15-Minute Pesto Tortellini Soup

This Pesto Tortellini Soup is absolutely packed with rich flavor, cheesy tortellini, chicken sausage, fresh spinach, and a creamy pesto broth. Oh, and the best part? It’s made in 15 minutes!

a bowl of 15 minute pesto tortellini soup

Everyone needs a quick and easy meal sometimes – and this pesto tortellini soup totally fits the bill.

It’s super quick, made in less than 15 minutes. It also is simple in that it uses less than 10 ingredients.

But these ingredients are packed with flavor, and offer nutritional boosts, too.

You’ve got sauteed onion, flavorful chicken sausage, creamy and cheesy tortellini, rich and vibrant pesto, and some bright lemon flavor at the end. I’ve also added some nutrition with some fresh spinach and a little plain Greek yogurt – it adds a little extra creaminess, and some calcium and additional protein, too!

For more simple soups, check out this Black Bean Salsa Soup, 3-Ingredient Potato Soup, Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup, and my favorite ultra-nourishing Bone Broth Chicken Soup.

Pesto Tortellini Soup Ingredients

For a full ingredient list with quantities, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

ingredients to make pesto tortellini soup
  • Tortellini: I use a basic cheese tortellini, but you can use whatever kind you prefer. I recommend using a refrigerated brand, as they cook faster.
  • Pesto: Store-bought or homemade – whatever you prefer!
  • Chicken Sausage: You’ll want a whole, 12-ounce package of chicken sausage. I used Trader Joe’s Ultimate Cheddar Chicken Sausage here, but any herby, garlic, Italian-style will work! I don’t recommend any sweeter, apple-type sausages, though. They don’t mesh with the flavors of the pesto soup quite as well!
  • Onion: A white or yellow onion helps build the flavor base of the soup.
  • Broth: I recommend low sodium chicken broth, but you can use vegetable broth or bone broth, too.
  • Spinach: Spinach adds a great boost of nutrition to this soup! I used fresh, but you can use frozen spinach, too.
  • Lemon: Adds a pop of brightness that I love in a soup.
  • Greek Yogurt: You can omit if you want, but it adds a slightly creamier mouthfeel to the broth, along with a little boost of protein and calcium.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Optional, but adds a little heat!

Step-by-Step Directions

For complete instructions, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

steps to make pesto tortellini soup
  1. Sauté onion. Once translucent, add chicken sausage and sauté another 2 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pan.
  3. Add tortellini and broth, then tear in spinach and squeeze in lemon as the soup briefly simmers.
  4. If desired, remove from heat and add Greek yogurt for a boost of creaminess and extra protein.

Expert Tips

  • The chicken sausage is already cooked, so you just want to let it sit on the bottom of the pan for a minute or two to get a little sear and create more browned bits on the bottom of the pan you can deglaze. Both the quick sear on the sausage and the deglazing adds more flavor!
  • The tortellini cooks fast, so move quickly and keep an eye on it! If you let it sit too long before serving it’ll absorb more of the broth and the tortellini may start to loose their shape and their fillings fall out.
  • Greek yogurt can only be added after the soup is removed from the heat. If the soup is still over the heat, the Greek yogurt can curdle and separate as it’s added, instead of creating a little creaminess.
side view of a bowl of chicken sausage pesto tortellini soup

Substitutions & Variations

  • Frozen vegetables work fine! You can sauté frozen onions – just let them thaw first, and remove excess moisture. Frozen spinach is a great sub for fresh, just use 1 cup of chopped frozen spinach instead.
  • Turkey or pork sausage can be used instead of chicken sausage. It’ll take a little longer to make, but brown the sausage first, remove any excess fat from the pot, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • For a vegetarian option, skip the chicken sausage and substitute a can of cannellini or kidney beans.
  • To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free tortellini (I’ve seen some at ALDI and Trader Joe’s before).

Storage, Freezing, & Reheating

I’ll be honest with you – this soup, as is, does not store or freeze well. Don’t get me wrong, it still tastes amazing! But the tortellini breaks down the longer it sits in the broth. If you don’t mind loose tortellini, then that’s fine!

If not, I recommend cooking the soup, without the tortellini, and then cooking the tortellini on the side. Combine them just before reheating and serving.

  • Storage: Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. (Again, I recommend storing tortellini and soup separately for the best leftovers.)
  • Freezing: Can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Date and label your containers!
  • Reheating: Reheat in a small pot on the stove, or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.
freshly grated cheese to garnish pesto tortellini soup

Supplies You’ll Need

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a bowl of 15 minute pesto tortellini soup

Pesto Tortellini Soup

This 15 minute Pesto Tortellini Soup is packed with rich flavor, cheesy tortellini, bright pesto, fresh spinach, and chicken sausage.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 295kcal
Author: Lindsey



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 12 ounces chicken sausages diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups tortellini
  • cup pesto
  • 2 cups spinach torn
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt plain, optional
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes optional

Optional Garnish

  • parmesan, fresh parsley or basil, crushed red pepper flakes optional


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. When fragrant, add diced onion and sauté 2-3 minutes until they're translucent. Add chicken sausages and saute 1-2 minutes.
    2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 onion, 12 ounces chicken sausages
  • Add a splash of broth to the pan, then deglaze the pan by using a wooden spatula to scrape up all the flavorful browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
    4 cups chicken broth
  • Add tortellini, broth, and pesto and stir until pesto disperses into the broth. Simmer for 4 minutes, or until tortellini is done (follow your package directions).
    2 cups tortellini, 1/3 cup pesto
  • While the soup is simmering, tear in the fresh spinach and squeeze in the lemon.
    2 cups spinach, 1/2 lemon
  • Just as the tortellini is finished, remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, if desired, for a slightly creamier broth and a boost of protein. Add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt, pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Serve, garnishing with freshly grated parmesan, parsley, and red chili flakes, if desired. Enjoy!
    parmesan, fresh parsley or basil, crushed red pepper flakes


Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1220mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1350IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 2mg

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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