Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

Hearty tortellini soup made with Italian sausage, cheese tortellini, and kale. To make it creamy, stir in heavy cream! Serve with crusty bread for a comforting and cozy meal.

Italian sausage tortellini soup in white pot.

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We make soup for dinner all of the time, especially during the cold winter months. A few favorites include: Minestrone Soup, White Bean Soup, Zuppa Toscana, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, and this Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup.

This soup has it all…sausage, tortellini pasta, vegetables, and cheese. It is the perfect one pot meal and always a crowd pleaser. It is a family favorite and every time I make it for a party or potluck, it gets rave reviews. Everyone loves this hearty and flavorful tortellini soup!

You can make the soup with our without heavy cream, both ways are delicious, it is just personal preference. If you want a super rich and creamy soup, stir in the heavy cream at the end!

The soup is easy to make and is so good served with crusty bread for dunking. We also like to garnish every bowl with extra Parmesan cheese.

This soup will warm you up and fill you up! It is a dinner winner!

ingredients in bowls to make Italian sausage tortellini soup.


  • Italian sausage– use ground Italian sausage, we prefer mild, but if you want a spicy soup, you can use hot Italian sausage.
  • Veggies– sauté onion, red bell pepper, carrot, and garlic together for lots of flavor!
  • Chicken broth– use your favorite brand. Chicken stock will also work.
  • Diced tomatoes– use a 28 ounces can of diced tomatoes. Don’t drain, add the entire can into the pot!
  • Bay leaf– for flavor!
  • Italian seasoning– I love using dried Italian seasoning because I always have it in my pantry.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes– for a little heat.
  • Cheese tortellini– you need 10 ounces for the soup. Look for tortellini in the refrigerated section by the sausage and pepperoni. If you can only find frozen tortellini, it will work, just cook it for a couple of extra minutes.
  • Kale– remove the stems and chop up the kale!
  • Parmesan cheese– use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, the good stuff!
  • Basil– stir in fresh basil at the end.
  • Heavy cream– the cream is optional. The soup is good without it, but if you want a creamy tortellini soup, add it add the end. It does make the super extra creamy and delicious!
Italian sausage cooking in large white pot with wooden spoon.

How to Make Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Scroll down to the recipe card for full recipe with ingredients and instructions.

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the sausage and cook stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
veggies, broth, herbs, and spices in pot with wooden spoon to make tortellini soup.
  • Add the onion, red pepper, and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Italian sausage tortellini soup cooking in a pot with wooden spoon.
  • Bring to a boil and add the tortellini.
Italian sausage tortellini soup in pot with wooden spoon.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through.
stirring in sausage, kale, and Parmesan cheese to tortellini soup in pot.
  • Add the sausage back to the pot and stir in the kale, Parmesan cheese, and basil.
creamy Italian sausage tortellini soup in pot with ladle.
  • If you are using the heavy cream, stir it in. If you aren’t using the cream, you might need to add 1 more cup of broth, depending on how thick you like your soup.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Italian sausage tortellini soup in bowl with Parmesan cheese.


  • Use hot Italian sausage for a spicy soup. If you don’t want to use sausage, ground beef or ground turkey will work.
  • If you want to make a vegetarian tortellini soup, you can omit the sausage. Feel free to add in extra veggies. Celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms are all good options. Also, use vegetable broth.
  • Use fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular diced tomatoes for an extra pop of flavor.
  • Instead of cheese tortellini, you can use spinach and cheese tortellini.
  • You can add extra herbs. Italian parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary are good options.
  • You can use spinach instead of kale.
  • Like I mentioned above, you can leave out the heavy cream for a lighter soup. It has plenty of flavor. If you want a richer soup, add in the heavy cream at the end.

Serving Suggestions

This soup is very filling and can be a complete meal on it’s own, but if you want to add a few sides, here are some ideas

How to Store & Freeze

  • To store leftover soup, place the cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
  • To freeze the soup, for best results, don’t add the cream. Let the soup cool completely and place in a freezer container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Place in a pot and heat over medium low on the stove. If youw ant to add the cream, stir it in at the end.
creamy Italian sausage tortellini soup in bowl with basil and Parmesan cheese.

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Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Hearty tortellini soup made with Italian sausage, cheese tortellini, and kale. To make it creamy, stir in heavy cream! Serve with crusty bread for a comforting and cozy meal.
4.73 from 54 votes



  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the sausage and cook stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  • Add the onion, red pepper, and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and add the tortellini. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through.
  • Add the sausage back to the pot and stir in the kale, Parmesan cheese, and basil. If you are using the heavy cream, stir it in. If you aren’t using the cream, you might need to add 1 more cup of broth, depending on how thick you like your soup.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.



If you want a creamy tortellini soup, add the heavy cream at the end. If you aren’t using the cream, you might need to add 1 more cup of broth, depending on how thick you like your soup.
Keywords sausage, tortellini

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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    1. I’ve made this several times. Love it. I use spinach instead of kale. I also add a jar of my favorite tomatoe sauce. I add italian seasonings to the pot as well. Very filling dish!!! Thank you for the recipe!!!

  1. Your soup looks so amazing! I wish I had some to take to work today! Perfect for lunch!!!!!!

  2. I make a very similar version of this with the sausage just crumbled – it is actually what is for dinner tonight at my house!

    1. I am, but Josh isn’t. That is why you see mostly vegetarian recipes on our site with some meat recipes mixed in. I am lucky Josh loves veggies too:)

  3. I love using tortellini in soup. They make soup a meal (an on-going Seinfeld fueled debate in my house).

  4. i LOVE having soup as a meal! jason sometimes doesn’t think it’s filling enough but with the multitude of things you can add into it, like what you did here with the pasta and sausage, i’m sure he can be full 😉

  5. This look so yummy, I love Italian sausage and pasta, so in a soup?! Win, win!! I love your photos too 🙂

  6. This does look like an amazing “man soup” lol. Although I would love a huge ladle of it too! Bring it on 😀

  7. This looks like a hearty meal! Just this morning, I was saying that I would try to make a tomato-based soup with tortellini or ravioli in it so that I can introduce my little kids to tomato soup. They love chicken noodle soup (especially the noodles) and they love tomato-based sauces, so I’m sure that a tomato soup with some sort of pasta would be perfect. This looks like a winner!

  8. MMMmm…I love the addition of sausage. I am a sucker for meatballs, especially little ones in soup – so yummy!

  9. This looks perfectly hearty, Maria! I have some kale around, I think it needs to meet a soup here soon.

  10. I have been thinking about this soup alllll day!! I have tortellini in the fridge. I’m officially on a mission.

  11. What a light and delicious weeknight dinner idea! Such beautiful photographs as always too, Maria. 😀

  12. I love this so much. This is basically (and exactly) how I make Minestrone/generic Mediterranean soup. ^_^ I think I’ve been inspired to make Ramen today. Sugoi. –Kai.

  13. sausage and tortellini soup is one of our all time favorites! Even the girls like it which is always an extra plus at the dinner table.

  14. Could I use spinach instead of kale? Also, is there a trick out there to keep spinach or other veggies from browning in the soup the next day? I notice fresh spinach for example does that when I add it to soup.

  15. Really good and easy recipe. I used chicken Italian sausage and added about half of a butternut squash, diced fairly small. I also used the dry version of cheese tortellini. I will make this again!

  16. You read my mind! I was just thinking of a soup like this someone brought to me just after I had my baby and how much I loved it! I will be making this this weekend!

  17. I made the soup last night and it was DELICIOUS. I may have made the Italian sausage kinda big, but it was fine.. I added celery and it was just perfect. Thank you so much!

  18. This looks so warm and satisfying – the perfect soup to combat the cold in NYC! Can’t wait to try this!

  19. Oh my goodness – just finished making this and IT IS AMAZING!

    We ended up using 1.4 lbs of spicy sausage from our butcher and I was happy to have a few extra little bites of meatball in my soup.

    This simple, healthy and super easy recipe is being added in to rotation PRONTO!

  20. I made this soup tonight. My family loved it! Thanks for a great recipe that will definitely be repeated in our house!

  21. I’ve had it on my list to make a meatball and tortellini soup, can’t wait to try this!

  22. I thickened the soup by adding a 10 oz. can of tomato sauce & a can of tomato paste + lots of pizza seasoning. Used fresh spinach in place of the kale.
    Will make it many more times. Love your recipes.

  23. I prepared this soup for my vegetarian friends and it was great! I used vegetable stock, added fresh mushrooms (just becuase I like them) and used frozen spinach….and it turned out great! I can’t wait to try it with the Italian meatballs for my family. Thank you so much!

  24. I made this the other night for my boyfriend and his mother and they loved it! Well, I loved it too.
    I used vegetable broth, and instead of 2 cans of diced tomato, I used 1 can of Italian style tomato and about 3 freshly diced tomatoes.

    1. 5 stars
      Just made this and it’s delicious! My 4 year old is gobbling it up as we speak, too. I have tons leftover though – im assuming this is not freezer friendly? Best way to prolong its life?!

  25. do you have the nutritional information for this? i have just had stomach surgery and am restricted on the amount of fat, sugar etc. but this looks so yummy!

  26. This soup was terrific. I made a big batch of it last week to have around for lunches. It got better each day! My husband even had it cold one day! Will definitely need to make this one again!

  27. This is on the stove right now! My mouth is watering, I can’t wait to serve it! I added some mushrooms as well to make it heartier. I’m just getting over a terrible cold so this soup is just what I need! Thanks for posting!!!

  28. I love the “meaty man’s” version! Finally, a soup that fills you up. Did you put any kind of bread with it? If so, what would you recommend?

  29. Made this tonight as dinner didn’t want anything too heavy. Used spinach and cheese tortellini and it was yummers!

  30. I made this soup over the weekend and it is so, so delicious. I shared some with a coworker today and she raved about how good it was. I’m going to tweek the recipe and leave out the tortelini and add potatoes and carrots. The little sausage balls are so good in this soup and the broth is delicious. This was my very first time using kale and I probably used 2 cups and will use even more next time. It was so very, very good. Thanks!!!

  31. Just made this soup today. I didn’t form the sausage into balls, just crumbled and instead of kale (only because I was too lazy to go to the store) I used fresh spinach leaves. I put mine in the crockpot and it is delish! Thanks for an amazing recipe that I know I will be making often.

  32. I tried this soup for my family today. My family doesn’t like kale so we sub’d spinach. They said it’s a recipe that is worth making again. We also added some bacon as they like bacon and some Redfish seasoning. I didn’t get to try it since I’m doing a cleanse, but they said it was really good! Another keeper!

  33. This soup is awesome! It is defintely hearty enough to be a stand-alone meal. I even got my picky husband to eat kale! And the sausage meatballs added so much flavor. I will definitely be making this again.

  34. Made for lunch today, since it’s freezing here. It was wonderful! Completely in love with this recipe! Now if I could only convince my husband and daughter the diced tomatoes and veggies taste great…never ending battle! This was my first time cooking with kale too. I’m a fan!

  35. I made this last night and it was delicious and filling. I added extra tortellini but won’t do that next time. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  36. I made this soup with a few substitutions using what I had on hand. Turned out really yummy! I used homemade egg noodles instead or tortellini. Garnished with mozerella cheese and didn’t have any kale on hand. So good on this cold night!

  37. You know I’m sorry, but I have to laugh about the repeated insistence that this soup won’t make a manly-man’s testicles fall off or something. It’s MANLY! Don’t let that wimpy colorful kale fool you!

    Just shut up and eat it, guys. 🙂

  38. I have had this pinned forever and finally made it today. So delicious and so filling! I used spicy Italian turkey sausage to make it a little leaner. Yum, I will definitely be making this again.

  39. I have lost track of how many times (including tonight) I have made this, now. I have to tell you, HUGE family favourite (and, clearly, high on the meal planning rotation list). Thank you for such an awesome, easy and healthy recipe! 🙂

  40. Made this tonight, as its a Monday I did not have time to make tiny meatballs so I just cooked the sausage onions and bell peppers together then added in all the other ingredients. We like food pretty spicy, so I added a Serrano chile as well. Really awesome recipe, thank you for sharing.

  41. I have tried tortellini soup before but yours really intrigues me. I like the incorporation of a little spice but will probably down-play the kale as it is mostly for aesthetics. I may try to add something in it’s place.

  42. Made this soup for lunch today and it was delightful! I used a can of rotel instead of the tomatoes and it turned out with just the right amount of spice. I used one bunch of kale but next time will add more since it shrivels up in the soup; it turned out so good I didn’t even need to add the sausage. I will have some leftovers with cooked rice to thicken it up. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  43. Fantastic recipe, thank you! I made some minor substitutions because the grocery I went to sucked (frozen spinach instead of kale, green instead of red peppers), omitted the olive oil and sauteed the vegetables in the same amount of sausage drippings in order to take advantage of the flavor bits stuck to the pan.

    Anyways, I’ve never received as many compliments in my life. The soup was super delicious and hearty. Thanks again!

  44. Made this last night and the family loved it. What’s not to love here? It was delicious. However, because I tend to be too by the book for my own good, I tried to adhere to the 1/4 teaspoon sized ‘meatball’ (that’s half the size of a gumball) and quickly realized that browning and crumbling was a much faster way to get just about same result. But I will say crumbled meat is not as much fun to eat. I would recommend to anyone doing this for the first time; use your own preference for the meatball size. You really can’t mess this recipe up, but rolling a 1lb of ground meat into tiny 1/4 teaspoon sized balls is tedious and unnecessary IMO.

  45. Just made this soup- AWESOME! My entire family loved it (my kids are 3 and 5), and my husband, who rarely thinks that soup on its own can be a meal, said it was a great main course. Will be making this again for us AND for when we have company, since it makes so much. Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  46. That must be a mis-print: , roll into 1/4 tsp size ball”?  Seems like they would be pea sized and not what I see in the pic.   They look  maybe 3/4 of an inch next to the tortellini…  Going to make this soon, thx!

    1. Thanks for catching that! I updated the recipe to say 3/4 teaspoon. I hope you like the soup!

  47. Yum!!! I made this last night and now I’m even eating it for breakfast its so good. I was craving something Kale and I usually make our  family Portuguese version which is basically the same, minus the tortellini and with beans, but I like this addition! 🙂 Thanks!

    1. You can freeze the soup, but the tortellini might break up a little after defrosting and reheating.

  48. Yum this soup sounds so good !!  I will be making this weekend as it is supposed to be rainy.  Can Josh share a recipe every Thursday?  I love the MEAT and vegetables.  That would be so much fun!

  49. This looks delicious, just like the dinner had during my culinary tour of the Amalfi Coast with Delectable Destinations.

  50. would have made this tonight if I hadn’t already made an Italian Chicken Soup – hubby is home sick with a cold

    1. Most likely it will be fine with spinach, but even if you don’t normally care for kale, try it once- you will not believe how good it tastes in this broth.

  51. AMAZING!! Thank you so much for this recipe. We love love love it. We all had addicting.

    So glad I came across your site on a shared post. Happy New Year!!!

  52. I just made this soup. the only difference is that i crumbled the sausage, used a 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes, because I didn’t have diced and used spinach because it’s what I had in the house. Turned out amazing! so easy too!!

  53. This is a great recipe. It’s one of my go-to hearty soup recipes. I do have to say, however, that the first time I made it I wasn’t so happy with how long it took me to prepare. I saw the 10 minute prep without reading the recipe and decided to make it on a weeknight. By the time I made the sausage balls, cut the veggies, measured the ingredients, etc. it was MUCH longer than a 10 minute prep. Luckily it was very tasty and I had a lot of leftovers so it ended up being worth the effort. It dawned on me after that it would be just as good if I took the sausage out of the casing and just browned it like I would any other ground meat. This is what I now do if I make this a weekday meal. I chop the veggies in the morning and the soup is put together in no time at the end of the day. The sausage balls make it extra special though so I still make it that way when I have the time 🙂

  54. 4 stars
    This was tasty.. I’m not a pasta soup guy, but boy was this delicious. I skipped the sausage. I just bought the tortellini that had sausage and cheese in it already. I will for sure be making this again. Simple and easy

  55. 5 stars
    My partner and I have really loved this recipe. It is filling, easy to make, healthy, and delicious. And it makes really great leftovers.

  56. 4 stars
    Husband loves this soup,  I add a 15 oz. can of tomatoe sauce to give the broth more body.  I also add smoked paprika and cumin for more ump.

    1. 5 stars
      This was even better than I anticipated! So much flavor with the addition of the heavy cream. I doubled the Italian seasoning and used tomato sauce rather than diced tomatoes.

  57. 5 stars
    This soup is DELICIOUS!! I’ve made it multiple times and get asked for the recipe! I use spinach instead of kale. I put a slice of provolone cheese in the bottom of a bowl and then add the hot soup on top!! YUMMY!!

    1. 5 stars
      Lazy cook that I am, I dont make the little meatballs but simply brown the sausage and add it to the soup. I also use frozen chopped spinach rather than the kale. It’s still yummy!

  58. 5 stars
    We LOVE this soup! I have made this several times for my family and for guests – everyone raves about it. We use kale – the only way my husband will eat it – and low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth. Topped with shaved parmesan cheese and served with crusty bread, this is just the best soup I’ve ever had (sorry, Mom).

  59. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was sooooo good!!  I used Italian sausage, spinach and frozen tortellini. Kids even ate it!!

  60. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made this for dinner tonight. So simple and quick. The hubby loved it. We will definitely make this again. 

  61. 5 stars
    After you add the red pepper and kale but before you add the tortellini do you need to bring it to a boil/or a higher temperature? Or do you add the tortellini and let it come up in temperature together?

  62. 5 stars
    Have made this delicious soup many times, everyone that has tried the soup loves it.
    The only additional ingredient that I add is a couple of small pieces of a parmesan rind, which are scooped out before serving.

  63. 4 stars
    I made this many times last winter. I use half the sausage and substitute spinach for kale. I use the Rana tortellini and cook them separately so they don;t get mushy, There’s only two of us so this soup goes a long way and is easily freezable. IT is delicious!

  64. 4 stars
    the soup was great and easy to make, I substituted spinach for the kale and served with hot agiso cheese bread. Everyone loved it! 

  65. 5 stars
    By far the best soup I have ever made.  My husband is a meat and potatoes type of guy (definitely not a soup guy) but even HE enjoys this soup when I make it which is saying a lot!  

  66. 5 stars
    Made this soup tonight. It was delish. I added extra kale, cuz I omitted the meat. Thanks for this recipe, Maria.

  67. 5 stars
    I love this soup! I used Costco tortellini, vegetable broth, Italian sausage. I only used 5 cups of vegetable broth. This was fun and easy.

  68. I know it’s been years since this recipe was posted but I still make it several times a year! My favorite soup!

  69. Have you ever frozen this? I want to put together some freezer meals and wondered if it would work. Looks yummy!

  70. I make this soup all the time! One of my absolute favorite recipes! I add extra red pepper flakes, about two cups extra broth (because I end up with too much stuff and not enough broth at the end), and spicy Italian sausage in place or regular!

  71. Love this recipe. I’ve made it several times, but have put a bit of a wild spin on it. Each time I’ve made this, I’ve used a different wild game that I’ve hunted i.e. venison, wild board and elk!

    Also, I sub the kale for Italian Parsley!

    @CRIS I’ve always let it stew.

  72. I make a soup very similar that is a family favourite my main addition to the soup is dill Pickles cut up in pieces and a can of tomatoes. It is delist

  73. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times, it’s quick and easy and NEVER disappoints. I even won a soup contest with this recipe! It’s become my family’s go to favorite!

  74. Why did you set up this site so no one can save a recipe but just leave it the smart phone or have to write it out? There is no place I can find to save it, that is really screwed, Allie.

    1. You can print the recipe or save it to your favorites. You have to login to save the recipes, once you are logged in you can save and see all of your favorites in one spot.

  75. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times and it always gets RAVE reviews! I substitute spinach for kale and if I’m rushed, I just slice sausage links into portions which are just about the same size as the individual meatballs. Served with a salad and crusty bread, it is a FEAST!

  76. 5 stars
    This soup was fantastic!
    Enjoyed it so much!
    Used spinach instead of kale.
    Will use bulk loose Italian sausage next time and maybe try a bit of celery and carrot.
    Looking forward to the leftovers.

  77. Yup, made this dish several times in several “configurations” 🙂
    – w/o kale
    – with spinach replacing instead of kale
    – with kale

    All of them where absolutely yummie ! Thank you for sharing, and thanks commenters for their constructive suggestions 🙂 much appreciated !

  78. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for a few years now. We love it. My step dad asks for it all the time and tells all his friends how great this soup is. I do make a few adjustments. I use a whole bag of spinach instead of kale. I also use a 20 oz pack of three cheese tortellini. Also instead of rolling sausage I buy the Johnsonville or any brand of Beddarr with Cheddar smoked sausage. This is already pre-cooked so all I do is cut into pieces and dump into the soup at the end. You can make this whole soup in one pot this way. This makes for a wonderful soup. Thank you for the recipe!

  79. 5 stars
    This is one our favorites. I just made a couple of changes to suit out tastes. I leave out the bay leaf, use a 29 oz can of crushed tomatoes and usually use spinach not kale because I always have spinach. It is a fabulous recipe! Thanks for sharing❤️

  80. Looks like this recipe was updated with changes. Can you publish the original recipe? I cook this all the time.