Hearty Sausage and Tortellini Soup

tortellini soup with sausage and zucchini
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
545 Calories
29g Fat
44g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 545
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 1474mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 227mg 17%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 998mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This tortellini soup is hearty enough for dinner and fast and easy enough for a weeknight meal. The prep includes a few minutes of pre-cooking to brown the sausage and soften the onions, but the soup needs very little attention after that. Just combine the ingredients and let it simmer.

It's a versatile soup as well. Instead of zucchini, you might prefer fresh or frozen green beans, spinach, or kale. You can even do most of the preparation and cooking ahead of time and add the tortellini a few minutes before serving. See our tips and variations for more ideas.

The Italian-style soup is wonderful with warm, crusty bread or rolls, or toast a loaf of garlic bread. And if you want a more substantial meal, serve the soup and bread with a tossed salad.


  • 1 pound Italian sausage (remove from casings)

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)

  • 1/2 cup diced carrot

  • 4 cups chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)

  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil (or about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or about 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano)

  • 1 medium zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced thinly)

  • 1 to 2 cups spinach leaves (coarsely chopped), optional

  • 9 ounces fresh cheese tortellini

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for tortellini soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sausage is no longer pink. If the sausage is sticking, add a few teaspoons of vegetable oil or olive oil. Remove the browned sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

    cook the italian sausage until brown
    In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer,
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

    saute the onions and garlic for the soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the browned sausage back to the Dutch oven along with the carrot, chicken stock, tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes; add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

    add the broth, tomatoes, and seasonings to the soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Add the spinach (if using) and the tortellini; cook for about 3 to 5 minutes longer, or as directed on the package.

    add the tortellini to the soup mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Offer more Parmesan cheese at the table.

    closeup of sausage tortellini soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How To Store Leftovers

Refrigerate cooled leftover soup in a covered container for up to 3 days. If you plan on having leftovers, set aside some uncooked tortellini and some of the soup (without tortellini) and refrigerate them in separate containers. To reheat, bring the leftover soup mixture to a boil, add the tortellini, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

What's a Good Substitute for Crushed Tomatoes?

  •  Canned Tomatoes: Use 28 ounces of cut-up whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a pan
    and mash them with a potato masher. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes to reduce slightly.
  •  Canned Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce: Combine a 14.5-ounce can of slightly drained diced tomatoes with a 15-ounce can of tomato sauce (or two 8-ounce cans). Mash or pulse in a food processor if desired.
  • A 28-ounce can of tomato purée may be substituted but will have less texture.

Make It Ahead

To make the soup ahead, leave the tortellini and spinach out and follow steps 1 through 4. Refrigerate the soup for several hours or overnight or freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. If frozen, defrost the soup in the refrigerator overnight or put the frozen soup in the Dutch oven and heat over medium-low heat until it has thawed. Bring the soup to a boil and add the tortellini and spinach (if using). Continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tortellini is softened as desired.


  • Instead of Italian sausage, make the soup with browned ground beef, turkey, or chorizo sausage.
  • For a spicier soup, use hot Italian sausage instead of mild, or add about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes when adding the dried herbs.
  • Make it with beef stock or vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
  • Sauté about 1/2 cup of celery along with the onion and garlic.

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