There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of creamy chicken tortellini soup. Filled with cheese tortellini, chicken, and plenty of vegetables, this hearty soup is ready in just 30 minutes and made in a single pot.
Much like our other 30 minute soups, like rotisserie chicken noodle soup, kielbasa potato soup, and creamy turkey noodle soup, this recipe makes a fantastic weeknight meal. It's quick, made with simple ingredients, and is ready in 30 minutes or less.
Creamy chicken tortellini soup has a mild, comforting flavor. It's made with chunks of chicken breast, cheese tortellini, and nutritious veggies like carrots, celery, and spinach.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken - Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work in this recipe. Simply slice into bite size cubes before cooking. Or, omit the first step in the recipe and use shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover turkey, or canned chicken instead.
- Unsalted butter - Can be substituted with salted butter, olive oil, or any neutral cooking oil you like to keep on hand.
- Seasoning - Salt and pepper are used to lightly season your chicken.
- Garlic - If you don't have fresh garlic on hand, two cloves can be substituted with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Add your garlic powder when you add the chicken broth. I don't suggest using jarred minced garlic, which often has a harsh flavor.
- Vegetables - Onion, carrot, and celery, also known as mirepoix, are a blend of aromatic vegetables that help create that classic chicken soup flavor.
- Flour - Thickens your soup by making a roux with the butter.
- Chicken broth - Chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable broth if needed.
- Tortellini - Any flavor of tortellini can work in this recipe - we recommend cheese tortellini or spinach & cheese tortellini. Frozen or refrigerated tortellini will work (take note of the package cooking times and adjust as needed).
- Half & half - Adds the creamy texture to your soup. Half & half can be substituted with heavy cream for a richer soup, or whole milk for a thinner soup.
- Spinach - Spinach is added at the end of cooking for an extra bit of nutritious goodness. It can be omitted entirely if desired. To substitute with kale, a heartier green, you'll want to add it to your soup while your tortellini cooks.
Tips and tricks
Planning leftovers? Cook tortellini separately - If you plan to have leftovers, I recommend storing your tortellini separately from the rest of the soup ingredients. Simply omit the water listed in the recipe, cook your tortellini according to package directions, and add the tortellini to each bowl of soup as it's served. Otherwise, leftover tortellini can get soggy and fall apart in the soup base.
Save time, use cooked chicken - To save time and make this recipe even easier, use some leftover cooked chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, canned chicken, or a shredded rotisserie chicken. Simply skip step one of the recipe and substitute the olive oil, chicken, salt, and pepper with your preferred cooked protein.
Higher fat dairy = creamier soup - I recommend using half & half or heavy cream for a creamier soup. If you don't have these on hand, whole milk will work. Using lower fat milks will result in a thin soup that has a higher potential to break when heated.
Frequently asked questions
Looking for something that goes with tortellini soup? Crusty bread and a side salad are always great choices. Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
Buttery stovetop biscuits
Strawberry spinach salad
Freezer garlic bread
Garlic bread cheese balls
Roasted zucchini and squash
Parmesan roasted broccoli
Winter chopped salad
Chicken breasts, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of butter can be substituted with shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or canned chicken. Skip step 1 and continue recipe as written.
Leftovers will keep for 1-2 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Tortellini will continue to soak up liquid as it sits in the soup and will get soggy over time.
Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- ¼ cup flour
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 16 ounces water
- 10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 8 ounces half & half
- 2 cups spinach
- Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper. In a stock pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Add cubed chicken to pot. Brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan. When melted, add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions begin to turn translucent and vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add flour to vegetables, stirring to coat and create a paste. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth, water, and tortellini. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tortellini are cooked through (consult your tortellini's package directions and cook to al dente).
- Add half & half, spinach, and cooked chicken, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 1 additional minute on low heat.
- Remove from heat, ladle into bowls, and serve hot.
- Chicken breasts, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of butter can be substituted with shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or canned chicken. Skip step 1 and continue recipe as written.
- Leftovers will keep for 1-2 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Tortellini will continue to soak up liquid as it sits in the soup, and will get soggy over time.
- To prevent soggy tortellini in leftovers: omit water listed in recipe, cook tortellini in a separate pot, and store leftover tortellini and soup base separately. Tortellini can be reheated with the soup base in each individual bowl.