It’s funny that I’m calling this Sausage and Tortellini Soup when the motivation behind making it was all the vegetables that I packed into the pot. I was craving vegetables but didn’t feel like a salad, so I decided to whip up a big pot of veggi-licious soup. Last-minute I decided to add some Italian sausage and pasta to make it a more filling meal, and what do you know, the add-ins became the star of the show. :P
Alternatives to Tortellini
I had originally intended to use orzo for the pasta, but found some really inexpensive tortellini at Aldi and scooped that up instead. The cheese-filled tortellini made the soup quite filling and added a good amount of flavor and texture variety. If you can’t find affordable tortellini, you can use just about any pasta shape. If using orzo like I had planned, I’d probably add about 1/2 cup. For larger pasta shapes, I’d probably use about 1/4 pound so that it doesn’t overtake the soup.
Make it Vegetarian
If you want to skip the sausage and make this soup vegetarian, I’d suggest grabbing some Italian seasoning blend and adding a healthy dose of that to make up for the herbs and spices that are in the sausage, which go a long way toward flavoring the entire pot. You may also want to add an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil for richness.
Sausage and Tortellini Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage ($1.75)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1/2 lb. carrots (about 3-4) ($0.45)
- 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes* ($0.49)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
- Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
- 3 cups vegetable broth ($0.39)
- 3 cups water ($0.0)
- 8 oz. cheese tortellini ($1.49)
- 1/4 lb. fresh spinach ($.75)
- Add the olive oil and sausage to a large soup pot (if your sausage is in casings, squeeze it out of the casing). Sauté the sausage over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as you stir, until it is browned and cooked through.
- While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and transparent.
- While the onions are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots. Add the carrots to the pot and sauté for just a few minutes more.
- Finally, add the stewed tomatoes (with all the juices from the can), basil, oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper. Use your spoon to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
- Add the vegetable broth and water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add the tortellini, and continue to boil until the tortellini is tender (about 8 minutes).
- Turn the heat off, add the spinach, and stir until the spinach has wilted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you use).
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How to Make Sausage and Tortellini Soup – Step by Step Photos
I used about 1/2 lb. of Italian sausage for this soup and froze the rest. You can use mild, sweet, or hot Italian sausage. If you get sausage in the casing like I did, squeeze it out of the casing into the pot.
Add the sausage to a large soup pot along with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is browned and cooked through.
While the sausage is browning, dice an onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add them to the soup pot and continue to sauté until the onion are soft and transparent. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice about 1/2 lb. carrots (3-4 carrots). Add them to the soup pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more.
Add one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes, with all their juices. Stewed tomatoes are cooked with herbs and spices and have a decidedly sweet flavor, which makes this soup’s broth super delicious. The tomato pieces tend to be large, so you’ll want to break them up with your spoon.
Add 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper. You can see here how the tomatoes have been broken up into smaller pieces. The stewed tomatoes should be quite tender and you can just squash them with the spoon until they break up.
Add 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a boil.
This is the package of tortellini I used. When looking for tortellini at the store, you can usually find it in a few places: dried tortellini will be with past in the pasta aisle, fresh tortellini will be in the refrigerated section near cheeses, and often you can find frozen tortelloni near the frozen bread and ravioli.
Drop the tortellini into the boiling soup and boil until the tortellini is tender. Note: Fresh tortellini cooks very quickly compared to dried, so check the package for guidance.
Finally, turn the heat off and add 1/4 lb. fresh baby spinach and stir it into the hot soup until wilted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed. I had an 8oz. bag of fresh spinach and just estimated half of the bag.
And that’s it! A huge pot of super delish Sausage and Tortellini Soup for under $10! You can definitely freeze the leftovers of this, too.
I’m toying with the idea of adding radishes. Any thoughts? This I think is the best recipe I’ve ever tried of yours.
Radishes are great! Adding them to this recipe would be unexpected, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It’s up to you, depending on preference, on when to add them. If you want them to soften up, I would cut them into halves or quarters (depending on the size) and sautee them with the other veggies. For extra crunch, you could slice them super thin and add them at the end of the recipe. Definitely save the tops! Radish greens are delicate like spinach and have a peppery flavor similar to arugula, and they are my very favorite part! I would stir them in them at the very end once the heat is off like you would the spinach. ~ Marion :)
Super yummy & super easy.
Mods we made:
Blended up a can of mixed beans to add more protein to the broth – it changes the colour of the soup a bit but doesn’t change the flavour.
We are a household of two and we’re grateful for the leftovers – however w our first batch we learned to modify pasta amounts bc we found that the left-over tortellini absorbs so much of the liquid there was hardly any broth leftover. For our second batch we measure enough tortellini for one meal, the next day we added more tortellini while reheating, works great.
Thanks for this delicious recipe!
Hi, there! You are totally right! Any type of pasta/grain will do this if left in a brothy situation (not only soaking up all the liquid, but becoming bloated and unappetizing, too!) — so it’s always a good idea to cook and store it separately if you plan to have leftovers! — Marion :)
Winner winner soup for dinner!! This was an easy one to love. The family was happy with it. I liked it and I don’t even like sausage. And I used subpar hot sausage that had been frozen a while so it’s a forgiving and yummy recipe. Highly recommended!
I found this a bit bland for my taste, but potentially because I used pre-cooked chicken Italian sausage and added them to the pot with the tomatoes instead of cooking pork sausage in the pot. Added a couple of drops of lemon juice and more garlic power to my bowl after tasting and that helped. Cannot understate how easy this came together, so the method is nice. If I make this again, I’ll probably use regular Italian sausage and orzo.
Delicious soup with all the elements to make it super satisfying! Will definitely make this again!
We’ve made this many times over the years, and have really enjoyed it.
Adjustments I’ve made that have become routine:
– 12 oz dried cheese tortellini
– 1 lb sausage (instead of 1/2)
– frozen spinach
– 2 cans stewed tomatoes
– deglaze with glug of white wine after sausage, before adding onions.
– liquid adjustments – have 2 inches of liquid covering the non-pasta components, then add pasta. Use the same stock to water ratio
I make this with butternut squash filled ravioli-it’s out of this world !
I have some frozen ravioli. Do you think I could use that instead of tortellini?
So our King Soopers in the meat case has Hot Italian sausage by the pound that is really good, they have the hot and mild both we even use it in spaghetti give it a try.
One of our favorite no matter the time of year!
I made a variant of this but added bacon and potatoes and made it in the crockpot! It was delicious! Highly recommend!
I’ve recommended this recipe to just about everyone I know. At first I was worried it might be a bit watery, like some vegetable soups, but this one is packed with flavor. I’ve made it a few times now and sometimes I’ll substitute the tortellini for whatever pasta we have sitting in the pantry — not as great as tortellini but it works just fine, just be mindful of proportions or else the pasta will dominate the soup (I learned that the hard way — still delicious though!). I also usually substitute frozen spinach because it’s always on-hand — works just fine.
Love this site so much — every recipe is consistently delicious, easy, and inexpensive! And this is one of my favorites!
I’ve made this many times! Always delish! Recently, I had a guest who could not eat dairy. 8 oz. of dried pasta worked great. I used the mini penne.
Would this work with frozen spinach and/or carrots?
Yes if it’s what you’ve got on hand you should be just fine :)
i used turkey sausage and chicken stock .This soup was a hit!
Be sure to add the cooked tortellinis and sausages right before eating as to keep these items in their proper forms and not to overcook.
I made this for lunch yesterday and we loved it!!!!! What I especially liked was how quickly it all came together.
I read the recipe wrong and used 6 c of veg broth – not a big change, but something I feel I should disclose. Also, I used Tofurkey Italian Sausage – I used half a package and sliced them up into very small chunks and added them w/the stewed tomatoes. Probably there’s nothing budget-y about using Tofurkey products ($!) but it gave this soup the flavor I think was intended. I was also generous with my basil and oregano.
The soup was absolutely FABULOUS and I’ll definitely be adding this my rotation! Thank you so much!
I made this without sausage and it was still really nice. Fresh veggies and easy to cook. I know I can always add the sausage to bring it up another level.