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Sausage and Tortellini Soup

One of my favorite soups ever, this one-pot Sausage & Tortellini Soup is hearty, satisfying, and full of flavor! It’s got lots of sausage, veggies, and cheesy tortellini all in a delicious broth – perfect to warm you up on a cold day!

Wow, was it FREEZING here in PA this past week! Temperatures were below zero with wind chills near -20°F! And I know it was even worse in other parts of the country. Yikes!

When the weather outside is that frightful, there’s nothing I want more than a comforting bowl of soup to warm me up.

I’ve been making this Sausage & Tortellini Soup for a really long time. It’s funny because, usually, when I tell David that we’re having soup for dinner, he’ll joke (kind of) and say, “And what else?” For whatever reason, he thinks of soup as something you eat for lunch or as an appetizer before dinner, not as a meal.

Except, that is, when I tell him we’re having this soup. Then he is perfectly content to have this soup – and only this soup – for dinner.

And why wouldn’t he be? This soup has it all – it’s a complete meal in a bowl – sweet Italian sausage, a bunch of good-for-you veggies, and tender, cheesy tortellini all swimming around in a super flavorful broth. It’s hearty, filling, and completely satisfying.

And it makes me really happy because it’s a super easy one-pot meal that is on the table in less than an hour!

a ladle full of sausage and tortellini soup being lifted out of the pot

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE SAUSAGE & TORTELLINI SOUP:

  • Sweet Italian sausage
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Beef broth or stock
  • Dried basil
  • Dried parsley
  • Tortellini (fresh, dried, or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In case you aren’t familiar with fennel, it’s a vegetable that has a mild licorice-y flavor with a texture similar to celery when you chop it and cook it. It’s delicious! Sometimes it’s labeled as anise in the grocery store. It looks like this:

three bulbs of fresh fennel

If your grocery store doesn’t have fennel, just use more carrots and celery (usually, a bulb of fennel will give you about 2 cups chopped), or you could also use some zucchini.

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGE & TORTELLINI SOUP:

three photos showing steps to make sausage and tortellini soup with text that says in a large pot, brown sausage, drain excess fat, add veggies and cook until starting to soften about 5 minutes, add tomatoes, stock/broth, and spices
three photos showing steps to make sausage and tortellini soup with text that says cover and simmer until veggies are tender about 10 minutes, add tortellini, bring to a boil and cook until tender, enjoy

The time you cook the tortellini will depend on the type you use (fresh, dried, or frozen). Follow the cooking times on the package of the tortellini that you use. I’ve used all three kinds and all are really good in this soup. My favorite is fresh (the kind you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store).

If you have some spinach or kale in the fridge that you need to use up (or want to sneak some in where people kind of forget it’s there because the soup is so yummy), it would be an excellent addition to this soup.

To take this soup to the next level of deliciousness, sprinkle it with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese when you serve it. Oh, yesss!

bowl of sausage and tortellini soup sprinkled with parmesan cheese with a spoon and piece of bread on the side

This recipe makes a big pot of soup, so if you’re not feeding several people, you’ll probably have some leftovers. You may need to add more broth when you reheat it because the tortellini will soak up some of the liquid as it sits in the refrigerator.

You could easily halve the recipe for a smaller amount of soup. I often do when I’m just cooking for the two of us. BUT the leftovers are so awesome! This is one of those soups that is good today but even better tomorrow.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

  • Can I freeze this soup? Yes. BUT I highly recommend freezing the soup without the tortellini in it because the tortellini can get soft from being frozen and have a mushy texture when the soup is reheated. Instead, make the soup without the tortellini, freeze it, and add the tortellini the day you serve it. If you are having some soup for dinner the day you make this but plan to freeze the leftovers, just take out as much soup as you need for dinner, put it in a separate pot, and cook some tortellini in that smaller batch (enough for as many servings you will be having for dinner).
  • Can I use chicken broth instead of beef broth? Sure! I’ve used it in this soup lots of times, and it’s just as delicious!
  • Can I use hot Italian sausage? You bet. If you like spicy food, go ahead and use hot sausage or a combination of hot and sweet.

I hope you try this recipe for Sausage & Tortellini Soup and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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a pot of sausage and tortellini soup with a ladle in it

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

This one-pot Sausage & Tortellini Soup is hearty, satisfying, and full of flavor! It’s got lots of sausage,  veggies, and cheesy tortellini all in a delicious broth – perfect to warm you up on a cold day!
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Estimated Calories: 415

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (if in links, remove the sausage from the casings)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups beef broth or stock (or chicken broth or stock)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 9-oz packages fresh tortellini (or dry or frozen)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for serving), optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot (I use a 7-quart pot), brown the sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks. If there is a lot of excess grease, drain off most of it, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots, fennel, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the veggies just begin to soften.
  • Add the tomatoes, beef (or chicken) broth or stock, the tomatoes, and the basil and parsley.
  • Cover the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tortellini. Bring the soup back up to a boil and cook until the tortellini is tender (follow the time on the package). 
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

  • If you have leftovers, the tortellini will soak up some of the broth as the soup sits in the refrigerator, so you may need to add more broth when you reheat the soup.
  • If you plan to freeze the soup, I don’t recommend freezing it with the tortellini in it because the tortellini can get really soft and turn mushy when reheated. Make the soup without the tortellini and freeze it, and then add the tortellini on the day you serve it. 
  • Calorie estimate is for the soup only and does not include Parmesan cheese. 
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