Chicken tortellini soup is chicken soup on steroids! This is one of those pasta recipes that embellishes tortellini soup with gobs of succulent chicken, bite-sized smoked kielbasa and plenty of hearty vegetables.
Forget wimpy canned condensed chicken recipes that have minimal nutritional value. When you want that salty satisfying warm chicken soup with aromatic veggies and plenty of wholesome pasta, only chicken tortellini soup will do.
This is one of those tortellini recipes with layers of crave-worthy flavor that are addictingly delicious..…..and yes, you’re gonna want seconds!! You’ll want to make it over and over again!
Come and check it out!
Telling you what I love about chicken tortellini soup could be an entirely different post because it just has so many awesome qualities.
This is such a robust recipe with a plethora of vibrant flavors and hearty satisfying textures that can go from an inviting appetizer to a wholesome nutritious meal with the change of a bowl. Here are even more reasons to love it!
- Layers of flavors and textures
- Wholesome nuggets of tortellini
- A plethora of vibrant veggies
- 30-minute prep time
- Easy to substitute ingredients
Making chicken tortellini soup with spinach doesn’t take very long but it changes the entire ambiance of the house. I just love how the aroma seems to comfort the soul as it seeps out from the kitchen.
When you’ve got a busy schedule, it can be tempting to skip the step where you sauté the veggies with fragrant herbs. I mean, it’s all going into the soup pot anyway, right? – Wrong!! Sautéing veggies before they go into the soup is essential. It draws out their sweet mellow nuances that ‘build’ the layers of flavor in the chicken tortellini soup and it sweats out any bitterness in the veggies. That’s what you want!
Don’t forget to dab your kielbasa while letting it rest on a paper towel. You want to get rid of all that excess grease to ensure your soup has a refreshing quality. It’s a small step but its important.
Be sure to add your tortellini at the right time, near the end of the cooking process, to ensure that only cooks al dente. Adding it too early will result in mushy pasta that ruins your chicken soup.
Crockpot: If you’re really strapped for time, the dish can come together in a crockpot while you manage the daily chaos. To create a slow cooker tortellini soup, simply brown the sausage and sauté the aromatic veggies as the recipe directs, then put everything except the pasta and spinach into the slow cooker for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Add the tortellini and spinach about 18 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve (the slow cooker should be on high for this part) to make sure the pasta retains that al-dente texture.
Now for the good stuff – ingredients! None rank higher on my list of favs than tortellini. You have plenty of options, so you’ll have to see what kind you prefer in your chicken tortellini soup.
Try the spinach, cheese or even mushroom to heighten the flavor of your soup even more.
Better Than Bouillon: This chicken tortellini soup calls for Better than Bouillon (chicken flavor), which is an intense flavoring paste made from meat, vegetables, and spices. It packs a tasty punch you just can’t get from traditional bouillon cubes (which are mainly salt).
My only advice is to use it sparingly. Even following the directions on the label will produce a powerful flavor.
Chicken: You’ll also need 2 cups of cooked chicken. I love using rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken in this recipe. They are already infused with flavor and spices that add tons of flavor to your chicken tortellini soup, but any chicken will work.
Use what you have on hand or cook some chicken just for your soup.
Broth: The chicken broth in this recipe is low sodium which means less salt. This makes your soup much healthier and balances the robust flavor of the Better than Bouillon to keep it from creeping into the overly salted territory.
Spinach: Opting for fresh spinach instead of frozen is also essential to this nutrient-dense recipe. Fresh spinach has retained most of its nutrients and it has a mild delicate flavor. Its almost treated like an herb in this recipe so add it at the very end.
Your chicken tortellini soup should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want to store in serving size portions, I find that mason jars work really well.
You’ll also want to ensure that the temperature of your fridge is set at or below 40-degrees Fahrenheit as recommended by the FDA for food storage safety. You probably won’t have to worry about this unless you make a double batch.
I’m often surprised at how fast this chicken tortellini soup gets gobbled up!
It’s also a good idea to keep some extra chicken broth on hand for thinning out thickened leftovers. This chicken tortellini soup will thicken as it sits in the fridge and the extra broth will help thin it back out.
**Pro Tip: You may want to keep some of that Better than Bouillon on hand. When you add the extra chicken broth you may need to adjust the seasoning in your recipe.
Can You Freeze This?
Well, the answer is both yes and no. Unfortunately, the finished product doesn’t freeze well because the carrots and the tortellini get mushy upon thawing. The chicken in the recipe also poses an issue because additional cooking time can make it rubbery and that would ruin your tasty masterpiece.
So, here’s what you can do. Omit these three items or set them aside and freeze the remainder of you flavor-packed soup. The simply add them as you are reheating your soup to serve. Just don’t forget to sauté the carrots, it is very important.
Make Ahead Tips
Prepping saves time during the busy week, I get it. Chopping all the aromatic veggies and storing them together makes them easy to grab and toss into the pot when you are ready to make your chicken tortellini soup.
You can also chop your chicken and kielbasa, but I would store them separately. The kielbasa must be sautéed before going into the soup, but the chicken does not. Depending on how prepared you are trying to get, you can always go with the freezing method above, adding the last three items as your thaw and reheat your soup.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your chicken tortellini soup will stay fresh and crave-worthy for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It seems to get better as all those vibrant flavors mingle in the fridge. Just be sure to keep it covered in an airtight container and reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour serving rule.
Oh, the places you’ll go! You can do so many things to tweak this recipe. Use different cuts of chicken, white meat or dark meat, along with different variations of stuffed tortellini. You can also choose to use spicy Italian sausage instead of Kielbasa and try adding chopped tomatoes.
Using canned Rotel will give you a chicken tortellini soup with a kick! At the risk of offering up too many choices, you can also substitute sweet Italian sausage for the smoked kielbasa.
Can I Add Cream To This Soup?
Adding a cup of cream will give you a creamy tortellini soup that transforms this dish from a fall favorite to a mid-winter delicacy. It’s even more amazing and decadent,…if that’s possible.
You can also take things in a completely different direction with creamy chicken tortilla soup that will snap your taste buds out of their siesta!
Can I Use Leftover Chicken?
Absolutely! In fact, I strongly recommend it. Rotisserie chicken already has so much smoky flavor infused into it that it is wonderful in soups and casseroles.
Make full-flavored rotisserie chicken soup or buffalo chicken soup with a little kick. Using leftover chicken to make your soup is cost-effective, flavorful and it helps you keep the fridge clean.
Can This Be Cooked In An Instant Pot?
Oh yeah! Now we’re talking. Instant pot chicken soup is absolutely amazing, and it is so easy to make it’s not even funny. If you’re feeling a little feisty you can also make instant pot chicken tortilla soup. Indulge in all that decadent flavor without waiting hours.
Can I Substitute Tortilla For Tortellini?
If chicken tortilla soup is your thing, then go for it. You can even make slow cooker chicken tortilla soup. Make things easier on yourself and let those savory aromas slowly fill your kitchen as they prepare to persistently beckon to hungry tummies.
It’s so nice to come home after a long hard day and know that a wholesome nutritious meal is cooked and ready for the taking.
How Can I Add A Mexican Flavor To This Soup?
I just love Mexican food and soup is no exception! Mexican chicken soup is a fantastic blend of savory components that can easily be the centerpiece of any meal. Serve it with some cheesy quesadillas for a savory and filling meal that will make you melt into your chair with every delicious bite.
Chicken enchilada soup is another decadent and savory recipe that you’ll fall in love with. It is so good its worthy of the Mexican Hat Dance with every serving. – Trust me on this one! Pair it with a crisp side salad, a cheesy quesadilla or some crunchy tortilla chips with salsa or cheese dip. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe this dish.
Chicken Tortellini Soup
- 4 tablespoons olive oil -divided
- 12 ounces smoked kielbasa sausage thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 6 carrots chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 celery stalks chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 96 ounces plus more for leftovers low sodium chicken broth
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon~chicken flavor
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
- 2 9-Ounce package tortellini
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley roughly chopped, optional
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot, over medium heat, until it begins to shimmer. Add Kielbasa and brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the stockpot and heat over medium heat, until it begins to shimmer. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the sausage back to the stockpot. Add in the chicken broth, bay leaves, and Better than Bouillion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add the chicken, tortellini and simmer just until pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes. Stir in the baby spinach. Ladle into bowl and garnish with parsley and serve.
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Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a great big bowl of chicken soup and there can be lots of triggers that spur the craving. Feeling under the weather or just the weather itself can spawn a wicked strong craving for that bold salty meaty soup with lots of hearty vegetables and perfectly cooked pasta.
The thing is that you won’t always want the same old bowl of chicken soup, so it helps to have several chicken soup recipes at your disposal. Here are some of my favorites.
- Chicken Vegetable Soup – a very nutritious
- Chicken Taco Soup – family-friendly, hearty, healthy soup
- Chicken Potato Soup – if you need a comforting bowl of soup
- Lemon Chicken Soup – fresh and citrusy soup
- Chicken Broccoli Soup – a healthy soup for all ages
Chicken tortellini soup is a masterful blend of savory flavors and textures meant to satiate the soul, fuel the body and fill the tummy with wholesome nutrition. It only takes about a half an hour to prepare (not including cook time) this decadent concoction that can go from an appetizer to a meal with the change of a bowl.
Go a bit nostalgic to really nurture that inner child by serving this chicken tortellini soup with a golden grilled cheese sandwich for a magical crave-worthy meal. Chicken tortellini soup is a wholesome nutritious feel-good meal that is irrefutably delicious.
Or, for something totally different, check out this low carb version of chicken noodle soup!