Rich and creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup is a cold-weather comfort food favorite! It’s loaded with crumbles of Italian sausage, chunks of carrots and celery, fresh basil and parsley, and the cheesy tortellini takes it over the top!

Large pot of soup with wooden ladle holding tortellini.


When I think of the best dishes to serve on a cold winter day, a few come to mind: pasta e fagioli, Italian beef stew, and this creamy sausage tortellini soup.

Ready in under an hour, cheese tortellini soup with sausage is great for weeknights and goes particularly well with a side of garlic bread and a green salad for a full and satisfying meal.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: tortellini, cream ,sausage, tomato paste, wine, parmesan rind, flour, fennel seeds, chicken stock, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, and parsley.
  • Tortellini. I find that the tortellini in the refrigerated section of the grocery is far better than the frozen variety but use whichever is available to you. And if you have homemeade tortellini, even better! I used cheese tortellini but use any you’d like.
  • Sausage. If you can find it, use bulk Italian sausage with fennel. If you can’t find bulk sausage, buy the sausage links and simply remove the meat from the casings. Hot sausage would also be great here if you like spice!
  • Fennel. If your sausage already contains fennel, you can omit from the recipe. Otherwise I like to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seed to the soup.
  • Fresh herbs. Basil and parsley elevate and complement the flavors in Italian sausage tortellini soup. They bring a freshness that dried herbs don’t have. These get added at the very end. You could also toss some spinach in if you like.
  • Tomato paste and cream. Just a touch of heavy cream is used to make the tomato-based broth velvety.
  • Chicken stock. Use homemade chicken stock if you can, or make a stock from chicken base.
  • Wine. A dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc can be used, but feel free to omit if you can’t have alcohol.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Dice 1 medium onion, 2 ribs of celery, and 2 medium carrots. Mince 6 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup of Italian parsley, and chop 1/2 cup of packed basil leaves. Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive and the sausage. Cook the sausage until browned while breaking it up into small pieces. A meat masher works great for this! Once browned, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and place on a plate and set aside. (Photo #1)
Creamy sausage tortellini soup process collage group one showing browning of sausage and sauteing of vegetables.
  1. To the pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the onion, celery, carrots, a pinch of salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seed. Cook until soft while stirring, about 7-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. (Photo #2)
  2. Add 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. If the paste starts to burn, lower the heat by adding a splash of water to the pot. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage two showing cooking of tomato paste and flour.
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. (Photo #4)
  2. Add 1 cup of dry white wine and turn the heat up to high while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage three showing adding white wine to pot and bringing soup to boil.
  1. Once the wine has reduced by half (about 1-2 minutes), add the cooked sausage to the pot along with 8 cups of low-sodium chicken stock and a Parmigiano Reggiano rind and bring to a boil. (Photo #6)
  2. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and simmer the soup for another 10 minutes. (Photo #7)
Recipe collage four showing mixing in the cream and adding the tortellini and herbs to the pot.
  1. Add 1 pound of cheese tortellini and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender, then remove from the heat, taste test and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the parsley and basil, then serve in bowls with grated cheese and crusty bread. (Photo #8) Enjoy!

Top tips

  • Save your Parmigiano Reggiano rinds! Anytime I finish a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano, I wrap the rind in plastic and store in the fridge or freezer to use in my soup recipes. The rind adds a wonderful depth of flavor!
  • Use homemade stock. Whenever possible, use homemade chicken stock or beef stock. Homemade stock not only allows you to control sodium levels in your food, but also tastes better than store-bought!
  • Add some greens. Feel free to add fresh baby spinach, kale, or other greens to the creamy sausage tortellini soup.
White bowl with creamy sausage tortellini soup.

More hearty soup recipes

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Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Loaded with flavor, this velvety, creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup is a cold weather favorite that's easy to make in under an hour! Serve with crusty bread and you're set!

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed can omit if using fennel sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock plus more to thin if needed
  • 1 rind Parmigiano Reggiano optional, see notes below
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley minced
  • 1/2 packed cup basil leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat a large heavy pot to medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sausage. Cook the sausage until browned while breaking it up into small pieces. Once brown, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
  • To the pot, add the remaining olive oil along with the onion, celery, carrot, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft while stirring every so often (about 7-10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. If the paste starts to burn lower the heat and add a touch of water to the pot.
  • Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add the wine and turn the heat to high. With a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any browned bits. Once the wine has reduced by half (about 1-2 minutes) add the cooked sausage, chicken stock, and Parmigiano rind. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and simmer the soup for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the tortellini and cook until tender (about 3-5 minutes) then remove the pot from the heat. Taste test the soup and adjust salt and pepper if required. Stir in the parsley and basil.
  • Serve in bowls with grated cheese and crusty bread. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Makes 6 large or 8 moderate servings.
  • Any type of Italian sausage can be used.  If using fennel sausage, omit the fennel seeds.
  • We always recommend saving Parmigiano Rinds!  They are excellent for soups like this, but if you don’t have one just serve with grated cheese.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave or stovetop.  

Nutrition

Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.9g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10.8g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 771mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 6.3g | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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18 Comments

  1. This is going to be a Jim and Tara recipes weekend. Starting off with the soup tonight and finishing with the four cheese Manicotti.

  2. 5 stars
    This soup was amazing! I made it with spicy sausage and it was a perfect meal. Thank you for another great recipe.