background

A NOTE ABOUT SUGAR

I added just a little sugar to this soup. If your soup has an acidic edge or bite to it, the sugar will tone that down. The acidity depends on the sweetness of the tomatoes used and how much they concentrate during the cooking.

This soup is made for a quick weeknight meal, not a long, slow Sunday simmer, so the sugar, though only a small amount, plays a big role in balancing flavors.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SOUP?

Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Method

1 Cook the sausage and onion: In a Dutch oven or large soup pot set over medium heat add the sausage, breaking it up as you cook it. This should take about 7 minutes. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove from pan to paper towel lined plate.

Leave the fat in the pan and add onion, garlic, and oregano to the pot. Sauté for about 2 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Italian Sausage Soup - cooking sausage in a pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup - cooking sausage and onions in a pot

2 Deglaze the pot: Add 1/4 cup white wine (or chicken stock) to the pot to deglaze it (a.k.a. scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom from the sausage). Let the wine reduce by half and the onion soften. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir continuously, letting it cook for about 2 minutes.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup -- cooking sausage, onions, tomato paste in a pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

3 Add tomatoes and stock: Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, about 10 minutes.

Tomato Spinach Tortellini - shot of tomato soup in a potSoup

4 Add tortellini and finish soup: Add the cheese tortellini to the soup. Stir and cook for 10 minutes if using frozen, or until the tortellini is cooked through according to the instructions on the package.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the Italian sausage back into the pot. Add the spinach. Stir to wilt. Add the basil and stir in the heavy cream just before serving.

Tomato Spinach Tortellini Soup - shot of tortellini soup in pot with spinach Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup - shot of tortellini soup in pot with spinach with cream

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is an Associate Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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17 Comments / Reviews

No ImageTomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. TTS

    I made this for dinner this evening. I thought I had Oregano on hand, but didn’t so I used Italian Seasoning instead. I also used more tortellini than the recipe called for because my family likes it. It was wonderful! My kids do not like onions or spinach, but they ate this soup and enjoyed it all. My office has a weekly “soup day” and my turn to bring soup is in a couple of weeks. I’ll definitely be bringing this.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  2. Cindy

    This was delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. mmm

    I’ve just taste tested this before I deliver it. I used Chorizo sausage, 1/2 lb/8 oz. because the soup was for someone who doesn’t like much heat, or much meat. For myself I’d use the full lb of Chorizo or Italian sausage. For the recipe generally, I would use either tomato paste or tomato sauce, not both, and add more chicken broth. With those changes I think it will be a great supper soup that I will make often.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  4. JoeW

    Made this last night, and it was a big hit.
    I prepared it pretty much as directed, except I halved most of the amounts. Still trying to learn to cook for only 2. Also used fresh tortellinis, cooking for the package-requested 5 minutes.

    The dish presents itself well, with the mix of colors. Quite attractive.

    Thanks much for this recipe.

    Joe

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  5. John

    We loved this! It might have been a little too warm out today, but that didn’t stop us from finishing the entire pot.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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One-Pot Tortellini Soup - white bowl with tomato soup, fresh basil and cheese filled tortelliniTomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage