Grandma Lee’s famous chicken tortellini soup is ready in 30 minutes and is hearty, delicious, and healthy!
Chicken tortellini soup
This recipe has been the staple of my childhood. Great Grandma Lee would always serve a piping hot bowl of this chicken tortellini soup and top it with a pinch of parmesan cheese, which would melt at the bottom of your bowl. Sooo good.
She brought this soup to every holiday function and she always had a warm bowl to serve up when you’d visit her house. She called it “cappelletti soup” because she’d use little cappelletti pasta filled with either cheese or meat.
Cappelletti is very similar to tortellini pasta. Both are filled with cheese or meat. Cappelletti pasta is made from square shaped pasta and tortellini is shaped with a round shaped pasta. The end result is a delicious stuffed pasta that is hearty and filling.
This chicken tortellini soup is the perfect appetizer before a big holiday meal, or it can be a whole meal itself! It’s super easy to make, uses simple, healthy ingredients, and makes plenty for a large family! We serve it as an appetizer on holidays before we serve the main meal. It really ties you over!
- Tortellini pasta– Cheese (or meat) filled tortellini pasta makes this soup hearty and so delicious! You can find tortellini pasta in the dried pasta or freezer aisle of your grocery store.
- Rotisserie chicken– To make this recipe super easy and quick, shred a whole rotisserie chicken. Since the chicken is already seasoned and cooked to perfection, it adds a depth of flavor that is just oh so good!
- Chicken broth– You can use bone broth, store bought chicken broth, or even vegetable broth for this recipe.
- Holy trinity– Finely chopped carrots, celery, and onions are called the Italian Holy Trinity of cooking because the smell is heavenly and it’s the perfect base for most dishes.
- Garlic– Finely chopped garlic adds the best flavor!
- Butter– Salted butter is melted in the pan before the vegetables are added and sautèd.
- Chicken bouillon– My favorite chicken bouillon is roasted chicken Better Than Bouillon. It adds the perfect amount of flavor to this soup!
Make this in the slow cooker
This soup can easily be made in the slow cooker with a few simple steps. Set your slow cooker to the sautè function, then melt the butter. Add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and sautè for 5 minutes. Add the broth, shredded chicken, and chicken bouillon. Place the slow cooker on the low setting for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
Add the tortellini pasta about 15-30 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup. Do not add the tortellini too early, they will get soggy and fall apart.
Make it your own
This chicken tortellini soup can easily be customized to fit your taste! You can use an assortment of vegetables (you know.. the ones that are wilting in your fridge that you desperately need to get rid of) to build this soup up! Here are a few recommendations:
- Bell peppers
- Zucchini/summer squash
- Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, etc)
How to make chicken tortellini soup
- Sautè the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the sliced carrots, celery, chopped onion, and garlic to the pot and sautè them for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bouillon. Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the chicken broth and chicken bouillon to the pot.
- Shred and add the chicken. Remove the skin off of the rotisserie chicken and discard it. Shred the chicken into small bite sized pieces, then add it to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the tortellini. Pour the tortellini into the pot and cook to al dente, according to package instructions.
- Serve. Grab a bug ladle and pour yourself a big bowl of chicken tortellini soup! Top with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Mangia!
How to store and reheat
This soup freezes well, but the tortellini don’t. No worries, where there’s a will, there’s a way! If you plan on freezing this soup, do not add the tortellini directly to the soup. Cook the tortellini is a separate pot, then add it to your individual bowl. Do not add the tortellini to the big pot of soup.
Once you are ready to freeze the soup, place it in a freezer safe, airtight container and place it in the freezer. When you are ready to reheat and eat it, add the fresh tortellini to it. Do not attempt to freeze cooked tortellini, they will get incredibly soggy and fall apart.
To reheat this soup, dethaw it on the counter or in the microwave for 5 minutes. Continue to microwave it until it is hot, about 5-10 minutes. You can also place this soup in a pot over medium heat on the stove top until it is thawed and hot.
In the fridge
If you have leftover chicken tortellini soup, you can place it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Since the tortellini is in the soup, this soup will only stay good for 24 hours. The tortellini will get inflated and mushy if they are soaked in liquid for too long.
If you’d like to prolong the refrigerated shelf life of this soup, do not add the tortellini to the soup until you are ready to eat. Keep the tortellini in a separate container without any liquids.
To reheat this soup, place it in the fridge for 2-5 minutes, or place it in a pot over medium heat on your stovetop for 5-10 minutes.
Chicken Tortellini soup
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 1 carrots sliced
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 tps chicken bouillon (or 2 cubes)
- 1 rotisserie chicken shredded, skin removed and discarded
- 12 oz dried or frozen tortellini
- salt to taste
- parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley
- black pepper
- Sautè the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced carrots, celery, chopped onion, and garlic and sautè for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth. Pour the chicken broth and chicken bouillon into the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Add the chicken. Place the shredded chicken into the pot and return it to a boil.
- Cook the tortellini. Add the tortellini to the boiling pot, then cook according to package instructions until al dente. Remove the soup from the heat.
- Serve. Pour the soup into individual bowls, then top with parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and cracked black pepper. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.