A clean, herb-infused broth makes this slow cooker tortellini soup with Italian sausage a favorite to keep in your weekly meal plans.
This post is in partnership with McCormick.
“Oh babe, this is so good. Hey! Don’t eat all the broth! That’s mine.” My husband. He’s usually really good about sharing. “Oh. This is really good.” Until it comes to soup. He LOVES a good soup. And he wants it all for himself.
I’ve said it here before. My man is a soup aficionado. And if you can spell aficionado without having to hit dictionary.com, you are one swell spelling bee winner, because I can’t. But back to the crockpot tortellini soup…
Not only does the slow cooker create a broth for this tortellini soup that tastes flavorful and ultimately craveable, but the perfumed scent of sausage, onion, celery and garlic that wafts from the kitchen as it cooks will also have you wishing you could give that lid on the slow cooker just a crack to dip a spoon in for juuuuuust a bite for taste testing.
Or better yet, dip in a big old slice of sourdough. Fancy that. We’re a family of dippers.
What’s in This Tortellini Soup?
Veggies and broth are the supreme staple for a simple soup like this. What I like about that fact, besides that it’s so easy to pull together, is the clean flavor it imparts. This sausage tortellini soup is one of those soups you can plan to make later on in the weekly meal planning because this list of fresh ingredients hold their goodness longer, and the whole batch is flavored with dried herbs you can keep handy in the cupboard.
But to get that full dose of flavor, I don’t use just any any dried herb.
When McCormick asked me to try their new line of Herb Grinders I was intrigued. They describe the herb grinders as a whole new flavor innovation designed to deliver more aroma and more taste. Each grinder contains dried herbs with larger cuts of leaves you can grind when ready to use, keeping the herbs fresher, longer.
Grinding fresh also makes the herbs finer and smaller in texture. What I liked about that for this soup is because I used the basil, oregano and parsley herb grinders, the finer ground herbs blended seamlessly into the broth, so that with each bite, no one herb overpowered the other.
The stock is simple but deep thanks to the addition of tomatoes to the chicken broth and the soffrito of veggies (what Italians call the combination of onion, celery and carrots) as well as a bit of sherry to tenderize and flavor the sausage when cooking.
How to Make Tortellini Soup in a Slow Cooker
You’ll first need to brown the sausage in a skillet that’s been preheated over medium-high heat. Once the meat is browned, add the garlic, onion, and celery and continue cooking until the veggies have softened.
Season with salt and pepper, then pour in the sherry wine and cook until it’s evaporated. Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker, then add in the carrots, broth, and tomatoes. Grind in the herbs and stir.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours. Add the kale and tortellini and cook for another 30 minutes before serving.
I garnished my sausage and tortellini soup with Parmesan cheese, just because.
Can I Make This in an Instant Pot?
Absolutely! I’ve made this soup in my regular slow cooker before, but now that I have my Instant Pot, I’ll be saving my old slow cooker to use just for bigger batch cooking. What is special about the Instant Pot is it has 7 functions in one pot. You can use it as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a yogurt maker and so much more.
But the thing I LOVE about this appliance is its function to sauté meats, chicken, veggies, and more directly in the insert. No need to dirty another pan or pot. It makes each slow cooker recipe a true one-pot meal and perfect for soups like this one.
Is There a Kale Substitute I Can Use?
Of course. I used lacinato kale, or dinosaur kale, in this easy tortellini soup for a bit more bulk, and freshness, added at the end with the tortellini. Spinach, swiss chard, or arugula could be used instead.
Tips for Making Tortellini Soup
I like a 3-cheese tortellini in my soup, but you could use a spinach and cheese or other flavor you prefer. When adding your fresh tortellini, be mindful not to overcook them. Fresh tortellini cooks up quickly, and the little bundles of cheesy pasta bulk up more the longer they sit in the broth. If you let them cook too long, there’s a greater tendency for them to break down. If you use dried tortellini in your soup, allow for at least 30 minutes extra cooking time.
If you don’t have sherry on hand, use a white wine you’d be willing to drink instead.
Oh, and I highly recommend serving this sausage tortellini soup with crusty sourdough bread or even soft potato rolls. Because like my husband says, brothy soup like this is made for dipping.
More Slow Cooker Soups You Need to Make
- Slow Cooker Hatch Green Chili Verde
- Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Chili
- Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
- Vegetarian Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.
Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Kale
- 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 onion , diced
- 2 stalks celery , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup sherry or dry white wine
- 2 carrots , diced
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Basil Herb Grinder
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Oregano Herb Grinder
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Parsley Herb Grinder
- 3 cups chopped lacinato , dinosaur kale, stems removed
- 1 pound fresh 3-cheese tortellini
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook stirring occasionally until browned. Add the onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes then stir in the minced garlic, season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the sherry or white wine and scrape up any fond or bits on the bottom of the pan, cooking until it evaporates.
- Transfer the sausage and vegetables to the insert of the slow cooker. Add the carrots, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Grind in the basil, oregano and parsley and stir. Cover with the lid and set the cooker to low and cook for 3 hours.
- Add the tortellini and the kale to the slow cooker and cook for 30 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
More Dinner Recipes with Sausage You’ll Love
- Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni
- Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa, and Turkey Sausage-Stuffed Peppers
- Sausage and Ricotta Lasagna
- Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Peas
- Chicken, Crab, and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
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This post was in partnership with McCormick. To learn more about the new McCormick Herb Grinders and some simple recipes to put them to use, click here!
As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.
The best soup I have ever made! Used sweet red wine sausage from the butcher, chicken stock and white wine. Followed directions exactly-even the kale! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed!
This was absolutely fantastic. I love crockpot meals. The instructions were so easy to follow.
I’m glad you liked it Tami!
This is my go-to recipe for the day we have guests coming, whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other weekends because it is a crowd pleaser and is SO EASY in the instant pot. Literally everyone loves it, and it’s ready to go whenever you are! Instant pot keeps it warm and delicious! After eating this, my brother-in-law even said, “you need to teach my wife how to cook.”
I follow Nancy’s direction (in comments) for Instant Pot and it’s great every time.
This is one of my favorite Foodie Crush soups! I make it often :) I just follow her instructions :)
This was so delicious. I used fresh basil and parsley, and completely forgot the oregano. I also added about a tablespoon of tomato paste and threw in a Parmesan rind. Thank you for this great recipe, this will be on rotation in our home!
I’m so glad to hear you liked it Suzanne! Great idea on adding the Parm rind to add a little richness and salty. Thanks for the rating and comment!!
If using dried tortellini, would I add it at the beginning and cook for an additional 30 minutes or add it at the end, cook 30 minutes then add the kale and cook an additional 30?
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
I would add it in the beginning!
Just tried this recipe, but made it vegetarian and it was absolutely amazing!! My husband said I should sell it haha…we used Beyond Meat Italian sausage (vegetarian) and veggie boullion instead of chicken stock! Everything else we followed the recipe :)
Should the tortellini be thaw or frozen?
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
It can be put in while frozen :)
Instructions are not clear with IP. Cook on soup setting – low, normal, high? How long?
Ingredients don’t even list carrots and then there’s throw the carrots in the direction.
Can I add sweet potato to this? If so what step?
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
That would be great! I would add them with the rest of the vegetables.
Does anyone happen to have the calorie count on this recipe? Thank you!
I don’t know but would also like that info… although I’m guessing I wouldn’t like the answer!
Can I use spinach instead of Kale?
This is one of the best soups I’ve ever had! Thanks so much for sharing!
This soup was great but WAY too salty! I’m going to make it again but probably 4 cups chicken stock, 4 cups water.
I used chicken sausage and no sodium chicken broth…used just 1/2 tsp kosher salt. I ALWAYS use low or no sodium broth.
For the instant pot slow cook function, do you recommend the low, medium, or high setting?
I just made this last night. It is absolutely delish!!!! My husband and I devoured the entire pot. I used lean spicy turkey sausage instead of sweet ( we love spicy) and it was simply yummy!!!!
The recipe ingredients calls for chicken stock but the directions says chicken broth. Which is preferable in this recipe?
Do you think this would freeze okay? It looks so delicious; I can’t wait to try It!
I’m wondering the same thing. It makes a lot of soup!
This was really really good! For instant pot this is what I did:
Use all the ingredients as listed. Brown the sausage and when about 1/2 done add the onions then add the carrots and celery. When it is brown and the veggies soft add the garlic and herbs salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and a little of the broth. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Add the rest of the broth. Put IP on manual 8 mins. Do quick release. When you can open add the tortellini. Put IP on manual 2 mins. Do quick release. Add spinach and when wilted, serve.
Nancy, I followed your instructions and the soup turned out perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing your modified approach for the Instant Pot!
I did the same thing (after all ingredients were added, did Instant Pot High Pressure Manual for 8 minutes), except I boiled the water and did the tortellini separately as it was quick releasing. By the time it was done, torts were cooked in a pot (only takes 2-3 min or whatever package says) and then put them and the kale inside the instant pot while it was on warm and while I finished the bread for serving.
Do I manually do the quick release?! I’m doing it right now and set manual to 8 mins and it’s talking waaaaay longer than 8 mins!
thank you so much for posting this!! I was just prepping for dinner tonight and didn’t realize it was on the slow cooker setting. I don’t have enough time for that. Gonna try your suggestion.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Oh no! I hate it when that happens. Very glad that Nancy had some suggestions for you.
This is the best soup I’ve ever made! Didn’t have time for the slow cooker, so I winged it and made it on the stove top. My only complaint – I didn’t double or triple the recipe. My family ate every last drop. i could eat it every day! Thinking of planning a dinner party with this as the main course.
Hi you start by giving instructions that include the Instant pot, but then when it comes time to cook you only give the slow cooker. So how long would this need to be in the Instant pot on manual?
For the Instant Pot simply cook it on the SOUP setting.
Love Love Love this soup , but I am a newbie to Instant Pot… on October 16, 2016 you said to use the “slow cooker” function and February 7, 2017 you said to use the “soup” function. lol, I need direction ! thank you
Soup was excellent-made it today but used fresh spinach-it was great!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Denise, and great idea to add another layer of healthy with spinach.
Great idea Denise. I love spinach, kale or chard in my soups, makes them more hearty.
This is the best soup! I’ve made it for a family gathering, for a sick friend, and for myself! It is simply delicious and so easy to make! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!
Skipped the slow cooker and made this soup on the stove the other night. Loved it! Barely had any left for lunch the next day – shared the little I had with coworkers and they immediately asked for the recipe. Thinking I’ll plan a party soon and serve this soup with a crusty bread and light dessert. Thank you for sharing!
Hi, I was thinking the same thing! How long total did you cook it on the stove top?
Can you substitute packaged sausage, cut it up, and follow directions the same way (put in slow cooker for 3 hrs) or would you put it in later with the kale?
Hi Thanh, yes, you could totally do that. I’d add the packaged sausage at the beginning of the cooking to infuse the soup with its flavor. Enjoy!
Loved it! Thank you for sharing.
made this soup last night… IT WAS PHENOMENAL…
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
We love a good soup to slurp on during the cooler months. My kids always want more broth than the rest, so I know they would love this one. And those grinders are so cool. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them in our stores.
Love that you used the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot to cook the soup. I need to find some herb grinders – such a great idea.
I noticed that you don’t have carrots listed in the ingredient list, but there are some in your pictures.
Thanks for the catch Erika, I’ve fixed that omission.
Katerina @ diethood .com
Wow!! This soup looks absolutely incredible!! I can’t wait to give it a try! :)
How do you make this in your Instant Pot? I can’t imagine that you would have it cook for a full three hours… that seems like the time for the slow cooker.
I would love to see any Instant Pot recipes you come up with!
You use the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot. It has 7 different functions from fast to slow.
Have you ever tried pressure cooking it with a quick release? I was planning on making this for dinner tonight but its 4 pm and I just realized the recipe calls for slow cooker function. I may try cooking it for 7 min or so on the pressure cooker function with a quick release…
How did it turn out?
I’m trying the same thing as I’m typing this!
This is one seriously stunning soup. I could stare longingly at this all day long. I don’t have an Instant Pot yet. I see everyone raving about them. So I’ll have to invest in one soon. I love my slow cookers, and my pressure cooker, so I’m sure I’d love the Instant Pot too.
I need to try these McCormick grinders asap. I love their spices. My whole family knows it’s the only one to buy if they run errands for me while I’m cooking for the blog. No other brand will do.
Yes! You do need one Kim. And the McCormick grinders are really great to add a fresh flavor to the soup. And pretty much anything.
Thats good recipes guys, allow me be share this recipes in my blog food.
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles
My husband is all about the soup, too, doesn’t matter the season. Looks like a wonderful tortellini soup, would be a big hit at our house!
Keeping our Italian soup theme going Brenda :)
Gina @Running to the Kitchen
I would love a giant bowl of this right now!!
This looks like the Broth Bowl that I get at Panera Bread and love! Can’t wait to try it!!
hello wonder if its fresh made tortellini
Does this really call for a crockpot?
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
No, but a slow cooker is helpful to drop it all in and come back later!