This Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is loaded with chopped vegetables, shredded cooked chicken, cheesy tortellini, and a flavorful broth. Easy to make stove top or in the Crock Pot. It's a family favorite!
Why you'll love chicken tortellini soup recipe:
- Perfect for cold weather: When you are hit with chilly days, this chicken soup is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for warming you up.
- Easy to make: Made with simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions, even beginner cooks can whip up this delicious soup.
- Customizable: Change up the vegetables, or the herbs and spices to make this to your taste!
- Nostalgic: This brings back childhood memories for me. This is my mom's recipe and it brings back memories of cozy family meals.
- Health benefits: Not only is this soup so tasty, it's also nutritious. It is packed with with protein from the chicken and nutrients from the vegetables. If you have any leftover chicken on hand, this is a wonderful way to use it up!
- Why you'll love chicken tortellini soup recipe:
- What ingredients are in chicken tortellini soup?
- How to make cheese tortellini with chicken
- Expert tips for chicken tortellini soup
- How to make tortellini soup in crock pot
- Variations for tortellini in broth
- What to serve with tortellini recipes chicken:
- How to store tortellini chicken soup:
- Some other comforting soup recipes to enjoy:
- Chicken Tortellini Soup
One of my all-time favorite recipes is this easy chicken tortellini soup . It happens to also be my family's favorite soup. You could use store-bought broth or make your own. Just perfect for a chilly winter night, or for when you're feeling a little under the weather, a hot bowl of chicken soup cures whatever ails you!
There truly is nothing that is cozier than a big pot of homemade chicken soup. When you add in cheesy and tasty tortellini, it becomes even more cozy and comforting. Nonna (aka, my mom!) makes this recipe all the time. It's easy enough to make weeknight, plus it's Crock Pot friendly!
It smells absolutely incredible while it's simmering away. Let's get onto this recipe!
What ingredients are in chicken tortellini soup?
It's not a very long or complicated list of ingredients.(Full printable recipe is below)
- Chicken: I have prepared this soup using bone-in skin-on chicken legs, as they add the most flavor to the broth. You could use bone-in skin-on chicken legs, boneless skinless chicken thighs, or even a combination of each. You could even add in some chicken wings (there won't be much meat from the wings, so best to use in combo with other pieces). You could also use chicken breasts.
- Shredded rotisserie chicken (optional): Using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken makes for a convenient and fast option (although, I prefer cooking my own chicken).
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Used for cooking the vegetables and chicken, adding a subtle flavor to the soup.
- Onion, celery and carrots: These vegetables add depth of flavor to the broth. You could saute' them in olive oil and add them to the broth. But I just let them cook up in the broth. They are cut so small and cook up pretty fast.
- Chicken broth: You could use your favorite store-bought broth or make your own. If you use store-bought, go for a high quality, low-sodium brand. For this recipe, I brought 8 cups of water to a boil and added bouillon paste. You could simply simmer the chicken pieces, but I find it needs some more flavor. I do not like to use bouillon cubes with MSG. For a heartier broth recipe, check out my beef broth recipe.
- Tortellini: I use a good quality cheese tortellini for this soup. You could use whatever brand you like and find at your local market. There are different brands out there. I like the Rana cheese tortellini or any other very good quality brand. The Rana brand cooks up in just 3 minutes (and you'll be cooking it just for 2 minutes, since the hot broth will keep on cooking it).
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper: Basic seasonings to enhance the flavors in the soup. I season the chicken with it and add some more salt to the broth. If you're using store-bought broth that isn't low-sodium, you may not need extra salt, so check the flavor before adding salt. Add as much or as little pepper to the chicken as you like.
- Fresh Italian Parsley: You could use Italian or regular parsley. If you have fresh thyme, that is also really nice.
- Bay leaves: One or two bay leaves add such lovely flavor to the soup.
- Dill: If you have some fresh dill, add some in towards the end it adds a nice fresh flavor to the soup.
How to make cheese tortellini with chicken
(Full printable recipe is below with all the instructions...this is a shorter version)
Step 1: Gather all the ingredients. Heat oil in your Dutch oven or large soup pot. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Step 2: When oil is heated, add the chicken pieces.
Step 3: Cook until browned, 4-6 minutes, then flip and cook until brown on other side (about 4-6 minutes).
Step 3: Add in the broth, vegetables, bay leaves. I made my own broth by adding in bouillon paste to the water.
Step 4: Bring the broth to a boil then lower to a simmer. Skim some of the foam that floats to the top.
Step 5: Season with salt and pepper (if you're not using low sodium broth, check the broth before you add salt, as it may be salted enough).
Step 6: Add in the dill or fresh thyme (if using).
Step 7: Simmer until the chicken is cooked through (could take up to 60 minutes for legs or thighs, depending on their size. Needs to reach an internal temperature of 165F to be safe).
Step 8: Cook up the tortellini. I prefer to cook it in a separate pot. Cook until it is not quite al dente and drain. If you use Rana tortellini, they cook very fast!
Step 9: Remove the bay leaves and herbs. Take out the chicken (take off the bones and shred).
Step 10: Add the chicken and cooked tortellini back to the broth. Taste and if needed, add any seasonings if desired, including up to ½ teaspoon of salt.
Step 10: Serve and add any extra chopped parsley or dill!
Every bite of this soup is incredible! Look how tempting it is!
Expert tips for chicken tortellini soup
- To get the very best flavor, buy a very high quality store-bought broth, but if you have the time, make your own homemade chicken broth.
- A great time saver is to use rotisserie chicken. You could shred it and add it in at the end.
- You could use a different pasta in place of tortellini. You could use egg noodles, or even a small pasta like ditalini or pastina.
- It's best to undercook the tortellini (or whichever pasta you use). Keep in mind, the pasta will cook and soften more in the hot broth.
- To brighten the flavor of the broth, you could add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar.
- Skip the tortellini and in some cooked quinoa or cooked lentils adds protein and nutrition.
- Fresh herbs, like Italian parsley or dill, give a beautiful pop of color and freshness.
- If freezing the soup, just freeze the broth, and not the tortellini. If you freeze and reheat cooked tortellini, they will fall apart. You could freeze them uncooked.
How to make tortellini soup in crock pot
If you would like to make Crockpot tortellini chicken soup, this is all you have to do:
- You can absolutely make this in your slow cooker! You could use 3-4 raw chicken breasts or 6 chicken legs or chicken thighs. Just brown them in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.
- Cook the soup on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, and cook the chicken until it has internal temperature of 165F and test to make sure it shreds easily.
- The tortellini could be added in when there are 20-30 minutes left. Be sure to not overcook them, or they'll fall apart.
- Here is my recipe for slow cooker whole chicken soup.
Variations for tortellini in broth
- Make it a little cheesy: For an added depth of flavor, add a rind of Parmigiano Reggiano while it is simmering. Discard it when the soup is ready. Check the salt, as it may make the broth saltier, and you may not have to add extra salt.
- Make it creamy: Add in 1 cup of heavy creamy towards the end on low heat and stir to combine.
- Make it healthier: Stir in 2-3 cups of fresh spinach towards the end. It will cook up very quickly!
- Frozen veggies: If you have any frozen veggies, like green beans, corn or peas, they could be stirred in 10 minutes prior to serving.
What to serve with tortellini recipes chicken:
- Pastina-This very small grain pasta is still loved by my kids. If you aren’t low carb, make your favorite small shaped pasta (ditalini are also great!)
- Zucchini noodles-to stay low carb
- Cauliflower rice-another low carb option and is delicious
- Matzo balls-homemade matzo balls are easy to make and are really flavorful (my kids do love them!)
- Salad-a really nice side to enjoy with a hot bowl of this tasty soup
- Bread-make a homemade bread like this crusty Italian bread. It does take a little time to make, but is amazing! You could also try our garlic bread ...it's really delicious!
How to store tortellini chicken soup:
- Once the soup cools down, store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The cooked up tortellini will get mushy absorbing the broth. If you are not planning to eat all the soup and tortellini at once, boil the tortellini separately, drain, and serve directly in the serving bowls. Store any cooked up leftover tortellini separately.
- The soup could be frozen once it cools down for up to 2-3 months (date the container). Do not boil and freeze the tortellini. Defrost the soup overnight in the fridge and heat next day. Cook the tortellini the day you plan to serve the soup.
In order to make a very flavorful chicken soup, you should use bone-in, skin-on chicken. The fat and collage from the skin and bones give the soup deeper flavor. The carrots, celery, and onions, and aromatics also give the soup more flavor. You could add a bit of lemon juice or hot sauce to get extra kick.
The recipe is made with the chicken skin on. The fat from the skin gives the soup even more flavor. It's up to you if you would like to leave it on or off. If you leave the skin on, skim off any excess fat that comes to the surface of the soup while it's simmering.
This chicken soup recipe starts off with cooking the chicken legs a little bit to give them color on both sides. It finishes cooking up in the soup. Some chicken soup recipes do call for raw chicken. You could either brown it before, as I instruct, or add the raw chicken directly to the broth. Either way, be sure to cook it covered in the broth until the chicken reaches internal temperature of 165°F.
It's really easy to give your chicken soup delicious flavor. Start off the soup by browning the chicken pieces. You don't have to use bouillon cubes (most have MSG), unless you find that is free of MSG. I love to use this bouillon paste. Adding in fresh herbs, like dill, Italian parsley, fresh thyme and even bay leaves gives the broth even more incredible flavor.
You may have heard of the Italian cooking Holy trinity, or soffritto. A soffritto is the combination of chopped aromatic vegetables (onions, carrots and celery.) and they are sautéed olive oil to get the sauces and soups going. I always use a very good quality extra-virgin olive oil for more flavor.
You could use 3 cheese, you could use 7 cheese. You could use whatever filling you like. Be sure to use fresh, refrigerated tortellini and do not use the tortellini that you find on the pasta section on the grocery shelves. Refrigerated tortellini is much better quality and has superior taste.
Yes, you sure can! Just add the cooked and shredded chicken to the broth before you add the tortellini. Be sure the chicken warms up in the hot broth, then add in the tortellini as soon as they're cooked.
Some other comforting soup recipes to enjoy:
- Easy Italian Pastina Soup
- Easy Italian Lentil Soup
- Immune Boosting Chicken Soup with Turmeric
- Pasta e Ceci
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Chicken Tortellini Soup
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken legs or thighs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth preferably not low-sodium, best quality
- 1 medium onion chopped (Sweet or Vidalia)
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 celery ribs cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- fresh thyme sprig If you have any on hand
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- fresh dill optional (if you have any on hand)
- 10 oz. refrigerated tortellini about 2 cups
- Brown chicken: Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the chicken in the pot, skin-side down, and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook 4 minutes more.
- Add broth and vegetables: Add the broth, onion, carrots, celery, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Stir to combine using a wooden spoon and scrape any browned bits from bottom of the pan.
- Bring to boil: Bring the broth to a boil, cover partially, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through (up to 30-60 minutes for legs, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the drumsticks).
- Shred chicken: Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Remove the chicken from the soup and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the chicken off the bone, using two forks to shred it into bite-size pieces.
- Add back to soup: Return the chicken to the soup and bring it to a simmer to heat it up while you cook the tortellini.
- Cook tortellini: Cook up the tortellini (check the package instructions for timing, and cook a minute less). I prefer to cook it in a separate pot. Cook until it is not quite al dente and drain. The tortellini will continue cooking in the hot broth so be sure not to overcook them. IF you plan to eat the whole pot of soup, you could cook the tortellini in the broth. IF not, the tortellini will get mushy if you store it in leftover broth.
- Serve up the soup: Add cooked tortellini to bowls while and ladle in the soup. Taste and if needed, add any seasonings if desired, including up to ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Add more herbs: add any extra chopped parsley or dill.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup could be made and stored for up to 3 days. Do not make the tortellini ahead of time. Store the chicken in a separate container in the fridge, and add to the soup before serving. If planning on having lots of leftovers, just cook up tortellini day you're serving broth. You can also freeze the soup for up to 2-3 months (without the tortellini).
- Broth: It is a nice portion of broth. Keep in mind some of the broth does cook down. It may seem to be too much, but you will be adding in the tortellini. If you like it with less broth, just use less than what I recommend. You could always freeze any extra broth.
- Tortellini: The tortellini keep on soaking up broth as they sit in it, so it is best to serve and eat as soon as it's cooked up. You could cook up the tortellini right in the broth. Just bring broth to a boil when chicken is cooked up and add in the tortellini. Depending on the brand, they will cook up in a few minutes.
- Serves: Serves 4-6 depending on portion size/what it’s served with.
- Slow cooker/Crock Pot: Read my slow cooker instructions in the post.