Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini and Kale


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Italian soup in a white bowl

I never say no to a pretty bowl of soup. Bonus that this Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini and Kale is packed with healthy greens, hearty tortellini, has 28 grams of protein per serving and is oh-so-fast. This is the sort of satisfying, 480 calorie weeknight meal that everyone needs in their back pocket.

draining cooked tortellini in a colander

I’m working on a theory about tortellini. It goes something like this. Tortellini turns anything into a meal. Something about it is hearty + classy + downright delicious. Even those who would argue that soup is not a meal, will change their mind if tortellini is in the mix.

Even picky toddlers.

Picky toddlers LOVE tortellini. Take that one to the bank.

cooking sausage and vegetables in a dutch oven

And little secret…

Adults love it too.

This Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini and Kale was a particularly easy sell for Frank and me after we kicked off last week with a Sunday-night 7 course dinner at Kansas City’s new and fabulous Stock Hill. After all those indulgent courses (+ wine pairings!) we needed all the clean, simple soup we could get.

Italian Sausage Soup in a dutch oven with a ladle

And this is it, friends. I love a soup that combines pasta with beans (if you do too, try my Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli next). Hearty enough to leave you satisfied. Plus still a little virtuous.

Even virtuous enough to make up for a seven course dinner….or all those Sweet Potato Fry Nachos you *may* have eaten on Sunday.

a bowl of Italian soup on a white table

This post is part of our series Dinner Tonight where we share our favorite weeknight-friendly dinners. Just doing our part to help answer the question “what’s for dinner”?

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italian soup in a white bowl
4.43 from 7 votes

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini and Kale

Simple, classy, and good enough that even soup-doubters will love it. This classic Italian soup has a bit of herby sausage and rich tortellini in every bite.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • Dutch Oven or Large Saucepan


  • 8 oz Tortellini
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 8 oz Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 14oz can Diced Tomatoes (a variety with Italian seasonings or basil in the mix works great)
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 leaves Kale, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 15oz can Cannellini or White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste
  • 2 oz Parmesan, grated


  • Cook tortellini according to package directions. (You can do this up to 3 days ahead, as I like do as part of my Sunday Prep.)
  • Place a Dutch Oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then Italian Sausage and saute, breaking sausage apart, until nearly cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, carrots and Italian seasoning and saute until onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Add tomatoes (including their liquid), stock, kale and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat so the soup maintains a low simmer and continue simmering for 5 minutes to let the flavors come together. While soup simmers, drain and rinse beans and grate parmesan (if not already grated).
  • Stir beans and into soup and simmer just until beans are heated through. Remove soup from heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and add additional salt (I do often find this needs a bit more salt at the end, but that will depend on the natural saltiness of your sausage and stock.)
  • Divide tortellini into serving bowls. Ladle soup over tortellini (see note). Top with parmesan.


Cook pasta and soup separately to prevent overcooking the pasta. I like to combine them just before serving in individual bowls instead of in the soup pot. That way, if you go back for seconds or have leftovers, you can make a fresh bowl, combining the pasta and soup just before serving. No more soggy pasta!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 951mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7966IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Calories: 471
Keyword: 30-minute meal, easy dinner
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

Here’s an accurate snap of what 8am looks like most days in our kitchen. Clara with crazy hair I haven’t yet tackled. Molly with a bag full of random treasures she starts trying to convince us she “needs” to take to school with her.

Molly and Clara AM


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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. 5 stars
    THIS recipe 👌🏻
    we cook so many of your recipes, but THIS is our favorite! we love it and make it all year round. it’s quick and easy and delicious!! i started adding green chiles as well. just amazing!!

  2. 5 stars
    My family loved it! And I loved it even more because of how quick and easy it comes together. Feels just right on a Winter weeknight. Thank you for the recipe! I’ve used several of your recipes and not one was a disappointment. Gotta go find something for tonight ☺️

  3. 5 stars
    This soup comes together quickly and I love the flavors! I’ve made it several time. Most recently I used a plant-based Italian sausage substitute and it worked well — followed the recipe the exact same way with no other changes.

  4. Can’t wait to make this first chilly weekend evening! Just wondering re: the sausage, Did you remove it from its casing before adding to the pot, breaking it into chunks, or did you add the whole links and break up with casing on?


    1. Hi Sandra! I’ve been eyeing this soup again too, now that it’s cooling off just a bit in the evenings. I used loose sausage that I buy from my butcher’s counter and just break it up as it cooks. Definitely you can use any other type of sausage as well – if it comes in casings, remove it from the casings before using it – it will cook most quickly that way. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much, Jess! It looked from the photo that it was loose, just wanted to be sure! Having unusually cool late Aug. weather here on Cape Cod so this will be on the table very soon! Thanks again. Loving your blog/recipes…and your daughters are precious! (My husband has spent considrable time in Thailand on business, so your Thai recipes will be up next.)

  5. I sent my hubby to the store to buy the ingredients so I can make him this soup. It looks great — and so easy. I’m loving your Dinner Tonight series.

    1. Thanks so much Joy! I was thinking that this would probably be great with soyrizo or even with chickpeas instead of the sausage. The sausage does give it a boost of flavor, but a veg option would be great too!

  6. This soup looks chock full of tasty ingredients! I love soups like this, that are hearty enough to stand as a meal on their own. Do you have a favorite brand of tortellini?