This easy, creamy slow cooker tortellini soup recipe requires minimal prep yet produces super flavorful and filling results every time. A true one-pot weeknight dinner wonder soon to become a family favorite!

Overhead shot of a white bowl filled with tortellini soup on top of a striped blue napkin and white background.

About this Recipe

Meet my family’s new favorite slow cooker soup recipe– this super simple and totally satisfying slow cooker tortellini soup!

Packed with vegetables & protein and simmered in a creamy, tomato-based broth, this is one of those hearty all-in-one meals (like this slow cooker hamburger soup) that we find ourselves making again and again.

Flavorful ingredients like ground Italian sausage, store bought tortellini, crushed tomatoes, carrots, onion, spinach, and cream all combine to create this ultra comforting soup.

It’s delicious year-round but especially good when the temperatures drop (just IMAGINE cozying up to a warm, nourishing bowl after a long day).

The good news is that a few ingredients and a slow cooker are really all you need to make this one-pot dinner tonight – trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Tip: While I chose to make this soup with sweet Italian sausage, there’s lots of fun variations you can try! I added lots of ideas for you below to get you inspired – including how to make versions that are vegetarian or spicy, and how to make it with chicken or chicken sausage.

Overhead shot of chopped vegetables, tomato paste, spices and crumbled pork sausage in a black crockpot.

Process & Tips

This crockpot tortellini soup recipe comes together super easily in either the slow cooker or in as little as 45 minutes stovetop – both methods produce delicious results without a ton of effort on your part!

I tested this tortellini as a dump-and-go slow cooker recipe, but didn’t like the texture of the sausage in the final soup.

That’s why I think it’s worth the extra pre-cook step for this particular recipe.

After a quick sauté of the onions and sausage, you add the rest of your ingredients into the pot to simmer and meld together.

Save the fresh tortellini to add at the very end of the cooking time so they’re tender and just cooked through (that’s the secret to making sure they don’t get too mushy).

Finally, stir in your spinach, cream, and red wine vinegar and just like that dinner’s done! 

Tip: This soup can easily be made gluten-free or dairy-free with just a few simple ingredient swaps. I’ve added all the details for you below so everyone can enjoy it!

Overhead shot of soup inside of a black slow cooker pot.

The Best Type of Tortellini to Use

This recipe is so versatile and forgiving, any flavor or type of small tortellini will work for this soup!

For a dairy-free option, look for a dairy-free tortellini such as Kite Hill. 

For a gluten-free option, look for a gluten free option like Capello’s tortellini.

And if using frozen tortellini be sure to defrost them before adding to the soup.

Tip: After adding the tortellini to the slow cooker, resist the urge to take the lid on and off, as taking the lid off will drop the temperature and prevent the tortellini from cooking all the way through.

Ladle full of crockpot tortellini soup being dished out of a black slow cooker.

Serving Suggestions

Since there’s already tasty tortellini, sweet Italian sausage, loads of vegetables and a nourishing broth in every bowl, it’s already makes a great stand alone meal.

But you can always add fun toppings to dress it up – like fresh basil, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Or even serve it with skillet cornbread or warm cornbread muffins on the side for soaking up all that flavorful broth. 

Tip: To do a fun soup and salad night, simply pair any of your favorite fresh greens with one of these homemade healthy dressing recipes (my picks would be this Lemon Dijon Dressing or Apple Cider Vinaigrette!).

Fun Variations to Try

Crock Pot Vegetarian Tortellini Soup: Skip the sausage and add a can of rinsed white beans instead.

Tortellini Soup with Chicken: Skip the sausage and add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken to the slow cooker instead. Take the chicken out when adding the tortellini, shred or dice, then add back in with the red wine vinegar.

With Chicken Sausage: I used pork sausage for this recipe, but Italian chicken sausage or Italian turkey sausage will also work well. 

Spicy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup: For a spicier soup, use ground hot Italian sausage instead.

Overhead shot of a white bowl filled with crockpot tortellini soup on top of a striped blue napkin and white background.

Ingredients & Modifications

Fresh cheese tortellini: Any flavor or type of fresh (not dried) small tortellini will work for this recipe. For a dairy-free option, look for a dairy-free tortellini such as Kite Hill. For a gluten-free option, look for a gluten free choice. If using frozen tortellini be sure to defrost before adding to the soup.

Ground sweet Italian sausage: Be sure to use bulk sausage for this recipe, not pre-cooked. If using uncooked sweet or spicy Italian sausage, remove from the casings before adding to the pan to cook. I used pork sausage for this recipe, but Italian chicken sausage or Italian turkey sausage will also work well. For a spicier soup, use ground hot Italian sausage.

Carrots: Fresh, whole carrots work best for this recipe.

Onion: Onions add so much flavor to homemade soups. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe. I find yellow onions work best for this recipe.

Garlic cloves: Since we’re using so few fresh ingredients, I like using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. But you could also use granulated garlic powder in its place.

Broth: I used low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe but you could also use chicken bone broth or vegetable broth in its place.

No-salt added Italian seasoning: I love using Italian seasoning as a shortcut ingredient. It’s usually a blend of dried herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.

Tomato paste: The tomato paste adds great concentrated flavor to the soup. Got leftover tomato paste? Remove it from the can, pop it in a freezer safe bag, and freeze for the next time you make this recipe.

Crushed tomatoes: The crushed tomatoes also help create the tomato-based broth to this soup, while adding great texture with the chunks of tomatoes too.

Cream: You can use traditional cream in this recipe for a light, creamy texture. For a non-dairy option, substitute either an equal amount of full-fat coconut milk (preferred substitution) or unsweetened non-dairy creamer. Either way, add it at the end for the best results.

Baby spinach: I like using baby spinach for this recipe due to the ease of prep, but feel free to swap in 1 bunch kale (any type) stemmed and chopped instead.

Red wine vinegar: Adding vinegar at the end of the cook time is one of my favorite tricks for crockpot soups. It lifts up all the flavors and brightens everything up. You can also use fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if you prefer.

Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe but you could also use another cooking oil in its place – like avocado, coconut, canola or vegetable oil.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Overhead shot of a white bowl filled with crockpot tortellini soup on top of a striped blue napkin and white background.

Tips for Storing Leftovers

Tortellini soup does not store particularly well, as the tortellini (like any pasta or grain) absorbs all the liquid and turns mushy. 

If you want to store leftovers, I recommend removing the cooked tortellini from the soup, storing separately, and then recombing it when ready to reheat.

Stored separately like this, your leftovers should keep well for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

Overhead shot of a white bowl filled with crockpot tortellini soup on top of a striped blue napkin and white background.
5 stars (7 ratings)

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

This easy, creamy slow cooker tortellini soup recipe requires minimal prep yet produces super flavorful and filling results every time. A true one-pot weeknight dinner wonder sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk ground sweet Italian sausage, or ground Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons no-salt added Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (15-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

To Add at the End

  • 1 (10-oz) package fresh cheese tortellini
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Heat a medium pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sausage, breaking apart with a spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Drain any excess fat if desired.
  • To the same pan, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Transfer the sausage-tomato paste mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes, carrot, stock, and salt, stirring to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours on high, or low for 5-6, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Uncover, switch to high (if not set to high already) and add the tortellini, stirring to combine. Cover and cook an additional 5-15 minutes on high, or until the tortellini is cooked through. Time will vary depending on your slow cooker, so check on the low end of time, then add time in increments of 5 until they reach the desired doneness.
  • Uncover and add the spinach, cream, and red wine vinegar, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt or additional vinegar if desired.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sausage, breaking apart with a spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Drain any excess fat if desired.
  • To the same pan, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, carrot, stock, and salt, stirring to combine.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and add the tortellini, stirring to combine. Cover and cook an additional 5-15 minutes on high per package directions, or until the tortellini is cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat, then add the spinach, cream, and red wine vinegar, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt or additional vinegar if desired.

Notes

See blog post above for substitutions, dietary adaptations, storage tips and more.
Between the salt in the chicken stock and the sausage, I didn’t find that this soup needed much additional salt. Salt is a personal preference, however, so feel free to add salt at the end of the cook time if you think it needs it.
The overhead shot of the slow cooker includes tortellini to give a sense of the overall ingredients for this recipe. Please follow recipe instructions and add the tortellini and remaining ingredients at the end of the cook time.
If using frozen tortellini be sure to defrost them before adding to the soup.
Nutrition information calculated using sweet Italian sausage, a fresh cheese tortellini and heavy cream – as always, information will depend on which brand of tortellini and other ingredients you choose.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 591kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 719mg, Potassium: 900mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 8598IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 176mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

Share this Post