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A warm bowl Chicken Tortellini Soup is the perfect easy dinner recipe for a chilly day! Loaded with Italian flavors, chunks of chicken, cheese-filled pasta, and plenty of vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini, this hearty homemade soup is a healthy option that will keep you satisfied. Serve each warm bowl with a loaf of crusty bread, garlic breadsticks, or a simple green salad.

Hands eating a bowl of healthy chicken tortellini soup.

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Spinach

Simmer a pot of Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup on the stovetop and a rustic lunch or simple supper is ready for the table in less than an hour! There’s nothing difficult about this homemade soup recipe — just delicious, perfectly seasoned vegetables and tender chicken swimming in a rich broth with soft little cheesy bites of pasta. Hello, comfort food!

Adding diced vegetables to a Dutch oven.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pot of chicken and tortellini soup. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken: start with raw boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs, diced into bite-size pieces. If you prefer, you can also start with cooked, shredded chicken (see my notes below for those instructions).
  • Carrots, onion, celery, zucchini: fresh vegetables that form the flavorful base for the soup.
  • Canned petite diced tomatoes: I prefer the smaller size of the petite-diced tomatoes; however, you can substitute with a can of regular diced tomatoes.
  • Garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme: give the soup classic Italian flavor. You can use fresh herbs, if available.
  • Chicken broth: the base of the soup. Start with low-sodium chicken broth if you’re sensitive to salt, or use homemade chicken broth when available.
  • Refrigerated cheese tortellini: substitute with sausage-filled or spinach-filled tortellini if you prefer. You can also use dried or frozen tortellini; however, the cooking time may vary.
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves: add the delicate greens to the soup at the very end because they will wilt almost instantly.
Pouring broth into a pot

How to Make Chicken Tortellini Soup

If you can dice up some veggies, you can make this soup! You need about 15 minutes of prep time, and then the soup cooks on the stovetop in about 30 minutes. Let’s get started…

  1. Brown the chicken in a pot or large Dutch oven, and then remove the chicken to a plate. If you’re starting with fully-cooked chicken, you can skip this step.
  2. Add the carrots, onion, and celery to the pot. The base for any great chicken soup recipe!
  3. Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and chicken broth.
  4. Once the liquid starts to boil, stir in the chicken and the tortellini.
  5. Simmer the soup just until the tortellini is cooked through — about 5-6 minutes. This is fast!
  6. Stir in the spinach and warm over low heat, just until the spinach leaves wilt (about 1 minute). The recipe calls for 2 cups of spinach, but you can certainly use more if you like a lot of spinach in your soup. It shrinks down a lot once it cooks!
Adding tortellini to a pot of soup.
Overhead shot of hands holding a bowl of chicken tortellini soup.

What to Serve with Chicken Tortellini Soup

Serve this hearty and healthy chicken soup with any of these delicious sides:

Garnish the soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and/or chopped fresh parsley for a nice finishing touch.

Dipping bread in a bowl of the best chicken tortellini soup recipe.

Storage

If you’d like to prepare a batch of the soup in advance, I recommend making the soup through Step 2 (do not add the tortellini). Cool the broth and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

When ready to serve, bring the soup to a simmer, add the tortellini, and follow the rest of the recipe.

Leftover soup will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month; however, cooked pasta may be mushy when frozen and reheated.

Side shot of chicken tortellini soup with a side of bread on a wooden dinner table.

How to Reheat

Warm leftovers in a covered saucepan over low heat, just until heated through. Do not overcook or the pasta will become mushy. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken tortellini soup with spinach.

Recipe Variations

  • Use spinach-filled or meat-filled tortellini instead of the cheese tortellini.
  • Frozen tortellini or dry tortellini will also work in this recipe. You might need to adjust the cooking time for the different types of pasta, though.
  • For even more flavor, use Italian sausage instead of chicken.
  • Instead of cooking raw chicken in Step 1, skip that step and use cooked, shredded chicken (such as the meat from a rotisserie chicken). You’ll need about 2 cups of cooked chicken, which you can stir into the soup at the same time that you add the tortellini.
  • For a spicy chicken tortellini soup, try adding crushed red pepper flakes to your bowl.
Side shot of chicken tortellini soup recipe in two bowls on a table with a salad and bread.

Tips for the Best Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe

  • Simmer the soup with a Parmesan rind for even more flavor in the pot. Remove the rind before serving.
  • Use fresh herbs, when available, for even more flavor.
  • Don’t overcook the tortellini or they will become mushy in your soup. Add them to the pot just before you’re ready to serve.
  • The total cooking time for the tortellini will depend on the brand, size, and shape that you choose. Keep an eye on it and turn off the heat when the pasta is just barely tender. It will continue to soften and plump up as it sits in the hot soup.
  • Taste and season as you go. The total amount of salt necessary will vary depending on the saltiness of your broth, and on personal preference. Add extra salt for more flavor, and feel free to increase the other herbs and seasonings as well.
  • Garnish each bowl with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Extra fresh parsley or other herbs are also a delicious finishing touch.
  • This easy tortellini soup recipe has about 150 calories per cup. Since it’s loaded with lean protein and fresh veggies, this is a healthy, lighter way to enjoy your favorite cheese-filled pasta!
  • Add even more spinach for an extra boost of nutrition. The spinach leaves wilt down significantly in the hot broth.
Overhead shot of a spoon in a bowl of chicken and tortellini soup

More Chicken Soup Recipes to Try

Hands eating a bowl of healthy chicken tortellini soup.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 152.5 kcal
A warm bowl Chicken Tortellini Soup is the perfect easy and healthy dinner recipe for a chilly day!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (or substitute with about 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (or more, as desired)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and then add to the pot and sauté until browned (about 3-4 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. {SKIP THIS STEP if you're starting with cooked, shredded chicken.}
  • Add carrots, onion, and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 10 minutes). Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in chicken and tortellini; reduce heat, and simmer until tortellini is cooked through (about 5-6 minutes). Add spinach and continue to cook and stir for 1 more minute, or just until the spinach wilts.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or Parmesan cheese and serve!

Notes

  • Simmer the soup with a Parmesan rind for even more flavor in the pot. Remove the rind before serving.
  • Use fresh herbs, when available, for even more flavor.
  • Don’t overcook the tortellini or they will become mushy in your soup. Add them to the pot just before you’re ready to serve.
  • The total cooking time for the tortellini will depend on the brand, size, and shape that you choose. Keep an eye on it and turn off the heat when the pasta is just barely tender. It will continue to soften and plump up as it sits in the hot soup.
  • Taste and season as you go. The total amount of salt necessary will vary depending on the saltiness of your broth, and on personal preference. Add extra salt for more flavor, and feel free to increase the other herbs and seasonings as well.
  • Garnish each bowl with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Extra fresh parsley or other herbs are also a delicious finishing touch.
  • This easy tortellini soup recipe has about 150 calories per cup. Since it’s loaded with lean protein and fresh veggies, this is a healthy, lighter way to enjoy your favorite cheese-filled pasta!
  • Add even more spinach for an extra boost of nutrition. The spinach leaves wilt down significantly in the hot broth.
  • Use spinach-filled or meat-filled tortellini instead of the cheese tortellini.
  • Frozen tortellini or dry tortellini will also work in this recipe. You might need to adjust the cooking time for the different types of pasta, though.
  • For even more flavor, use Italian sausage instead of chicken.
  • Instead of cooking raw chicken in Step 1, skip that step and use cooked, shredded chicken (such as the meat from a rotisserie chicken). You’ll need about 2 cups of cooked chicken, which you can stir into the soup at the same time that you add the tortellini.
  • For a spicy chicken tortellini soup, try adding crushed red pepper flakes to your bowl.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 152.5kcalCarbohydrates: 15.4gProtein: 14.9gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 1.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.7gCholesterol: 39.4mgSodium: 791.7mgPotassium: 419.6mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 3.5g
Keyword: cheese tortellini recipe, chicken tortellini soup, italian chicken tortellini soup
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in January, 2020. The photos were updated in February, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

    1. Hi, Jaymee! No, I haven’t. It’s such a quick soup on the stovetop, that I’m not sure it would be much faster in the InstantPot. With the IP, you’d still want to saute the veggies first, and since the tortellini cooks in just 5-6 minutes on the stovetop, I worry that it would get overcooked in an IP.

  1. This looks so good. Great for a winter night. The problem I have is I am allergic to spinach. I know it sounds crazy, but it makes my throat swell. What can I use instead?

    1. Hi, Kathy! No problem — you can either just omit the spinach entirely, or you can sub with kale or Swiss chard. If you use heartier greens like the kale or chard, they take a bit longer to soften in the broth so you’ll need to add them to the pot sooner. Hope you enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Such a simple & great recipe! My Mom & I loved it, and it was great since it is about -20 degrees here this week! Definitely will make again!

    1. Wonderful! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Lisa. Thanks for taking the time to come back here and let me know. 🙂 Stay warm!!