Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup


That time of year has come too quickly – the time where I’ve had this cold for two weeks and the only thing I want to eat is soup. Speaking of I need some breakfast soups in my life. Are those a thing? They should be.

Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup | Cooking Classy

So about this soup, it is similar to some of the other tortellini soups I’ve made, like this Spinach Tomato and Garlic Tortellini Soup and this Tuscan Tortellini Soup, but of course this one has plenty of meat. And my husband is not complaining! This soup is a breeze to make and it’s a soup you’ll want to make again and again. I mean it has tortellini, how could it go wrong? I could live on tortellini, I absolutely love the stuff and it makes for some of the best soups!

If you happen to have some fresh Italian herbs on hand like basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano or rosemary you can use some of those in place of some of the italian blend to add more fresh flavor. But since it’s fall I decided to just go with the dried herbs because that’s likely what most of you have on hand right now. And using the Italian herb blend worked perfectly for this soup rather than listing out 5 or 6 different herbs to add to the soup.

This hearty soup is just the comfort food I needed today and I can’t wait to make it again! I hope you enjoy it too!

Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup | Cooking Classy Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup | Cooking Classy


Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup

3.67 from 3 votes

Yield: About 6 servings


  • 16 - 19 oz mild or hot italian sausage (pork or turkey), removed from casings
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped carrots (3 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 5 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (I used one petite cut, one regular)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 oz . refrigerated three cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale (thick ribs removed)
  • Finely shredded parmesan cheese , for serving (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into pot and brown, stirring and breaking up sausage occasionally, until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate lined with several layers of paper towels while reserving 1 Tbsp rendered fat in pot (if there's not a tbsp just add 1 more tbsp olive oil to pot). Add onions and carrots and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, return sausage to pot, cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until carrots are nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in tortellini and kale then cover and cook 7 - 9 minutes longer. Serve warm with parmesan cheese if desired (note that as the soup rests the tortellini will absorb more broth so you can add more broth or water to thin as desired).
  2. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • amanda: I like this post very much. Thank you for your post. October 31, 2015 at 1:58am Reply

  • Lawrence: Hey Jaclyn, Thanks you for sharing with us a great recipe. Looks so delicious!
    I love Italian foods and I will try to make this soup next weekend. November 1, 2015 at 5:41pm Reply

  • Leigh: This sounds perfect for the weather we are having today. November 2, 2015 at 11:40am Reply

  • Carrol: Made this for supper tonight & it was truly divine. We didn’t add any Parm to the finished bowl & served with cheesy garlic bread. What a great supper. Not too heavy but really filling. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing it. November 14, 2015 at 5:40pm Reply

  • Eileen: This looks wonderful! I’m going to make it on the weekend when my grandchildren come for a sleepover! Thanks!
    Eileen December 16, 2015 at 6:56am Reply

  • Jen: Apologies for not reading if this was previous mentioned – but does anyone know how many calories this meal is? January 6, 2016 at 6:52pm Reply

    • Ariel: I used mild italian chicken sausage and it came to 285 calories per serving January 7, 2016 at 9:52pm Reply

  • Brittney: Have you or anyone ever made this in the crock pot? If so, did you adjust anything? February 10, 2016 at 5:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t but I imagine it would work just fine. February 10, 2016 at 9:44am Reply

    • Marie: I made it in my crockpot and it was AWESOME! I cooked the sausage the night before and kept it in the fridge. In the morning, I placed all of the veggies and the broth into the crock. I let it cook on low for 6 hours. I put the kale, tortellini and sausage into the pot and let it cook for another hour while I was making bread!

      It was so tasty. LOVE my crockpot and love this soup. October 20, 2016 at 4:12pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Marie! October 25, 2016 at 2:49pm Reply

  • Christina: Just made it last night and it was amazing! The parmasan cheese really set it off. A true taste of Italy! Thank you for this recipe. February 18, 2016 at 6:03am Reply

  • Or: This is a very good recipe. Loved it… I added some fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil), crushed red pepper and a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese while cooking, to suit our tastes. It was great to have such a wonderful recipe, from which to start. Thank you. Nice work! February 18, 2016 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Amy: Just made this for tonight’s dinner! Not only is it delicious but SO COLORFUL!!! Just Beautiful!! February 27, 2016 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Paula: My son brought some kale home from school today. They grew it in their garden. Found this recipe and knew the kale wouldn’t be overwhelming. We added more carrots and broth. They had whole wheat tortellini at Ralph’s. Used sweet turkey Italian sausage. This recipe is a keeper!! Yummy!! April 5, 2016 at 8:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you enjoyed this recipe Paula, thanks for your comment! April 5, 2016 at 11:47pm Reply

  • Linda Heil: Made this for dinner for my son and his wife. It was a big hit. Everything in the soup complemented each other. I used Italian turkey sausage and it turned out wonderful. I cook for my family a nice meal twice a week and know this will be repeated often. April 11, 2016 at 2:05am Reply

  • Joy: Because the frozen kale cost twice as much, I did frozen cut spinach and it turned out great! Thanks so much! Love this! May 24, 2016 at 8:21pm Reply

  • lisafraunfelter@yahoo.: Thank you September 9, 2016 at 10:05am Reply

  • Cindy: Have you ever frozen the soup? September 10, 2016 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Bryttni: We have kept it frozen before because there’s only 2 of us. It freezes fine as long as the tortellini is not in it! The tortellini will basically break apart and become mush when thawed/reheated. We just boil the tortellini separately and add when needed. December 28, 2016 at 9:34am Reply

  • Nick: Excellent flavor. Perfect for a chilly day. Served with garlic bread. Delicious. October 2, 2016 at 11:21am Reply

  • Valora: I made this recipe for lunch today and it is sooo good! I am going to make a double recipe next time and stick the leftovers in the freezer so that I always have some on hand. The cooking times were 100% spot on too, which is great! October 15, 2016 at 2:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Valora! October 18, 2016 at 11:03am Reply

  • Annie: Great recipe! I added a parmesan rind to it to make it rich and buttery. November 4, 2016 at 2:52pm Reply

    • JennyO: Awesome tip! July 1, 2017 at 4:48pm Reply

  • Maggie: I made this soup tonight, it’s delicious! We have a ton left over, have you/anyone tried to freeze the leftovers? I’m not sure how the tortellini will freeze. December 5, 2016 at 6:02pm Reply

    • Bryttni: Unfortunately, the tortellini does not freeze well…but the rest of it does! The tortellini will basically break apart and become mush when thawed/reheated. We just boil the tortellini separately and add when needed. December 28, 2016 at 9:36am Reply

  • Bryttni: I love this recipe! It’s so easy to make and it’s always a hit. I’ve made it about 4-5 times and just recently for my family visiting for Christmas. They’re begging me for the recipe! I use hot italian sausage for mine (the extra spice makes such a difference) and use the crockpot for at least 6 hours since we prefer our carrots nice and soft. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! December 28, 2016 at 9:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you and your family love it Bryttni! December 30, 2016 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Aubrey: I know it calls for he refrigerated tortellini but can I use the dry kind and is there any difference (like increasing liquids) I should keep in mind? June 5, 2017 at 5:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you’d have to add more liquids but not sure how much because I’ve never cooked with the dry kind, sorry. And you’ll likely need to cook it a little longer. Hope that helps! June 13, 2017 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Pri: I made this today and it was fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe. July 9, 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it! July 11, 2017 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Pat McBurnett: Great flavor. Makes a big pot full. Only hard part is chopping the carrots and onion. July 10, 2017 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Deb: Made this for dinner added cannelli beans used fresh herbs used one can crushed n one can whole tomatoes really hearty great soup put a piece of parmasean cheese rind in while cooking October 2, 2017 at 10:53am Reply

  • Melissa: This was delicious, very hearty next time will had the fresh herbs! October 20, 2017 at 7:31am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Melissa! Glad you enjoyed it! October 20, 2017 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Nicole: Breakfast soups are TOTALLY a thing! At least, in many parts of Asia. However, I’d also contend that any soup can be a breakfast soup…I’m a big fan of eating leftovers and non-breakfast foods in the morning. Who says you have to only eat eggs or pancakes or bagels in the AM?

    This soup looks delish and I have all the ingredients on hand. Adding it to the meal plan for the week! October 23, 2017 at 8:02am Reply

  • Carroll: This is SO yummy!!! The only things I changed were not using carrots and used a 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce because it’s what I had. I froze some of the soup and had some for lunch. SO good! November 8, 2017 at 9:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! November 8, 2017 at 11:10am Reply

  • Cheryl: I have made this many times the base is amazing. You can make it exactly as written and if you are paleo or gluten free Leave out the tortellini and add beans or gluten free pasta the sky is the limit! November 18, 2017 at 6:34pm Reply

    • Cheryl: Also I have made it in the crockpot after browning the sausage and onion! I deglaze the pan with the stock. November 18, 2017 at 6:36pm Reply

  • SandyGee: I do not man to b rude, but please bear in mind that to any Italian, the only way to eat tortellini is in a beef and chicken (or capon) broth. Real tortellini have a “determined” yet delicate taste; all of this sausage, garlic etc. literally kill the taste of the tortellini.
    And please also notice that “cheese tortellini” are not “tortellini” but “Cappelletti”. Tortellini include meat in the filling – mainly pork, prosciutto and mortadella. December 11, 2017 at 2:26pm Reply

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