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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It's one of those types of soup that are quick to fix on a busy night and full of healthy, tasty ingredients. It originally called for spicy sausage links, but I've found that turkey sausage, or even ground turkey breast, is just as good. —Tracy Fasnacht, Irwin, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings (2 quarts)


  • 3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven; add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  • Add tortellini; return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese if desired.
    Freeze option: Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth if necessary.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • In Europe, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan are considered the same cheese. But in the U.S., Parmesan is a generic term that may not come from Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano region. Using the authentic Italian cheese (in a lesser amount than the original’s ½ cup) ensures a cheesy richness in the makeover with less fat and calories.
  • Using baby spinach saves prep time because you don’t have to remove the tough stems of mature spinach. Some people prefer baby spinach’s tender texture in salads.
  • Check out all of our soup recipes for more great ideas.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1-1/3 cups: 203 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 878mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 16g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Caitlin
      Feb 26, 2021

      oh my goodness!!! this came out so good! i did switch out the pepper flakes for cayenne since i didn't have the flakes. so yummy! unfortunately my kid didn't like the spinach (eye roll) cant please everyone

    • pandaspecht
      Feb 18, 2021

      No comment left

    • mamaknowsbest
      Feb 3, 2021

      Awesome soup! Great flavor and very flexible for what’s on hand. House smelled like Italian restaurant and everyone loved! We like the kick red pepper flakes adds so we use about 1/4 teaspoon. As a volunteer field editor with Taste of Home magazine I love great tasting dishes that are easy to customize!

    • john
      Jan 29, 2021

      New family favorite. Instead of water add more chicken broth, instead of diced tomatoes add diced tomatoes with green chili (rotel works well). Wonderful with fresh bread.

    • PatJM
      Jan 25, 2021

      My husband said “This recipe is a keeper!” I don’t hear that very often from him. Great taste with a little “zip” to the broth. Will definitely make this again.

    • Queenlalisa
      Jan 24, 2021

      I’ve made this a couple of times. Very flavorful and filling. I love this delicious soup.

    • husbandhatescasseroles
      Jan 8, 2021

      No comment left

    • robbrd
      Dec 28, 2020

      I made this a couple of months ago and my husband, who is not a fan of soup, mentioned it tonight and would like to have it again. We did not have much leftover when I made it so it was definitely enjoyed by our children, too.

    • adanish
      Dec 22, 2020

      Amy, I'd suggest that you just add the frozen tortellini to the soup and let it simmer until the pasta is done - it should only take a couple of minutes more than indicated for the refrigerated tortellini alone. This has become my husband's favorite cool-weather soup. I've found that we always have leftovers with just the two of us and the tortellini tastes great in this soup, but it absorbs a large amount of the broth after the first day and kind of "takes over". I discovered that replacing the tortellini with fresh gnocchi is a fabulous substitution and the gnocchi is much better behaved in the leftover soup.

    • Amy
      Dec 17, 2020

      I love this soup! A friend passed it to me and it’s so so good! If I have frozen “refrigerated” tortellini , should I cook first or thaw & add? Thx! Submitting this comment for 2nd time because I forgot to click the stars??