This Crockpot Tortellini Soup is an easy dinner recipe that simmers away in your slow cooker to make your home smell so cozy. Browning the sausage is totally optional, so you can make this as a “dump and start” recipe if you’re short on time!
I love a cozy soup when the weather turns colder – but I love it even more when it cooks in the crockpot all day long!
I do often go the extra mile here and brown the sausage, onion and celery in a skillet before adding them to the crock. This step is totally optional though – you’ll lose some of the flavor if you skip it, but if you have limited time in the morning, your soup will still be delicious with everything just thrown into the crock.
Ingredients you’ll need
This is just an overview of ingredients, skip to the recipe card at the bottom for quantities!
- Chicken broth: Use low sodium if you prefer. I added 2 cans of chicken stock, this makes a less brothy soup. For a brothier soup, use 3 cans (OR one 32oz container).
- Diced tomatoes: I used home-canned, but storebought work just fine. Feel free to use fire-roasted diced for added flavor.
- Sausage: Italian sausage works best here – mild or spicy, whichever you prefer. You can also use chicken or turkey sausage for a leaner soup. I used a coarse pork sausage I found in the back of the freezer this time. There was a little less flavor but it was still very good, so you can basically use any coarse sausage and it will turn into a decent meal 😉
- Tortellini: I used spinach tortellini here, but cheese tortellini are very delicious, too. I always add two 9-oz packages, but feel free to do just one. My kids only eat this soup because of the tortellini, so I really have to double up on them.
- Evaporated milk: You can also use half and half or heavy cream. I like the evaporated milk because it’s so easy to stock up on, it’s cheap and it’s a little lighter than cream. Do not use milk or your soup will curdle!
- Vegetables: Feel free to use frozen seasoning blend in place of the fresh vegetables – works just as well.
How to make tortellini soup in the slow cooker
The first step for this soup is the optional one: Browning the onion, celery and ground up sausage (if you didn’t buy ground sausage, just squeeze it out of the casings and break it up with a wooden spoon right in the pan).
Again, if you need to skip this – totally fine. Just put everything in the crock raw. You’ll lose some flavor, but it will still be delicious.
If you did do the browning, just place the sausage mix in the crockpot along with broth, tomatoes, carrots, broth and seasoning.
This cooks on LOW for 5-6 hours – or on HIGH for 3 hours.
Then, just stir in the evaporated milk and tortellini and cook the soup for another 30 minutes.
You can serve it with grated parmesan and chopped parsley if you like – but these are totally optional and the soup is great either way!
- Prep ahead: You can brown the sausage/onion/celery combo up to 24 hours ahead. Just keep it in the fridge in a covered container until ready to use.
- Stovetop method: The soup can also be cooked on the stove. Brown the sausage in a large Dutch oven or stockpot, then just add the other ingredients (except for the evaporated milk and tortellini). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-60 minutes on low heat. Add the evaporated milk and tortellini and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until tortellini are cooked through.
This is such a hearty soup, it’s great by itself! I do like to add a crusty bread or a dinner roll on the side to make sure the kids and husband get fed.
More easy meals
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- 1 pound Italian pork sausage, sweet or spicy
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 ribs celery, sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth (OR 32oz container for brothier soup)
- 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (12-oz)can evaporated milk
- 2 (9-oz) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini, uncooked
- Salt, pepper and Parmesan, to serve (optional)
- Optional browning: Add sausage, onion and celery to a large skillet and cook until browned, chop with the cooking spoon to bread up the sausage. (Alternatively, add to the crock raw.)
- Combine in crock: Once sausage is cooked remove from heat and place in 6 quart slow cooker. Add sliced carrots, broth, both tomatoes and seasoning and stir well.
- Cook: Cover with a lid and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 hours.
- Finish: Stir evaporated milk to taste into soup, then stir in tortellini. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes, or until tortellini are done.
- Serve with grated parmesan and chopped parsley, if you like.