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Dinner doesn’t get much better than this easy Crockpot Tortellini Soup. Your slow cooker does all the work and you get to enjoy a hearty soup chock full of meaty sausage, cheese tortellini, and vegetables. Just grab some bread and dig in!

Slow cooker Tuscan tortellini soup with sausage in three bowls

Why You’ll Love This Crockpot Tortellini Soup With Sausage Recipe

  • Healthy But Hearty. A warming, hearty soup made in the slow cooker, this crockpot tortellini soup recipe (and this similarly satisfying Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup) is the kind of cozy dinner made for blustery winter days. It has all the warming comfort and indulgent touches you crave, done in a lighter, healthy way.
  • Easy to Make. This easy tortellini soup with sausage and kale is made in the slow cooker, which means your hands-on time is minimal. Enjoy the experience of a hearty, homemade meal that took you fewer than 15 minutes of active effort to prepare!
  • So Flavorful. Italian sausage adds loads of flavor to everything from Sausage and Potatoes to Italian Sausage Pasta, and this tortellini soup is no exception. Fennel might be an unexpected addition at first glance, but once you give this soup a taste, you won’t be able to imagine it without.
  • Highly Customizable. The ingredients are simple and adaptable for what you have on hand at the moment. I share some variation ideas later in this post!
Three bowls of easy tortellini soup with vegetables and sausage

5 Star Review

“This was AMAZING. Absolutely a new favorite! Thank you!”

— Marie —

How to Make Crockpot Tortellini Soup

The Ingredients

  • Cheese Tortellini. What could be better than soft, pillowy cheese-stuffed tortellini? Absolutely nothing. Tortellini holds up nicely in the soup and brings easy, cheesy flavor. Plus, it cooks directly in the slow cooker.
  • Ground Italian Turkey Sausage. The sausage adds zesty flavor and rib-sticking protein. Turkey sausage is super flavorful and much lower in fat than regular pork sausage. You can use spicy Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausage.
  • Onion + Fennel. Onion is classic. Fennel is unexpected and deeply delicious, especially with the sausage. Common in many Italian recipes, fennel gives the soup a note of subtle sweetness. It doesn’t overpower; rather, it will be the somethin’ somethin’ that makes you pause, try to put a finger on what makes this easy tortellini soup special, and then go back for more.
  • Tomato Paste + Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. Two of my favorite stealth flavor builders. Both the fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato paste give the soup a depth that will fool everyone into thinking you spent hours lovingly simmering it on the stove, instead of tossing everything into the slow cooker and walking away. Your secret is safe with me.
  • Garlic + Carrots. These two ingredients bring flavor, texture, and nutritional benefits to the soup.
  • Red Wine Vinegar. A splash makes the soup lively, bright, and balanced. Don’t skip it. (Also adds a pop of acidity to Pasta Fagioli).
  • Chicken Broth. The main source of liquid for our tortellini soup.
  • Italian Seasoning. A perfect powerhouse of flavor for this slow cooker Tuscan tortellini soup.
  • Kale. For added nutritional benefits, I tossed in some kale, just like in my Minestrone Soup. The kale softens and becomes almost imperceptible amongst the other ingredients in the soup. If you prefer, you can make the tortellini soup with spinach instead. (Kale is also the star in this Kale Soup!)
  • Parmesan Cheese + Parsley. I suggest topping the soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley. You will not regret this move.

The Directions

Three bowls of creamy soup with pasta, vegetables, and sausage
  1. Prep. Brown the sausage on the stovetop. Add the onion and fennel, cooking until softened. Add tomato paste and garlic.
  2. Cook. Add all of the ingredients but the kale and tortellini to the slow cooker. Set it on LOW for 3 hours and forget it.
  3. Add the Pasta. Stir the kale and tortellini directly into the crock pot with the other ingredients, let cook on LOW until tortellini is al dente.
  4. Finish. Serve, sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley, and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Sausage Tortellini Soup on the Stove. The stovetop recipe was adapted from this crockpot version, and it’s just as delish!
  • Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tortellini Soup. Omit the sausage, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you like, you can stir in a can of rinsed and drained white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern, into the soup for extra protein.
  • Tortellini Soup with Spinach. Swap the kale for several big handfuls of roughly chopped spinach. For a creamy tortellini spinach soup spin, add a splash of half and half at the end.
  • Crockpot Creamy Tortellini Soup. For an extra hit of indulgence, stir in a splash of half and half just before serving.
  • Easy Spinach Tortellini Soup. Swap the regular cheese tortellini for spinach-stuffed tortellini. (See note above to swap the kale for spinach for a double spinach hit.)
  • Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup. For chicken tortellini soup, use chicken sausage instead of Italian turkey sausage. You can also skip the sausage altogether and add cooked, shredded chicken into the slow cooker with the sautéed veggies (you can make shredded chicken on the stovetop or try this Crock Pot Shredded Chicken; for the ultimate shortcut, you could even use shredded, store-bought rotisserie chicken). Since sausage has more flavor than shredded chicken, you may want to stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes, black pepper, or even fennel seeds at the end.
Two bowls of tortellini soup with sausage, kale, and other veggies

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place leftover soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm the soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed to thin the soup. You can also rewarm this soup in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Store tortellini soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Chop all vegetables up to 2 days in advance, and store them in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Crockpot Tortellini Soup

  • Slow Cooker. This one is programmable, so you can truly set it and forget it!
  • Ladle. The best way to transfer tortellini soup to bowls and storage containers.
  • Garlic Press Rocker + Leaf Herb Stripper. This wonderful little tool has multiple functions and comes in handy when prepping this soup.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Wash the Kale Well. Those curly kale leaves do a good job hiding grit and sand (sometimes bugs too!), so be sure to wash it thoroughly to keep any unwanted surprises out of your crockpot tortellini soup.
  • Use a Good Broth. Avoid using bouillon cubes or inexpensive canned broth; store-bought is absolutely fine, but it should be something you wouldn’t mind sipping on when you’re under the weather. If it tastes bad, it’s not good for soup!
  • Don’t Skip the Initial Stovetop Cooking. A lot of slow cooker soup recipes skip this step, but I’ve found it’s critical. It helps the vegetables soften and adds more depth to the flavor.
  • Grate Your Own Parmesan. It will melt smoothly into your soup—the grated Parm in the green bottle does not!

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

5 from 37 votes
Italian Crockpot Tortellini Soup. An easy, healthy crockpot recipe with chicken or turkey sausage, spinach or kale, and cheese. Creamy and comforting!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 40 minutes
Total: 3 hours 50 minutes

Servings: 12 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground Italian turkey sausage look for it sold ground in a package, or you can also squeeze it from the casings if links are your only option
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large fennel bulb chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste I like to buy the kind in the tube so I can use it for several recipes over time
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large carrots chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth plus additional as needed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped stemmed curly or dinosaur kale about half of an 8- to 10-ounce bunch
  • 1 (9-ounce) package 3-Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the turkey sausage, onion, fennel, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is browned and the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 additional minute.
  • Lightly coat the inside of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add the browned sausage mixture. Next, add the carrots, 6 cups chicken broth, diced tomatoes in their juices, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 3 hours, until the carrots are nearly tender.
  • Stir in the kale and tortellini. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 additional minutes, or until the kale is wilted and tender and the tortellini is al dente. If your slow cooker runs hot, check the slow cooker a little early to ensure the pasta does not overcook. Stir in the red wine vinegar. If you would like a thinner, brothier soup, stir in additional broth until your desired consistency is reached. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8); about 1.5 cupsCalories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 23gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 20mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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124 Comments

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  1. Fantastic recipe! We’ve tried a tortellini soup before but this was way better. Loved all the flavours and the fennel bulb was a nice addition. I like that it would be very easy to do on the stovetop if I forgot to get it ready in the slow cooker.

    It’s already printed and waiting to get in my binder!
    Just like all of the other recipes I’ve made from your site, it was delicious and will definitely be a regular in the soup rotation. Thanks very much!5 stars

  2. This soup is fantastic! I made it on the stove top in one hour and the flavors were amazing. I can’t wait to try it again tomorrow after the ingredients mingle overnight! Thank you Erin!5 stars

  3. JUST made this recipe TODAY… so so good. an easy recipe to follow. Packed with flavor!! Perfect fir a day like today, cloudy and cold!5 stars

  4. FABULOUS flavor, Erin! Everything you make is seasoned to perfection! I’ve made tortellini soup before but this is amazing. Keep those recipes comin’! 🤗5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah! Maybe? Honestly I haven’t made tortellini in the instant pot, so not sure how it would turn out. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  5. This sounds wonderful but I’m not a fan of fennel. Will the soup be good without it, or is there something I can substitute?

  6. absolutely delicious! pretty easy to prep. Looking for a faster way to cook it though…also the carrots were still a tad too crunchy. Any recommendations?5 stars

  7. Erin, I’m so happy I found your website! This is the first recipe I have tried, and it earned its 5 stars! The flavor profile is amazing and my husband agrees. I’m not a big fan of fennel, but it works perfectly in this recipe. The only issue I had (which is not the recipe’s fault) is that when re-heating this soup the next night, the tortellini pretty much disintegrated. So I’m thinking that next time around, I will trying adding 1/2 the tortellini on the first night, and the other half on the second night. Anyhow, Ive bookmarked this site, and plan to start making lots of other healthy and delicious-looking recipes! Many thanks!5 stars

  8. I am very excited to try this recipe. I havent had a bad recipe yet. I have never had fennel before but to my surprise I found it right away at the store. Do I cut the whole thing including the bulb? Or do I just cut the leaves? What does fennel taste like?

    1. Hi Annie! You are just using the bulb in this recipe. Fennel has a very mild anise or licorice flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

  9. This was delicious! I didn’t add the fennel or onion because those aren’t my jam ha, but it was a perfect fall day soup. I also used pre sliced carrots to save time and that worked! My 6 year old even loved it and I instantly shared the recipe with my siblings after eating it. Thank you! Will be making this again.5 stars

  10. This is outstanding! So easy and flavorful. I highly recommend that when you make you automatically double the recipe or you will be making another batch two days later like me.5 stars

  11. Amazing flavor. So easy to throw together. Only change I used the Italian Sausage tortellini’s. Thanks Erin for another winner.5 stars

  12. Amazing. Granted I cheated and used pork….. But seriously, delicious!!! The fennel is everything. Next time I will use a bit more! Soooooooooo good thank you!!
    Rebecca5 stars

  13. I just made this. So good! I used spicy turkey sausage which gave the soup a nice zip. Also my crockpot must be off, I needed to switch to high for a bit to get the carrots cooked. I will definitely make again5 stars

    1. Hi Gayle, you could probably make the base of the soup but I don’t think you can cook the tortellini in the instant pot. Glad you enjoyed this!

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