Our tortellini soup is a warm and soothing meal that combines comforting Italian flavors and tender tortellini cooked with delicious vegetables in a rich and savory broth.
The recipe is easy to make in one pot, and you can customize it with your favorite vegetables, herbs, and stuffed pasta.
Tortellini soup is a satisfying and delicious weeknight family meal all year round, and based on your dietary preferences, you can make it with or without meat.
Table of Contents
Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.
What is Tortellini Soup?
Tortellini is a stuffed, fresh egg-based Italian pasta from Bologna and Modena.
They are similar to ravioli but are smaller in shape and traditionally stuffed with a mix of meats such as Italian sausage, mortadella, pork loin, or prosciutto.
These days, you can find vegetarian cheese tortellini and vegan tortellini that you can use for this tortellini soup recipe.
In Italy, tortellini are eaten as a first course for special meals such as Christmas and Easter, and they are cooked and served in a simple but rich beef or chicken broth.
In this recipe, we break away from Italian tradition and use vegetarian tortellini to make a delicious meatless soup you can have as a main meal.
Take our recipe as a guideline and customize it with your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables and herbs, adjusting it based on the season and availability of produce.
Ingredients & Substitutions for Tortellini Soup
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
There are many types of tortellini available nowadays in supermarkets, and you can easily find vegetarian (Rana, Barilla) and vegan tortellini (Kite Hill, Lidl, Aldi).
You can find tortellini in the refrigerated section of your supermarket next to other fresh pasta.
Substitute tortelloni for tortellini.
A flavor base is what adds flavor and richness to soups and stews. It only takes about 5 minutes to make, and you’ll need:
We use extra virgin olive oil. Substitute regular olive oil or avocado oil for extra virgin olive oil.
You can use a white, yellow, or red onion. Onion adds sweetness as it cooks with the olive oil. Substitute a shallot for onion.
Carrot is also for sweetness. You can chop it into small pieces.
Celery is for freshness and crunch.
We recommend using fresh garlic. You can chop, grate, or press it with a garlic press.
HERBS & SPICES
Red pepper flakes
Substitute cayenne pepper or chili powder for red pepper flakes. Add more or less based on your preference.
Optionally, you can add a hint of ground cumin for more aroma.
You can use dried or fresh rosemary.
Substitute dried oregano, thyme, or Italian seasoning for rosemary.
Bay leaves add an earthy and almost meaty flavor to the tortellini soup.
Substitute with sage leaves. If you like, you can top the soup with fresh herbs like parsley or basil.
We use vegetable broth so that everyone in our family can enjoy this recipe.
You can, however, substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth.
We recommend diced or crushed canned tomatoes. Substitute chopped fresh tomatoes for canned ones.
Frozen green beans are excellent for this tortellini soup recipe.
Substitute frozen peas, snap peas, or mangetout for green beans.
We use fresh cauliflower, but frozen works too.
Substitute other veggies like broccoli, diced potatoes, chopped cabbage, and diced sweet potatoes for cauliflower.
Substitute spinach with other leafy greens like chopped kale, chard, bok choy, and mustard greens.
Salt and Black Pepper
Season tortellini soup with sea salt or kosher salt and with a few twists of black pepper.
Parmesan cheese (optional)
You can sprinkle the soup with a grating of parmesan cheese or non-dairy cheese.
If you have parmesan rind leftover, you can scrub it well and add it to the soup. It’ll add a wonderful, rich, and savory flavor to the broth. You can even eat it if you want.
Note, however, that you should only do that with authentic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano rind, as they are made with all-natural ingredients.
How to Make Tortellini Soup
US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add chopped onion, celery, carrot, and sauté on medium-low heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add pressed garlic, dried rosemary, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes, and cook for one more minute until fragrant.
Now add cauliflower florets, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, and season with salt and black pepper.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the frozen green beans and simmer until the cauliflower is fork tender.
Now stir in the spinach, let it wilt for a minute, then add the tortellini.
Cook as per package instructions – they usually take 3 to 4 minutes – then taste and adjust for salt before serving immediately.
Serve tortellini soup in a bowl with or without grated parmesan on top. Optionally, you can add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Vegetable soup with Tortelloni
Some supermarkets don’t sell vegetarian or vegan tortellini but have larger stuffed pasta called Tortelloni. Tortelloni also works beautifully in this recipe.
Here’s how to make a nutritious vegetable soup with Tortelloni.
Vegetable soup with ditalini pasta
Another option is to add pasta, such as ditalini, to the soup. In this case, we recommend adding a legume such as chickpeas or white beans since the pasta is not stuffed.
Also, adding dried pasta like ditalini will take about 10 minutes to cook, as well as 1 additional cup of water or vegetable broth.
Here’s how we made a vegetable soup with pasta and white beans.
Creamy tortellini soup
To make a creamy tortellini soup, you have several options.
Our favorite is adding white beans. Drain a can of white beans (cannellini beans work well) and blend them with 1/2 cup of water. You can use a standing blender or an immersion blender.
Pour the blended white beans into the pot with the other ingredients and cook as instructed.
You’ll get the creamiest and healthiest tortellini soup without adding heavy cream, all-purpose flour, or whole milk.
Storage & Make Ahead
Make ahead: tortellini don’t store very well once they are cooked, so this is not the best recipe for meal prep as you can only keep it for a couple of days. You can, however, prep the soup without the tortellini up to 5 days in advance and only add the tortellini last minute.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
Freezer: if you want to freeze the soup, you can do so before you add the tortellini. Let it cool down, add it to a freezer-friendly container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw & Reheat: thaw in a pot on the stove top, then when it’s boiling, add the tortellini and cook them as per package instructions.
More Italian Soup Recipes
If you liked this Italian-inspired tortellini soup, get more one-pot ideas from these meals:
More Quick Pasta Ideas
Find more pasta inspiration with our 30-minute easy pasta recipes:
For more curries, stews, and soups, check out our soups category page.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or grated
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon rosemary dried or 1 sprig fresh
- 2 bay leaves substitute oregano or Italian seasoning
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 1 small cauliflower substitute 3 diced potatoes
- 1 cup green beans frozen or fresh. Substitute frozen peas or fresh snow peas
- 4 cups spinach substitute kale or chard
- 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 twists black pepper
- 9 – 12 ounces tortellini cheese or vegan tortellini
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese optional
- Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 1 medium onion, 2 medium carrots, 1 rib celery (all chopped), and sauté on medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add 2 cloves garlic (pressed), ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon rosemary and 2 bay leaves, and cook for one more minute until fragrant.
- Now add 1 small cauliflower cut into florets, 1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes, 4 cups vegetable broth, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 twists black pepper.Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup green beans and simmer until the cauliflower is fork tender.
- Now stir in 4 cups spinach, let it wilt for a minute, then add 9 – 12 ounces tortellini.Cook as per package instructions – they usually take 3 to 4 minutes – then taste and adjust for salt before serving immediately.
- Serve tortellini soup in a bowl with or without grated parmesan on top. Optionally, you can add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.