Crockpot Tortellini Soup

Every year, I tell myself I’m going to make a concerted effort to be less busy during the holidays. Every year, I reach the end of December wondering what on earth I’ve been doing the last three weeks. This year, I’m trying a different approach that I hope will help me appreciate the little moments. It’s being helped along by recipes like this Crockpot Tortellini Soup.

Italian Crockpot Tortellini Soup with sausage and kale. An easy, healthy crockpot recipe with chicken or turkey sausage, spinach or kale, and cheese. Creamy and comforting, this slow cooker Tuscan soup is one of the best crockpot recipes

A warming, hearty soup made in the slow cooker, this easy and healthy crockpot recipe is allowing me not to be less busy but to be a different busy.

I’ve realized that what I really want during the holiday season isn’t for my time to be less full. It’s for it to be full of the activities that mean the most to me this time of year: time with family and friends, cheesy Christmas movies, staring wistfully at holiday lights, volunteering, baking cookies. The list goes on and on!

You know what’s not on that list? Stressing over dinner.

Actually, is stressing over what recipe to make for dinner ever on my list? Nope!

Enter Crockpot Tortellini Soup. It has all the warming comfort and indulgent touches that we crave this time of year, done in a lighter, healthy way.

This Crockpot Tortellini Soup with sausage and kale is an easy slow cooker dinner that the whole family will love!

This slow cooker soup is high in lean protein and loaded with veggies—i.e. the soup I need this time of year.

It’s also rich and satisfying, thanks to the addition of cheesy tortellini pasta noodles—i.e. the soup I want this time of year.

How to Make the Best Crockpot Tortellini Soup

A few nuances set this slow cooker tortellini soup recipe apart. Here’s the scoop:

  • Start by browning the Italian turkey sausage. The sausage adds zesty flavor and rib-sticking protein but is much lower in fat than regular pork sausage. You can use spicy Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausage depending upon your and your family’s preferences.
  • Add the onion and 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 tortellini soup special, and then go back for more.
  • Add tomato paste. Game. Changer. One of my favorite stealth flavor builders, tomato paste gives the Crockpot Tortellini 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.
  • Add all but the last two ingredients to the crockpot. Set it and forget it.
  • Stir the kale and tortellini directly into the crock pot with the other ingredients. No separate pot required. It’s a victory for easy prep and fewer dishes!
  • Red wine vinegar. A splash makes the soup lively, bright, and balanced. Don’t skip it.
  • Serve, sprinkle with Parmesan, and enjoy the experience of a hearty, homemade meal that took you fewer than 15 minutes of active effort to prepare.

Easy Crockpot Tortellini Soup. This tasty soup will be a hit on chilly nights.

Crockpot Tortellini Soup—A Few Recipe Variations

Feel free to use this slow cooker soup as a base for other flavor options. Here are a few I have on my list to try:

  • Crockpot Creamy Tortellini Soup. For an extra hit of indulgence, stir in a splash of half and half just before serving.
  • Creamy Tortellini Spinach Soup. Swap the kale for several big handfuls of roughly chopped spinach. Add the splash of half and half at the end.
  • Easy Spinach Tortellini Soup. Swap the regular cheese tortellini for spinach tortellini.
  • Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Soup. Instead of Italian turkey sausage, use chicken sausage. You can also skip the sausage altogether and add cooked, shredded chicken into the slow cooker with the sautéed veggies (here is how to cook 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.

Crockpot Tortellini Soup. An easy, cheesy, and delicious dinner recipe.

On a busy night soon, try this easy Crockpot Tortellini Soup. It will fill your tummy and then allow you to fill your evening with the activities that mean the most to you.

Italian Crockpot Tortellini Soup with sausage and kale. An easy, healthy crockpot recipe with chicken or turkey sausage, spinach or kale, and cheese. Creamy and comforting, this slow cooker Tuscan soup is one of the best crockpot recipes
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Crockpot Tortellini Soup

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


  • 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 Buitoni 3-Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: crockpot tortellini soup, healthy crockpot recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 of 8, about 1.5 cups) — Calories: 412, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 23g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. This sounds great, and I appreciate how often you post new recipes!

  2. Hi, Erin – Any suggestions for making this soup meatless?

    Love your recipes!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Nana! You can go ahead and leave out the sausage. You can add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes and maybe some fennel seeds for more flavor if you find it a little bland without.

  3. Please include sodium count in your nutritional info. I would like to try more recipes but am on a low sodium diet and must be careful.

    • Hi Pat! I don’t include sodium in the nutrition info because the amount can vary wildly depending on which brands/ingredients are used. I’d recommend using a free online calculator such as MyFitnessPal so you can calculate the sodium based on the products you use. There are other online resources as well, but I use MyFitnessPal, and I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

  4. This sounds fab — and perfect for chilly weather and hectic holidays. Thank you for such great posts, always sprinkled with a hefty dose of optimism. :)

  5. This does sound great. Contemplating whether to sub anything for the sausage when my vegetarian friends come to stay around Christmas. Thoughts on that?

  6. I was literally going to ask you to do a tortellini soup recipe!! Can’t wait to try! 

  7. Mary Jane Connell Reply

    I can not print out the recipe?????

    • Hi Mary Jane, I’m sorry you’ve run into some trouble! Did you try clicking the “Print” button below the square photo in the recipe? It is currently working for me.

      • Hi Mary Jane and Erin, I had this problem, too. The print button wouldn’t recognize my mouse, I found that by moving the mouse slowly up from the bottom it would engage the print button and I was able to print it. I’ll report back tomorrow to let you know, Erin, how much I loved the soup!

    • I had to point my mouse on the bottom left of the print icon to get it to print. Thanks for sharing this recipe I cant wait to try it!

  8. Elizabeth Rutland Rand Reply

    This sounds wonderful and yummy, but I’m not a huge fennel fan. Is it that prominent in the taste of the soup? Can I leave it out or substitute something else?

    • Hi Elizabeth! You can taste it, but it is subtle. It’s also sweet and mild since it is sautéed first. You can omit it if you’re unsure. I hope you enjoy it!

      • Made it today and it was so yummy! You are correct in that the fennel was subtle, but I do think I’ll probably leave it out next time. Not sure why it’s just not my favorite. 😊

  9. Hi Erin, is there a substitute for the red wine vinegar?

    • Hi Letitia, I’d really recommend red wine vinegar for this one, but in an absolute pinch, you can try freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  10. Seriously love everything about this soup!! :)

  11. That’s a bowl of comfort right there!!

  12. Ooo….love that fennel in there. One of my favorite Winter ingredients! This looks like the perfect cold weather buster!

  13. This looks so delightful! Will this keep well in the fridge or freezer?

    • Hi Holli, it will keep in the fridge, but the the pasta will soak up the broth, so if that’s a concern for you, I’d recommend storing the tortellini separately.

  14. Hi Erin,
    Soup looks fabulous and I am definitely going to cook it this weekend!  Regarding the red wine vinegar, is it stirred in after the final 30 minutes of cooking time or is it stirred in when the tortellini and kale are added?

    • Hi Tara! The red wine vinegar goes in step 3, after the tortellini and kale have finished cooking and right before serving. I hope you love the recipe!

  15. Hi Erin

    Saw your recipe as i was looking thru Cooking light and was prepping their recipe!  It is very similar ,other than the sausage, plus i trust all your recipes!  In the process of cooking yours, thanks so much!

  16. hey girl- this looks so yummy!

  17. Im with you on the holidays….I always think I’m going to be less busy, and every year just gets crazier! anyways, I love all the fresh flavors in this soup. Such an easy soup to make, but it sounds so delicious!

  18. This looks amazing! Going to try it out this week :) do you have a recommendation for subbing out carrots? Usually I use sweet potatoes or zucchini depending on the recipe, but I don’t think the zucchini would hold up in the crockpot, and not sure that sweet potatoes would go with this recipe!

    • Heidi, I think sweet potatoes would be delicious! I hope you all love the recipe.

      • I tried this out tonight and it was even more amazing than I thought it would be! I ended up omitting the carrots altogether and actually made it on the stove as I didn’t get home early enough to get it in the crockpot. The flavor was DELICIOUS and I couldn’t believe I actually made it! The hubby loved it too, thank you for another great recipe :)

  19. Looks so warm and hearty! The crockpot is such a life saver for dinner during the holidays!

  20. I made this last night for dinner. I couldn’t find fennel in the grocery store, so I made it without it. It was delicious!

  21. Just got this in my crockpot! Can’t wait! I was curious, though–I didn’t see where the second tablespoon of olive oil is used…?

  22. The ingredient list calls for 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided. I never saw when to use a second tablespoon of olive oil. Did I miss it_

    Thank you for the recipe,


  23. Son & significant other visiting east coast from CA. Will start with crab artichoke toasts (look yummy) a little good chard wine & have the soup & a nice salad for meal. Won’t need to be shackled to the stove while they visit & we all play tourist with our sites jn PA. Will also add homemade fresh bread & a cake grabbed from the freezer & freshly frosted.
    I usually start baking bread in November but so many things needed repaired or bought this year that I am getting a late start on filling the freezer with my bread which everyone really likes. I give them a choice of 3 or 4 different kinds & they rave about it. Bread maker was best gift (other than jewelry-LOL) that hubby ever gave as gift.

  24. This is a total keeper recipe! Full disclosure- I didn’t make it in the crockpot. Just made everything in a dutch oven on the stove and just let it all simmer for about 40 minutes and then added the tortellini and kale for the last 30 minutes. I used ground Italian chicken sausage cause that’s what they had at the store. I also added 1 tsp red pepper flakes cause I like to keep things spicy :). Also- love the addition of the bulb of fennel- really gives it great flavor and you can use the fronds of the bulb to garnish the soup. 
    This is FOR SURE going on rotation this winter- love it!

  25. Hi Erin, 
    LOVED this recipe, and my husband and toddler did too-you’re the best! I couldn’t find a fennel bulb in either of my local grocery stores so I just left it out. Any recommendations for a substitute? 

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