Every year, I tell myself I’m going to make a concerted effort to be less busy. Every year, I seem to find my schedule even more overwhelming than the last. With our current world circumstances keeping me at home, I’m taking the opportunity to slow down, appreciate the little moments, and relish comforting recipes like this easy Crockpot Tortellini Soup.

Slow cooker Tuscan tortellini soup with sausage in three bowls

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 right now isn’t for my time to be less full. Instead, I want it to be full of the activities that I enjoy: trying bucket list recipes, spending time with loved ones (virtually, if needed), baking, reading, helping my community however I can, watching movies.

This list of what I can do can be just as lengthy as the list of what I can’t do if I choose to frame it that way.

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

Enter Tuscan tortellini soup with sausage! It has all the warming comfort and indulgent touches we’re craving right now, done in a lighter, healthy way.

Three bowls of easy tortellini soup with vegetables and sausage

How to Make the Best Crockpot Tortellini Soup

This easy tortellini soup with sausage is high in lean protein and loaded with veggies.

The ingredients are simple and adaptable for what you have on hand at the moment.

It’s also rich and satisfying, thanks to the addition of cheesy tortellini pasta noodles.

Said plainly, it’s the soup we could all use a big bowl of right now.

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 with the other ingredients, no separate pot required. It’s a victory for easy prep and fewer dishes,!
  • 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 depending upon your and your family’s preferences.
  • 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. Both garlic and carrots are low in calories and rich in vitamins. Carrots bring Vitamin-A and garlic brings Vitamin-C.
  • Red Wine Vinegar. A splash makes the soup lively, bright, and balanced. Don’t skip it.
  • 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. Kale is packed with antioxidants, and it’s high in Vitamin-C. 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.
  • Parmesan Cheese + Parsley. I suggest topping the soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley. You will not regret this move.

The Directions

  1. Brown the sausage. Add the onion and fennel, cooking until softened. Add tomato paste and garlic.
  2. 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. Stir the kale and tortellini directly into the crock pot with the other ingredients, let cook on LOW until tortellini is al dente.
  4. Serve, sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley, and enjoy the experience of a hearty, homemade meal that took you fewer than 15 minutes of active effort to prepare!

Three bowls of creamy soup with pasta, vegetables, and sausage

Tortellini Soup 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:

  • 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. For a cheese tortellini soup with sausage and 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 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.

Crockpot Tortellini Soup Make Ahead + Storage Tips

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

Two bowls of tortellini soup with sausage, kale, and other veggies

Other Cozy Crockpot Soups

Recommended Tools to Make 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.

On a night at home soon, try this easy sausage 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

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

5 from 17 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 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 40 mins
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins

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 Buitoni 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.

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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74 Comments

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    1. 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.

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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. :)

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

    1. Hi Lisa, you can leave the sausage out. You can also add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes and maybe some fennel seeds for more flavor if you’d like.

    2. Mushrooms are always a good meat substitute – in soups I like to cut them into bite sized pieces to go with the rest of the ingredients.5 stars

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

          1. You’re more than welcome, Erin.  Also, the  soup was fantastic, it’ll be made often, lovely flavour and very filling.  Thank you, for sharing the recipe!5 stars

    2. 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!

  4. 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?

    1. 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!

      1. 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. ?5 stars

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

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

    1. 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.

  6. 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?
    Thanks!
    Tara

    1. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!5 stars

  9. 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!

      1. 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 :)5 stars

  10. 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!5 stars

  11. 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…?

  12. 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,

    Nathan

  13. 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.

  14. 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!5 stars

  15. 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? 5 stars

  16. I made this recipe last night. I decided not to use the crock pot. It took just a little over and hour. It was delicious! My husband and I are putting this on our monthly meal rotation for the fall and winter. 5 stars

  17. I made this soup for lunch today and we could not stop ooo-ing and aaahh-ing over it! So delicious and so much flavor! Also, made this on the stovetop over a little less time and it turned out great. Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

  18. This soup is amazing!!! I made it on the stove along with fresh chicken(legs and thighs) and broth made from scratch. The flavors just meld together so well. I added loads of veggies( tri-colored carrots and zucchini) and followed the rest of the recipe. It is hearty AND healthy!! Thanks Erin!!! I wish I could post a picture!!??5 stars

  19. Hi Erin,
    This recipe sounds wonderful. I love my Crockpot and can’t wait to try this recipe but I’m not a fan of kale. Would spinach work or can you recommend another substitute?
    Love to read your posts. Wish you lived next door to me!!

  20. This crockpot soup is amazing! I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I’m training with SportMe running app, and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!5 stars