Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup - From NanaBread to You, With Love

I just love this recipe. It’s quick, easy, flavorful and satisfying. A friend shared it with me in the early 1990’s when we were working on a church cookbook and I’ve been making it ever since. She made hers with ground beef and beef broth, but I prefer this lighter chicken version.

Ingredients List:

1 rotisserie chicken (plain) from your grocer’s deli
1 32-oz. carton of organic chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 9-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 10-oz. package of cheese tortellini (refrigerated or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of dried oregano and basil
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
parmesan cheese & chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, for garnish

Place the rotisserie chicken in a large heavy-bottomed pot and pour in the carton of chicken broth. Cover and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly heated and begins to fall apart. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and allow it to cool until you can chop it without burning yourself. Strain the chicken broth to remove any kibbles and bits and return it to the pan. If needed, add a cup or two of water to create more broth. (May be necessary if your broth simmers too long and/or reduces too quickly.)

Over medium heat, bring the broth back to a simmer. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings. If you like a little spice, throw in that pinch of red pepper flakes. While that simmers, bone the chicken and chop it into bite-size pieces. If you’re feeding a crowd, use all of the chopped chicken. If you’re not, use half the chicken and save the rest for chicken salad tomorrow night. Return the chopped chicken to the pot. Add the spinach and tortellini. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Taste to see if it needs additional salt and pepper. I also like to taste one of the tortellini to make sure they’re done. If you like your soup on the thicker side, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and whisk until smooth; stir into the soup.

To serve, spoon into bowls and top with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. A great loaf of crusty bread is the perfect side to this soup.

1. make with beef broth and ground beef (my friend’s version)
2. use cheese, spinach, or meat tortellini – your choice
3. use mini-ravioli instead of tortellini
4. leave out the tomatoes for a clear broth (great for colds)
5. substitute the pasta of your choosing for the tortellini
6. substitute browned Italian sausage for chicken or beef
7. substitute fresh spinach, kale or other favorite greens

Helpful Hint:
Prepping early can save a ton of time! Simmer your chicken in broth in advance. Strain the broth and store in airtight containers until needed (fridge for 2-3 days/freezer for 2-3 weeks). Bone and chop the chicken and refrigerate or freeze separately from the broth. If you prep these 2 things in advance, you can make this soup in under an hour. Just place the frozen broth in a pan and heat to simmering. Add the chicken and other ingredients, except for the parsley and parmesan. Heat until thoroughly warmed, season to taste, and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese. See? I told you it was easy.

Go make this soup. You know you want to.



Filed under Food & Recipes

11 responses to “Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

  1. Mmmmmm….My husband makes the sausage and beef broth version of this. Perfect for a snowy day like today.

    • I’m trying that one next time. Something about spicy Italian sausage and beef broth with 3-cheese tortellini is calling my name. It would taste a lot better if it would drop below 65F here in Houston. I need some cold weather!

  2. Kat

    Now THIS is my kind of soup. Less than 20 ingredients AND pre-made chicken. Amen.

    Confession: I love having some in the freezer in the winter, but I hate the process of making soup. It usually involves more ingredients than I would cook with normally and it usually takes more time than I would dedicate to cooking. So, not exactly a winning combination.

    • It’s an easy soup to make, and starting with a rotisserie chicken makes for a much more flavorful broth with absolutely no extra work. The rotisserie chicken simmered in chicken broth is my go-to quick soup starter. If you throw in onions, celery & carrots, it makes an excellent chicken noodle or chicken & rice soup. Throw in some baby bok choy and dumplings and you have a flavorful wonton soup. Who knew a rotisserie chicken could take you so far?

  3. LOVE how quick & easy this soup is–exactly how a soup should be. I love hot soup on a cold day, but I do not love spending 2 hours of prep time to make it. It’s only soup, for crying out loud! This soup is going in the rotation.

    • I love soup when it’s cold outside, too. The problem in Houston is that we’ve not really had much cold weather yet. This entire week has been in the 65-75F range. I’d love a good solid month in the 40’s, if that’s not too much to ask. It’s so warm here, the grass is thick and green and everything’s blooming again. If you love soups, I’ll have to post the Loaded Baked Potato Soup I made for Cookiepalooza day. It was yummy.

  4. I love this stuff! Mmmmmmm!! I think I’m going to make this myself soon!

    • It would be a great weeknight dinner when you don’t have a lot of time. Or a great recipe to make on a weekend and freeze for quick dinners whenever you want. I’m trying it with beef broth, hot Italian sausage and 3-cheese tortellini next time. Another bonus for this recipe – it’s so adaptable. Let me know if you make it, honey. Oh, and kiss the kids for me!

  5. Made this tonight! SO GOOD!! Well, it’s not done yet, but it smells DELICIOUS! And, I’ve never bought fire roasted tomatoes before. Those smell goooooood!! I also added a dash of sherry after I simmered my veggies, I didn’t have a dry white wine…. and added a little turmeric like I did when I made P-dubs chicken and noodles. Thanks NanaBread! I FINALLY get to use the tortellini out of my freezer I’ve been meaning to make.

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