Spinach Tortellini Soup
If you’re looking for a quick but flavorful soup that’s hearty enough to be the whole meal, this Spinach Tortellini Soup is the perfect choice. I like to think of it as the heartier cousin of a classic Chicken Noodle Soup, and it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Soup is undoubtedly one of the most under-appreciated categories of food, but one of my favorites.
Many of my favorite recipes of all time are some of the soups on this blog, like Tomato Bisque, Lasagna Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, and French Onion Soup. I love the coziness, and soup somehow seems to feed the soul just as much as the belly.
This easy tortellini soup recipe is quick to pull together, and can definitely be enjoyed as a meal in and of itself. I love to make a big batch at once, then enjoy a big bowl of leftover soup on a busy night.
What’s Great About This Recipe
30 minutes to make – You don’t have to simmer this hearty soup for hours to develop good flavor.
One pot – The entire meal is made in one big soup pot, for minimal dishwashing and fuss!
Hearty and balanced – There’s a good mix of ingredients here to the soup base, with big tortellini, shreds of chicken breast, and plenty of veggies and greens.
Customizable – There’s plenty of room for swaps and experimentation if you’d like to change things up. I will include suggestions further down in the post.
Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe
This is a simple but flavorful soup, with the classic mirepoix base of yellow onion, carrots, and celery, herbs like thyme and rosemary for flavor, chicken broth, shredded chicken, storebought cheese tortellini, and fresh spinach.
What’s the difference between broth and stock?
Although many people think of them as interchangeable, it’s best to use broths for homemade soups. Broths are typically made more with meat whereas stocks are made more with bones, giving a different type of mouthfeel. A true broth will give you that classic soup flavor and feel that you’re going for.
When making quick soups like this one where you’re not really simmering anything, it’s important to use a broth that has a lot of flavor to begin with. It’s what lets you get away with such a quick preparation that still tastes delicious. I suggest buying a handful of brands from the store and doing your own taste test. I have found that brands vary hugely in terms of richness and flavor. I tend to like Swanson and Imagine.
How to Make It Step by Step
Place chopped onion, carrots, and celery into a large pot or dutch oven with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Add some fresh thyme and fresh rosemary, then season with salt and black pepper.
If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you may also use 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning from the pantry.
Cook the vegetables and herbs over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until softened, then add chicken broth or chicken stock.
I like to use about 8 cups of broth here, about 2 cartons.
Make sure you do not dilute the broth at all. I always tell people that if they want less sodium, to start with a lower sodium broth instead of adding extra water, so you don’t dilute the flavor.
To make it vegetarian
For a vegetarian soup, swap in vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and forgo adding the cooked chicken breast.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Add your favorite fresh tortellini directly to the hot broth, and cook according to package instructions, usually about 4 minutes.
Then add a couple cups of fresh baby spinach leaves at the end.
Stir for a minute to wilt, then add shredded, cooked chicken.
I often have this Crockpot Chicken Breast on hand for uses like this, but you could also use a rotisserie chicken from the store.
After a minute, the chicken should be heated through, and you can make any final seasoning adjustments as desired.
If I have it, I will sometimes add a fresh grating of parmesan cheese on top. Even a little bit on top is such a great way to add so much flavor.
Spices – You may add whatever spices or dried herbs you wish with the vegetables at the beginning of sauteing. Crushed red pepper flakes are great for adding spice. You can also add herbs like fresh basil or parsley at the very end.
Fresh garlic – Add a couple minced garlic cloves to the vegetables for garlic flavor.
Beans – Add a drained and rinsed 14-ounce can of white beans along with the cheesy tortellini.
Greens – Try swapping in swiss chard or kale.
Parmesan rind – Got a leftover parmesan rind in the fridge? Add it to the soup for extra flavor.
Meat – Instead of chicken try adding hot or mild italian sausage for great flavor.
Slow cooker version – Combine all ingredients except the spinach, chicken, and tortellini on high for 2 hours. Then add the spinach, chicken, and tortellini and cook for another hour. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe FAQ and Expert Tips
Let the soup cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For best results, eat on the earlier side, because like any other pasta, the tortellini will get softer and softer each day.
Yes, in an airtight container for up to 2 months, but I find that the pasta is a bit mushy when it thaws again, so take that into account.
Microwave in a heatproof bowl until the broth looks hot (steam is coming off it), 1-2 minutes depending on amount. Or, reheat in a saucepan on the stove for about 3-5 minutes.
This recipe is very flexible to changes. Try other kinds of meat like Italian sausage or shredded beef. You can add other kinds of root vegetables, like parsnips, or cozy squashes like butternut squash. You can also experiment with other types of greens, like kale, or leave the greens out entirely.
Spinach Tortellini Soup with Chicken
For the Tortellini Soup:
- 1 tablespoon butter (or other cooking fat of choice)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 12 ounce package fresh tortellini
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the butter, celery, carrots, onion, rosemary, thyme, salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened, stirring every couple minutes to make sure the vegetables don’t brown.
- Add the chicken broth, bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over medium low heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions, usually about 4 minutes. Add the spinach, stir for 1 minute to wilt, then stir in the chopped chicken.
- Remove the rosemary and thyme stems from the soup, then make any necessary seasoning adjustments. Serve and enjoy with bread, if desired!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.