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Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe

This soup recipe brings together the rich and earthy flavors of Italian sausage and kale, contrasted with the delightful cheesy goodness of tortellini. A warm and comforting soup that's perfect for those chilly evenings, this recipe is sure to become a household favorite.

Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe

Photos of Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are relatively common household items. However, three cheese tortellini may not be readily available in all kitchens. These are usually found in the pasta aisle of most supermarkets. Also, kale is a specific type of leafy green which might not be a staple in every kitchen, but can be easily found in the vegetable section.

Ingredients for Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup

Italian sausage: Sausage adds a meaty, hearty flavor to the soup. The Italian variety has a delicious combination of spices.

Olive oil: Used to sauté the sausage and vegetables, it adds a gentle flavor.

Yellow onion: Adds a sweet and tangy flavor.

Carrots: The carrots add a hint of sweetness and a nice texture.

Garlic: Adds a potent and aromatic flavor.

Beef broth: Forms the base of the soup, adding rich flavor.

Tomatoes: Adds a pleasant acidity and base for the soup.

Tomato sauce: Gives the soup a thicker consistency and enhances the tomato flavor.

Italian seasoning: A blend of herbs that compliment the Italian sausage.

Salt and black pepper: Basic seasonings to enhance all the other flavors.

Three cheese tortellini: The tortellini adds a cheesy and hearty element to the soup.

Kale: Adds a slightly bitter, earthy flavor and a lot of nutrients.

Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty and nutty flavor to the soup.

One reader, Jacquelyn Pence says:

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This Italian sausage, kale, and tortellini soup recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the combination of sausage, kale, and tortellini is simply divine. It's a hearty and satisfying meal that's perfect for chilly evenings. I highly recommend trying it out!

Jacquelyn Pence

Cooking Techniques for Making Soup

How to brown Italian sausage: In a large pot over medium-high heat, crumble the Italian sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and cooked through.

How to sauté onions and carrots: After browning the sausage, add the onions and carrots to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes until they begin to soften.

How to simmer the soup: After adding the beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasonings, bring the mixture to a light boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.

How to cook tortellini and kale: Once the soup has simmered, stir in the tortellini and kale, cover the pot, and cook for an additional 7 to 9 minutes until the tortellini is tender and the kale is wilted.

How to serve the soup: Serve the Italian sausage, kale, and tortellini soup warm, and top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

How To Make Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup

This cheesy tortellini soup is a warm respite after a cold day. The kale imparts some much needed nutrition while the sausage adds depth of flavor.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • 16ozitalian sausage,(pork or turkey, mild or hot) removed from casings
  • 1tbspolive oil
  • cupsyellow onion,(1 medium), chopped
  • 1⅓cupscarrots,(3 medium), chopped
  • 4clovesgarlic,minced
  • 5cupslow-sodium beef broth
  • 2canstomatoes,(14.5 oz), diced
  • 1cantomato sauce,(8 oz)
  • 1tbspItalian Seasoning
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9ozthree cheese tortellini,refrigerated
  • 2cupskale,packed, chopped, thick ribs removed
  • parmesan cheese,Finely shredded, for serving, optional


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into pot and brown, stirring and breaking up sausage occasionally, until cooked through. 

  2. Drain sausage onto a plate lined with several layers of paper towels while reserving 1 tablespoon rendered fat in pot.

  3. Add onions and carrots and saute for 3 minutes then add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. 

  4. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Bring to a light boil, return sausage to pot, cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until carrots are nearly tender.

  6. Stir in tortellini and kale then cover and cook for 7 to 9 minutes longer. Serve warm with parmesan cheese if desired.


  • Calories: 370.04kcal
  • Fat: 32.01g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.53g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.64g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.51g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.58g
  • Fiber: 7.16g
  • Sugar: 9.46g
  • Protein: 23.26g
  • Cholesterol: 91.63mg
  • Sodium: 1653.09mg
  • Calcium: 147.66mg
  • Potassium: 1189.69mg
  • Iron: 4.14mg
  • Vitamin A: 278.97µg
  • Vitamin C: 23.60mg

Pro Tip for Enhancing Soup Flavor

When cooking the Italian sausage, ensure to break it up into small, bite-sized pieces as it browns. This will not only allow it to cook more evenly, but also make it easier to eat in the soup. Additionally, when adding the kale, make sure to strip the leaves from the tough stems and tear them into smaller pieces. This will make the kale more palatable and easier to incorporate into the soup. Lastly, remember to add the tortellini towards the end of the cooking process to prevent it from becoming too soft and losing its shape.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup

Plan ahead: Before starting the recipe, gather all the ingredients and equipment needed to streamline the cooking process.

Prep in advance: Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients ahead of time to save time during the cooking process.

Multi-task: While the soup is simmering, use that time to clean up the kitchen or prepare a side dish to accompany the soup.

Use pre-made ingredients: Consider using pre-made broth, canned tomatoes, or pre-washed and chopped kale to cut down on prep time.

One-pot cooking: Opt for a single large pot to cook the entire soup, minimizing the number of dishes to clean up afterward.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the provided measurements and instructions to ensure an efficient cooking process and a delicious end result.

Substitute Ingredients For Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe

  • Italian sausage - Substitute with plant-based Italian sausage: This substitute provides a similar flavor and texture while being suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet.

  • Kale - Substitute with Swiss chard: Swiss chard offers a similar earthy flavor and hearty texture, making it a suitable alternative in the soup.

  • Tortellini - Substitute with gnocchi: Gnocchi can provide a similar chewy texture and absorb the flavors of the soup, making it a great alternative to tortellini.

Presenting Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup, focus on creating a visually appealing presentation. Use a wide-rimmed bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the soup. Ensure that the tortellini, sausage, and kale are evenly distributed for an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped fresh basil or parsley over the soup just before serving. This not only adds a pop of color but also infuses the dish with a burst of fresh flavor, enhancing the overall dining experience.

  3. Select the right serving utensils: Opt for elegant, high-quality ladles and spoons to serve the soup. The utensils should complement the sophistication of the dish and add a touch of finesse to the presentation.

  4. Incorporate a drizzle of olive oil: Before serving, delicately drizzle a small amount of high-quality olive oil over the soup. This not only enhances the richness of the dish but also adds a glossy sheen, elevating the visual appeal.

  5. Accompany with artisan bread: Serve the soup with a side of freshly baked artisan bread, such as a rustic ciabatta or a crusty baguette. This adds a delightful textural contrast and provides an opportunity for an additional element of culinary artistry.

  6. Consider the placement of the parmesan cheese: If offering parmesan cheese as a topping, consider presenting it in a separate dish alongside the soup. This allows guests to customize their portions and adds an interactive element to the dining experience.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Soup

  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting, slicing, and chopping ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile kitchen knife used for a variety of tasks such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.

  • Large pot: A deep cooking vessel used for preparing soups, stews, and boiling pasta.

  • Wooden spoon: A kitchen utensil used for stirring, mixing, and serving.

  • Soup ladle: A long-handled spoon with a deep bowl, used for serving soups and stews.

  • Paper towels: Absorbent paper used for draining and patting dry ingredients.

  • Grater: A tool used for grating cheese or vegetables.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Utensils used for accurately measuring ingredients.

  • Can opener: A tool used for opening cans of ingredients such as tomatoes and tomato sauce.

  • Cooking pot: A versatile kitchen pot used for cooking pasta and boiling vegetables.

  • Saucepan: A small, deep cooking vessel used for heating and simmering sauces.

  • Soup bowls: Bowls used for serving the finished soup.

  • Parmesan grater: A specialized grater used for grating parmesan cheese.

  • Soup tureen: A large serving dish with a cover, used for serving soup at the table.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Soup

  • Allow the italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • For storing in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled soup into an airtight container. It will keep well for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • If you plan to freeze the soup, consider the following tips:
    • Cook the tortellini al dente, as it will continue to soften when reheated.
    • Freeze the soup without the tortellini for best results. Cook the tortellini separately and add it to the reheated soup later.
    • Divide the cooled soup into portion-sized freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Frozen italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup will maintain its best quality for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat the refrigerated soup, simply warm it in a pot over medium heat until it reaches the desired temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • For frozen soup, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. If you froze the soup without the tortellini, cook the tortellini separately and add it to the reheated soup.
  • Adjust the consistency of the reheated soup by adding a little broth or water if needed, as the pasta and vegetables may absorb some liquid during storage.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving, as flavors may mellow over time.

How To Reheat Leftover Soup

  • Reheat the leftover italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method ensures even heating and allows the flavors to meld together once again.

  • If you prefer a quicker reheating method, transfer the leftover soup to a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel or a microwave-safe lid. Microwave the soup in 1-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until it's heated through. Be careful not to overheat the soup, as the tortellini may become mushy.

  • For a creamier texture, add a splash of beef broth or water to the leftover soup before reheating. This will help loosen up the soup and prevent it from becoming too thick.

  • If you find that the kale has become too soft or wilted after reheating, you can add a handful of fresh kale to the soup during the last few minutes of reheating. This will give the soup a fresh texture and vibrant color.

  • To enhance the flavor of the reheated soup, consider adding a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese or a dash of italian seasoning before serving. These simple additions can help revive the soup's taste and aroma.

  • If you have leftover italian sausage that wasn't used in the original soup recipe, consider slicing it and browning it in a pan before adding it to the reheated soup. This will add an extra layer of flavor and texture to the dish.

Interesting Fact About Kale

Italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup is a hearty and nutritious dish that is packed with flavor and nutrients. It's a great way to incorporate leafy greens and protein into your diet.

Is Making Soup at Home Cost-Effective?

This Italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as Italian sausage, kale, and tortellini, are reasonably priced and can be found at most grocery stores. The use of simple and affordable ingredients makes this recipe a budget-friendly option for feeding a family of four. The total cost for the ingredients is approximately $20, making it an economical choice for a hearty and satisfying meal. Overall Verdict: 9/10.

Is This Soup Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Italian sausage, kale and tortellini soup recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, it includes nutrient-dense ingredients like kale, tomatoes, and carrots, which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Kale, in particular, is a superfood packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The use of low-sodium beef broth helps to reduce the overall salt content of the dish.

However, there are some areas of concern. Italian sausage tends to be high in saturated fat and sodium, which can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure when consumed in excess. The three-cheese tortellini also adds additional saturated fat and calories to the soup. While the recipe calls for draining the sausage on paper towels, it still includes some of the rendered fat in the cooking process.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for a leaner protein source, such as ground turkey or chicken sausage, to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Increase the amount of kale and other vegetables in the soup to boost the nutrient density and fiber content
  • Use whole-wheat or vegetable-based tortellini to increase the fiber and nutrient profile of the pasta
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used as a garnish or opt for a lower-fat alternative like parmesan made from skim milk
  • Experiment with additional herbs and spices to enhance the flavor without relying on excess salt

By making these adjustments, you can transform this comforting soup into a more balanced and nutritious meal that still satisfies your taste buds.

Editor's Opinion on This Soup Recipe

This Italian sausage, kale, and tortellini soup recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The savory Italian sausage pairs perfectly with the earthy kale and the cheesy tortellini, creating a hearty and satisfying dish. The addition of carrots and tomatoes adds a lovely sweetness to the broth, while the Italian seasoning brings a burst of aromatic flavors. This soup is a comforting and nourishing meal that is perfect for any occasion. The balance of ingredients and the cooking method result in a delicious and well-rounded dish that is sure to impress.

Enhance Your Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: A warm and crispy garlic bread would be the perfect accompaniment to this hearty soup. The buttery, garlicky flavor will complement the savory sausage and tortellini.
Roasted Vegetable Salad: A colorful and flavorful roasted vegetable salad would be a great side dish for this soup. The mix of roasted vegetables will add a nice contrast to the rich and hearty flavors of the soup.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits would provide a light and refreshing contrast to the savory and comforting flavors of the soup. The sweetness of the fruits will balance out the richness of the dish.

Similar Soup Recipes to Try

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup: This creamy and hearty soup is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken, earthy wild rice, and creamy broth will warm you up from the inside out.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This vibrant and flavorful dish is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The juicy mango salsa pairs perfectly with the tender and juicy chicken, creating a dish that is bursting with tropical flavors.
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This colorful and nutritious salad is a great way to enjoy a variety of roasted vegetables. The nutty quinoa adds a satisfying texture, while the tangy vinaigrette ties everything together for a refreshing and wholesome meal.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: These luscious and tangy cheesecake bars are a delightful treat for any occasion. The bright and zesty lemon flavor complements the sweet and juicy blueberries, creating a dessert that is both refreshing and indulgent.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Serve with Soup

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Bruschetta: Elevate the classic bruschetta by topping crispy toasted bread with a variety of fresh and vibrant toppings, such as diced tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze. This appetizer is sure to impress with its burst of flavors and colors.
Tiramisu: Indulge in a decadent, creamy dessert featuring layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese, dusted with cocoa powder for a rich finish.
Panna Cotta: Treat yourself to a silky, smooth Italian dessert made with sweetened cream and gelatin, topped with a vibrant fruit compote for a burst of flavor.

Why trust this Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup Recipe:

This recipe is a trustworthy choice for several reasons. Firstly, the combination of Italian sausage, kale, and tortellini creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Additionally, the use of low-sodium beef broth ensures a healthier option without compromising taste. The inclusion of tomatoes and Italian seasoning adds depth and authenticity to the dish. Lastly, the incorporation of Parmesan cheese as a finishing touch enhances the overall experience. With these quality ingredients and a well-crafted cooking method, this recipe promises a delightful and satisfying meal.

If you tried this Italian Sausage, Kale and Tortellini Soup recipe, we'd love to hear your thoughts! Share your experience and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum.
What type of Italian sausage should I use for this recipe?
You can use either sweet or spicy Italian sausage, depending on your preference. Both will add delicious flavor to the soup.
Can I use a different type of tortellini?
Absolutely! You can use any type of tortellini you like, such as cheese, spinach, or meat-filled tortellini.
How can I adjust the spiciness of the soup?
If you prefer a milder soup, you can use sweet Italian sausage and reduce the amount of Italian seasoning. For a spicier kick, opt for hot Italian sausage or add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Can I make this soup ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to serve. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Is there a vegetarian version of this soup?
Absolutely! You can substitute the Italian sausage with plant-based sausage or omit it altogether for a vegetarian version. Additionally, you can use vegetable broth instead of beef broth for a vegetarian-friendly option.

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