Hearty tortellini soup – It consists of rich cheese tortellini, browned ground beef, nutritious tomatoes and vegetables, and aromatic herbs. It’s one of the cosiest and most filling soups you will ever make!
This recipe is an adaptation of one of my favorite soup recipes of all time – Pasta e Fagioli. But here we get cheesy tortellini instead of plain pasta!
Tortellini soup with beef
One of the highlights of autumn is a warm bowl of soup to brighten up a cool day. Such a good soup!
This tortellini soup is a dinner that people of all ages can agree on, and even picky eaters will love it!
And most of the ingredients in this soup are things that you will likely have on hand so you can prepare them when the cravings strike.
Top off the meal with a loaf of rotten rustic bread to dip and a side salad with Italian dressing.
Tortellini soup ingredients
- Olive oil: This is used to promote the browning of the meat. It also helps reduce clinging.
- Ground beef: Use lean ground beef (85-93%).
- Yellow onion: This is an important ingredient that really adds to the background flavor of the soup. Don’t skip them.
- Celery: If you want this to cook faster, cut it into thin slices. They are very crispy vegetables and take longer to cook than other vegetables to become tender.
- Carrots: Dice these small. I think small cubes are best for soups most of the time.
- Garlic: As always, fresh is best!
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: Using low sodium material gives a little more control over the amount of salt. You can even use unsalted sodium to cut sodium in the recipe.
- Canned tomato cubes: I like to use delicately sliced tomatoes, but the standard cut is fine.
- Tomato sauce: Similar to tomato passata in other countries if you are not sure what to look for.
- Italian spice: If you don’t have this, just use 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
- Cheese tortellini: I strongly recommend using chilled tortellini, which are not shelf stable. They have far superior taste.
- Spinach: Opt for fresh, non-frozen spinach. Frozen spinach is mushy in the soup.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley gives a lot more flavor here than dried ones. If you have fresh basil on hand at times, I’ll add that instead.
- Salt and pepper: Add to taste.
Scroll down below for the full recipe with ingredient amounts.
How to make tortellini soup
- Brown beef: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef and cook for about 3 minutes until the bottom is brown.
- Break open beef and cook through, transfer: Turn and break the beef over and continue cooking until cooked through. Transfer beef to a paper towel-lined plate while leaving 1 1/2 tablespoons of fat in the saucepan (or add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and drain the fat).
- Fry vegetables: Add the onions, carrots and celery to the saucepan. Fry about 7 minutes until soft.
- Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Add canned food and season: Pour in the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, boiled beef and season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Cook: Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost soft.
- Cooking tortellini in soup: Add tortellini and simmer for the time indicated on the package (usually around 4-7 minutes).
- Finish with fresh green: Stir in the spinach and parsley. Serve warm.
Can it be frozen?
- If you wait to add the tortellini then the soup can be frozen and it will freeze well for 3 months.
- Freeze cooked tortellini in individual portions separately from the soup.
- Use Italian sausage instead of ground beef.
- Sneak into other vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or asparagus.
- Add red pepper flakes for a flavorful kick.
- Finish with parmesan if you want it extra cheesy, or just let the soup simmer with a parmesan bowl.
- If necessary, balance a sour sauce with a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
Tips for perfecting
Really, this soup is a no-brainer and there’s nothing complicated about it, but here are a few tips to make it the best:
- Fry the beef in pieces, do not overfill and steam. This means that before you start cracking and twisting it, you let it sear it on the bottom, and don’t toss it all the time or you will end up with gray, tasteless meat.
- For even more fresh taste, you can swap the dried Italian spice with a mixture of fresh herbs. Try basil, oregano, and thyme.
- Do not add tortellini directly to the soup if you are planning leftovers or if they are totally mushy the next day (see note in the recipe).
- Be careful not to overcook the tortellini. I usually even peel it off a minute or two early because I hate wet pasta and the residual heat continues to cook after removing it. So if it’s cool enough to eat the pasta, it’s a little soft for me.
- Wait until the end to add the spinach so it doesn’t get moist. It will wither almost immediately.
More similar recipes to try
A hearty, delicious soup made from rich cheese tortellini, browned ground beef, nutritious tomatoes and vegetables, and aromatic herbs. It’s one of the cosiest, most filling soups you will ever make! Makes about 13 cups.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Pound. lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 Chopped cups yellow onion
- 1 Diced cup celery
- 1 Diced cup Carrots
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 3 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 ounces) can dainty tomato cubes
- 3 (8 oz) cans Tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian spice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (9 oz) pkg. Cheese tortellini
- 2 Cups (2 oz) Spinach, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Crumble the beef into pieces and cook for about 3 minutes until it is brown at the bottom.
Turn and crack the beef and continue cooking until it is no longer pink. Transfer beef to a paper towel-lined plate while leaving 1 1/2 tablespoons of fat in the saucepan (or add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and drain the fat).
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the saucepan. Fry until it begins to soften, about 7 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
Pour in the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, boiled beef and season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost soft.
Add tortellini (see important note *) and simmer for the time indicated on the package (usually around 4 – 7 minutes).
Stir in the spinach and parsley. Serve warm.
- Reduce the broth in the soup to 4 1/4 cups and cook the tortellini in a saucepan of boiling water separately from the soup.
- Mix the tortellini with the olive oil after draining.
- Store separately from the soup in the refrigerator.
- Add separately to the portions towards the end of the heat-up.
Amount per serving
Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value *
Saturated fat 5g31%
cholesterol 65 mg22%
sodium 1409 mg61%
potassium 1427 mg41%
carbohydrates 42 g14%
Vitamin A. 8926IU179%
vitamin C 35 mg42%
calcium 195 mg20%
iron 7 mg39%
* Daily percentages are based on a 2000 calorie diet.