This easy chicken tortellini soup recipe is a simple meal that has plenty of comforting cheese tortellini and juicy shredded chicken in an irresistible broth! It's ready in just 40 minutes.
Want to make this soup in your Instant Pot? Try my Instant Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup!
Why you'll love it
I think one of the most underrated things to eat is healthier comfort food. In this soup you've got cheesy pasta, a simple yet unbelievably flavorful broth, and it's filling without being calorie dense. I love a comforting Chicken Noodle Soup, but something about using pillowy cheese tortellini instead of noodles makes it next-level cozy. You won't feel guilty about going back for seconds!
This chicken soup is also super simple to make with everyday ingredients, which is good news for a cold day or when someone in your family is feeling a little under the weather! No fuss here. Just a piping hot bowl of soup fast. Total bliss.
What you'll need
- Olive oil - for sautéing the aromatics
- Onion, celery, carrots - this is a classic mirepoix that's the tasty base for many soups
- Garlic - I used two cloves, but use what your heart tells you is best
- Italian seasoning - it's a delicious and versatile blend of dried herbs that comes in one convenient jar
- Chicken broth - infuses more flavor than water would
- Chicken - this soup is a great way to make use of leftover chicken, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken for it like I did
- Tortellini - I used three cheese tortellini for this recipe from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Choose any cheese variety, and the quantity is pretty flexible!
- Salt & pepper - as with any soup, seasoning it enough is important
- Parsley - a little chopped Italian parsley at the end adds some freshness and contrast to this hearty soup, but you can skip it if you don't have any
- It's no problem halving the recipe. Simply halve the quantity of each ingredient.
- Measuring out 8 cups of chicken broth is easy. All you need is to use two 32 oz cartons!
How to make chicken tortellini soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Add olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion until softened. Stir in the celery, carrots, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook for a few more minutes.
Add in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the veggies are tender. Stir in the cooked chicken and tortellini. Continue cooking until the pasta is cooked through. Season with salt & pepper and dig in!
- You can absolutely make this in your slow cooker! Instead of using the pre-cooked chicken, I would suggest 3-4 raw chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs.
- Cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, and test to make sure the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
- Then simply add the tortellini in with about 30 minutes to go.
Substitutions and variations
- Want to make it lemony? Try stirring in 1 tbsp lemon juice or more to taste.
- You can use meat-stuffed tortellini if you prefer. Just be sure to read the package directions carefully for the cook time to ensure they're cooked through in the soup.
- Easily add in a handful or two of fresh baby spinach or any other veggies you'd like. Frozen corn would be a great option to toss in near the end of the cooking time.
- Uncooked chicken breasts or thighs will work. Just add them in during step 3, and then cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through before adding the tortellini.
- You can sub for frozen or dried tortellini, but keep in mind that it will take longer to cook than the refrigerated kind.
What to serve with it
- I love it all on its own as the star with a big slice of crusty bread. Garlic Bread works too!
- For more of a complete meal, try pairing it with a side salad that has Homemade Caesar Dressing or this Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- You can keep the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- The tortellini will soak up the broth over time. To avoid this, just add it separately as needed when you're reheating it. You can either take it out of the soup and store it in a separate container, or simply cook more pasta when you're ready to eat leftovers. It'll cook right in the broth as you warm it up.
- You can freeze the broth portion, but cooked pasta freezes badly and changes the texture. Again, add in the tortellini when reheating for best results!
Will you make this easy tortellini soup? Talk to me in the comments below!
Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 sticks celery finely chopped
- 3 large carrots peeled & chopped or sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked chicken (or more, to taste)
- 2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley to taste
- Add the olive oil and onion to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes (it's ok if onion lightly browns).
- Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the pot. Give it a good stir and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot. Increase the heat to high, and once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes or until the veggies have softened to your liking.
- Add the chicken and tortellini to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the soup cook for a few more minutes until the tortellini is cooked. If it starts to boil furiously, you may need to turn the heat down again.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
- The tortellini will soak up the broth the longer it sits, so this soup is best eaten right away. The leftovers are still tasty, but you may need to add more water or chicken broth. If you're planning on having lots of leftovers, don't add all the tortellini to the soup - keep the broth separate and add uncooked tortellini to the soup as needed when reheating it (it cooks fast).
- See my tips within the blog post if you want to make this soup in your slow cooker. Or check out the Instant Pot version.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size/what it's served with.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on April 5, 2018. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
Kate M says
I've made this soup exactly as you suggest 3x in the last month! It's so easy to make and is totally delicious. Thank you for including Note #1: I add just enough tortellini for one meal, then add more tortellini to the leftover chicken, veggies and broth for the 2nd meal. That way, the tortellini doesn't get mushy from sitting 2-3 days in the broth. This is my new favorite soup to make and enjoy. I plan to try your Tomato Tortellini Soup this weekend. Thank you, Natasha!
You're very welcome, Kate!! 🙂 I'm so glad it's a new favorite for you. Appreciate your review!
I amended the recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs and added spinach at the end with the chicken. Yummy. Ty for sharing.
I'm thrilled you enjoyed it! 🙂
Was a little disappointed with this one, it lacked flavor. I ended up adding a bunch of spices. Overall recipe was quick and easy.
I mean... it's chicken soup and it's just meant to be simple and comforting. But yes, easy enough to adapt if you want to jazz it up a bit. And always important to add enough salt, especially with recipes like this one.
I think the key is cooking longer. This soup always tastes so much better the next day. I know let it cook on simmer for a 1-2 hours before serving. I do 3 cloves of garlic instead of 2, doubled the Italian seasoning (so 1 tsp), and used almost 1 tsp of salt, and then simmer for a couple hours and it makes a big difference in the flavor.
Very easy to make and tasty!
Thank you so much, Alex! 😀
Omg this was so delicious! I added a tin of diced tomato, because I love tomatoey soups, and it was so yum! Great recipe, thanks!
You're very welcome!!
Tracey Wagner says
Just made this soup. So good. I added some parmigiana to it. Love your recipes. I tell everyone to check them out.
So glad you liked it, Tracey!! 🙂 I really appreciate you sharing my recipes with people! Thanks for your review.
I want to make this soup for 10-12 people. If I double all the ingredients would it still be good?
I think so! 🙂
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So glad you liked it, Maureen!
This is the best chicken soup I have ever made!
That's great to hear!!
Lori Smith says
Made this last night and wow, so good!!
That's great!! Thank you!!
VANESSA BRITTON says
I made this last week, and my husband said very seriously, "This is absolutely the best chicken soup I've ever had in my life." This was so much better than I expected. I've had some really good chicken soup in my life, but the tortellini was a real game changer for me. I added some red pepper flakes to add a little bit of heat and a kick at the end of a good spoonful. I didn't get the vegetables as soft as I would have liked but my sons and husband both said they like the vegetables firmer. Leftovers were just as good if not better than when I first made it. I also added fresh chives instead of parsley at the end.
I love that!! 😀 Thank you!
Elizabeth Grillo says
This is so yummy- we make it all the time! Love the addition of corn. So easy with rotisserie chicken! Highly recommend!
I'm so happy you like it!! Thanks for your comment!
Jan Griffith says
I just made this for dinner tonight. Absolutely fabulous!
I halved the recipe; may have been a little heavy handed on the garlic and herbs but l like garlic and herbs.
Thanks soooo much for this recipe!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
You're welcome, Jan!! So glad you liked it. We're big fans of garlic too 🙂
I always cook the pasta separate and add it to the cooked soup as needed...except for orzo, for some reason orzo never overcooks
Love this recipe! I use the prosciutto and 3 cheese tortellini, and rotisserie chicken with homemade broth. Sooo delicious. My family love this with a side salad.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Awesome to hear, Ruth! Thanks so much for your review!
Delicious!!! Used leftover rotisserie chicken with homemade broth and it came together in no time at all. It was a quick, tasty and filling lunch.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Wonderful! 🙂 Thanks, Vanessa!
Simply delicious and so easy to make. I used homemade bone broth and left over organic roast chicken as well as fresh tortellini from my local Italian store. I cut the recipe in half as there is just me eating it. I call this "Heaven in a Bowl Soup" because of all the incredible flavours and the comfort you get from eating it.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Aww we love that! Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Heather!
I've made this a handful of times and it's delicious and easy as written. I use a rotisserie chicken as suggested for ease and flavor. For the broth I use the Better than Bouillon roasted chicken base that comes in a jar (not the cubes) and mix it with water. It gives it a nice rich flavor and I don't have to remember to buy cans of broth. I also use the refrigerated Buitoni chicken and garlic tortellini and they really complement the soup. Thanks for this great recipe!
You're very welcome, Ally! 🙂
Karen Deikun says
I made this according to the recipe but used bone broth. It was very bland. I will go back to my old recipe.
Love of Cooking says
So, you didn't actually follow the recipe, used a blander broth and then complained that it was bland?
Portland Williams says
I love this easy recipe and I get great reviews from my family when I make it. I add frozen broccoli florets at the end and just bring it back up to a boil and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and garlic toast. Such a satisfying meal!
I'm so glad to hear it, Portland! Thanks for letting me know.
I Absolutely Love This Soup. Is There a Way I Can Just Cut The Recipe In Half Instead Of Useing 20oz Of Tortellini Use 9oz?
Hi Angela! Absolutely. I think it would be easy to halve every ingredient as a baseline, and if you wanted to, you could add more of something that you really like to tweak it to your tastes.
Kari Mankey says
Everyone I know loves this soup. I make it 3x a month and it’s still not enough. Thank you for an easy recipe that tastes like it took hours to make!
Love that!! You're very welcome. 🙂
I would like to use egg noodles instead of tortellini. Would they: 1) cook in the soup? 2) need to be cooked al dente then added to the soup? 3) cooked all the way then added to the soup.
I'm used to making chicken/turkey noodle with a carcass so I'm used to the broth cooking my egg noodles for me. Just don't want them to be rock hard, or too soggy! Thanks in advance!!
Hi! I'd add the egg noodles in during the last 8-10 minutes of cooking. I usually finish cooking them in the soup when I make chicken soup. You can cook them separately and add them in right at the end, if you prefer. As with any soup that has pasta in it, the longer the noodles are in the soup, the more broth they will soak up.
Can this soup be frozen
Hi! It can, but personally I'm not the biggest fan of the way cooked tortellini soaks up broth and gets kinda puffy. If you want to freeze the bulk of the soup, I'd probably leave the tortellini out, and then add it to individual batches as needed when you've thawed the broth out and you're warming it up.
I just made this! I loved it! Super simple. I used rotisserie chicken and just tasted as I went to adjust the saltiness and seasoning. I doubled it and made a big pot then I ended up straining out the tortellini and kept it separate to add so they didn’t steal all the broth but were still cooked in the chicken broth. It’s soup season in Massachusetts and I kicked it off with this recipe! Thank you!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Love that idea with the tortellini! So happy you enjoyed it, Courtney. Enjoy soup season 🙂
Do you cook the tortellini first?
Hi! I made the recipe exactly as described in the instructions, but you can if you want to (like if you want to add it to individual portions for leftovers so the broth doesn't soak it up, for example).
Rachel B. says
I almost never leave reviews on recipes, but this was so perfect I had to write one 🙂 This was so tasty! I used leftover soup chicken I had from making stock last month, and served with some warm crusty sourdough + butter. A perfect winter meal -- and would even be delicious without the tortellini, or with some other pasta shape/grain.
Thank you so much! Reviews are super helpful to us bloggers (and other readers), so I appreciate it. So glad you enjoyed the soup!
I’m making this for the second time tonight. The first time it was FABULOUS. Hoping it turns out the same. The first time, I cooked a whole chicken because that’s what I had on hand. This time, I’m using chicken thighs and bone-in breasts. I cook the chicken in broth first, then strain out the chicken and use the enhanced broth for the soup. I don’t get 8 cups of broth so I supplement with V-8 juice. It’s a trick I used when my kids were little to get more vitamins from veggies into their diet. I also add a can of diced tomatoes because, to me, tortellini needs tomatoes. This time, I’m going to cook the tortellini separately (in broth and tomato juice) as others have suggested, then add to the soup as needed because otherwise it really does soak up the soup.
This is a new family favorite. Smells so good, everyone wants to know when it will be ready!
Thanks, Natasha, for this delicious recipe.
I love that V8 trick... I need to try that!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Kathi. I think it'll turn out great. 🙂
Any advice on how much salt and pepper to add? I'm a novice cook. Thank you.
Hi Dan! I would give it a taste and then see how you like it, and slowly add more salt in if you think it's lacking some flavor. I don't list a quantity because peoples' tastes vary so much. Chicken broth has salt in it, so you may not need to add much at all. The more you cook, the easier it'll be to gauge/eyeball how much to add. I have a salt grinder (like a pepper grinder) and add a couple twists of the wrist at a time usually. You definitely want a light hand since it's easy to add more salt as needed, but too much salt is a problem. 🙂
Lime is a quick fix to dishes that you've added too much salt. Fresh lime is the best but bottled will do. Only add a pinch at a time so you don't over power the dish. Your welcome 😊
I've made this several times now and it always comes out great. My partner loves it and I personally think it is a million times better than canned soup or anything pre-made. I use a rotisserie chicken and the large package of Bertolli tortellini from the "heat and eat" section of the grocery store. I only cook the amount of tortellini I need immediately. They cook in like 5 minutes so I just add fresh tortellini when reheating the soup on the stove. So easy! Thanks for this recipe!
I'm so happy that it's hit in your home, Ally!
Very tasty and so easy to make! I used the carcass of my rotisserie chicken to make the broth. I will make this again! Thank you!
Charlotte Bailey says
just a tip. O have made variations of this soup for the last 5 years and I have discovered if you cook the tortellini in a second pot in some chicken broth and allow people to add it to their bowl as they like, it is easier to freeze the "soup" without the pasta in it... just cook more pasta the next time you want to use it.
Great tip!! Thank you, Charlotte!
Delish! I made a few tweaks as I wanted to use up some of my leftovers. I didn't have celery so I used a dash of celery salt. I also added some sauteed peppers, onions & bacon. I only had 4 cups of chicken stock so I added 2 cups of beef stock. I used frozen tortillini and topped it off with parmesan cheese. Thanks for sharing this fabulous, yummy recipe!
I'm really glad you were able to adapt this based on what you had on hand! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Loraine Donaldson says
This is the third time making this soup. It is delicious and so easy! My husband and son have that terrible bug going around and this is the best medicine for it! Thank you!
Yay I'm so happy to hear that! Hope they're on the mend. 🙂
Jessica Jackson says
Love love love this soup!! I have made it 4 times since I saw the recipe and it’s a huge hit!! I added baby spinach to mine as well. And I also used “tony chacheres original creole” seasoning. It really is good on everything !!
I'm so glad you like the soup! Yes, Tony's seasoning is soo good hehe.
Hi! Would this still be good if leftovers are frozen?
Hi! I would say the tortellini will get quite puffy/soggy, so I wouldn't recommend it. It'll still taste fine, just the pasta won't be the same.
Hi, if I needed to make this for 8 people how much of everything would I need? I am super new to cooking! Thanks for the help can't wait to make this tonight!
Hi Grace! Hmmm... that's a bit of a tricky question since this feeds around 6 (depending on how much people eat). Could you serve it with other items or maybe just serve smaller bowls? I know this isn't the most helpful answer, but unless you're straight doubling a recipe, it's tricky to guess without testing. You could always buy an additional 9 ounce package of tortellini and add it in if you feel like more is needed. And if you feel there isn't enough liquid, just add a bit more chicken broth.
I have fresh asparagus could you chop and put it in.
Rose Greer says
Wish this had nutritional values.
Hi Rose! I am not a trained nutritionist, so I don't feel comfortable providing nutrition info as it may not be accurate. Calories will vary depending on the ingredients you use. Plugging the exact weights/measurements of the actual ingredients you use into one of the free calculators out there should give you a good idea of the nutritional values. A lot of nutrition info on recipes online is waaaaay off (it's sometimes even worse than an estimate since it picks up wrong ingredients), so until I can find a good (accurate) way to calculate it, I'm afraid I won't be including the info. Sorry about that!
Wondering if you used fresh or frozen tortellini? I’m hoping frozen, because that’s what I have.
I use the fresh/refrigerated kind. Honestly, frozen wouldn't make any difference... it would thaw very quickly so you have nothing to worry about! 🙂
Super easy! And every one in the family loved it!
Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know, Samantha!
Doreen Plummer says
Great recipie! Does anyone know what the calories are for a serving???
I would also like to know
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Carrie Pronto says
Its so easy to make my kids love it
Excellent! Thanks for letting me know.
I made it tonight it was Amazing!
Wonderful! So glad to hear it! 🙂
Sandra Schelthelm says
I've made this twice in the last month and thumbs up both times from the guests! Delish!
That’s awesome! Thank you ❤️
I just made it ..perfect for winter nights..sooo delicious..Mmmmmmm mmmm Goood!!!!
That’s awesome!! ❤️
Vicky Cowhey says
Hi Natasha! I’m Vicky from NJ and I Love your recipes! Last week we made your delicious sesame, ginger shrimp and the chicken Marsala. I’m going to make your chicken tortellini soup tonight, looks amazing! It’s been freezing here, so it’s the perfect meal for a cold night. Thank you!
Hi Vicky! Wonderful - so happy you liked those recipes. Stay warm! 🙂
Robbie Brown says
Hi, am Robbie from Devon in the UK; lovin' your recipes.
(Am searching for ideas of what to do with a beautiful cooked whole chicken w. lemon/thyme.)
Can you please tell me what 'half and half' is, coz I've never heard of it before...
Scusi me if it's something ridiculously basic.. just curious!
All the best
I'm so glad you like my recipes, Robbie! Not a silly question at all - half and half is a mix of half cream and half milk. It's a Canadian/American thing. My blogger friend in the UK suggests using single cream instead. 🙂 Hope this helps!